Publications by authors named "Joshua M Pahys"

83 Publications

Modified Clavien-Dindo-sink classification system for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2021 Aug 5. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Children' Healthcare of Atlanta, 1400 Tullie Road, Atlanta, GA, 30329, USA.

Purpose: The Clavien-Dindosink (CDS) classification system provides more treatment-focused granularity than subjective methods of describing surgical complications; however, it has not been validated in posterior spinal fusion (PSF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). The purpose of this study was to modify the CDS system for application in patients with AIS undergoing PSF to assess its inter- and intra-rater reliability for describing complications faced by this population.

Methods: A review of all complications specific to patients with AIS captured in a large multicenter international database was performed. All complications were classified according to CDS, modified by addition of "prolonged initial hospital stay" as a criterion for Grade II. A survey of this complication list and an additional 20 clinical vignettes (sent out on two occasions) was sent to nine spinal deformity surgeons. Weighted kappa values were used to determine inter- and intra-rater reliability.

Results: The Fleiss κ value for interrater reliability among 5 respondents grading all AIS complications was 0.8 (very good). For each grade, interrater reliability was very good, with an overall range of 0.8-1. The overall kappa value for intrarater reliability among eight respondents grading 20 vignettes was between 0.6 (good) and 0.9 (very good).

Conclusion: The modified CDS classification system has very good interrater and intrarater reliability in describing complications following PSF in patients with AIS. This system may be of greater utility for reporting outcomes than a "major" versus "minor" complication system and can serve as a valuable tool for improving surgical practices and patient outcomes in this population.

Level Of Evidence: IV case series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00394-4DOI Listing
August 2021

Inter- and intra-rater reliability and accuracy of Sanders Skeletal Maturity Staging System when used by surgeons performing vertebral body tethering.

Spine Deform 2021 Jul 22. Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Purpose: Pediatric orthopedic surgeons must accurately assess the skeletal stage of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients for selection and timing of optimal treatment. Successful treatment using vertebral growth modulation is highly dependent on skeletal growth remaining. We sought to evaluate the current-state use of the Sanders Skeletal Maturity System (SSMS) in regard to precision and accuracy. We hypothesized that pediatric orthopedic surgeons currently use SSMS with moderate precision and accuracy.

Methods: Eight practicing pediatric orthopedic surgeons who perform vertebral body tethering surgery without specific training in SSMS were asked to assign the SSMS stage for 34 de-identified hand radiographs from AIS patients. Precision was evaluated as inter-rater reliability, using both Krippendorff's α and Weighted Cohen's kappa statistics, and as intra-rater reliability, using only Weighted Cohen's kappa statistics. Surgeon accuracy was evaluated using Weighted Cohen's kappa statistics with comparison of surveyed surgeons' responses to the gold standard rating.

Results: Inter-rater reliability across the surveyed surgeons indicated moderate to substantial agreement using both statistical methods (α = 0.766, κ = 0.627) with the majority of discord occurring when assigning SSMS stages 2 through 4. The surveyed surgeons displayed substantial accuracy when compared to the gold standard (κ = 0.627) with the majority of inaccuracy involving the identification of stage 3B. When re-surveyed, the surgeons showed substantial intra-rater reliability (κ = 0.71) with increased inconsistencies when deciding between SSMS stage 3A and stage 3B.

Conclusion: The current-state use of SSMS across pediatric orthopedic surgeons for evaluation of AIS patients displays adequate but imperfect precision and accuracy with difficulties delineating SSMS stages 2 through 4, which correlate with adolescent growth periods germane to scoliosis growth modulation surgery. Centralized assessment of hand-bone age may help ensure standardized reporting for non-fusion scoliosis research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00386-4DOI Listing
July 2021

Prospective Follow-up Report on Anterior Vertebral Body Tethering for Idiopathic Scoliosis: Interim Results from an FDA IDE Study.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2021 Sep;103(17):1611-1619

Institute for Spine & Scoliosis, Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Background: Anterior vertebral body tethering (aVBT) has emerged as a novel treatment option for patients with idiopathic scoliosis. We present the results from the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study on aVBT.

