Publications by authors named "David L Skaggs"

211 Publications

How low can you go? Implant density in posterior spinal fusion converted from growing constructs for early onset scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2021 Jul 6. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd, MS#69, Los Angeles, CA, 90027, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective, multicenter comparative.

Objectives: Our purpose was to compare early onset scoliosis (EOS) patients treated with ultra-low, low, and high implant density constructs when undergoing conversion to definitive fusion. Larson et al. demonstrated that implant density (ID) at fusion does not correlate with outcomes in the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, but did not address growth-friendly graduates.

Methods: EOS patients treated with growth-friendly constructs converted to fusion between 2000 and 2017 were reviewed from a multicenter database. ID was defined as number of pedicle screws, hooks, and sublaminar/bands per level fused. Patients were divided into ultra-low ID (< 1.3), low (≥ 1.3 and < 1.6), and high ID (≥ 1.6).

Exclusion Criteria:  < 2 years follow-up from fusion or inadequate radiographs.

Results: A total of 152 patients met inclusion criteria with 39 (26%) patients in the high ID group, 33 (22%) patients in the low ID group, and 80 (52%) in the ultra-low ID group. Groups were similar in operative time (p = 0.61), pre-fusion major curve (p = 0.71), mean number of levels fused (p = 0.58), clinical follow-up (p = 0.30), and radiographic follow-up (p = 0.90). Patients in the low ID group (11.6 ± 1.5 years) were slightly younger at the time of definitive fusion than patients in the ultra-low ID group (12.9 ± 2.2 years) and high ID group (12.5 ± 1.7 years) (p = 0.009). There was significantly more blood loss in the high ID group than the other two groups (high ID: 946.8 ± 606.0 mL vs. low ID: 733.9 ± 434.5 mL and ultra-low ID: 617.4 ± 517.2 mL; p = 0.01), but there was no significant difference with regard to percent of total blood volume lost (high ID: 59.3 ± 48.7% vs. low ID: 54.5 ± 37.5% vs. ultra-low ID: 51.7 ± 54.9%; p = 0.78). There was a difference in initial improvement in major curve between the groups (high ID: 21.6° vs. low ID: 18.0° vs. ultra-low ID: 12.6°; p = 0.01). However, during post-fusion follow-up, correction decreased 7.1° in the high ID group, 2.6 in the low ID group, and 2.8 in the ultra-low ID group (p = 0.19). At final follow-up, major curve correction from pre-fusion was similar between groups (high ID: 14.5° vs. low ID: 15.5° vs. ultra-low ID: 9.7°, p = 0.14). At final follow-up, there was no difference in T1-T12 length gain (p = 0.85), T1-S1 length gain (p = 0.68), coronal balance (p = 0.56), or sagittal balance (p = 0.71). The revision rate was significantly higher in the ultra-low ID group (13.8%; 11/80) versus the high ID group (2/39; 5.1%) and low ID group (0/33; 0%) (p = 0.04).

Conclusions: Although an ID < 1.3 in growth-friendly graduates produces similar outcomes with regard to curve correction and spinal length gain as low and high ID, this study suggests that an ID < 1.3 is associated with an increased revision rate.

Level Of Evidence: III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00321-7DOI Listing
July 2021

Defining risk factors for adding-on in Lenke 1 and 2 AR curves.

Spine Deform 2021 Jul 3. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California - San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.

Purpose: To identify curve/correction characteristics associated with adding-on at 2 years after posterior spinal fusion (PSF) in Lenke 1/2 AR curves.

Methods: A prospective multicenter registry was queried to identify patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), Lenke 1/2 AR curves, who underwent PSF with a minimum of 2-year follow-up. Patient characteristics as well as pre- and post- operative radiographic variables were evaluated using Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis to determine which factors contribute to adding-on.

Results: 253 patients treated with PSF were assessed for adding-on, of which 50 met our adding-on criteria. Univariate analysis revealed adding-on was associated several factors including: post-operative thoracic and lumbar curve magnitude (p > 0.001), first erect (FE) end instrumented vertebra (EIV) angulation (p = 0.009) and EIV translation (p = 0.001), younger age (p = 0.027), Risser stage (p = 0.024), and a more proximal lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV) (p < 0.001). Multivariate CART analysis showed the chance of adding-on was more than 2 times greater (42 vs 16%) when the chosen LIV was translated more than 2.7 cm from the CSVL. When the LIV was within 2.7 cm, the post-op risk of adding-on was increased when the LIV was not perfectly leveled (> 0.5°).

Conclusion: In Lenke 1 and 2 AR curves, pre-operative LIV translation appears to be an independent risk factor for adding-on; and in those with < 2.7 cm of LIV translation, FE LIV angulation also seems to increase the risk of adding-on. These factors are relevant in determining appropriate LIV selection and aid in identifying patients at risk for developing adding-on.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00382-8DOI Listing
July 2021

Prospective Study on Tension Band Plating: Most Patients are Not Returning to Normal Activities 1 Month Following Surgery.

J Pediatr Orthop 2021 Jul;41(6):e417-e421

Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.

Background: Tension band plating for temporary hemiepiphysiodesis has been reported by several authors as simple and effective for treating angular deformities of the lower limb. Anecdotally, patients have reported higher pain levels than expected given the small size of incision and relatively minimal amount of dissection, and we sought to investigate this further.

Methods: Patients 16 years old or less with lower extremity angular deformities or limb length inequality were prospectively enrolled before tension band plating from 2 pediatric institutions from July 2016 to December 2018. Participants completed postoperative questionnaires regarding their pain and activity level. Pain was assessed using the FACES Pain Scale. Patients were included if they completed the 1 month survey.

Results: Of the 48 patients that met inclusion criteria (mean age at surgery: 13.1 y; range: 7 to 16 y), 39 patients completed the survey at 3 months postoperatively. There was a significant change in pain level between 1 week and 1 month postoperatively (P<0.001). Eighty-three percent (34/41) of patients were still taking pain medication at 1 week, which decreased to 38% (18/48) at 1 month. At 3 months, 21% (8/39) patients reported they were still using pain medication. At 1 month, 65% of patients (31/48) had not returned to their prior activity level. Of the 39 patients who played sports, 59% (23/39) still had not fully returned to sports at 1 month.

Conclusion: At 1 month following tension band plating, 65% of patients had not returned to their preoperative activity level, and 38% were taking pain medications. Although the tension band plate and surgical incision is small in size, patients and parents should be counseled that there are significant activity limitations and pain levels for a month or longer in many patients.

Level Of Evidence: Level II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001781DOI Listing
July 2021

Improved Bowel Function With Oral Methylnaltrexone Following Posterior Spinal Fusion for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.

J Pediatr Orthop 2021 May 18. Epub 2021 May 18.

