Evaluating the Change in Axial Vertebral Rotation Following Thoracoscopic Anterior Scoliosis Surgery Using Low-Dose Computed Tomography

J Paige Little, Maree T Izatt, Clayton J Adam, Olivia Lofgren, Anna Sundberg, Robert D Labrom, Geoffrey N Askin
Spine Deformity 2017, 5 (3): 172-180

BACKGROUND CONTEXT: In recent years, there has been increasing appreciation of the need to treat scoliosis as a three-dimensional deformity.

PURPOSE: Assessment of surgical strategies and outcomes should consider not only the coronal plane correction but also derotation of the transverse plane deformity that can affect trunk appearance.

STUDY DESIGN: This study included a cohort of 29 female adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients who received thoracoscopic single rod anterior fusion (TASF) surgery. This study used pre- and postoperative low-dose computed tomographic (CT) scans to accurately measure apical axial vertebral rotation (AVR).

METHODS: The pre- and postoperative values for clinically measured coronal Cobb correction and rib hump correction as well as AVR were compared to determine whether these values improved postoperatively. There are no conflicts of interest to report for authors of this investigation.

RESULTS: As expected, statistically significant reductions in coronal Cobb angle (mean preoperative Cobb 51°, reducing to 24° at the two-year follow-up) and rib hump (mean preoperative rib hump 15°, reducing to 7° at two-year follow-up) were achieved. The mean reduction in apical AVR measured using CT was only 3° (mean preoperative AVR 16°, reducing to 13° at two-year follow-up), which was statistically but not clinically significant. Significant correlations were found between Cobb angle and rib hump, between Cobb angle and AVR, and between AVR and rib hump, suggesting that patients with greater coronal Cobb correction also achieve better derotation with this surgical procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: The historical low-dose CT data set permitted detailed three-dimensional assessment of the deformity correction that is achieved using thoracoscopic anterior spinal fusion for progressive adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

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