PURPOSE This review addressed the question of whether minimally invasive surgery after traumatic thoracolumbar spine fractures can reduce paraspinal muscle injury, limit changes in muscular structure and function, and lead to better functional outcome. Special emphasis was given to studies using imaging techniques or electromyography to evaluate the lumbar multifidus muscle structure and function.
METHODS The authors searched the literature in the PubMed/Medline, EMBASE, by cross-referencing and additional hand search. Included were comparative studies between conventional open and minimally invasive or percutaneous surgical approaches. Twelve studies were included.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS The literature review supports the assumption that minimally invasive surgery preserves muscles for the early post-operative period, even though the level of evidence is still low. The correlation of changes in muscular structure to pain, strength, disability, and quality of life remains ambiguous and should be addressed in further studies with a focus on the surgical approach.