Management of spinal cord injury–related scoliosis using pedicle screw–only constructs

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OBJECT

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.

Methods

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

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

ABBREVIATIONSCSVL = central sacral vertical line; EKG = electrocardiography; MVA = motor vehicle accident; SCI = spinal cord injury.

Abstract

OBJECT

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.

Methods

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

Results

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.

Conclusions

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.

Approximately 1.99 per 100,000 people are traumatized by spinal cord injury (SCI) each year in the United States, and the etiologies for such injuries range from motor vehicle accidents (MVAs), which are most common, to diving accidents, sports-related injuries, gunshot injuries, falls, transverse myelitis, and tumors.9,27,28 However, only 4%–14% of SCIs occur in children younger than 15 years of age.10,14 Nonetheless, pediatric spine trauma carries an immense clinical impact. More than onethird of the children with injury to the cervical spine have signs of SCI, and mortality rates as high as 18% have been associated with cervical spine injuries, albeit with a high concordance of closed-head injury.7,14,25

Most children with spinal cord trauma suffer from incomplete neurological injuries, and many will recover significantly over time. Birney and Hanley reported that 44% of pediatric patients with cervical spine trauma had associated SCI, but that only 24% had complete neurological impairment.6 The significantly improved clinical outcomes among children with SCI may partially be attributable to an overrepresentation of SCI without radiological abnormality (SCIWORA) in younger patients. The prognosis for SCIWORA is more favorable, and many patients will have significant functional recovery over time.17

Nonetheless, pediatric patients who suffer from SCI not only have to cope with associated medical problems, such as wound care, ulcer prevention, muscle atrophy, recurrent urinary tract infections, functional adaptation, contractures, spasticity, and nutritional demands, but also have to monitor for progressive spinal deformity. Almost all pediatric patients who incur an SCI will develop scoliosis,5,8,21 and younger patients, especially those who have an injury prior to the adolescent growth spurt, are at highest risk for curve progression requiring surgical intervention.16,21

Prior series have described surgical outcomes of SCIrelated scoliosis using earlier instrumentation designs, such as unit rods, wiring, hooks, and Luque rods, but the literature regarding surgical outcomes with more recent pedicle screw constructs is sparse and interspersed among series mostly describing neuromuscular scoliosis with various other etiologies.3,4,16,19,29,32,34–39 Although pedicle screw constructs have been associated with greater coronal and axial correction in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, their impact on SCI-related scoliosis has not yet been described.1,33 We investigated outcomes using pedicle screw–only constructs in treating SCI-related scoliosis.

Methods

Local institutional review board approval was obtained, and medical records and radiographs were retrospectively reviewed from a single institution, Shriner's Hospital for Children–Philadelphia, for the period from November 2004 to February 2011. All consecutive pediatric patients (age < 18 years) with SCI and paralytic scoliosis were identified. Only those who had undergone deformity correction surgery using pedicle screw constructs (> 80% screws) at our institution were included.

Clinical and radiographic measurements were recorded. Collected data included patient age, sex, weight, neurological level of injury, functional parameters, etiology of injury, curve pattern, and radiographic parameters. Thoracic kyphosis was measured from T-2 to T-12 unless the kyphosis extended beyond T-12 with the loss of lumbar lordosis; the kyphosis was then measured from the appropriate lumbar level to obtain maximal values of kyphosis. Thoracolumbar kyphosis was measured from T-10 to L-2, and lumbar lordosis was obtained from L-1 to S-1. Sagittal balance was measured as the distance (in mm) between a vertical line dissecting the posterior edge of the sacrum and a plumb line from the centroid of C-7. Coronal balance was inferred from the distance (in mm) between the central sacral vertical line (CSVL) and a line from the centroid of C-7. Pelvic obliquity was calculated by measuring the angle subtended between the line tangential to both iliac crests and the horizontal. Shoulder balance was inferred by measuring the clavicle angle as described by Kuklo et al.15 Standing radiographs were obtained if the patient was ambulatory; otherwise, we obtained sitting radiographs.