Children's Orthopaedic Center Division of Pain Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.

Background: Methylnaltrexone, a peripheral opioid antagonist, is used to decrease opioid-induced constipation; however, there is limited evidence for its use in children. The primary objective of the study is to assess the efficacy of per os (PO) methylnaltrexone in inducing bowel movements (BMs) in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who underwent a posterior spinal fusion and instrumentation (PSFI). Secondary outcomes include hospital length of stay, postoperative pain scores, and postoperative opioid usage.

Methods: Retrospective chart review identified all adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients above 10 years of age who underwent PSFI with a minimum of 24 hours of postoperative opioid analgesia after the initiation of the new bowel regimen protocol. The bowel regimen included daily administration of PO methylnaltrexone starting on postoperative day 1 until BM is achieved. A case-matched cohort was obtained with patients who did not receive PO methylnaltrexone and otherwise had the same bowel function regimen. Case-matched controls were also matched for age, sex, body mass index, and curve severity. t Tests and Pearson χ2 tests were used for statistical analysis.

Results: Fifty-two patients received oral methylnaltrexone (14±2.6 y) and 52 patients were included in the case-matched control group (14±2.1 y). The methylnaltrexone group had a significantly shorter hospital length of stay (3.09±0.66) compared with controls (3.69±0.80) (P<0.01). 59% (31 of 52) of the methylnaltrexone group had a BM by postoperative day postoperative day 2, compared with 30% (16 of 52) of the control group (P<0.01). In the methylnaltrexone group, 44% (23 of 52) of the patients required a Dulcolax (bisacodyl) suppository and 11% (6 of 52) required an enema, compared with 50% (26 of 52) and 33% (12 of 52) of the control group respectively (P=0.43 and 0.12). In addition, significantly less patients had abdominal distension during their postoperative stay in the methylnaltrexone group (17%, 9 of 52) compared with the control group (40%, 21 of 52) (P<0.01). There was no significant difference in self-reported average FACES pain score (P=0.39) or in opioid morphine equivalents required per hour (P=0.18).

Conclusions: Patients who received PO methylnaltrexone after PSFI had decreased length of stay and improved bowel function. Administration of methylnaltrexone did not increase maximum self-reported FACES pain values or opioid consumption compared with controls. The use of oral methylnaltrexone after PSFI reduces postoperative constipation, which has implications for reducing hospital length of stay and overall morbidity.

Level Of Evidence: Level III-retrospective comparative study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001854DOI Listing
May 2021

Power-assisted Pedicle Screw Technique Protects Against Risk of Surgeon Overuse Injury: A Comparative Electromyography Study of the Neck and Upper Extremity Muscle Groups in a Simulated Surgical Environment.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.

Zimmer Biomet Spine, Westminster, CO Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.

Study Design: Cadaveric.

Objective: The aim of this study was to quantify the amplitude and duration of surgeons' muscle exertion from pedicle cannulation to screw placement using both manual and power-assisted tools in a simulated surgical environment using surface electromyography (EMG).

Summary Of Background Data: A survey of Scoliosis Research Society members reported rates of neck pain, rotator cuff disease, lateral epicondylitis, and cervical radiculopathy at 3×, 5×, 10×, and 100× greater than the general population. The use of power-assisted tools in spine surgery to facilitate pedicle cannulation through screw placement during open posterior fixation surgery may reduce torque on the upper limb and risk of overuse injury.

Methods: Pedicle preparation and screw placement was performed from T4-L5 in four cadavers by two board-certified spine surgeons using both manual and power-assisted techniques. EMG-recorded muscle activity from the flexor carpi radialis, extensor carpi radialis, biceps, triceps, deltoid, upper trapezius, and neck extensors. Muscle activity was reported as a percentage of the maximum voluntary exertion of each muscle group (%MVE) and muscle exertion was linked to low- (0-20% MVE), moderate- (20%-45% MVE), high- (45%-70% MVE) and highest- (70%-100% MVE) risk of overuse injury based on literature.

Results: Use of power-assisted tools for pedicle cannulation through screw placement maintains average muscle exertion at low risk for overuse injury for every muscle group. Conversely with manual technique, the extensor carpi radialis, biceps, upper trapezius and neck extensors operate at levels of exertion that risk overuse injury for 50% to 92% of procedure time. Power-assisted tools reduce average muscle exertion of the biceps, triceps, and deltoid by upwards of 80%.

Conclusion: Power-assisted technique protects against risk of overuse injury. Elevated muscle exertion of the extensor carpi radialis, biceps, upper trapezius, and neck extensors during manual technique directly correlate with surgeons' self-reported diagnoses of lateral epicondylitis, rotator cuff disease, and cervical myelopathy.Level of Evidence: N/A.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004097DOI Listing
May 2021

Power versus manual pedicle tract preparation: a multi-center study of early adopters.

Spine Deform 2021 Apr 23. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort, multicenter. A single surgeon study demonstrated that pedicle tract preparation with power tools was associated with lower fluoroscopy times and revision rates compared to manual tools, while maintaining patient safety.

Objective: Our purpose was to determine the safety of power-assisted pedicle tract preparation by early adopters of this technology.

Methods: Retrospective review comparing patients that underwent posterior spinal fusion by seven pediatric spine surgeons at six institutions between January 1, 2008 and August 31, 2019. The manual pedicle tract preparation used a pedicle awl. Power tract preparation used a flexible 2.0-2.4 mm drill bit, followed by a larger drill bit or a reamer. All screws were inserted with power technique.

Results: In the manual tract preparation group, 9424 screws were placed in 585 cases. In the power tract preparation group, 22,209 screws were placed in 1367 cases. Seven patients (7/1952; 0.36%; 95% CI: 0.14-0.74%) had 11 mal-positioned screws (11/31,633; 0.03%; 95% CI: 0.017-0.062%). Seven screws (7/9424; 0.07%; 95% CI: 0.030-0.15%) were in the manual cohort and four (4/22,209; 0.02%; 95% CI: 0.0049-0.046%) were in the power cohort. There were significantly more revisions per screw in the manual cohort (p = 0.02). However, there were not significantly more revisions per patient in the manual cohort (manual: 0.5%, 3/585 vs. power: 0.3%, 4/1,367; p = 0.43). Of these seven, three patients (3/585; 0.5%; 95% CI: 0.1-1.5%) experienced neurologic injury or neuro-monitoring changes requiring screw removal in the manual cohort, and 1 patient (1/1,367, 0.07%; 95% CI: 0.002-0.4%) in the power cohort (p = 0.08). Three additional patients underwent revision in the power cohort: 1 for an asymptomatic lateral breech, 1 for a spinal headache/medial breech that developed after an MVA, and 1 for an iliac vein injury during pedicle tract preparation.

