Publications by authors named "David E Lebel"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Use of Halo Gravity Traction in Severe, Stiff Scoliosis.

J Pediatr Orthop 2021 Apr 8. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and Children's University Hospital, Rotunda, Dublin, Ireland.

Purpose: The correction of severe, stiff scoliosis in children is challenging. One method used to reduce the risk is preoperative halo gravity traction (HGT). In this study, the authors sought to define the efficiency and safety of HGT and characterize the chronology of the correction seen.

Method: A consecutive group of pediatric patients with severe spinal deformities was treated with HGT before definitive correction. A standard protocol with the daily addition of weight to 50% of body weight at 3 weeks was used. Traction remained in place until signs of impending neurological complication or 6 weeks, whichever was sooner.

Results: Twenty-four patients were included with a mean age of 11.8 years. The mean coronal deformity was 123 degrees, with a T1-L5 height of 234 mm. The mean duration of traction was 42 days with a mean improvement in height of 72 mm with 82% occurring over the first 3 weeks. Hundred percent of the angular and 98% of T1-L5 height correction was reached by 6 weeks.One patient showed early signs of a cranial nerve palsy prompting early surgery and 8 patients showed pin loosening, 1 of which required revision of their halo. One patient underwent a slower progression of traction because of transitory urinary disturbance. Following fusion, angular correction of the major curve was 49%.

Conclusion: HGT is a safe treatment for severe, stiff scoliosis because it can respond to early signs of impending neurological impairment. The first 3 weeks of treatment, reaching 50% of body weight as a traction force accounts for 80% of correction, with the remaining 20% in the following 2 weeks. At least 4 weeks of traction is recommended when following this protocol.
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April 2021

The use of three rods in correcting severe scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5G 1XB, Canada.

Purpose: The three-rod technique, utilising a short apical concavity rod is an option to achieve controlled correction in severe scoliosis. We describe this technique, the complications encountered, and the long-term outcomes.

Method: All paediatric patients who had at least 2 years follow-up after undergoing corrective surgery for scoliosis ≥ 100° using 3 parallel rods were included. Radiographs were assessed to evaluate the correction and clinical records examined for any loss of correction, complications, revision procedures or neuromonitoring events.

Results: Twenty-five patients met the inclusion criteria. Four underwent prior anterior fusion to prevent crankshaft phenomenon. The mean angle of the deformity was 112.0° (range 100.3-137.1). Mean maximal kyphosis was 48.8° (range 11.4-78.8°) and mean curve flexibility 4.4% (range 0-37.0%). Intraoperative traction achieved an average of 70.4% (95% CI 56.6-84.1%). Nine patients (39%) showed a reduction in MEPs during definitive surgery. All returned to within 75% of baseline by the end of surgery. All patients had normal postoperative neurology. One patient underwent removal of hardware for late infection. The mean overall Cobb correction was 55.7° (95% CI 50.2-61.2°), equating to 50.2% (95% CI 44.9-55.4%) of the mean initial deformity. Thoracic kyphosis reduced by a mean of 18.2° (95% CI 12.8-23.6°).

Conclusion: Our series suggests that three-rod constructs are able to safely and effectively achieve 50% correction of severe scoliosis.
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February 2021

Congenital Kyphosis: Progressive Correction With an Instrumented Posterior Epiphysiodesis: A Preliminary Report.

J Pediatr Orthop 2021 Mar;41(3):133-137

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Purpose: Congenital kyphosis is a rare condition. In this case series we sought to identify the outcomes and complications of posterior instrumented fusion and the resultant epiphysiodesis effect in uniplanar congenital kyphosis in pediatric patients.

Method: Pediatric patients were included if treated for a uniplanar congenital kyphotic deformity treated with posterior instrumented spinal fusion between October 2006 and August 2017, with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up. Patients were excluded if a coronal deformity >10 degrees was present.