Statistical analysis using SPSS 12.0.2 software was performed with Student t-tests, chi-square tests, and Fisher exact tests, as appropriate. All results were reported as the means ± standard deviation. A p value of 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results

Demographics

We identified 37 patients who had been treated for paralytic scoliosis using pedicle screw instrumentation at our institution. All patients had progressive coronal curvature or kyphosis beyond 50°. Twenty-four patients were male and 13 were female. The mean age at the time of injury was 6.53 ± 4.95 years (range birth to 17 years), and the mean age at surgery was 14.91 ± 3.29 years. The mean interval between injury and surgical management for deformity was 8.38 ± 4.76 years. The majority of patients (59%) had thoracic level injuries, 38% had cervical, and 3% had conus level injuries. Eighty-one percent had complete neurological injuries, and the most commonly encountered mechanism of injury was MVA (51%; Table 1). The mean number of levels fused was 16, with the majority of patients having fixation extending to the pelvis (89%). The cohort had a mean follow-up of 33.2 ± 22.8 months (range 0.7–81.7 months, median 33.0 months).

TABLE 1

Demographic summary for 37 pediatric patients with SCI -related scoliosis treated with pedicle screw–only constructs

FactorNo.
% Male:% female65:35
Mean age at injury in yrs6.53
Mechanism of injury (%)
 MVA (any vehicle)19 (51)
 Iatrogenic6 (16)
 Other12 (32)
Level of injury (%)
 Cervical14 (38)
 Thoracic22 (59)
 Lumbar1 (3)
Type of injury (%)
 Incomplete6 (16)
 Complete30 (81)
 Unknown1 (3)
Age at surgery in yrs
 Mean14.91
 Range10–20.7
Time btwn index surgery & last FU in mos
 Mean33.2
 Median33.0
 Range0.7–81.7

FU = follow-up.

Coronal Plane

The majority of patients (70%) had a typical long, sweeping C-shaped curve, while the remaining patients had double curves. The mean preoperative maximal coronal Cobb angle was 65.5° ± 25.7°, which corrected to 20.3° ± 14.4°, translating into a 69% correction (p < 0.05; Fig. 1 and Table 2). At the last follow-up, the mean Cobb angle was maintained at 19.1° ± 15.3° (p = 1.00). The preoperative coronal balance (CSVL to C-7 translation) was 24.4 ± 22.6 mm, with a postoperative measurement of 21.6 ± 20.7 mm (p = 1.00) and a last follow-up measurement of 18.7 ± 12.6 mm (p = 1.00). No significant change in coronal balance was observed at any time interval.

FIG. 1.
FIG. 1.

Left: Preoperative anteroposterior radiograph showing an 87° C-shaped curve with significant pelvic obliquity. Right: Postoperative radiograph displaying scoliosis correction using a pedicle screw construct.

TABLE 2

Radiographic outcomes in 37 patients with SCI -related scoliosis treated with pedicle screw–only constructs

FactorPreopImmediate PostopFinal FUp Value *
MeanMedianRangeMeanMedianRangeMeanMedianRangeComparison Btwn Preop & Immediate PostopComparison Btwn Preop & Final FUComparison Btwn Postop & Final FU
Coronal Cobb angle (°)65.565.05.0–11820.319.20–56.019.114.60–63.2<0.05<0.051.00
Thoracic kyphosis (°)44.242.64.9–10133.834.313–63.436.033.516.2–71.40.140.731.00
Thoracolumbar kyphosis (°)18.716.53.0–40.38.14.70–22.526.822.60.8–71.4<0.050.70<0.05
Lumbar lordosis (°)35.332.53.0–93.535.632.212–84.538.836.410.1–85.61.000.641.00
Coronal balance (mm)24.414.00–88.021.618.00–100.018.715.00–43.01.001.001.00
Sagittal balance (mm)44.633.50–196.035.430.00–113.047.345.50–94.01.001.000.39
Pelvic obliquity (°)12.712.51–34.44.13.70–15.05.03.30–30.9<0.05<0.051.00
Shoulder balance (°)8.25.10–36.32.72.00–10.52.42.50–6.5<0.05<0.051.00

Boldface type indicates statistical significance.

The majority of patients (89%) had instrumentation extending to the pelvis, and the entire cohort had a preoperative pelvic obliquity of 12.7° ± 8.7°. Postoperatively, the pelvic obliquity measured 4.1° ± 3.8°, translating into a 68% correction (p < 0.05). Pelvic obliquity at the last follow-up was 5.0° ± 7.1°. Although not the exact same cohort, 89% of patients also had instrumentation extending to the low cervical (C-7) or upper thoracic spine (T1–4), with most terminating at T-1 or T-2. 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). At the last follow-up, this measure remained stable at 2.4° ± 2.1° (p = 1.00).

