Vertebrectomy and anterior reconstruction for the treatment of spinal metastases

Published online: Aug 27 2005

Thorsten ERNSTBERGER, Tanja BRÜNING, Friedhelm KÖNIG

From Georg August University of Göttingen, Germany


The purpose of this study was to retrospectively analyse the outcome of modular vertebral body replacement in conjunction with vertebrectomy in cancer patients with skeletal metastases. Between 1996 and 2000, we performed vertebrectomy with subsequent implantation of a modular vertebral body replacement in 24 patients with skeletal metastases of the spine. The findings were analysed retrospectively. The mean postoperative survival period for all patients was 15.6 months. Improvement of preoperative back pain was achieved in 85%. Remission of initial neurological symptoms based on the Frankel classification was achieved in 57.1% of the patients. Implant dislocations were not observed during follow-up. Vertebrectomy for vertebral metastasis is indicated in selected patients. Type of underlying malignancy, metastatic spread and adjuvant treatment options are an important basis for the indication. In anterior defect reconstructions, modular implants can directly restore stability while reducing tumour-related symptoms.