Methods: In this prospective review of a retrospective data set, eligible patients underwent aVBT at a single center from August 2011 to July 2015. Inclusion criteria included skeletally immature patients with Lenke type-1A or 1B curves between 30° and 65°. Clinical and radiographic parameters were collected, with the latter measured by an independent reviewer.

Results: Fifty-seven patients (49 girls and 8 boys), with a mean age (and standard deviation) of 12.4 ± 1.3 years (range, 10.1 to 15.0 years), were enrolled in the study. The patients had a mean of 7.5 ± 0.6 levels tethered, the mean operative time was 223 ± 79 minutes, and the mean estimated blood loss was 106 ± 86 mL. The patients were followed for an average of 55.2 ± 12.5 months and had a mean Risser grade of 4.2 ± 0.9 at the time of the latest follow-up. The main thoracic Cobb angle was a mean of 40.4° ± 6.8° preoperatively and was corrected to 18.7° ± 13.4° at the most recent follow-up. In the sagittal plane, T5-T12 kyphosis measured 15.5° ± 10.0° preoperatively, 17.0° ± 10.1° postoperatively, and 19.6° ± 12.7° at the most recent follow-up. Eighty percent of patients had curves of <30° at the most recent follow-up. The most recent Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) scores averaged 4.5 ± 0.4, and scores on the self-image questionnaire averaged 4.4 ± 0.7. No major neurologic or pulmonary complications occurred. Seven (12.3%) of 57 patients had a revision: 5 were done for overcorrection and 2, for adding-on.

Conclusions: Anterior VBT is a promising technique that has emerged as a treatment option for patients with immature idiopathic scoliosis. We present the results from the first FDA-approved IDE study on aVBT, which formed the basis for the eventual Humanitarian Device Exemption approval. The findings affirm the safety and efficacy of this technique and suggest opportunities for improvement, particularly with respect to reoperation rates.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.20.01503DOI Listing
September 2021

Early and late hospital readmissions in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2021 Jul 3;9(4):1041-1048. Epub 2021 May 3.

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, 3551 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19140, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected multicenter database.

Objectives: To identify risk factors for early and late readmission of surgically treated patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Specific risk factors associated with readmission in patients with AIS remain poorly understood.

Methods: Patients with AIS who were operatively treated from 19 centers specializing in the treatment of pediatric spinal deformity were studied. Data from a minimum 2 years of clinical follow-up and any readmission were available for analysis. Characteristics of patients with no readmission, early readmission (< 90 days), and late readmission (> 90 days) were evaluated. Both univariate and multivariate analyses of risk factors for readmission were performed.

Results: 2049 patients were included in our cohort, with 1.6% requiring early readmission and 3.3% late readmission. In the multivariate analysis, greater preoperative coronal imbalance was associated with early readmission. Longer operative time was associated with late readmission. Finally, greater preoperative pain (SRS-22 pain scale) was associated with both early and late readmission. GI complications accounted for a higher proportion of early readmissions than previously reported in the literature.

Conclusions: Preoperative counseling of patients with higher levels of pain and coronal imbalance and the implementation of a thorough postoperative bowel regimen may help optimize patient outcomes.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00294-7DOI Listing
July 2021

What happens to the unfused upper thoracic curve after posterior spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis?

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2021 Apr 23:1-7. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Objective: Spontaneous lumbar curve correction after selective thoracic fusion in surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is well described. However, only a few articles have described the course of the uninstrumented upper thoracic (UT) curve after fusion, and the majority involve a hybrid construct. In this study, the authors sought to determine the outcomes and associated factors of uninstrumented UT curves in patients with AIS.

Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed a prospectively collected multicenter AIS registry for all consecutive patients with Lenke type 1-4 curves with a 2-year minimum follow-up. UT curves were considered uninstrumented if the upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) did not extend above 1 level from the lower end vertebra of the UT curve. The authors defined progression as > 5°, and divided patients into two cohorts: those with improvement in the UT curve (IMP) and those without improvement in the UT curve (NO IMP). Radiographic, demographic, and Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-22 survey outcome measures were compared using univariate analysis, and significant factors were compared using a multivariate regression model.