Conclusion: This is the first multi-center study examining power pedicle preparation. Overall, 99.9% of pedicle screws placed with power pedicle preparation did not have complications or revision. Equivalent patient safety was demonstrated compared to manual technique.

Level Of Evidence: III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00347-xDOI Listing
April 2021

Surgical Site Infection Following Neuromuscular Posterior Spinal Fusion Fell 72% After Adopting the 2013 Best Practice Guidelines.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Apr 5. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to investigate the incidence of surgical site infection in neuromuscular scoliosis patients at a tertiary children's hospital before and after the implementation of strategies mentioned in the 2013 Best Practice Guideline.

Summary Of Background Data: Patients with neuromuscular scoliosis are at high risk for surgical site infection following spine surgery. In 2013, a Best Practice Guideline for surgical site infection prevention in high-risk pediatric spine surgery patients reported strategies to decrease incidence. To date, no studies have looked at the efficacy of these strategies.

Methods: A retrospective review of surgical site infection in neuromuscular scoliosis patients was performed. Neuromuscular scoliosis patients undergoing primary posterior spinal fusion from January 2008 - December 2012 (Group 1) and January 2014 - December 2018 (Group 2) were included, with 2013 excluded as a transition year. The primary outcome was incidence of surgical site infection within one year of surgery, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and National Healthcare Safety Network. All patients had at least one year of documented follow-up.

Results: 198 patients were included, 62 in Group 1 and 136 in Group 2. Age, BMI, sex, fusion to pelvis, preoperative Cobb angle, incontinence, drain use, blood loss, surgical time, and other perioperative values were similar (p > 0.05). Deep surgical site infection occurred in 10 (16.1%) patients in Group 1 and 6 (4.4%) patients in Group 2 (p = 0.005). Thirteen (59.1%) identified organisms were gram-negative, with 11 (84.6%) isolated from Group 1 (p = 0.047). Polymicrobial infections accounted for 6 (37.5%) infections overall.

Conclusion: The incidence of surgical site infection in neuromuscular scoliosis patients decreased significantly (16.1% versus 4.4%) after the implementation of the strategies mentioned in the 2013 Best Practice Guideline. Further studies are required to continue to decrease the incidence in this high-risk population.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004050DOI Listing
April 2021

C1-C2 Distraction Ligamentous Injury Treated with Halo-Vest Application: A Case Report.

JBJS Case Connect 2021 03 17;11(1). Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

Case: There is a paucity of literature regarding pediatric upper cervical spine traumatic instability, atlanto-occipital dislocations, and fractures, with no clear treatment algorithm. We present a 12-year-old girl with significant posterior C1-C2 distraction and resultant ligamentous injury after a motor vehicle collision who was treated with a halo vest for 3 months. At 8-month follow-up, follow-up magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated complete ligamentous healing without instability on dynamic radiographs, and at 18-month follow-up, the patient made a full recovery.

Conclusion: In some pediatric patients with isolated posterior ligamentous injury, as long as anatomic alignment can be achieved with halo-vest application, a fusion may be avoided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.CC.20.00456DOI Listing
March 2021

Obesity as a Predictor of Outcomes in Type III & IV Supracondylar Humerus Fractures.

J Orthop Trauma 2021 Feb 6. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

Objectives: To investigate the association of obesity with fracture characteristics and outcomes of operatively treated pediatric supracondylar humerus fractures.

Design: Retrospective multicenter.

Setting: Two Level I pediatric hospitals.

Patients: Patients (age < 18 years) with operatively treated Gartland type III and IV fractures 2010-2014.

Intervention: Closed or open reduction and percutaneous pinning of supracondylar humerus fractures.

Main Outcome Measurement: Incidence of Gartland IV fracture, pre-operative nerve palsy, open reduction and complication rates.

Results: Patients in the obese group had a significantly higher likelihood of having a Gartland IV fracture (NOT OBESE: 17%, OBESE: 35%, p =0.007). There was a significantly higher incidence of nerve palsy on presentation in the OBESE group (NOT OBESE: 20%, OBESE: 33%, p=0.03). No significant differences were found between groups regarding incidence of open reduction, compartment syndrome and rates of re-operation.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that obese children with a completely displaced supracondylar humerus fractures have an increased risk of Gartland type IV and pre-operative nerve palsy compared to normal weight children.

Level Of Evidence: Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BOT.0000000000002081DOI Listing
February 2021

Pain for Greater Than 4 Days Is Highly Predictive of Concomitant Osteomyelitis in Children With Septic Arthritis.

J Pediatr Orthop 2021 Apr;41(4):255-259

Children's Orthopedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Background: There is no evidence-based consensus on the risk factors for concomitant osteomyelitis and septic arthritis. The purpose of this study was to investigate clinical parameters predictive of concomitant osteomyelitis in children with septic arthritis.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted on patients with septic arthritis with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) between January 2004 and October 2016 at a tertiary care pediatric hospital. Medical charts were reviewed for information including symptoms, diagnosis of osteomyelitis, serum laboratory studies, joint fluid analyses, imaging results, and treatment. Positive diagnosis of osteomyelitis was defined as a hyperintense signal of osseous structures on T2-weighted MRI consistent with infection per attending pediatric radiologist final read.

Results: A total of 71 patients with 73 septic joints were included. The mean age was 6±4 (0.1 to 17) years and the mean follow-up was 14.9±24.1 (1.0 to 133.1) months. Septic arthritis with concomitant osteomyelitis occurred in 43 of 71 (61%) patients, whereas 28 of 71 (39%) patients had septic arthritis alone. Inflammatory markers such as white blood cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein on admission were not associated with concomitant osteomyelitis. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that positive joint fluid bacterial culture (P=0.021) and pain for >4 days before admission (P=0.004) are independent risk factors for concomitant osteomyelitis in children with septic arthritis. Among the 24 septic arthritis patients with pain for >4 days before presentation, 96% (23/24) had concomitant osteomyelitis, whereas 43% (20/47) of patients with pain for ≤4 days had concomitant osteomyelitis.

Conclusion: Pain for >4 days before presentation is an independent predictor of osteomyelitis in children with septic arthritis. In pediatric septic arthritis, MRI should be considered, particularly in patients presenting with pain for >4 days as 96% of these patients had concomitant osteomyelitis.

Level Of Evidence: Level III-retrospective comparative study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001771DOI Listing
April 2021

Comparing health-related quality of life and burden of care between early-onset scoliosis patients treated with magnetically controlled growing rods and traditional growing rods: a multicenter study.

Spine Deform 2021 Jan 26;9(1):239-245. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Study Design: Multicenter retrospective cohort study.

