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Steven W. Hwang, Mina G. Safain, Joseph J. King, Jeff S. Kimball, Robert Ames, Randall R. Betz, Patrick J. Cahill and Amer F. Samdani


Almost all pediatric patients who incur a spinal cord injury (SCI) will develop scoliosis, and younger patients are at highest risk for curve progression requiring surgical intervention. Although the use of pedicle screws is increasing in popularity, their impact on SCI-related scoliosis has not been described. The authors retrospectively reviewed the radiographic outcomes of pedicle screw–only constructs in all patients who had undergone SCI-related scoliosis correction at a single institution.


Medical records and radiographs from Shriner's Hospital for Children–Philadelphia for the period between November 2004 and February 2011 were retrospectively reviewed.


Thirty-seven patients, whose mean age at the index surgery was 14.91 ± 3.29 years, were identified. The cohort had a mean follow-up of 33.2 ± 22.8 months. The mean preoperative coronal Cobb angle was 65.5° ± 25.7°, which corrected to 20.3° ± 14.4°, translating into a 69% correction (p < 0.05). The preoperative coronal balance was 24.4 ± 22.6 mm, with a postoperative measurement of 21.6 ± 20.7 mm (p = 1.00). Preoperative pelvic obliquity was 12.7° ± 8.7°, which corrected to 4.1° ± 3.8°, translating into a 68% correction (p < 0.05). Preoperative shoulder balance, as measured by the clavicle angle, was 8.2° ± 8.4°, which corrected to 2.7° ± 3.1° (67% correction, p < 0.05). Preoperatively, thoracic kyphosis measured 44.2° ± 23.7° and was 33.8° ± 11.5° postoperatively. Thoracolumbar kyphosis was 18.7° ± 12.1° preoperatively, reduced to 8.1° ± 7.7° postoperatively, and measured 26.8° ± 20.2° at the last follow-up (p < 0.05). Preoperatively, lumbar lordosis was 35.3° ± 22.0°, which remained stable at 35.6° ± 15.0° postoperatively.


Pedicle screw constructs appear to provide better correction of coronal parameters than historically reported and provide significant improvement of sagittal kyphosis as well. Although pedicle screws appear to provide good radiographic results, correlation with clinical outcomes is necessary to determine the true impact of pedicle screw constructs on SCI-related scoliosis correction.