Results: Six patients met the inclusion criteria. Mean age at surgery was 3.6 years. The mean kyphotic deformity before surgery was 49.7 degrees. All patients underwent posterior instrumented fusion with autogenous iliac crest graft and a cast or brace postoperatively. One patient showed a loss of motor evoked potential on prone positioning which returned to normal on supine positioning. No patient showed any postoperative neurological deficits. One patient was diagnosed with a wound infection which was successfully treated with oral antibiotics.By a follow-up of 5.4 years (range, 2.2 to 10.9 y) there was no failure of instrumentation. An epiphysiodesis effect (a difference of ≥5 degrees in the kyphotic deformity measured between the immediate postoperative and final follow-up lateral whole spine XR) of 16.2 degrees (range, 7.2 to 30.9 degrees) was seen in 5 patients. The mean annual epiphysiodesis effect was 2.7 degrees (95% confidence interval, 1.4-4.1 degrees). No kyphosis proximal to the instrumentation was observed for the duration of follow-up.

Conclusion: Posterior instrumented fusion and epiphysiodesis is safe and effective. The epiphysiodesis effect occurs in 5/6 of cases, and our data suggests that the procedure is associated with an acceptable blood loss and a low incidence of neurological complications.
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March 2021

Spinal Casting for the Treatment of Severe Early Onset Scoliosis: Utilization of a Nonsurgical Health Care Provider for Cast Application.

J Pediatr Orthop 2020 Oct;40(9):e805-e810

Hospital for Sick Children.

Background: Spinal casting with the aim of delaying surgical intervention is a widely accepted but resource intensive conservative management strategy used by spine surgeons to treat severe early onset scoliosis. Opting to use a nonsurgical health care provider for cast application may be an effective use of human resources if the quality of care is not compromised. This study aimed to evaluate the outcomes of spinal cast treatment utilizing a nonsurgical health care provider for cast application.

Methods: This is a chart and radiographic review of all 30 patients that initiated spinal cast treatment between 2007 and 2018 and have at least 2-year follow-up. A spine surgeon applied all casts before July 14; a physical therapist (PT) applied all subsequent casts. Comparative analyses were performed for baseline data and the amount of correction achieved in initial cast. Complications and delay time to surgery were recorded.

Results: The PT cast 16 patients (12 female, 10 idiopathic, 64 casts total), average age 3.8±1.4 years and mean major curve of 63±18 degrees. Similarly the spine surgeon cast 14 patients (11 female, 8 idiopathic, 53 casts total), average age 4.4±1.7 years (P=0.30) and mean major curve of 63±11 degrees (P=0.93). In the initial cast the PT obtained 55%±13% (28±12 degrees) correction and the surgeon 44%±12% (36±12 degrees, P=0.09). The average number of casts was similar (4.0 vs. 3.8, P=0.7). The PT had 1 patient develop superior mesenteric artery syndrome, which resolved with cast removal, and the surgeon had 2 patients require extra care related to skin breakdown. With average follow-up of 4.15 years (range, 2.0 to 5.8 y) 11/14 PT patients demonstrate curve improvement compared with their initial presentation and 2 patients have undergone surgical intervention (3.2 and 4.3 y after first cast). The surgeon's average delay time to surgery was 4.3 years (range, 1.8 to 8.7 y after first cast, n=10).

Conclusions: The results of this study support our current model of care utilizing a nonsurgical health care practitioner for spinal cast application.

Level Of Evidence: Level III-retrospective comparative.
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October 2020

Responding to Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Changes During Pediatric Coronal Spinal Deformity Surgery.

Global Spine J 2019 May 8;9(1 Suppl):15S-21S. Epub 2019 May 8.

AOSpine Knowledge Forum Deformity, Davos, Switzerland.

Study Design: Retrospective case study on prospectively collected data.