Sagittal Plane

Preoperatively, thoracic kyphosis measured 44.2° ± 23.7°; postoperatively, 33.8° ± 11.5° (p = 0.14); and at the last follow-up, 36.0° ± 15.4° (Fig. 2 and Table 2). 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 and 38.8° ± 17.1° at the last followup (p = 1.00). Sagittal balance was 44.6 ± 44.0 mm preoperatively, 35.4 ± 26.9 mm postoperatively, and 47.3 ± 26.4 mm at the last follow-up (p > 0.05).

Eight patients had kyphosis that exceeded the magnitude of their coronal curvature, ranging from 52° to 101° of kyphosis. The mean kyphosis for this subgroup was 72.5° ± 16.9° along with a mean coronal Cobb angle of 38.5° ± 25.1°. Both corrected significantly to 40.5° ± 14.8° (p < 0.05) and 15.2° ± 18.8° (p < 0.05), respectively. The remaining radiographic parameters were not significantly different, but a trend toward significance was observed between preoperative and postoperative sagittal balance with a change from 70.6 ± 64.8 mm to 30.3 ± 28.9 mm (p = 0.08; Table 2).

FIG. 2.
FIG. 2.

Left: Preoperative lateral radiograph showing an overall kyphotic spine with the loss of lumbar lordosis. Right: Postoperative lateral radiograph showing reduction of the kyphosis using pedicle screws.

Intraoperative, Perioperative, and Postoperative Parameters and Complications

Average weight at the time of surgery was 49.1 ± 15.2 kg (Table 3). Eighty-nine percent (33 patients) underwent a fusion to the pelvis, and 9% (3) of these patients had twostage surgeries. A combination of allograft and autograft was used in 33 patients (89.2%), autograft alone was used in 2 (5.4%), allograft and bone morphogenetic protein were used in 1 patient (2.7%), and no bone graft was used in 1 patient (2.7%). Surgical time averaged 507 ± 161 minutes (range 294–1183 minutes) with an average estimated blood loss of 2720 ± 1808 ml (range 550–10,000 ml). The average amount of cell saver blood transfused was 593 ± 504 ml (range 0–2000 ml). Postoperatively, patients spent an average of 3.7 days (range 1–25 days) in the pediatric intensive care unit, and the average total hospital stay was 19 days (range 7–102 days).

TABLE 3

Intraoperative and perioperative parameters in 37 patients treated with pedicle screw–only constructs

ParameterMean ± SDRange
Weight at surgery in kg49.1 ± 15.224.4–87.0
No. of levels fused16 ± 2.97–18
Surgical time in minutes507 ± 161294–1183
Estimated blood loss in ml2720 ± 1808550–10,000
Amount of cell saver transfused in ml593 ± 5040–2000

Overall, 54% (20) of patients experienced a perioperative complication (41 complications total; Table 4). The intraoperative complication rate was 11% (4 complications in 4 patients), which included a dural tear in 2 patients (5%), an optic nerve injury (3%), and an instance of electrocardiography (EKG) changes that caused early cessation of the surgical procedure. No new spinal neurological changes occurred. There were no deaths at the final follow-up.

TABLE 4

Intraoperative and postoperative complications in 20 patients

ComplicationNo. of ComplicationsNo. of Patients (%)
Overall no.4120 (54)
Intraop
Total44 (11)
Dural tear22 (5)
Optic nerve injury11 (3)
EKG changes11 (3)
Medical
Total1210 (27)
Minor
 Total66 (16)
 Nonoperative decubitus ulcers33 (8)
 Prolonged mechanical ventilation11 (3)
 EKG changes11 (3)
 Significant edema11 (3)
Major
 Total66 (16)
 Ulcers needing debridement44 (11)
 Sepsis11 (3)
 ARDS11 (3)
Surgical
Total1914 (38)
Minor
 Total66 (16)
 Superficial wound infection (no I&D)11 (3)
 Superficial wound infection w/ I&D22 (5)
 Instrumentation failure not requiring revision surgery33 (8)
Major
 Total138 (22)
 Deep wound infection44 (11)
 Pseudarthrosis44 (11)
 Junctional kyphosis22 (5)
 Instrumentation failure requiring revision surgery33 (8)

ARDS = acute respiratory distress syndrome; I&D = incision and drainage.

