To The Editor:We read with great interest the article entitled "Operative Compared
with Nonoperative Treatment of a Thoracolumbar Burst Fracture without
Neurological Deficit. A Prospective, Randomized Study" (2003;
85:773-81), by Wood et al. The prospective, randomized design of this study
sets it apart from the numerous retrospective case series that have been
published in the last two decades and is generally regarded as the only way to
obtain valid results1-3. Since the debate about the operative or
nonoperative treatment of traumatic burst fractures has not been resolved
because of weak scientific evidence from both sides, the study by Wood et al.
could have provided us with some solid claims that could have guided us to an
optimal treatment regimen. Therefore, we were a bit disappointed to find that
the study had some serious flaws that, in our opinion, render the authors'