Objectives: The purpose of this explorative study was: 1) to determine if patterns of spinal cord injury could be detected through intra-operative neuromonitoring (IONM) changes in pediatric patients undergoing spinal deformity corrections, 2) to identify if perfusion based or direct trauma causes of IONM changes could be distinguished, 3) to observe the effects of the interventions performed in response to these events, and 4) to attempt to identify different treatment algorithms for the different causes of IONM alerts.

Methods: Prospectively collected neuromonitoring data in pre-established forms on consecutive pediatric patients undergoing coronal spinal deformity surgery at a single center was reviewed. Real-time data was collected on IONM alerts with >50% loss in signal. Patients with alerts were divided into 2 groups: unilateral changes (direct cord trauma), and bilateral MEP changes (cord perfusion deficits).

Results: A total of 97 pediatric patients involving 71 females and 26 males with a mean age of 14.9 (11-18) years were included in this study. There were 39 alerts in 27 patients (27.8% overall incidence). All bilateral changes responded to a combination of transfusion, increasing blood pressure, and rod removal. Unilateral changes as a result of direct trauma, mainly during laminotomies for osteotomies, improved with removal of the causative agent. Following corrective actions in response to the alerts, all cases were completed as planned. Signal returned to near baseline in 20/27 patients at closure, with no new neurological deficits in this series.

Conclusion: A high incidence of alerts occurred in this series of cases. Dividing IONM changes into perfusion-based vs direct trauma directed treatment to the offending cause, allowing for safe corrections of the deformities. Patients did not need to recover IONM signal to baseline to have a normal neurological examination.
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May 2019

Hyperchloremia and Diuresis in Children Undergoing Scoliosis Surgery: A Retrospective Cohort Study.

Isr Med Assoc J 2019 Feb;21(2):94-99

Division of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Background: Hyperchloremia is frequent in adult surgical patients and is associated with renal dysfunction. Studies in surgical pediatric patients are lacking.

Objectives: To identify both the incidence of postoperative hyperchloremia in children undergoing surgery for idiopathic and non-idiopathic scoliosis, and the association of postoperative hyperchloremia with intraoperative fluid management and postoperative diuresis.

Methods: The records of 74 children and adolescents who underwent elective scoliosis surgery were retrospectively evaluated. The primary endpoint was the incidence of serum chloride level ≥ 110 mEq/L at the end of surgery and 12 hours postoperatively. Secondary endpoints were the type and volume of administered fluids, 12 hours postoperative diuresis, and the incidence of postoperative oliguria.

Results: Hyperchloremia occurred in 55% of the patients at the end of surgery and in 52% 12 hours postoperatively. Hyperchloremic patients received larger intraoperative volume of 0.9% NaCl diluted cell-saver blood and 10% HAES than did normochloremic patients [median (interquartile range) 6.8 (2.5-11.0) ml/kg vs. 0 (0-7.3), P = 0.003 and 10.0 (0-12.8) vs. 4.4 (0-9.8), P = 0.02, respectively]. Additionally, when compared with normochloremic patients, diuresis during the first 12 hours postoperatively was lower in hyperchloremic patients. Postoperative oliguria (urine output < 0.5 ml/kg/hr for 12 hours) was diagnosed in 7 children (9%), of whom 6 were hyperchloremic at the end of surgery.

Conclusions: Early postoperative hyperchloremia is common in children undergoing scoliosis repair surgery and may be attributed to the administration of 0.9% NaCl diluted cell-saver blood and 10% HAES. Postoperative hyperchloremia might be associated with postoperative oliguria.
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February 2019

Three dimensional analysis of brace biomechanical efficacy for patients with AIS.

Eur Spine J 2013 Nov 20;22(11):2445-8. Epub 2013 Jul 20.

Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery Division, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Av, Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, Canada,

Purpose: Corrective three dimensional (3D) effect of different braces is debatable. We evaluated differences in in-brace radiographic correction comparing a custom thoracic-lumbo-sacral-orthosis (TLSO) (T) brace to a Chêneau type TLSO (C) brace using 3D EOS reconstruction technology. Our primary research question was the 3D effect of brace on the spine and in particularly the apical vertebra rotation (AVR).

