Spinal deformity after multilevel osteoplastic laminotomy

Peter Raab, Krauss Juergen, Harald Gloger, Nils Soerensen, Alexander Wild
International Orthopaedics 2008, 32 (3): 355-9
Multilevel laminectomy in children has a significant rate of postoperative spinal deformity. To decrease the incidence of this complication, the use of osteoplastic laminotomy is advocated to minimise the risk of spinal deformity by preserving the normal architecture of the spine. In this retrospective study, a 10-year series of a paediatric population undergoing multilevel osteoplastic laminotomy is reviewed to determine the incidence, especially in contrast to laminectomies, and to identify factors that affect the occurrence of spinal column deformity. Seventy patients (mean age 4.2 years) underwent multilevel osteoplastic laminotomy for congenital anomalies or removal of spinal tumours. All patients had a clinical and radiographic examination preoperatively, 12 months postoperatively and at follow-up. Mean follow-up was 5.3 years (range 3-12.6 years). Nineteen patients (27%) had a new or progressive spinal deformity. There was an increased incidence in patients who had surgery for spinal tumours (P<0.05), surgery of the cervical spine (<0.01), and who had more than five levels of the spine included (P<0.05). A review of the literature on children with multilevel laminectomy (n=330), the incidence of spinal deformity found a significantly higher (46%) compared to our study group. This study demonstrates that osteoplastic laminotomy was found to be very effective in decreasing the incidence of spinal deformities after spinal-canal surgery for spinal-cord tumours or congenital anomalies in children and adolescents. The choice of an anatomical reconstructive surgical technique such as osteoplastic laminotomy seems to be essential to minimise secondary problems due to the surgical technique itself. Nevertheless, growing patients should be followed up for several years after the initial operation for early detection and consequent management of any possible deformity of the spinal column.

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