Results: The study included 450 patients (370 females and 80 males). The UT curve self-corrected in 86% of patients (n = 385), there was no change in 14% (n = 65), and no patients worsened. Preoperatively, patients were similar with respect to Lenke classification (p = 0.44), age (p = 0.31), sex (p = 0.85), and Risser score (p = 0.14). The UT curves in the IMP group self-corrected from 24.7° ± 6.5° to 12.6° ± 5.9°, whereas in the NO IMP group UT curves remained the same, from 20.3° ± 5.8° to 18.5° ± 5.7°. In a multivariate analysis, preoperative main thoracic (MT) curve size (p = 0.004) and MT curve correction (p = 0.001) remained significant predictors of UT curve improvement. Greater correction of the MT curve and larger initial MT curve size were associated with greater likelihood of UT curve improvement.

Conclusions: Spontaneous UT curve correction occurred in the majority (86%) of unfused UT curves after MT curve correction in Lenke 1-4 curve types. The magnitude of preoperative MT curve size and postoperative MT curve correction were independent predictors of spontaneous UT curve correction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.10.PEDS20671DOI Listing
April 2021

Complete paraplegia 36 h after attempted posterior spinal fusion for severe adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a case report.

Spinal Cord Ser Cases 2021 Apr 20;7(1):33. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Institute for Spine and Scoliosis, 3100 Princeton Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ, 08648, USA.

Introduction: The incidence of neurologic complications with spinal surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) has been reported to be 0.69%. This rare complication typically occurs during surgery or immediately postoperatively. We report the occurrence of a delayed neurologic deficit that presented 36 h after the initial surgery of a staged posterior spinal fusion for severe AIS.

Case Presentation: A 12-year-old girl with severe thoracolumbar AIS of 125° underwent attempted posterior spinal fusion from T2-L4. The case was complicated by a transient loss of transcutaneous motor evoked potentials (TcMEP) that resolved with an increase in the mean arterial pressure (MAP) and relaxation of curve correction with rod removal. The patient awoke with normal neurologic function. She had a transient decrease in MAP 36 h post-op and awoke on postoperative day #2 with nearly complete lower extremity paraplegia (American Spinal Injury Association [ASIA] Impairment Scale B). Emergent exploration and removal of the concave apical pedicles resulted in improvement of TcMEPs and return of function.

Discussion: Delayed postoperative neurologic deficit is a very rare phenomenon, with only a few case reports in the literature to date. The delayed neurologic decline of our patient was likely secondary to a transient episode of postoperative hypotension combined with spinal cord compression by the apical concave pedicles. Close monitoring and support of spinal cord perfusion as well as emergent decompression are imperative in the setting of a delayed neurologic deficit. Further multicenter study on this rare occurrence is underway to identify potential causes and improve treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41394-021-00386-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8058337PMC
April 2021

Use of postoperative neurophysiological testing to help guide management in a case of delayed neurological injury.

Childs Nerv Syst 2021 09 29;37(9):2911-2916. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, 3551 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA, 19140, USA.

Bimodal intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM), combining transcranial motor-evoked potentials (tcMEP) and somatosensory-evoked potentials (SSEP), enables real-time detection and prevention of spinal cord injury during pediatric spinal deformity correction. Although rare, false-positive and false-negative signal alerts have been reported. However, no previously published accounts have described the use of postoperative neurophysiological testing to both identify new-onset neurological injury and guide reintervention. Here, we describe the case of an 18-year-old young man with achondroplasia, thoracolumbar kyphosis, and L2 wedge vertebra who underwent T12-L4 posterior spinal fusion with L2 vertebral column resection. Despite two intraoperative decreases in tcMEP amplitude, corrective measures on both occasions produced a return of IONM signal. Curiously, despite movement of the bilateral lower extremities upon waking, continued observation demonstrated minimal movement of the left lower extremity. Postoperative neurophysiological testing then identified limited muscle group activation below the left quadriceps, prompting operative reintervention. After cage removal and laminectomy lengthening, the patient recovered bilateral lower extremity function. He later returned to surgery for repeat cage placement at L2 via a retroperitoneal exposure, with no noted IONM changes and subsequent neurological improvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00381-021-05071-5DOI Listing
September 2021

Crossing the cervicothoracic junction in complex pediatric deformity using anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: a case series.