Methods: This was a retrospective comparative analysis of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who had orthogonal AP and lateral X-rays with and without brace. A 3D image of the spine was reconstructed. Coronal, sagittal and axial spine parameters were measured before bracing and then on the first post-brace X-ray. Brace efficacy in controlling coronal, sagittal and axial parameters was evaluated.

Results: Eighteen patients treated with the C brace and ten patients treated with the T brace were included. No difference was found regarding patients' age, gender, magnitude of Cobb angle, sagittal parameters or AVR at inclusion. Following bracing, AVR was significantly reduced by the C brace compared to the T brace [average correction of 8.2° vs. 4.9° (P = 0.02)]. Coronal and sagittal correction did not differ significantly between the two groups.

Conclusions: By utilizing a novel 3D reconstruction technology, we were able to demonstrate that braces differ in their immediate effects on the spine. Although clinical relevance should be evaluated in a future trial we feel that the ability to measure treatment effects in 3D, and especially the transverse plane, is an important tool when evaluating different treatments.
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November 2013

Glucocorticoid treatment for the prevention of scoliosis in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy: long-term follow-up.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2013 Jun;95(12):1057-61

Division of Orthopedics, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive muscle disorder that occurs in males, causes a gradual decline in muscle strength. This progressive decline is associated with the development of scoliosis. Previous studies have shown that the use of glucocorticoids slows the progression of scoliosis, but it is unknown if the spine remains straight in the long term. We examined if glucocorticoid treatment has a long-term effect on the prevalence of scoliosis.

Methods: Fifty-four boys who had been diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy while they were still walking were enrolled in a non-randomized comparative study of the glucocorticoid deflazacort. The families of thirty boys elected for them to use glucocorticoid treatment and the families of twenty-four boys elected for them not to have this treatment. The boys were matched for important baseline characteristics including age and pulmonary function. Every four to six months, they were examined for the development of scoliosis, and the duration of follow-up for surviving patients was fifteen years. Because surgery was recommended for spinal curves measuring >20° on sitting posteroanterior radiographs, a curve of this magnitude was used as the definition for a patient developing scoliosis.

Results: Five boys (21%) in the non-treatment group and one boy (3%) in the glucocorticoid treatment group died. At the most recent follow-up, of the boys who survived, six (20%) in the glucocorticoid treatment group and twenty-two (92%) in the non-treatment group developed scoliosis and underwent spinal surgery. After fifteen years of follow-up, the survivorship analysis (avoiding surgery) was 78% (95% confidence interval, 57% to 89%) in the treatment group and 8.3% (95% confidence interval, 0.8% to 28%) in the non-treatment group. Significance (p = 5.8 × 10(-7)) was calculated with log-rank and chi-square tests. None of the patients in the glucocorticoid group developed scoliosis after ten years of deflazacort treatment.

Conclusion: The long-term use of the glucocorticoid results in a substantial decreased need for spinal surgery to treat scoliosis.
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June 2013

The use of fusion mass screws in revision spinal deformity surgery.

Eur Spine J 2014 May 7;23 Suppl 2:181-6. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

Division of Orthopaedics, Toronto Western Hospital, East Wing 1-E442, 399, Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON, M5T 2S8, Canada,

Study Design: To report the use of a posterior based 'fusion mass screw' (FMS) as a primary or salvage fixation point in a revision spinal deformity following a previous posterior spinal fusion (PSF). Our experience of this technique in a case report and the clinical and radiological results are reported.

