Fish-Mouth Thoracic Fracture Fixation with Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Reduction: A Technical Note

Chester J. Donnally, Karthik Madhavan, Julian G. Lugo-Pico, Lee Onn Chieng, Steven Vanni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Surgical stabilization of thoracic spine fractures is recommended for unstable patterns, yet much debate exists regarding the best approach for reduction. The aim of this article was to report the outcome of a novel method for stabilization of a fish-mouth thoracic spine fracture. Methods: A retrospective patient chart review was conducted. Data collected included blood loss, operative time, length of stay, perioperative complications, neurologic deficits, and secondary procedures. The patient underwent percutaneous reduction of a hyperextension injury to the thoracic spine. Sufficient reduction was achieved through a percutaneous approach, followed by sequential distraction of 1 rod with sequential locking of the contralateral rod to maintain deformity correction. Electrophysiologic monitoring was used during the procedure. Results: Sufficient fracture reduction was achieved and evaluated on postoperative computed tomography. Operative time was 145 minutes, and estimated blood loss was 120 mL. There were no cerebrospinal fluid leaks, iatrogenic neurologic deficits, implant failures, other systemic events or revisions during the 8-month follow-up. Conclusions: This article describes the feasibility of using a novel model for reduction and stabilization of fish-mouth thoracic spine fracture with minimal soft tissue violation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • Fish mouth fracture
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Novel technique
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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