Childs Nerv Syst 2021 06 17;37(6):1957-1964. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, 3551 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA, 19140, USA.

Purpose: Proximal instrumentation failure is a challenge in posterior spinal fusions (PSFs) crossing the cervicothoracic junction. High rates of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) and loss of fixation have been reported. In this single-center retrospective cohort study, we evaluate the utility of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in addition to traditional PSF crossing the cervicothoracic junction in order to mitigate implant-related complications.

Methods: All patients who underwent PSF across the cervicothoracic junction with ACDF with 2 years of follow-up data were reviewed. We analyzed clinical, surgical, and radiographic measures such as operative details, presence of PJK, complications, instrumentation migration, curve angles, and vertebral translation. Measurements were compared statistically using paired samples t-tests.

Results: Ten patients (6 girls, 4 boys) met inclusion criteria with a mean age at surgery of 12.8 ± 3.3 years and follow-up of 3.38 ± 0.9 years. All patients underwent ACDF (range 1-3 levels), and 8 (80%) underwent traction. The average number of levels fused posteriorly was 16.7 ± 4.7 and anteriorly was 2.4 ± 0.7. The major coronal curve averaged 48.8 ± 34.7° preoperatively and 23.3±13.3° postoperatively (p = 0.028). The average major sagittal curve was 83.5 ± 24.2° preoperatively, resolving to 53.9 ± 25.5° (p=0.001). One patient suffered rod breakage at T7, and another developed symptomatic PJK 19 months postoperatively.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that ACDF procedures added to PSFs crossing the cervicothoracic junction offer promise for reducing risk for instrumentation-related complications. ACDF also significantly helps improve and maintain both coronal and sagittal correction over 2 years.

Level Of Evidence: 4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00381-021-05109-8DOI Listing
June 2021

Congenital Scoliosis of the Pediatric Cervical Spine: Characterization of a 17-Patient Operative Cohort.

J Pediatr Orthop 2021 Mar;41(3):e211-e216

Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

Background: Congenital cervical scoliosis is rare, and there is a paucity of literature describing surgical outcomes. We report surgical outcomes in a 17-patient cohort with surgical correction for congenital cervical scoliosis and identify risk factors associated with complications.

Methods: Data were retrospectively collected from a single-center cohort of 17 consecutive patients (9 boys, 8 girls) receiving surgical deformity correction for congenital cervical scoliosis. The mean age at surgery was 7.1±3.4 years with an average follow-up of 3.6±1.1 years.

Results: There were 24 operations performed on 17 patients, and 4 complications (17%) were reported in the series, including one each of pressure ulcer, asystole, vertebral artery injury, and pseudarthrosis. The mean preoperative major curve angle was 36±20 degrees, which improved to 24±14 degrees (P=0.02). The mean operative time was 8±2 hours with a mean estimated blood loss of 298±690 mL. Halo-gravity traction was used in 5 patients and 6 cases were staged with anterior/posterior procedures.

Conclusions: Congenital scoliosis of the cervical spine is a complex process. The spinal deformity of this nature can be managed successfully with carefully planned and executed surgical correction.

Level Of Evidence: Level IV-retrospective review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001718DOI Listing
March 2021

Results of Conservative and Surgical Management in Children with Idiopathic and Nonidiopathic Os Odontoideum.

World Neurosurg 2021 03 15;147:e324-e333. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Objective: The outcomes of conservative and operative treatment of os odontoideum in children remain unclear. Our objective was to study the outcomes of conservative and surgical treatment of idiopathic os odontoideum in children and compare these outcomes in age- and treatment-matched nonidiopathic children with os odontoideum.

Methods: A retrospective multicenter review identified 102 children with os odontoideum, of whom 44 were idiopathic with minimum 2-year follow-up. Ten patients were treated conservatively, and 34 underwent spinal arthrodesis. Both groups were matched with nonidiopathic patients by age and type of treatment. Cervical arthrodesis was recommended for patients with increased atlantoaxial distance or reduced space available for the cord in flexion-extension radiographs.