Twelve medical complications occurred in 10 patients (27%). Six patients (16%) had minor medical complications that included nonoperative decubitus ulcers (3 patients), EKG changes (1 patient), prolonged mechanical ventilation (1 patient), and significant edema (1 patient). Six patients (16%) had major medical complications, including new pressure ulcers necessitating debridement (4 patients), sepsis (1 patient), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (1 patient).

Nineteen surgical complications occurred in 14 patients (38%). The minor surgical complication rate was 16% (6 patients) with 3 patients having superficial wound complications (2 of them requiring debridement). In addition 3 patients had instrumentation failure not requiring revision surgery at the last follow-up. The major surgical complication rate was 22% (13 complications in 8 patients) with deep wound infections being the most common (4 patients [11%]). Four patients (11%) had a pseudarthrosis. Two patients (5%) had proximal junctional kyphosis, and both eventually underwent extension of the posterior spinal fusion. Three patients (8%) had instrumentation failure requiring revision surgery at the last follow-up.

The number of levels fused, estimated blood loss, duration of surgery, and preoperative Cobb angle were not significantly associated with the presence of any infection or specifically with a deep infection. However, the presence of a deep infection showed a significantly higher risk of pseudarthrosis than the absence of a deep infection (50% vs 3%, respectively, p = 0.03).

The number of levels fused, estimated blood loss, and duration of surgery were not significantly associated with the occurrence of any complication or specifically with a major surgical complication. There was a trend for an increased overall complication rate in patients with a preoperative Cobb angle ≥ 55°, as compared with that in patients having an angle < 55° (59% vs 27%, p = 0.14). No other trends were seen when assessing other preoperative Cobb angle cutoffs and the presence of any complication or a major surgical complication.

Discussion

In SCI, the development of scoliosis is thought to be primarily related to paraspinal neuromuscular imbalance, but several other factors have been associated with scoliotic curves, such as wheelchair dependence, paraplegia, complete neurological injuries, hip flexion contractures, and age.3,4,16 However, many of these associations are most likely consequences of a similar pathophysiological process rather than causative, with the exception of age at SCI onset.

The onset of SCI prior to skeletal maturity is the most common and reproducible factor associated with the development of SCI-related scoliosis. Lancourt et al. noted that patients with the largest curves in their cohort had a mean age of 5.2 years at injury as opposed to 15.6 years in those without scoliosis and 13.2 years in a subgroup with smaller curves.16 Furthermore, Betz et al. noted that 100% of skeletally immature patients in their series developed scoliosis.5 Similarly, Lancourt et al. reported scoliosis development in all patients younger than 10 years of age and with an SCI.16 While 100% of skeletally immature patients who have an SCI will develop scoliosis, other series have identified scoliosis in 78%–98% of all pediatric spinal cord–injured age groups.3–5,8,16,21 M ayfield e t a l. f urther reported that 96% of all their pediatric patients with SCI also had progressive curves.19

A significant proportion of patients who develop SCIrelated scoliosis will require surgical correction of the curvature. Although precise criteria for surgical intervention vary by surgeon preference, several authors have reported 45%–77% of patients requiring surgery.8,19,21 Although surgery is required in most patients, bracing has also been shown to help reduce the number of patients requiring fusions and to postpone the timing of surgical intervention.21 In a series of 123 patients with a mean follow-up of 7.7 years, 45% of the patients who presented with small curves and were braced did not require surgery, whereas 77% of those without bracing required surgical intervention.4 Other alternatives to definitive instrumentation include fusionless wedge osteotomies with a temporary rod, but outcomes have not been directly compared with those for standard instrumented fusions.12,20

Fusion outcomes in the literature are sparse and limited to older instrumentation types (wiring, Luque rods) and mixed neuromuscular pathological entities. Spinal cord injury–related scoliosis tends to appear in a small fraction of these series, with most patients having other types of neuromuscular scoliosis such as myelomeningoceles.32,34,35 Although similar, these pathological entities may have subtle differences. Although the more rostral extent of neurological impairment in patients with myelomeningocele has been strongly correlated with the risk of scoliosis development, that association has not been consistently reproduced among patients with SCI.2,4,16,18,24,26,30,31 Furthermore, patients with myelomeningocele represent a congenital developmental process as opposed to SCI, which is a postdevelopmental injury. Modi et al. compared pedicle screw constructs in neuromuscular scoliosis cases and noted a 58% correction from 82° to 34°.23 Their series comprised 37 patients, only 1 of whom had posttraumatic etiology. The authors concluded that pedicle screw utilization was “safe,” although 27% had breaches and more than 90% of the breaches occurred within a defined overall safe zone.