Objectives: To describe the technique and uses of the FMS as a primary/salvage fixation point in osteotomies in previously arthrodesed spinal deformity surgery. Obtaining fixation points to correct and stabilize a spinal deformity with coronal and sagittal imbalance in a previously arthrodesed spine during revision surgery can be challenging. Several alternate pedicle fixation techniques and laminar screw techniques have been described in the literature. However, there is no description of these techniques in the presence of a spinal fusion with distorted anatomy. A pedicle screw placed coronally across a thick posterior fusion mass can provide an alternate method of fixation in these cases with complex anatomy.

Methods: Two cases of complex spinal deformity and corrective spinal osteotomies using fusion mass screws (FMSs) placed coronally across the posterior fusion mass are described. The first case is an 8-year-old patient with Marfan's syndrome who developed a crank shaft phenomenon and severe thoracolumbar kyphoscoliosis following a previous PSF. The second case is a 53-year-old patient with coronal imbalance following PSF as a child using Harrington instrumentation who developed distal degeneration with stenosis in her remaining mobile segments. Both patients underwent vertebral column resection and osteotomy closure plus stabilisation using FMS. The clinical and radiological results and technique for insertion of the FMS are described.

Conclusion: In this report, we present a novel method of using posterior FMSs to achieve fixation and correction in cases of revision deformity surgery with difficult anatomy. While we feel pedicle screws are the gold standard in deformity correction, knowledge of alternatives such as the FMS can allow surgeons to achieve stable constructs when faced with challenging situations.
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May 2014

Successful conservative treatment for neglected rotatory atlantoaxial dislocation.

J Pediatr Orthop 2013 Jun;33(4):389-92

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dana Children's Hospital, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Background: Rotatory atlantoaxial subluxation (RAS) is a rare condition that is often misdiagnosed and therefore incorrectly managed. We describe our experience and propose an algorithm for treating neglected RAS nonoperatively.

Methods: All consecutive children with neglected (>6 wk) RAS were treated in our department between 2005 and 2010 by cervical traction using a Gleason traction device and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. When reduction was not achieved, the Gleason device was replaced by a halo device without manipulative reduction, and weight was added as necessary until reduction was successful. Fixation of reduction was either by a sternooccipital mandibular immobilizer or a halo vest for 3 to 4 months.

Results: All 5 children (4 boys and 1 girl, aged 4 to 11 y) were successfully treated for neglected RAS. The mean duration from symptom onset (eg, limited neck range of motion, discomfort) to treatment initiation was 11.6 weeks (range, 6 to 16 wk). Closed reduction was achieved by a Gleason or a noninvasive halo device within 1 to 2 weeks in 4 cases. The fifth case was reduced after 5 weeks of traction using a halo with a 5 kg weight. All children had symmetrical full range of motion, normal neurological examination, and were fully engaged in educational and sports activities without recurrent dislocations at final follow-up (mean, 30 mo; range, 18 to 49 mo).

Conclusions: Conservative treatment by gradual and prolonged traction without manipulative reduction in neglected RAS might be a successful method. Reduction can often be achieved within 2 weeks of treatment onset.

Level Of Evidence: Level IV (retrospective case series).
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June 2013

Responding to neuromonitoring changes in 3-column posterior spinal osteotomies for rigid pediatric spinal deformities.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2013 Apr;38(8):E493-503

Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Study Design: Retrospective review of prospectively collected data on the neuromonitoring changes recorded during a consecutive series of cord level 3-column posterior spinal osteotomies for the correction of rigid pediatric spinal deformities in children between 2005 and 2012.

Objective: To review the neuromonitoring changes observed during the performance of these procedures, to highlight the high-risk steps, and to describe actions taken to avert major neurological injury.

Summary Of Background Data: Significant motor evoked potentials (MEP) changes are common during the performance of spinal osteotomies in children. The real-time intraoperative information provided by MEPs can provide the necessary information to direct key surgical decisions.