Objectives: To compare pre-operative and post-operative EOSQ-24 scores in magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGR) and traditional growing rod (TGR) patients. Since the introduction of MCGR, early-onset scoliosis patients have been afforded a reduction in the number of surgeries compared to the TGR technique. However, little is known about (health-related quality of life) and burden of care outcomes between these surgical techniques.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study using a multicenter registry on patients with EOS undergoing MCGR or TGR between 2008 and 2017. The EOSQ-24 was administered at preoperative and postoperative 2-year assessments. The EOSQ-24 scores were compared between MCGR and TGR as well as preoperatively and postoperatively within each procedure.

Results: 110 patients were analyzed in this study (TGR, N = 32; MCGR, N = 78). There were no significant differences in preoperative age, gender, etiology, main coronal curve or maximum kyphosis between TGR and MCGR groups. Patients with TGR had averaged 3.9 surgical lengthenings and MCGR had averaged 7.7 non-invasive lengthenings by the 2-year follow-up. When changes in preoperative to postoperative scores were compared, MCGR had more improvements in pain, emotion, child satisfaction and parent satisfaction than TGR although there were no statistical significance. When analyzed separately, MCGR cohort had improvement in scores for all four domains and four sub-domains; while, TGR cohort only had improvement in financial burden domain and pulmonary function sub-domain.

Conclusion: Although there was no statistical significance, the improvement in pain, emotion and satisfaction scores was larger in MCGR than TGR. Since these areas can be influenced more by mental well-being than other sub-domains, the results may prove our hypothesis that compared to TGR, MCGR with reduced number of surgeries have better psychosocial effects.

Level Of Evidence: III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00173-7DOI Listing
January 2021

Using a dedicated spine radiology technologist is associated with reduced fluoroscopy time, radiation dose, and surgical time in pediatric spinal deformity surgery.

Spine Deform 2021 Jan 11;9(1):85-89. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective comparative study OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to investigate fluoroscopy time and radiation exposure during pediatric spine surgery using a dedicated radiology technologist with extensive experience in spine operating rooms. Repetitive use of intraoperative fluoroscopy during posterior spinal fusion (PSF) exposes the patient, surgeon, and staff to radiation.

Methods: Retrospective review was conducted on patients with posterior spinal fusion (PSF) of ≥ 7 levels for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) at a pediatric hospital from 2015 to 2019. Cases covered by the dedicated radiology technologist (dedicated group) were compared to all other cases (non-dedicated group). Surgical and radiologic variables were compared between groups.

Results: 230 patients were included. 112/230 (49%) were in the dedicated group and 118/230 (51%) were in the non-dedicated group. Total fluoroscopy time was significantly reduced in cases with the dedicated technologist (46 s) compared to those without (69 s) (p = 0.001). Radiation dose area product (DAP) and air kerma (AK) were reduced by 43% (p < 0.001) and 42% (p < 0.001) in the dedicated group, respectively. The dedicated group also had reduced total surgical time (4.1 vs. 3.5 h; p < 0.001) and estimated blood loss (447 vs. 378 cc (; p = 0.02). Multivariate regression revealed that using a dedicated radiology technologist was independently associated with decreased fluoroscopy time (p = 0.001), DAP (p < 0.001), AK (p < 0.001), surgical time (p < 0.001), and EBL (p = 0.02).

Conclusions: In AIS patients undergoing PSF, using a dedicated radiology technologist was independently associated with significant reductions in fluoroscopy time, radiation exposure, surgical time, and EBL. This adds to the growing body of research demonstrating that the experience level of the team-not just that of the surgeon-is necessary for optimal outcomes.

Level Of Evidence: III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00183-5DOI Listing
January 2021

Variability in stable sagittal vertebra (SSV) during full-length biplanar xrays can affect the choice of fusion levels in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Spine Deform 2020 Dec 14;8(6):1261-1267. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Department of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York Presbyterian, Columbia University Medical Center, ATTN: Michael Vitale, 3959 Broadway, CHONY 8-N, New York, NY, 10032-3784, USA.

Purpose: Surgical planning for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) relies on the coronal and sagittal plane to determine the lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV). Failure to include the stable sagittal vertebra (SSV) within the construct can increase the incidence of postoperative distal junctional kyphosis (DJK). The purpose of this study is to assess the variability of SSV within patients and to identify positional parameters that may lead to its change.

Methods: This is a case-control study of AIS patients with changes in SSV throughout serial radiographs. Radiographic sagittal parameters and hand positioning for the patients with changes in SSV were compared to patients with stable SSV. Additionally, a subgroup analysis was conducted to compare the positional parameters of only the patients with changes in SSV.

Results: 46 patients with a mean age of 15 ± 1.8 years old at the time of surgery were included in this study. 33/76 (43.4%) image pairs were found to have a change in SSV. Positional parameters associated with the more distally measured SSV were found to have a more negative sagittal vertebral axis (p = 0.001), more positive pelvic shift (p = 0.023), and more negative Global Sagittal Axis (p = 0.001) when compared to the more proximally measured SSV.

Conclusion: Significant variability exists in the determination of SSV in AIS patients undergoing serial radiographs. Positional parameters associated with the proximal and distally measured SSV also have variability which indicates that posture has a significant impact on this measure. Surgeons need to be aware of SSV variability during preoperative planning and must consider multiple parameters for the determination of LIV.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00166-6DOI Listing
December 2020

Standing in Schroth trained position significantly changes Cobb angle and leg length discrepancy: a pilot study.

Spine Deform 2020 Dec 26;8(6):1185-1192. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Children's Orthopedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd, MS#69, Los Angeles, CA, 90027, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective.

Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate if standing in a Schroth trained position influences the radiographic assessment of Cobb angle and other radiographic parameters compared to a normal standing position. Schroth method has been associated with improved Cobb angle. This study aims to evaluate if standing in the Schroth trained position influences radiographic assessment of Cobb angle compared to a normal standing position.

Methods: This is a retrospective review of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) who were participating in Schroth therapy at the time of radiographs. Ten pairs of radiographs were included in this study. Each pair consisted of two micro-dose biplanar PA thoracolumbar spine radiographs obtained on the same day, one with the patient standing in the Schroth trained position and one in their normal standing position. Each pair of radiographs was independently evaluated by three attending pediatric spine surgeons for Cobb angle, coronal balance, shoulder balance, and leg length discrepancy, for a total of 30 paired readings (3 readings for each of the 10 pairs of radiographs).

Results: Major Cobb angle was a mean of 6° less (p = 0.02) and the compensatory curve was 5° less (p = 0.03) in the Schroth trained position compared to their normal standing position. Neither coronal balance (p = 0.40) nor shoulder balance (p = 0.16) was significantly different. Mean leg length discrepancy was 6.8 mm greater in the Schroth trained versus normal position (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Standing in a Schroth trained position for a PA spine radiograph was associated with a mean change in major Cobb angle of 6° compared to a normal standing position. If bracing was recommended for curves > 25° and surgery for curves > 45°, different treatment recommendations would have been made in 33% (10/30) of attendings' readings for the Schroth versus normally paired radiographs taken on the same day on the same patient. Studies evaluating the effect of Schroth therapy on Cobb angle must report if patients are standing in a normal or Schroth trained position during radiographs for conclusions to be valid, or differences may be due to a temporary, voluntary change in posture.

Level Of Evidence: III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00157-7DOI Listing
December 2020

The Effect of Spinopelvic Parameters on the Development of Proximal Junctional Kyphosis in Early Onset: Mean 4.5-Year Follow-up.

J Pediatr Orthop 2020 Jul;40(6):261-266

Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS.

Background: Proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) is a major complication after posterior spinal surgery. It is diagnosed radiographically based on a proximal junctional angle (PJA) and clinically when proximal extension is required. We hypothesized that abnormal spinopelvic alignment will increase the risk of PJK in children with early-onset scoliosis (EOS).

Methods: A retrospective study of 135 children with EOS from 2 registries, who were treated with distraction-based implants. Etiologies included 54 congenital, 10 neuromuscular, 37 syndromic, 32 idiopathic, and 2 unknown. A total of 89 rib-based and 46 spine-based surgeries were performed at a mean age of 5.3±2.83 years. On sagittal radiographs, spinopelvic parameters were measured preoperatively and at last follow-up: scoliosis angle (Cobb method, CA), thoracic kyphosis (TK), lumbar lordosis (LL), pelvic incidence (PI), pelvic tilt (PT), sacral slope and PJA. Radiographic PJK was defined as PJA≥10 degrees and PJA≥10 degrees greater than preoperative measurement. The requirement for the proximal extension of the upper instrumented vertebrae was considered a proximal junctional failure (PJF). Analysis of risk factors for the development of PJK and PJF was performed.

Results: At final follow-up (mean: 4.5±2.6 y), CA decreased (P<0.005), LL (P=0.029), and PI (P<0.005) increased, whereas PI-LL (pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis) did not change (P=0.706). Overall, 38% of children developed radiographic PJK and 18% developed PJF. Preoperative TK>50 degrees was a risk factor for the development of radiographic PJK (relative risk: 1.67, P=0.04). Children with high postoperative CA [hazard ratio (HR): 1.03, P=0.015], postoperative PT≥30 degrees (HR: 2.77, P=0.043), PI-LL>20 degrees (HR: 2.92, P=0.034), as well as greater preoperative to postoperative changes in PT (HR: 1.05, P=0.004), PI (HR: 1.06, P=0.0004) and PI-LL (HR: 1.03, P=0.013) were more likely to develop PJF. Children with rib-based constructs were less likely to develop radiographic PJK compared with children with spine-based distraction constructs (31% vs. 54%, respectively, P=0.038).

Conclusions: In EOS patients undergoing growth-friendly surgery for EOS, preoperative TK>50 degrees was associated with increased risk for radiographic PJK. Postoperative PI-LL>20 degrees, PT≥30 degrees, and overcorrection of PT and PI-LL increased risk for PJF. Rib-based distraction construct decreased the risk for radiographic PJK in contrast with the spine-based constructs.

Level Of Evidence: Level III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001516DOI Listing
July 2020

Characterizing Use of Growth-friendly Implants for Early-onset Scoliosis: A 10-Year Update.

J Pediatr Orthop 2020 Sep;40(8):e740-e746

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Background: Growth-friendly treatment of early-onset scoliosis (EOS) has changed with the development and evolution of multiple devices. This study was designed to characterize changes in the use of growth-friendly implants for EOS from 2007 to 2017.

Methods: We queried the Pediatric Spine Study Group database for patients who underwent index surgery with growth-friendly implants from July 2007 to June 2017. In 1298 patients, we assessed causes of EOS; preoperative curve magnitude; age at first surgery; patient sex; construct type; lengthening interval; incidence of "final" fusion for definitive treatment; and age at definitive treatment. α=0.05.

Results: From 2007 to 2017, the annual proportion of patients with idiopathic EOS increased from 12% to 33% (R=0.58, P=0.006). Neuromuscular EOS was the most common type at all time points (range, 33% to 44%). By year, mean preoperative curve magnitude ranged from 67 to 77 degrees, with no significant temporal changes. Mean (±SD) age at first surgery increased from 6.1±2.9 years in 2007 to 7.8±2.5 years in 2017 (R=0.78, P<0.001). As a proportion of new implants, magnetically controlled growing rods increased from <5% during the first 2 years to 83% in the last 2 years of the study. Vertically expandable prosthetic titanium ribs decreased from a peak of 48% to 6%; growth-guidance devices decreased from 10% to 3%. No change was seen in mean surgical lengthening intervals (range, 6 to 9 mo) for the 614 patients with recorded lengthenings. Final fusion was performed in 88% of patients who had undergone definitive treatment, occurring at a mean age of 13.4±2.4 years.

Conclusions: From 2007 to 2017, neuromuscular EOS was the most common diagnosis for patients treated with growth-friendly implants. Patient age at first surgery and the use of magnetically controlled growing rods increased during this time. Preoperative curve magnitude, traditional growing rod lengthening intervals, and rates of final fusion did not change.

Level Of Evidence: Level II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001594DOI Listing
September 2020

Growth-preserving instrumentation in early-onset scoliosis patients with multi-level congenital anomalies.

Spine Deform 2020 10 25;8(5):1117-1130. Epub 2020 May 25.

University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective.

Objectives: To assess final outcomes in patients with early-onset scoliosis (EOS) who underwent growth-preserving instrumentation (GPI). Various types of growth-preserving instrumentation (GPI) are frequently employed, but until recently had not been utilized long enough to assess final outcomes.

Methods: GPI "graduates" with multi-level congenital curves were identified. Graduation was defined as a final fusion or 5 years of follow-up without planned future surgeries. Outcomes included radiographic parameters and complications.

Results: 26 patients were included. 11 had associated diagnoses; eight had fused ribs. 17 were treated with traditional growing rods, seven with vertically expandable prosthetic ribs, and two with Shilla procedures. The mean GPI spanned 12.3 levels including 10.7 motion segments, age at index surgery was 5.5 years, treatment spanned 7.5 years, and follow-up was 9.2 years. 24 patients underwent final fusion. Mean major curve decreased from 73° to 49° with index surgery (p < 0.01) and remained unchanged through a final follow-up. Final major curve was < 40° in 9 patients (35%), 40°-60° in 11 patients (42%), and > 60° in 6 patients (23%). None worsened throughout treatment. Mean T1-T12 height increased 2.4 cm with index surgery (p = 0.02) and 5.4 cm total (p < 0.01). T1-T12 height increased in all patients and was ultimately < 18 cm in 10 patients (38%), 18-22 cm in 10 patients (38%), and > 22 cm in 6 patients (23%). On average, there were 2.6 complications per patient, including 1.7 implant failures. 12 patients (46%) experienced ≥ 3 complications; four patients (15%) experienced none.

Conclusion: We observed successful prevention of deformity progression but substantial residual deformity among GPI graduates with multi-level congenital EOS. Most coronal curve correction was attained during GPI implantation; thoracic height improved throughout treatment. While some favorable results were found, treatment strategies allowing improved deformity correction would be valuable for this challenging population.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic-III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00124-2DOI Listing
October 2020

40% reoperation rate in adolescents with spondylolisthesis.

Spine Deform 2020 10 6;8(5):1059-1067. Epub 2020 May 6.

Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd, Mailstop #69, Los Angeles, CA, 90027, USA.

Study Design: Multicenter retrospective.

Objective: To determine the long-term complication rate associated with surgical treatment of spondylolisthesis in adolescents. There is limited information on the complication rate associated with posterior spinal fusion (PSF) of spondylolisthesis in the pediatric and adolescent population.

Methods: Patients who underwent PSF for spondylolisthesis between 2004 and 2015 at four spine centers, < 21 years of age, were included. Exclusion criteria were < 2 years of follow-up or anterior approach. Charts and radiographs were reviewed.

Results: 50 patients had PSF for spondylolisthesis, 26 had PSF alone, while 24 had PSF with trans-foraminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Mean age was 13.9 years (range 9.6-18.4). Mean follow-up was 5.5 years (range 2-15). Mean preoperative slip was 61.2%. 20/50 patients (40%) experienced 23 complications requiring reoperation at a mean of 2.1 years (range 0-9.3) for the following: implant failure (12), persistent radiculopathy (3), infection (3), persistent back pain (2), extension of fusion (2), and hematoma (1). In addition, there were 22 cases of radiculopathy (44%) that were transient. Rate of implant failure was related to preoperative slip angle (p = 0.02). Reoperation rate and rates of implant failure were not associated with preoperative % slip (reoperation: p = 0.42, implant failure: p = 0.15), postoperative % slip (reoperation: p = 0.42, implant failure: p = 0.99), postoperative kyphosis of the lumbosacral angle (reoperation: p = 0.81, implant failure: p = 0.48), change in % slip (reoperation: p = 0.30, implant failure: p = 0.12), change in slip angle (reoperation: p = 0.42, implant failure: p = 0.40), graft used (reoperation: p = 0.22, implant failure: p = 0.81), or addition of a TLIF (reoperation: p = 0.55, implant failure: p = 0.76).

Conclusion: PSF of spondylolisthesis in the adolescent population was associated with a 40% reoperation rate and high rate of post-operative radiculopathy. Addition of a TLIF did not impact reoperation rate or rate of radiculopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00121-5DOI Listing
October 2020

High Parental Anxiety Increases Narcotic Use in Adolescent Patients Following Spinal Fusion.

J Pediatr Orthop 2020 Oct;40(9):e794-e797

Children's Orthopedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.

Background: Parental mental status and behavior may influence postoperative recovery and the use of pain medication. The purpose of this study is to identify if parents with high anxiety are associated with prolonged narcotic use in adolescent patients following posterior spinal fusion surgery. Prolonged narcotic use in this study was defined as opioid use at their first postoperative visit.

Methods: AIS patients age 11 to 20 years undergoing posterior spinal fusion and a parent were prospectively enrolled. At the preoperative appointment, patients completed the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale and parents completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. High parental anxiety was defined as 1 SD above the normative mean. At the first postoperative visit, patients were asked about medication use.

Results: A total of 58 patients (49 females and 9 males) were enrolled. Overall, 29% (17/58) of parents had a high general anxiety trait on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and 71% (41/58) had normal general anxiety. Of the patients whose parents had high general anxiety, 47% (8/17) were still taking narcotics at their first postoperative visit compared with 20% (8/41) of patients with normal anxiety parents (P=0.03).

Conclusions: Patients with high general anxiety parents were more than twice as likely to still be on narcotics at their first postoperative visit. This information can be used to counsel families on the impact of anxiety on narcotic usage.

Level Of Evidence: Level II-prognostic studies-investigating the effect of a patient characteristic on the outcome of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001549DOI Listing
October 2020

Intraoperative Ultrasound Provides Dynamic, Real-Time Evaluation of the Spinal Cord and Can Be Useful in Cases of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Signal Changes: A Report of 3 Cases.

JBJS Case Connect 2020 Jan-Mar;10(1):e0501

Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

Cases: We describe 3 pediatric spinal deformity cases that experienced neuromonitoring changes or neurologic changes in which intraoperative ultrasound allowed for evaluation of the site of cord compression to direct management. This resulted in complete neurologic recovery in all 3 patients.

Conclusions: Intraoperative ultrasound is a useful adjunct in pediatric orthopaedic spine surgery with neuromonitoring signal loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.CC.18.00501DOI Listing
January 2021

Five or more proximal anchors and including upper end vertebra protects against reoperation in distraction-based growing rods.

Spine Deform 2020 08 3;8(4):781-786. Epub 2020 Mar 3.

Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective multi-center enrollment.

Objective: To examine the impact of patient and surgical factors on proximal complication and revision rates of early onset scoliosis patients using a multicenter database. Proximal anchor pullout and junctional kyphosis are common causes necessitating revision surgery during growth friendly treatment of early onset scoliosis (EOS). Many options exist for proximal fixation and may impact the rate of these complications.

Methods: Retrospective review of multicenter database of patients with growth friendly constructs for EOS. Inclusion criteria were patients with index instrumentation < 10 years of age and minimum of 2 year follow-up.

Results: 353 patients met the inclusion criteria and had the following constructs: growing rods with spine anchors = 303; growing rods with rib anchors = 15 and VEPTR = 35. Mean age at index instrumentation was 6.0 years. Mean preoperative Cobb angle was 76° and mean kyphosis was 54°. Mean follow-up was 6.0 years. 21.8% of patients (77/353) experienced anchor pullout. Lower anchor pullout rates were associated with a higher numbers of proximal anchors (p = 0.003, r = - 0.157), and 5 or more anchors were associated with lower rates of anchor pullout (p = 0.014). Anchor type (rib hooks vs spine anchors vs rib cradle) did not impact rate of anchor pullout (p = 0.853). Kyphosis data was available for 198 patients. 23.2% (46/198) of these patients required proximal extension of their construct after index surgery. Initial instrumentation below the upper end vertebrae (UEV) of kyphosis was associated with higher rates of subsequent proximal revision; 28.9% (20/69) compared to 20.1% (26/129) for those instrumented at or above the UEV (p = 0.035). Preoperative kyphosis and change in thoracic kyphosis were not associated with anchor pullout (p = 0.436, p = 0.115) or proximal revision rates (p = 0.486, p = 0.401).

Conclusion: Five or more anchors are associated with lower rates of anchor pullout. Proximal anchor placement at or above the UEV resulted in a significant decrease in rates of proximal extension of the construct.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00064-xDOI Listing
August 2020

Dedicated spine nurses and scrub technicians improve intraoperative efficiency of surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2020 04 24;8(2):171-176. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Children's Orthopedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd., MS#69, Los Angeles, CA, 90027, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective comparative study.

Objective: To determine how the use of dedicated spine surgical nurses and scrub technicians impacted surgical outcomes of posterior spinal fusions for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Dedicated team approaches to surgery have been shown to improve surgical outcomes. However, their study on orthopaedics and spine surgery is limited.

Methods: A retrospective review of all patients who underwent a primary posterior spinal fusion of seven or more levels for AIS at a tertiary care pediatric hospital with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up from 2006 to 2013 was conducted. Our institution had dedicated spine surgeons and anesthesiologists throughout the study period, but use of dedicated spine nurses and scrub technicians was variable. The relationship between the proportion of nurses and scrub technicians that were dedicated spine and surgical outcome variables was examined. A multiple regression was performed to control for the surgeon performing the case and the start time.

Results: A total of 146 patients met criteria. When teams were composed of < 60% dedicated spine nurses and scrub technicians, there was 34 min more total OR time (p = .008), 27 min more surgical time (p = .037), 7 min more nonsurgical OR time (p = .030), 30% more estimated blood loss (EBL) (p = .013), 27% more EBL per level instrumented (p = .020), 113% more allogeneic transfusion (p = .006), and 104% more allogeneic transfusion per level instrumented (p = .009). There was no significant difference in length of stay, unplanned staged procedures, surgical site infection, reoperation, or major medical complications.

Conclusions: Performing posterior spinal fusions for AIS patients with dedicated spine nurses and scrub technicians is associated with a significant decrease in total OR time, blood loss, and transfusion rates.

Level Of Evidence: III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00037-0DOI Listing
April 2020

Growth guidance constructs with apical fusion and sliding pedicle screws (SHILLA) results in approximately 1/3rd of normal T1-S1 growth.

Spine Deform 2020 06 24;8(3):531-535. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective, multicenter.

Objective: To investigate clinical outcomes in particular T1-S1 growth in patients with SHILLA instrumentation independent of inventor's reports. Guided growth with apical fusion and sliding pedicle screws (GGC/SHILLA) is an alternative to distraction-based growing rods for the treatment of EOS. A recent report of patients treated with GGC primarily at the center where the procedure was invented reported surprisingly good spinal growth similar to normal growth.

Methods: Retrospective review of EOS patients treated with GGC between 2007 and 2013 was performed from a multicenter database prior to final fusion. Inclusion criteria were < 10 years at index surgery and minimum 2-year follow-up. Patients with GGC performed at the inventor's institution or prior spinal instrumentation were excluded. Predicted normal T1-S1 change during the growth period was calculated for each patient based on Dimeglio's growth rates.

Results: 20 patients (mean age at surgery: 5.7 years) with the following diagnoses met inclusion criteria: syndromic (N = 9), neuromuscular (N = 5), idiopathic (N = 3) and congenital (N = 3). Preoperative mean Cobb was 77° (range 33°-111°). Mean increase in T1-S1 length from preoperative to postoperative was 51.5 mm, and change from postoperative to final follow-up was 21.8 mm (4.2 mm/year) which was 36% of predicted growth. 15/20 (75%) patients underwent 21 revision surgeries most commonly for implant complications (N = 26) and 8/20 (40%) underwent definitive fusion at a mean of 5.1 ± 1.2 years after guided growth surgery.

Conclusion: This study constitutes the largest case series of patients with EOS treated with GGC outside of the inventor's institution. The change in T1-S1 observed through the follow-up period in EOS patients treated with GGC was approximately 1/3rd of predicted normal growth, and less than 1/3rd of growth reported in previous reports. Similar curve correction and complication rates but less T1-S1 growth during the growth period were found compared to prior GGC (SHILLA) series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00076-7DOI Listing
June 2020

Two cases of paralysis secondary to aneurysmal bone cysts with complete neurologic recovery.

Spine Deform 2020 04 11;8(2):339-344. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, 4650 Sunset Blvd, MS#69, Los Angeles, CA, 90027, USA.

Design: Case report (retrospective).

Objective: These two cases of paralysis secondary to aneurysmal bone cysts (ABCs) demonstrated complete neurologic recovery following decompression and posterior spinal fusion. Although neurologic injury from ABCs has been described, information about the prognosis in the pediatric population is limited.

Methods: We review two cases of paralysis caused by ABCs in the thoracic spine in pediatric patients.

Results: Two patients (aged 12 and 13 years) presented to our emergency department with inability to ambulate and 0/5 strength in their lower extremities due to spinal cord compression from ABCs in their thoracic spine. Both patients had been unable to ambulate (case 1: nonambulatory for 2 weeks before presentation; case 2: nonambulatory for 1 week before presentation). The second patient also had loss of bowel and bladder control. They were managed with decompression and posterior spinal fusion. Both patients made complete neurologic recoveries.

Conclusions: It is unclear whether age, chronicity of compression, or other factors contributed; nevertheless, the recovery in these two similar patients far exceeded initial expectations, especially in the case that presented as an American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale class A.

Level Of Evidence: Level V.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-019-00023-1DOI Listing
April 2020

Isolated femoral shaft fractures in children rarely require a blood transfusion.

Injury 2020 Mar 8;51(3):642-646. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles 4650 Sunset Blvd, MS#69, Los Angeles, CA 90027 United States. Electronic address:

Background: No recent study has examined how a trend toward surgical fixation for pediatric femoral shaft fractures has impacted blood loss and transfusion requirements. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors influencing transfusions in the treatment of pediatric femoral shaft fractures.

Methods: A retrospective review of patients with femoral shaft fractures treated surgically from 2004 - 2017 at a tertiary pediatric hospital was conducted. Electronic medical records were reviewed for fixation method, additional injuries, blood loss (estimated blood loss (EBL), hemoglobin, hematocrit) and transfusion. The relationship between fixation method with blood loss and transfusion was examined. Two groups were compared, those with and without additional injuries. Additional injuries were defined as additional fractures and/or abdominal, chest, or head injuries.

Results: 172 patients met inclusion criteria. There were 129 patients with isolated femoral shaft fractures and 43 patients with femoral shaft fractures and concomitant additional injuries. The transfusion rate in patients with isolated femoral shaft fractures was 0.8% (1/129) which was significantly lower than in patients with additional injuries; 39.5% (17/43) (p < 0.05). In patients with additional injuries, there was a significant relationship between number of additional surgeries and odds of transfusion (OR=2.1, CI: 1.2-3.6, p < 0.05). In patients with isolated femoral shaft fractures, EBL was higher in patients treated with rigid intramedullary nails (148.5 ± 119.0 mL) than flexible intramedullary nails (34.1 ± 56.3 mL) (p < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in transfusion or changes in hemoglobin/hematocrit between fixation methods in patients with isolated femoral shaft fractures.

Conclusion: Pediatric patients with surgically treated isolated femoral shaft fractures rarely require transfusion (<1%), while patients with femoral shaft fractures and additional injuries had a high transfusion rate (39.5%). Surgical fixation method had a significant impact on EBL, with rigid intramedullary nail fixation having a significantly higher EBL than flexible intramedullary nails, however it did not lead to higher rates of transfusions. Blood transfusions are rarely needed in isolated femoral shaft fractures, despite the trend towards increase in surgical fixation and newer fixation techniques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.injury.2020.01.005DOI Listing
March 2020

Prospective Evaluation of a Treatment Protocol Based on Fracture Displacement for Pediatric Lateral Condyle Humerus Fractures: A Preliminary Study.

J Pediatr Orthop 2020 Aug;40(7):e541-e546

Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.

Background: To prospectively evaluate a displacement-based classification system and an outcome-derived algorithm in the treatment of children with lateral condyle fractures.

Methods: All children with a lateral condyle fracture were prospectively enrolled at our institution between 2013 and 2016. Fractures were classified and treated on the basis of the following classification system: type 1: <2 mm; treated with long arm casting, type II: 2 to 4 mm; treated with closed reduction and percutaneous pinning (CRPP), and type III: >4 mm; open reduction and percutaneous pinning (ORPP). Functional outcomes were assessed at 6 to 12 weeks and at 1-year follow-ups using the Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI).

Results: A total of 55 patients (mean age, 6 y; range 2 to 12 y) were prospectively enrolled. There were 17 (31%) type I fractures treated with a long arm cast, 8 (15%) type II treated with CRPP, and 30 (54%) type III treated with ORPP. Postoperative complications included delayed union (N=5) and pin site infection (N=3). Delayed unions on the basis of fracture type was type I (1/17, 6%), type II (1/8, 13%), and type III (3/30, 10%) (P=0.85). The rate of delayed unions in type II and III fractures fixed with k-wires was 11% (4/38). Four patients required a second operation with screw fixation. No significant differences were found across PODCI domains at 1-year follow-up when comparing our study population with normative data.

Conclusions: This is the first prospective study of a treatment protocol for pediatric lateral condyle fractures and validates the use of displacement as a guide for best evidence-based treatment. Children with a lateral condyle fracture can achieve excellent functional outcomes in all classification types with comparable complication rates when radiographic fracture displacement is used to guide surgical and clinical decision making.

Level Of Evidence: Level II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001491DOI Listing
August 2020

Bilateral Congenital Posterior Hemivertebrae and Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Treated With Posterior Spinal Fusion and Instrumentation.

J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev 2019 Oct 2;3(10). Epub 2019 Oct 2.

Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (Dr. Nazareth, Dr. Andras, Dr. Krieger, and Dr. Skaggs); the Children's Orthopaedic Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (Dr. Nazareth, Dr. Andras, and Dr. Skaggs); and the Department of Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (Dr. Krieger).

Posterior hemivertebrae are wedge shaped deformities that can result in progressive kyphosis. Surgical intervention at an early age may be required, however choice of surgical technique is controversial. The aim of this report was to describe a case of progressive congenital lumbar kyphosis and bilateral posterior hemivertebra with retropulsion of tissue into the spinal canal treated successfully by posterior spinal fusion and instrumentation without anterior hemivertebra resection or decompression. We report on a patient with bilateral lumbar posterior hemivertebra at L1-L2 treated with posterior spinal fusion and instrumentation at less than 1 year of age. At 10 mo of age, the patient underwent posterior spinal fusion and instrumentation with resection of L1 and L2 posterior elements. No resection of the anterior aspect of the bilateral hemivertebrae was performed. Correction of the kyphotic deformity was maintained at last radiographic follow-up at five years post-operatively and there is no evidence of spinal stenosis. Early intervention with resection of posterior elements and fusion with instrumentation for bilateral congenital lumbar hemivertebrae provided adequate deformity correction and maintenance of the spinal canal width without anterior resection. Despite his young age, instrumentation was both feasible and beneficial in maintaining alignment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5435/JAAOSGlobal-D-19-00054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6855501PMC
October 2019

Pelvic Obliquity Correction in Distraction-Based Growth Friendly Implants.

Spine Deform 2019 11;7(6):985-991

Children's Spine Study Group, P.O. Box 397, Valley Forge, PA 19481, USA.

Design: Multicenter retrospective review.

Objective: To evaluate radiographic outcomes and complication rates of patients treated with distraction based implants and pelvic fixation with either screws (sacral-alar-iliac [SAI] screws or iliac screws) or hooks (S hook iliac fixation).

Summary Of Background Data: Multiple options exist for pelvic fixation in distraction-based growing rod systems; however, limited comparative data are available.

Methods: Early-onset scoliosis (EOS) patients of all diagnoses with distraction-based implants that had pelvic fixation from 2000 to 2013 were reviewed from two EOS multicenter databases. Patients were divided into two groups by type of pelvic fixation: (1) screw group (SAI screws or iliac screws) or (2) S hooks. Exclusion criteria were as follows: index instrumentation ≥10 years old and follow up <2 years. A total of 153 patients met the inclusion criteria. Mean age at index surgery was 6.1 years (range 1.0-9.9 years) and mean follow-up was 4.9 years.

Results: Pelvic fixation in the 153 patients was as follows: screw group = 42 and S hook group = 111. When comparing patients with >20° of initial pelvic obliquity, the screw group had significantly more correction; mean 26° ± 13° for the screw group versus mean 17° ± 7° in the S hook group (p = .039). There was no significant difference in change in T1-S1 length (40 vs. 39 mm, p = .89) or correction of Cobb angle (30° vs. 24°, p = .24). The total complication rate for the screw group was 14% (6/42) versus 25% (28/111) in the S hook group, though this did not achieve significance (p = .25). The most common complications were device migration (13), implant failure (8), and implant prominence (4) for S hooks and implant failure (3), implant prominence (2), and device migration (1) for the screw group.

Conclusion: In distraction-based growth-friendly constructs, pelvic fixation with screws achieved better correction of pelvic obliquity than S hooks. Complications were almost twice as common with S hooks than screws, though this did not reach statistical significance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2019.03.003DOI Listing
November 2019