Do Formal Laminectomy and Timing of Decompression for Patients With Sacral Fracture and Neurologic Deficit Affect Outcome?

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of orthopaedic trauma


Adult; Aged; Decompression, Surgical; Female; Fracture Healing; Humans; Injury Severity Score; Laminectomy; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Male; Middle Aged; Neurologic Examination; Paralysis; Prognosis; Risk Assessment; Sacrum; Spinal Fractures; Time Factors; Time-to-Treatment; Tomography, X-Ray Computed; Treatment Outcome


OBJECTIVES: To identify whether formal sacral decompression provides improvement in outcome for patients with neurologic deficit after sacral fracture compared with patients treated with indirect decompression and whether the timing of surgical decompression influences neurologic outcome?

DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE was searched via PubMed using combinations of the following search terms: "Sacral fracture," "Traumatic Sacral fracture," "Sacral fracture decompression," "Sacral fracture time to decompression," "Sacral Decompression." Only clinical studies on human subjects and in the English language were included.

STUDY SELECTION: Studies that did not provide sufficient detail to confirm the nature of the sacral injury, treatment rendered, and neurologic outcome were excluded. Studies using subjects less than 18 years of age, cadavers, nonhuman subjects, or laboratory simulations were excluded. All other relevant studies were reviewed in detail.

DATA EXTRACTION: All studies were assigned a level of evidence using the grading tool described by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and all studies were analyzed for bias. Both cohorts in articles comparing 2 groups of patients treated differently were included in the appropriate group. Early decompression was defined as before 72 hours.

DATA SYNTHESIS: The effect of decompression technique and timing of decompression surgery on partial and complete neurologic recovery was estimated using a generalized linear mixed model to implement a logistic regression with a study-level random effect.

CONCLUSIONS: There was no benefit to early decompression within 72 hours and no difference between formal laminectomy and indirect decompression with respect to neurologic recovery.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine