All patients treated with pVCR due to MESCC between 2013 and 2020 were enrolled in this observational single-center study. Demographics, outcome parameters, numeric rating scale (NRS) score, Frankel grade, and Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score were evaluated. Radiological images routinely acquired during follow-up were reviewed and screened for the presence of bone fusion.
Sixty-six patients were treated by eight surgeons. The mean follow-up period was 549 ± 739 days. At baseline, the average age was 64.4 ± 10.9 years. Reported NRS scores (preoperative 6.2 ± 1.7 vs postoperative 3.4 ± 1.6) and segmental kyphosis as measured on sagittal CT images (preoperative 13.5° ± 8.6° vs postoperative 3.8° ± 5.4°) decreased significantly (p < 0.001). In only 2 patients (3%), the Frankel grade worsened postoperatively, whereas in 12 patients (18.2%) an improvement was documented. The KPS score remained constant during the observation period (preoperative 73.2% ± 18.2% vs 78.3% ± 18% at last follow-up). Bone fusion was observed in 26 patients (86.7%) receiving CT more than 100 days after the index surgery.
pVCR is a reliable surgical technique in daily clinical practice, which proves to be beneficial in terms of short- as well as midterm outcome, as judged by the KPS and NRS. The overall improvement in the Frankel grade shows patient safety. A bone fusion was observed regularly in oncological patients undergoing pVCR. The authors therefore conclude that pVCR is a safe, fast, and efficient strategy to achieve stability and pain relief by achievement of bone fusion in cancer patients.