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Posterior-only versus combined anterior/posterior fusion in Scheuermann disease: a large retrospective study.

European Spine Journal 2018 September
PURPOSE: The literature shows controversies concerning surgical treatment of Scheuermann's kyphosis between posterior-only fixation and combined anterior/posterior fusion. The aim of this study is to compare the clinical and radiological results and the rate of complications between these two techniques.

METHODS: We performed a multicentric retrospective review of 131 patients who underwent primary fusion for Scheuermann's kyphosis divided into two groups: 67 patients operated via posterior approach only and 64 operated via combined anterior/posterior approach. Classical clinical, surgical and radiological data were collected. A descriptive and statistical analysis was performed between the two groups to evaluate the influence of the surgical procedure on the rate of complications, the functional results and radiological correction.

RESULTS: The average age was 23 and the average kyphosis was 77 degrees. The mean follow-up was 4.2 years (range 0.1-27.3). There was no difference regarding demographic data, preoperative radiographic data and length of fusion between the two groups. Functional results were good in 81% of cases. Kyphosis correction was on average 15° and the correction of the compensatory lumbar lordosis was 20°. The correction was stable at final follow-up. There was no difference between the two groups in terms of functional results, the complications rate and radiological correction.

CONCLUSION: Surgery for Scheuermann's kyphosis gives good and stable functional and radiological results. Given the fact that the two surgical strategies give the same results, it appears that the anterior/posterior fusion technique to treat Scheuermann's kyphosis should be reserved for major deformations. These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.

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