Methods: The neuromonitoring changes occurring during the performance of 37 3-column, cord level, posterior spinal osteotomies in 28 patients were recorded. The procedures were divided, for comparative purposes, into 2 groups based on the presence or absence of alerts. A decrease in somatosensory evoked potentials and transcranial MEPs greater than 50% of baseline was considered an alert. Alerts were classified chronologically as type I: prior to decompression, type II: occurring during decompression and bone resection, type III: occurring after osteotomy closure.

Results: Somatosensory evoked potential alerts occurred in 3 patients, all of whom had significant MEP alerts. There were 2 type I, 15 type II, and 6 type III MEP alerts. Increasing blood pressure improved MEPs in all with the exception of 8 type II and 4 type III. The unresponsive 8 type II alerts were treated with osteotomy closure with the expectation that spinal shortening would decompress the spinal cord and improve spinal cord perfusion. The unresponsive 4 type III alerts all responded to reopening, manipulation, and subsequent reclosure of the osteotomy either with a cage or less correction. There were 5 immediate postoperative motor deficits. No patient had a permanent deficit.

Conclusion: Changes unresponsive to increasing blood pressure occurring during decompression and bone resection (type II) responded well to osteotomy closure. Unresponsive changes during osteotomy closure (type III) were treated successfully with opening the osteotomy, cage adjustment, and less correction.
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April 2013

Mode of delivery and other pregnancy outcomes of patients with documented scoliosis.

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2012 Jun 9;25(6):639-41. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Be'er-Sheva, Israel.

The aim of this study was to explore whether scoliosis is a risk factor for adverse obstetric outcomes and specifically for cesarean delivery (CD) and labor dystocia. Association between scoliosis and pregnancy outcome was studied before. Confounding conclusions prevent proper counseling of patients. Appropriate statistical analysis of a suitable cohort is helpful in resolving this issue. A retrospective population-based study comparing all singleton pregnancies of women with and without documented scoliosis was conducted. Deliveries occurred between the years 1988 and 2009. Multiple logistic regression models were used to control for confounders. Out of 229,116 patients which were included in our cohort, 0.043% (n = 98) had a documented scoliosis. These patients had higher rates of fertility treatments (7.1% vs. 1.6%; p < 0.001). Scoliosis was found to be significantly associated with labor induction (36.7% vs. 26.3 %; p = 0.02) and cesarean deliveries (21.4% vs. 13.1%; p = 0.014). Using multiple logistic regression models, with CD as the outcome variable, controlling for confounders such as nulliparity, labor induction and maternal age, scoliosis was not found to be an independent risk factor for CD (OR = 1.56, 95% CI 1.9-2.7; p = 0.121). Scoliosis is not a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcome, and specifically for labor dystocia.
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June 2012

Symphysiolysis as an independent risk factor for cesarean delivery.

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2010 May;23(5):417-20

Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Soroka University Medical Center, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Be'er-Sheva, Israel.

Objectives: To investigate whether symphysiolysis during pregnancy is a risk factor for cesarean delivery (CD).

Methods: A retrospective population-based study comparing all singleton pregnancies of women with and without symphysiolysis was conducted. Deliveries occurred between the years 2000 and 2007. Multiple logistic regression models were used to control for confounders.

Results: Out of 80,898 patients, 0.2% (n = 154) were diagnosed with symphysiolysis during pregnancy. Patients with symphysiolysis were significantly older as compared to the comparison group. These patients had higher rates of mild pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and labor induction as compared to patients without symphysiolysis. Higher rates of CD were noted in pregnancies complicated by symphysiolysis [22.1% vs. 15.9%; Odds ratio (OR) = 1.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-2.2; P = 0.036]. Using multiple logistic regression model, with symphysiolysis as the outcome variable, controlling for labor induction, mild pre-eclampsia and GDM, symphysiolysis was noted as an independent risk factor for CD (weighted OR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.5; P = 0.009). Perinatal outcomes such as low Apgar scores (<7) at 1 and 5 min and perinatal mortality were comparable between the groups.

Conclusions: Symphysiolysis is an independent risk factor for CD.
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May 2010