The Predictive Value of the Load Sharing Classification Concerning Sagittal Collapse and Posterior Instrumentation Failure: A Systematic Literature Review

Wessel T. Stam*, Jaap Deunk, Matthijs J. Elzinga, Frank W. Bloemers, Georgios F. Giannakopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Study design: Systematic review. Objective: In 1994, the Load Sharing Classification (LSC) was introduced to aid the choice of surgical treatment of thoracolumbar spine fractures. Since that time this classification system has been commonly used in the field of spine surgery. However, current literature varies regarding its use and predictive value in relation to implant failure and sagittal collapse. The objective of this study is to assess the predictive value of the LSC concerning the need for anterior stabilization to prevent sagittal collapse and posterior instrumentation failure. Methods: An electronic search of PubMed, Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library was performed. Inclusion criteria were (1) cohort or clinical trial (2) including patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures (3) whose severity of the fractured vertebrae was assessed by the LSC. Results: Five thousand eighty-two articles have been identified, of which 21 articles were included for this review. Twelve studies reported no correlation between the LSC and sagittal collapse or instrumentation failure in patients treated with short-segment posterior instrumentation (SSPI). Seven articles found no significant relation; 5 articles found no instrumentation failure at all. The remaining 9 articles experienced failure in patients with a high LSC or recommended a different surgical technique. Conclusions: Although the LSC was originally developed to predict the need for anterior stabilization in addition to SSPI, many studies show that SSPI only can be sufficient in treating thoracolumbar fractures regardless of the LSC. The LSC might have lost its value in predicting sagittal collapse and posterior instrumentation failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-492
Number of pages7
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

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