Similarly, prior series of 10–18 patients assessing only paralytic scoliosis using older instrumentation techniques have reported coronal curve corrections ranging from 44% to 55%.16,36 We noted a mean correction of 69% in the entire cohort and improvement in all coronal radiographic parameters except for the coronal balance as measured from CSVL to C-7. Interestingly, coronal balance did not significantly improve in the cohort. When performing subgroup analysis, excluding the 8 patients who primarily had excessive kyphosis, we noted that the change in coronal balance was still not significantly improved (p = 0.83). Possibly, the degree of coronal imbalance preoperatively may have been mild because of the compensatory curvature; therefore, postoperative interval changes may have been marginalized. Although the parameters of coronal imbalance have not been correlated with functional outcomes in neuromuscular scoliosis, the mean coronal imbalance of 2.4 cm was smaller than the 4 cm associated with functional outcomes in adult deformity and therefore may not have any significant clinical impact.11

Tsirikos et al. reported pelvic obliquity improvement of 60%;36 we noted 68% improvement of the pelvic obliquity in our study. The percent correction we observed in coronal parameters would suggest significant improvement with the use of pedicle screw constructs as compared with historical results, but statistical analysis is limited in comparisons between these cohorts.

In the sagittal plane, we only noted a significant change in the thoracolumbar kyphosis (p < 0.05). This alteration in the sagittal plane also significantly changed by the last follow-up, with a loss in the correction from 8.1° to 26.8°. This may reflect an initial overcorrection of the amount of kyphosis required by patients to function properly. Excessive reduction of the kyphosis may impair the functional ability of patients with SCI, as they rely on this forward position to feed or reach their mouths with limited upper extremity mobility and strength. Furthermore, in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, pedicle screw constructs have been associated with decreased thoracic kyphosis postoperatively.13 However, a historical SCI patient comparison was not available, as most SCI-related series have not reported sagittal parameters. When we assessed the 8 patients who presented with kyphotic angulation greater than the coronal curvature, the postoperative change in overall kyphosis was statistically significant (p < 0.05).

Overall, pedicle screw constructs appear to provide better correction of coronal parameters and offer significant improvement in sagittal kyphosis as well. However, overcorrection, especially in the sagittal plane, may be counterproductive and may contribute to increased functional impairment. A limitation of the current study is the absence of a functional outcome analysis. Unfortunately, clinical parameters for most patients were not available for us to complete any analysis. Furthermore, there are currently no well-accepted functional outcome measures for this group of patients. However, we intend to investigate subjective feedback from the patients and caregivers who could help to elucidate the benefits and disadvantages of spinal deformity surgery in SCI. 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. The impact on sitting balance and ulcer development is more important than simply improving the radiographic pelvic obliquity. Mercado et al. reviewed the literature and reported that spinal fusions appeared to positively influence quality of life measures in patients with cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy but did not clearly benefit patients with scoliosis from myelomeningoceles.22 Currently, the literature is too sparse to draw any significant conclusions regarding SCI-related scoliosis. Ideally, additional prospective multicenter data are required to better determine the impact of pedicle screws on SCI-related scoliosis.

Conclusions

In SCI-related scoliosis, pedicle screw constructs appear to provide improved correction of the coronal plane and offer substantial improvement in the sagittal plane as well. Significant correction can be achieved in coronal parameters, but caution should be exercised to avoid overcorrection of the sagittal plane. Further correlation of radiographic outcomes with clinical results is required to better determine the impact of pedicle screws on SCI-related scoliosis correction.

Author Contributions

Conception and design: Hwang, Betz, Cahill, Samdani. Acquisition of data: Hwang, King, Kimball, Ames, Betz, Cahill, Samdani. Analysis and interpretation of data: all authors. Drafting the article: all authors. Critically revising the article: all authors. Reviewed submitted version of manuscript: all authors. Approved the final version of the manuscript on behalf of all authors: Hwang. Statistical analysis: Hwang, Kimball, Ames. Administrative/technical/material support: Safain. Study supervision: Hwang, Betz, Cahill, Samdani.

