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Melvin C. Makhni, Ying Zhang, Paul J. Park, Meghan Cerpa, Ming Yang, Martin H. Pham, J. Alex Sielatycki, Eduardo C. Beauchamp, and Lawrence G. Lenke

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to describe and evaluate a new surgical procedure for the correction of coronal imbalance (CI) in adult spinal deformity patients, called the “kickstand rod” technique.

METHODS

The authors analyzed the records of 24 consecutive patients with pediatric and adult spinal deformity and CI treated between July 2015 and October 2017 with a long-segment fusion and a kickstand rod. For the kickstand rod technique, an iliac screw was placed on the ipsilateral side of the trunk shift and connected proximally through a side-by-side domino link to the thoracolumbar junction; this rod was distracted to promote coronal plane balancing. Distraction occurred with the rod on the contralateral side locked in order to preserve sagittal correction. Radiographic and clinical analyses were conducted to evaluate the outcomes and possible complications of the kickstand rod technique.

RESULTS

The mean age of the patients was 55 years (range 14–73 years). Eighteen of the 24 patients were female. CI preoperatively was a mean of 63 mm, and the mean measurement at the final follow-up (mean duration 1.4 years) was 47 mm. There were no neurological, vascular, or implant-related complications in any of the patients. One patient developed wound dehiscence that was successfully treated without implant removal, and one developed proximal junctional kyphosis requiring extension of the construct proximally. One patient also returned to the operating room for excision of a spinous process. There were no complaints about screw prominence, kickstand construct failure, or significant worsening of CI after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

The kickstand rod technique is safe and effective for the correction of CI in spinal deformity patients. This technique was found to provide marked coronal correction and additional strength to the overall construct without significant adverse consequences.

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Richard Menger, Paul J. Park, Elise C. Bixby, Gerard Marciano, Meghan Cerpa, David Roye, Benjamin D. Roye, Michael Vitale, and Lawrence Lenke

OBJECTIVE

Significant investigation in the adult population has generated a body of research regarding proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) and proximal junctional failure (PJF) following long fusions to the sacrum and pelvis. However, much less is known regarding early complications, including PJK and PJF, in the ambulatory pediatric patient. As such, the objective of this study was to address the minimal literature on early complications after ambulatory pediatric patients underwent fusion to the sacrum with instrumentation to the pelvis in the era of sacral-alar-iliac (S2AI) instrumentation.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective review of pediatric patients with nonidiopathic spinal deformity < 18 years of age with ambulatory capacity who underwent fusion to the pelvis at a multisurgeon pediatric academic spine practice from 2016 to 2018. All surgeries were posterior-only approaches with S2AI screws as the primary technique for sacropelvic fixation. Descriptive, outcome, and radiographic data were obtained. The definition of PJF included symptomatic PJK presenting as fracture, screw pullout, or disruption of the posterior osseoligamentous complex.

RESULTS

Twenty-five patients were included in this study. Nine patients (36.0%) had 15 complications for an overall complication rate of 60.0%. Unplanned return to the operating room occurred 8 times in 6 patients (24.0%). Four patients (16.0%) had wound issues (3 with deep wound infection and 1 with wound breakdown) requiring reoperation. Three patients (12.0%) had PJF, all requiring reoperation. A 16-year-old female patient with syndromic scoliosis underwent extension of fusion due to posterior tension band failure at 6 months. A 17-year-old male patient with neuromuscular scoliosis underwent extension of fusion due to proximal screw pullout at 5 months. A 10-year-old female patient with congenital scoliosis underwent extension for PJF at 5 months following posterior tension band failure. One patient had pseudarthrosis requiring reoperation 20 months postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS

Fixation to the pelvis enables significant deformity correction, but with rather high rates of complications and unexpected returns to the operating room. Considerations of sagittal plane dynamics for PJK and PJF should be strongly analyzed when performing fixation to the pelvis in ambulatory pediatric patients.

