Bending of the Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation after direct trauma: A case report

Arvind Nana, Zbigniew Gugala, Ronald W. Lindsey, Pedro M. Caram, Jesse H. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Study Design. Case report. Objectives. To describe a fracture through the fusion mass of a spine that had been corrected previously with Cotrel- Dubousset rods. These rods had failed in bending after direct trauma. Summary of Background Data. Nine years after successful treatment of scoliosis with Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation, the patient was in a motor vehicle accident and sustained a hyperextension spine injury with complete L1-L2 paraplegia and disruption of the fusion mass. The Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation rods, which failed in bending, could not be corrected in situ, and the angulated segments had to be resected. The spine then became extremely unstable, and the patient consulted the authors for definitive stabilization. Results. The spine was stabilized by attaching the proximal and distal retained Cotrel- Dubousset instrumentation to supplemental rods in a 'domino' fashion. Crosslinks were added to improve the torsional stability. Intraoperatively, the fracture was well reduced, and the fixation was stable. A posterolateral fusion was performed with allogenic bone graft. Conclusion. Bent Cotrel- Dubousset instrumentation rods are still very strong and may not correct in situ. If resection is required, the retained portions of Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation can serve as attachments to restore stable fixation a 'domino' technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-894
Number of pages4
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cotrel-Dubousset
  • Hardware failure
  • Instrumentation
  • Spine fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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