The objectives of this study were to apply the simultaneous translation on two rods (ST2R) maneuver involving rods contoured with a convexity at the desired thoracic kyphosis (TK) apex level and to assess the effects on the ability to support triplanar deformity corrections, including TK apex improvement, in patients with hypokyphotic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).
Using retrospective analysis, the authors examined the digital records that included 2- to 4-week, 1-year, and 2-year postoperative radiographic follow-up data of female hypokyphotic (TK < 20°) AIS patients (Lenke type 1–3) treated with ST2R. The authors assessed the corrections of triplanar deformities by examining the main Cobb angle, TK, rib hump, apical vertebral rotation, Scoliosis Research Society 22-item questionnaire scores, and TK apex translocation. In order to better grasp the potential of ST2R, the outcomes were compared with those of a historical matched case-control cohort treated with a standard rod rotation (RR) maneuver.
Data were analyzed for 25 AIS patients treated with ST2R and 27 patients treated with RR. The ST2R group had significant improvements in the main Cobb angle and TK, reduction in the rib hump size at each time point, and a final correction rate of 72%. ST2R treatment significantly increased the kyphosis apex by an average of 2.2 levels. The correction rate was higher at each time point in the ST2R group than in the RR group. ST2R engendered favorable TK corrections, although the differences were nonsignificant, at 2 years compared with the RR group (p = 0.056). The TK apex location was significantly improved in the ST2R cohort (p < 0.001). At the 1-month follow-up, hypokyphosis was resolved in 92% of the ST2R cohort compared with 30% of the RR cohort.
Resolving hypokyphotic AIS remains challenging. The ST2R technique supported significant triplanar corrections, including TK apex translocation and restoration of hypokyphosis in most patients. Comparisons with the RR cohort require caution because of differences in the implant profile. However, ST2R significantly improved the coronal and sagittal corrections. It also allowed for distribution of correctional forces over two rod implants instead of one, which should decrease the risk of screw pullout and rod flattening. It is hoped that the description here of commercially available reducers used with the authors’ surgical technique will encourage other clinicians to consider using the ST2R technique.