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    Müller EBNordwall A: Prevalence of scoliosis in children with myelomeningocele in western Sweden. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 17:109711021992

  • 25

    Mulligan RPFriedman JAMahabir RC: A nationwide review of the associations among cervical spine injuries, head injuries, and facial fractures. J Trauma 68:5875922010

  • 26

    Piggott H: The natural history of scoliosis in myelodysplasia. J Bone Joint Surg Br 62-B:54581980

  • 27

    Platzer PJaindl MThalhammer GDittrich SKutscha-Lissberg FVecsei V: Cervical spine injuries in pediatric patients. J Trauma 62:3893962007

  • 28

    Reilly CW: Pediatric spine trauma. J Bone Joint Surg Am 89:Suppl 1981072007

  • 29

    Roaf R: Scoliosis secondary to paraplegia. Paraplegia 8:42471970

  • 30

    Samuelsson LEklöf O: Scoliosis in myelomeningocele. Acta Orthop Scand 59:1221271988

  • 31

    Shurtleff DBGoiney RGordon LHLivermore N: Myelodysplasia: the natural history of kyphosis and scoliosis. A preliminary report. Dev Med Child Neurol Suppl 18:1261331976

  • 32

    Stricker UMoser HAebi M: Predominantly posterior instrumentation and fusion in neuromuscular and neurogenic scoliosis in children and adolescents. Eur Spine J 5:1011061996

  • 33

    Suk SILee CKKim WJChung YJPark YB: Segmental pedicle screw fixation in the treatment of thoracic idiopathic scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 20:139914051995

  • 34

    Sullivan JAConner SB: Comparison of Harrington instrumentation and segmental spinal instrumentation in the management of neuromuscular spinal deformity. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 7:2993041982

  • 35

    Takeshita KLenke LGBridwell KHKim YJSides BHensley M: Analysis of patients with nonambulatory neuromuscular scoliosis surgically treated to the pelvis with intraoperative halo-femoral traction. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 31:238123852006

  • 36

    Tsirikos AIChang WNDabney KWMiller F: Comparison of one-stage versus two-stage anteroposterior spinal fusion in pediatric patients with cerebral palsy and neuromuscular scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 28:130013052003

  • 37

    Tsirikos AIMarkham PMcMaster MJ: Surgical correction of spinal deformities following spinal cord injury occurring in childhood. J Surg Orthop Adv 16:1741862007

  • 38

    Westerlund LEGill SSJarosz TSAbel MFBlanco JS: Posterior-only unit rod instrumentation and fusion for neuromuscular scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 26:198419892001

  • 39

    Whitaker CBurton DCAsher M: Treatment of selected neuromuscular patients with posterior instrumentation and arthrodesis ending with lumbar pedicle screw anchorage. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 25:231223182000

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Article Information

Correspondence Steven W. Hwang, Department of Neurosurgery, Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington St. #178, Proger 7, Boston, MA 02111. email: stevenhwang@hotmail.com.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online November 21, 2014; DOI: 10.3171/2014.10.SPINE14185.

DISCLOSURE The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this manuscript. Dr. Samdani is a consultant for DePuy Synthes Spine, SpineGuard, Zimmer, and Stryker. Dr. Cahill is a consultant for DePuy Synthes and Medtronic. Dr. Betz is a consultant for DePuy Synthes Spine, Medtronic, Orthocon, SpineGuard, and Zimmer; has direct stock ownership in Orthocon, SpineGuard, Orthobond, MiMedx, Advanced Vertebral Solutions, and SpineZ; is a member of the speaker's bureau of DePuy Synthes Spine; and receives royalties from DePuy Synthes Spine and Medtronic.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

Headings

Figures

  • View in gallery

    Left: Preoperative anteroposterior radiograph showing an 87° C-shaped curve with significant pelvic obliquity. Right: Postoperative radiograph displaying scoliosis correction using a pedicle screw construct.

  • View in gallery

    Left: Preoperative lateral radiograph showing an overall kyphotic spine with the loss of lumbar lordosis. Right: Postoperative lateral radiograph showing reduction of the kyphosis using pedicle screws.

