Similar surgical outcomes of the growing rod technique for treatment of early-onset scoliosis with versus without untreated intraspinal anomalies

Hongru Ma PhD, Benlong Shi MD, Yang Li PhD, Dun Liu PhD, Zhen Liu MD, Xu Sun MD, Yong Qiu MD, and Zezhang Zhu MD
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  • Department of Spine Surgery, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China
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OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to compare the radiological and clinical outcomes of early-onset scoliosis (EOS) patients with or without intraspinal anomalies (IAs) managed with growing rods (GRs), and to evaluate the safety of the GR technique in EOS patients with untreated IAs.

METHODS

EOS patients undergoing GR placement between August 2008 and July 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with untreated IAs were classified into the EOS+IA group, and those without IAs into the EOS−IA group. The radiographic parameters including Cobb angle of the major curve, T1–S1 height, and apical vertebral translation were measured, and a detailed assessment of the neurological status was performed at each visit.

RESULTS

Seventy-six patients with EOS (32 boys, 44 girls) with an average age of 6.5 ± 2.3 years at initial surgery satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria, including 28 patients in the EOS+IA group and 48 patients in the EOS−IA group. The radiographic measurements were comparable between groups preoperatively, postoperatively, and at the latest follow-up. One patient in the EOS+IA group experienced sensory deficit in a unilateral lower extremity after initial surgery, and an intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring event was observed in a patient in the EOS−IA group. No permanent neurological deficit was observed in either group.

CONCLUSIONS

EOS patients with and those without IAs had comparable clinical and radiological outcomes of the GR technique. Repeated lengthening procedures may be safe for EOS patients with untreated IAs.

ABBREVIATIONS AVT = apical vertebral translation; EOS = early-onset scoliosis; GR = growing rod; IA = intraspinal anomaly; SCM = split cord malformation; TSC = tethered spinal cord.

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Zezhang Zhu: The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China. zhuzezhang@126.com.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online March 5, 2021; DOI: 10.3171/2020.8.SPINE20785.

Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.

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