Posterior correction of thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with pedicle screw instrumentation: results of 48 patients with minimal 10-year follow-up

Kan Min, Christoph Sdzuy, Mazda Farshad
European Spine Journal 2013, 22 (2): 345-54

PURPOSE: Since early 1990s pedicle screws in thoracic spine have been used in posterior correction of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Long-term results are scarce. We report clinical, radiological and pulmonary function results of 48 consecutive patients with 10-year minimal follow-up.

METHODS: Forty-eight consecutive patients (42 females, 6 males) with 41 Lenke 1 (lumbar modifier A = 19, B = 8, C = 14), 7 Lenke 2 (lumbar modifier A = 2, B = 4, C = 1) were operated for AIS from posterior with pedicle screw alone instrumentation. Risser stage at the time of operation was 0-3 in 24, more than 3 in 24 patients. Mean age was 15.3 years. The data were prospectively collected preoperatively, at 6 weeks, 2 years and 10 years postoperatively. Cobb angle, sagittal and coronal balance, distal adjacent disc angle and lowest fused vertebral tilt were documented at all time-points. Choice of fusion levels is described. Not every vertebra was instrumented with pedicle screws. The implant density was average one pedicle screw per vertebra or 50 %. Derotation and translation of apical vertebrae on the concave side were performed for correction. The overall outcome and the outcome of different curve types were analyzed statistically.

RESULTS: Lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV) was distal end vertebra in two-thirds of the patients and was one below distal end vertebra in one-third of the patients. The main thoracic curve correction was 63 %, from 58° ± 12° preoperative to 21° ± 9° at 6 weeks. The Cobb angle was 23° ± 10° at 2 years and 26° ± 10° at 10 years. The apical vertebral rotation improved 35 %, the non-instrumented lumbar curves improved 47 %, the distal adjacent disc angle decreased from 6° ± 3° preoperatively to -2° ± 4° postoperatively and the last instrumented vertebral tilt decreased from 23° ± 8° preoperatively to 5° ± 5° postoperatively. All these parameters remained stable up to 10-year follow-up. The scoliosis correction was not associated with any change in the preoperative thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis. The % FVC remained unchanged with 74 ± 21 % preoperatively to 74 ± 11 % at 2 years and 75 ± 10 % at 10 years. The SRS-24 score was 93 ± 18 points at 2 years and 95 ± 22 points at 10 years. There were no neurological complications, no pedicle screw-related complications.

CONCLUSION: Posterior correction of thoracic AIS with pedicle screw instrumentation is safe and produces a long-term stable correction and high patient satisfaction. An implant density of 50 % is sufficient to achieve these results. LIV can be the distal end vertebra or one below the distal end vertebra depending on the position of the distal end vertebra to the centre sacral line. The preoperative pulmonary function does not change on long term.

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