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Neil Kaushal, Keith J. Orland, Andrew M. Schwartz, Jacob M. Wilson, Nicholas D. Fletcher, Anuj Patel, Bryan Menapace, Michelle Ramirez, Martha Wetzel, Dennis Devito, and Joshua Murphy

OBJECTIVE

Posterior spinal fusion (PSF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) can be associated with significant blood loss. It has been suggested that blood loss is greater in different racial groups. The purpose of this study was to evaluate differences in blood loss between African American and Caucasian patients undergoing PSF for AIS.

METHODS

A retrospective review was performed of patients aged 10–18 years with AIS who were treated with PSF from 2014 to 2017 at a single children’s healthcare system. Patient demographic, radiographic, and operative data were obtained from medical records. Intraoperative blood loss was calculated using the formula described by Waters et al. Patients who declined reporting their race or had prior spinal surgery, neuromuscular or syndromic diagnoses, a history of cardiac or thoracic surgery, or a bleeding disorder were excluded. Blood loss variables were log-transformed for normality and modeled using multivariable linear regression.

RESULTS

A total of 433 PSFs for AIS qualified for the analysis. The average age was 14.1 years, and 73.7% of the patients were female. With respect to race, 44.6% identified themselves as African American. There was no significant difference in blood loss (p = 0.31) or blood loss per level fused (p = 0.36) in African American patients. African American patients, however, did have significantly lower preoperative hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and greater operating room time than Caucasian patients (p < 0.001). There was no difference between race and transfusion rate.

CONCLUSIONS

There appears to be no relationship between race and blood loss during PSF for AIS. Standardized protocols for minimizing perioperative blood loss can be applied to both Caucasian and African American patients.

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Michiel E. R. Bongers, Paul T. Ogink, Katrina F. Chu, Anuj Patel, Brett Rosenthal, John H. Shin, Sang-Gil Lee, Francis J. Hornicek, and Joseph H. Schwab

OBJECTIVE

Reconstruction of the mobile spine following total en bloc spondylectomy (TES) of one or multiple vertebral bodies in patients with malignant spinal tumors is a challenging procedure with high failure rates. A common reason for reconstructive failure is nonunion, which becomes more problematic when using local radiation therapy. Radiotherapy is an integral part of the management of primary malignant osseous tumors in the spine. Vascularized grafts may help prevent nonunion in the radiotherapy setting. The authors have utilized free vascularized fibular grafts (FVFGs) for reconstruction of the spine following TES. The purpose of this article is to describe the surgical technique for vascularized reconstruction of defects after TES. Additionally, the outcomes of consecutive cases treated with this technique are reported.

METHODS

Thirty-nine patients were treated at the authors’ tertiary care institution for malignant tumors in the mobile spine using FVFG following TES between 2010 and 2018. Postoperative union, reoperations, complications, neurological outcome, and survival were reported. The median follow-up duration was 50 months (range 14–109 months).

RESULTS

The cohort consisted of 26 males (67%), and the median age was 58 years. Chordoma was the most prevalent tumor (67%), and the lumbar spine was most affected (46%). Complete union was seen in 26 patients (76%), the overall complication rate was 54%, and implant failure was the most common complication, with 13 patients (33%) affected. In 18 patients (46%), one or more reoperations were needed, and the fixation was surgically revised 15 times (42% of reoperations) in 10 patients (26%). A reconstruction below the L1 vertebra had a higher proportion of implant failure (67%; 8 of 12 patients) compared with higher resections (21%; 5 of 24 patients) (p = 0.011). Graft length, number of resected vertebrae, and docking the FVFG on the endplate or cancellous bone was not associated with union or implant failure on univariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

The FVFG is an effective reconstruction technique, particularly in the cervicothoracic spine. However, high implant failure rates in the lumbar spine have been seen, which occurred even in cases in which the graft completely healed. Methods to increase the weight-bearing capacity of the graft in the lumbar spine should be considered in these reconstructions. Overall, the rates of failure and revision surgery for FVFG compare with previous reports on reconstruction after TES.

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010