Korean J Neurotrauma doi: 10.13004/kjnt.2021.17.e8. eCollection 2021 Apr.
Vertebral extension-distraction fractures are a type of unstable fracture and require surgical stabilization with instrumentation. Unfortunately, in elderly patients with severe osteoporosis, poor bone quality can be related to postoperative pseudo-arthrosis and instability. Teriparatide is known as an effective anabolic agent for bone healing, union, and managing osteoporosis. In this report, we describe a rare case of extension-distraction thoracolumbar fractures in 86-year-old female patient with severe osteoporosis, which was treated conservatively. The patient was inoperable due to the presence of concomitant cardiopulmonary problems and the patients’ old age. She had poor bone quality on bone mineral densitometry (-6.7, lumbar spine) but no neurologic deficits. As conservative treatment, bedrest and pain control were first performed for three weeks along with the use of teriparatide for 6-month and supplementation of calcium and vitamin D. Afterwards, sitting and standing with wearable orthoses were gradually implemented. After 1 year, the patient achieved bone fusion and was able to walk by herself, and there was radiological correction of the initial segmental lordotic curvature and disappearance of the intravertebral gap caused by the extension-distraction fracture.