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Nathan J. Lee, Michael W. Fields, Venkat Boddapati, Meghan Cerpa, Jalen Dansby, James D. Lin, Zeeshan M. Sardar, Ronald Lehman Jr., and Lawrence Lenke

OBJECTIVE

With the continued evolution of bundled payment plans, there has been a greater focus within orthopedic surgery on quality metrics up to 90 days of care. Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services does not currently penalize hospitals based on their pediatric readmission rates, it is important to understand the drivers for unplanned readmission to improve the quality of care and reduce costs.

METHODS

The National Readmission Database provides a nationally representative sample of all discharges from US hospitals and allows follow-up across hospitals up to 1 calendar year. Adolescents (age 10–18 years) who underwent idiopathic scoliosis surgery from 2012 to 2015 were included. Patients were separated into those with and those without readmission within 30 days or between 31 and 90 days. Demographics, operative conditions, hospital factors, and surgical outcomes were compared using the chi-square test and t-test. Independent predictors for readmissions were identified using stepwise multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS

A total of 30,677 patients underwent adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery from 2012 to 2015. The rates of 30- and 90-day readmissions were 2.9% and 1.4%, respectively. The mean costs associated with the index admission and 30- and 90-day readmissions were $60,680, $23,567, and $16,916, respectively. Common risk factors for readmissions included length of stay > 5 days, obesity, neurological disorders, and chronic use of antiplatelets or anticoagulants. The index admission complications associated with readmissions were unintended durotomy, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone, and superior mesenteric artery syndrome. Hospital factors, discharge disposition, and operative conditions appeared to be less important for readmission risk. The top reasons for 30-day and 90-day readmissions were wound infection (34.7%) and implant complications (17.3%), respectively. Readmissions requiring a reoperation were significantly higher for those that occurred between 31 and 90 days after the index readmission.

CONCLUSIONS

Readmission rates were low for both 30- and 90-day readmissions for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery patients. Nevertheless, readmissions are costly and appear to be associated with potentially modifiable risk factors, although some risk factors remain potentially unavoidable.

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Griffin R. Baum, Alex S. Ha, Meghan Cerpa, Scott L. Zuckerman, James D. Lin, Richard P. Menger, Joseph A. Osorio, Simon Morr, Eric Leung, Ronald A. Lehman Jr., Zeeshan Sardar, and Lawrence G. Lenke

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to validate the Global Alignment and Proportion (GAP) score in a cohort of patients undergoing adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The GAP score is a novel measure that uses sagittal parameters relative to each patient’s lumbosacral anatomy to predict mechanical complications after ASD surgery. External validation is required.

METHODS

Adult ASD patients undergoing > 4 levels of posterior fusion with a minimum 2-year follow-up were included. Six-week postoperative standing radiographs were used to calculate the GAP score, classified into a spinopelvic state as proportioned (P), moderately disproportioned (MD), or severely disproportioned (SD). A chi-square analysis, receiver operating characteristic curve, and Cochran-Armitage analysis were performed to assess the relationship between the GAP score and mechanical complications.

RESULTS

Sixty-seven patients with a mean age of 52.5 years (range 18–75 years) and a mean follow-up of 2.04 years were included. Patients with < 2 years of follow-up were included only if they had an early mechanical complication. Twenty of 67 patients (29.8%) had a mechanical complication. The spinopelvic state breakdown was as follows: P group, 21/67 (31.3%); MD group, 23/67 (34.3%); and SD group, 23/67 (34.3%). Mechanical complication rates were not significantly different among all groups: P group, 19.0%; MD group, 30.3%; and SD group, 39.1% (χ2 = 1.70, p = 0.19). The rates of mechanical complications between the MD and SD groups (30.4% and 39.1%) were less than those observed in the original GAP study (MD group 36.4%–57.1% and SD group 72.7%–100%). Within the P group, the rates in this study were higher than in the original study (19.0% vs 4.0%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found no statistically significant difference in the rate of mechanical complications between the P, MD, and SD groups. The current validation study revealed poor generalizability toward the authors’ patient population.