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Paraspinal muscle approach for neuromuscular scoliosis: A comparative study evaluating deformity correction and perioperative morbidity in 91 patients with minimum 2-year follow-up.

PURPOSE: We present the paraspinal approach use for neuromuscular scoliosis with focus on deformity correction, perioperative (≤30 days) morbidity and outcome at a minimal follow-up length of 2 years.

METHODS: We prospectively collected data of 61 neuromuscular scoliosis patients operated using a paraspinal (Wiltse) approach between 2013 and 2019. We additionally collected data of 104 control cases, operated using a midline approach between 2005 and 2016. Fifteen Wiltse, respectively 37 control patients were excluded due to a short follow-up (<2 years), and 22 controls were excluded secondary to lacking follow-up data. Hence, 46 Wiltse and 45 control patients were compared.

RESULTS: Wiltse and control patients had comparable follow-up lengths, demographics, deformity corrections, complication rates, number of levels fused, and intensive care unit and hospital lengths of stay. Wiltse cases had a lower estimated blood loss (535 vs 1187 mL; p-value < 0.001), allogenic transfusion rate (48% vs 96%; p-value < 0.001), and operating time (ORT) (337 vs 428 min; p-value < 0.001) than controls. This was also the case when selecting for patients without pelvic fixation (p-values < 0.001). When selecting the cases with pelvic fixation (20 among 91 cases), only the number of levels fused and the ORT differed significantly according to the approach (p-value <0.015 and <0.041).

CONCLUSION: The paraspinal approach for neuromuscular scoliosis is safe, associated with significant deformity correction, reduced estimated blood loss, and allogenic transfusion rate. These potential benefits still need to be evaluated, especially for cases with pelvic fixation, with further follow-up of larger cohorts.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: level III.

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