A high velocity trauma can lead to fractures or luxations of the cervical, thoracic and/or lumbar spine. The decision to operate or not depends on whether or not the stabilty of the vertebral column is maintained and whether or not there is compression of the neural structures (spinal cord or nerves). Loss of stability will necessitate stabilisation, oftentimes with the use of screws and rods to fix the vertebrae to one another. Compression of the neural structures require decompression with removal of the fragments that are causing the compression.
In case the decision to operate is made, a careful interdisciplinary evaluation will follow in order to decide on the technique that will be used. The goal of the surgery will be to obtain best results (decompression and/or stabilisation) with the most minimal approach possible. Our department is familiar with open and minimal invasive technques, the decision depends on what technique is best suited for the individual patient.