References

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Asghar JSamdani AFPahys JMD'andrea LPGuille JTClements DH: Computed tomography evaluation of rotation correction in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a comparison of an all pedicle screw construct versus a hook-rod system. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 34:8048072009

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Helgeson MDShah SANewton POClements DH IIIBetz RRMarks MC: Evaluation of proximal junctional kyphosis in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis following pedicle screw, hook, or hybrid instrumentation. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 35:1771812010

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Kewalramani LSKraus JFSterling HM: Acute spinal-cord lesions in a pediatric population: epidemiological and clinical features. Paraplegia 18:2062191980

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Kuklo TRLenke LGGraham EJWon DSSweet FABlanke KM: Correlation of radiographic, clinical, and patient assessment of shoulder balance following fusion versus nonfusion of the proximal thoracic curve in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 27:201320202002

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Lancourt JEDickson JHCarter RE: Paralytic spinal deformity following traumatic spinal-cord injury in children and adolescents. J Bone Joint Surg Am 63:47531981

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Launay FLeet AISponseller PD: Pediatric spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality: a meta-analysis. Clin Orthop Relat Res 4331661702005

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Mayfield JKErkkila JCWinter RB: Spine deformity subsequent to acquired childhood spinal cord injury. J Bone Joint Surg Am 63:140114111981

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McCarthy KPChafetz RSMulcahey MJFrisch RFD'Andrea LPBetz RR: Clinical efficacy of the vertebral wedge osteotomy for the fusionless treatment of paralytic scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 35:4034102010

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Mehta SBetz RRMulcahey MJMcDonald CVogel LCAnderson C: Effect of bracing on paralytic scoliosis secondary to spinal cord injury. J Spinal Cord Med 27:Suppl 1S88S922004

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Mercado EAlman BWright JG: Does spinal fusion influence quality of life in neuromuscular scoliosis?. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 32:19 SupplS120S1252007

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Modi HNSuh SWFernandez HYang JHSong HR: Accuracy and safety of pedicle screw placement in neuromuscular scoliosis with free-hand technique. Eur Spine J 17:168616962008

24

Müller EBNordwall A: Prevalence of scoliosis in children with myelomeningocele in western Sweden. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 17:109711021992

25

Mulligan RPFriedman JAMahabir RC: A nationwide review of the associations among cervical spine injuries, head injuries, and facial fractures. J Trauma 68:5875922010

26

Piggott H: The natural history of scoliosis in myelodysplasia. J Bone Joint Surg Br 62-B:54581980

27

Platzer PJaindl MThalhammer GDittrich SKutscha-Lissberg FVecsei V: Cervical spine injuries in pediatric patients. J Trauma 62:3893962007

28

Reilly CW: Pediatric spine trauma. J Bone Joint Surg Am 89:Suppl 1981072007

29

Roaf R: Scoliosis secondary to paraplegia. Paraplegia 8:42471970

30

Samuelsson LEklöf O: Scoliosis in myelomeningocele. Acta Orthop Scand 59:1221271988

31

Shurtleff DBGoiney RGordon LHLivermore N: Myelodysplasia: the natural history of kyphosis and scoliosis. A preliminary report. Dev Med Child Neurol Suppl 18:1261331976

32

Stricker UMoser HAebi M: Predominantly posterior instrumentation and fusion in neuromuscular and neurogenic scoliosis in children and adolescents. Eur Spine J 5:1011061996

33

Suk SILee CKKim WJChung YJPark YB: Segmental pedicle screw fixation in the treatment of thoracic idiopathic scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 20:139914051995

34

Sullivan JAConner SB: Comparison of Harrington instrumentation and segmental spinal instrumentation in the management of neuromuscular spinal deformity. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 7:2993041982

35

Takeshita KLenke LGBridwell KHKim YJSides BHensley M: Analysis of patients with nonambulatory neuromuscular scoliosis surgically treated to the pelvis with intraoperative halo-femoral traction. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 31:238123852006

36

Tsirikos AIChang WNDabney KWMiller F: Comparison of one-stage versus two-stage anteroposterior spinal fusion in pediatric patients with cerebral palsy and neuromuscular scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 28:130013052003

37

Tsirikos AIMarkham PMcMaster MJ: Surgical correction of spinal deformities following spinal cord injury occurring in childhood. J Surg Orthop Adv 16:1741862007

38

Westerlund LEGill SSJarosz TSAbel MFBlanco JS: Posterior-only unit rod instrumentation and fusion for neuromuscular scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 26:198419892001

39

Whitaker CBurton DCAsher M: Treatment of selected neuromuscular patients with posterior instrumentation and arthrodesis ending with lumbar pedicle screw anchorage. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 25:231223182000

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