Results: All 20 children undergoing conservative treatment remained asymptomatic during follow-up, but 1 nonidiopathic patient developed cervical instability. The idiopathic group had significantly less severe radiographic cervical instability and less neurologic complications than the nonidiopathic group (P < 0.05 for all comparisons). Thirty-three (97%) patients in the idiopathic group and 32 (94%) patients in the nonidiopathic group (94%) had spinal fusion at final follow-up (P = 0.55). The risk of complications (15% vs. 41%; odds ratio 0.234, 95% confidence interval 0.072-0.757, P = 0.015) and nonunion (6% vs. 24%; odds ratio 0.203, 95% confidence interval 0.040-0.99, P = 0.040) were significantly lower in the idiopathic than in the nonidiopathic group. Idiopathic children undergoing rigid fixation achieved spinal fusion.

Conclusions: Idiopathic patients with stable atlantoaxial joint at presentation remained asymptomatic and intact during conservative treatment. Idiopathic children with os odontoideum undergoing spinal arthrodesis had significantly fewer complications and nonunion than nonidiopathic children.

Level Of Evidence: III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.12.043DOI Listing
March 2021

Sinister! The high pre-op left shoulder is less likely to be radiographically balanced at 2 years post-op.

Spine Deform 2021 Mar 17;9(2):451-460. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

Purpose: AIS patients consider shoulder balance an important cosmetic outcome after surgery. We examined the impact of preoperative left shoulder elevation (LSE) and choice of upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) on postoperative shoulder imbalance (PostSI).

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study utilizing a prospective AIS database. Patients had Lenke type 1-4 curves and preoperative shoulder height ≥ 1.0 cm. Patients with preoperative LSE and right shoulder elevation (RSE) were compared. Shoulder height difference < 1 cm was considered 'mild', 1-2 cm was 'moderate', and ≥ 2.0 cm was 'severe'.

Results: 407 patients had ≥ 1.0 cm imbalance preoperatively, with 88 (21.6%) LSE. There were no differences in gender (p = 0.855) or age (p = 0.477). Patients with LSE more frequently had Lenke type 2 curves (43.2% vs 16.3%, p < 0.001), while preoperative RSE averaged 1.9 ± 0.9 cm versus 1.6 ± 0.5 cm for LSE (p < 0.001). Those with LSE more often had severe PostSI at 2 years (30.7% vs 5.0%, p < 0.001), and only 26.1% of patients with severe preoperative LSE corrected to mild. In contrast, most patients with RSE had mild PostSI regardless of initial imbalance. When examining only LSE patients, there was no difference in preoperative SH by final UIV (p = 0.101). Further, UIV choice did not impact the proportion of severely unbalanced patients postoperatively (p = 0.446). A PTC > 34.5° was predictive of PostSI ≥ 2.0 cm for patients with preoperative LSE.

Conclusion: AIS patients with preoperative LSE are less likely to achieve level shoulders postoperatively. Choice of higher UIV did not affect postoperative shoulder imbalance in this cohort. A PTC > 34.5° was predictive of severe PostSI in patients with preoperative LSE.

Level Of Evidence: II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00236-9DOI Listing
March 2021

Risk Factors for Proximal Junctional Kyphosis Following Surgical Deformity Correction in Pediatric Neuromuscular Scoliosis.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Feb;46(3):169-174

Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

Study Design: Single-center retrospective cohort analysis.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate risk factors associated with the development of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) in pediatric neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS).

Summary Of Background Data: PJK is a common cause of reoperation in adult deformity but has been less well reported in pediatric NMS.

Methods: Sixty consecutive pediatric patients underwent spinal fusion for NMS with a minimum 2-year follow-up. PJK was defined as >10° increase between the inferior end plate of the upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) and the superior end plate of the vertebra two segments above. Regression analyses as well as binary correlational models and Student t tests were employed for further statistical analysis assessing variables of primary and compensatory curve magnitudes, thoracic kyphosis, proximal kyphosis, lumbar lordosis, pelvic obliquity, shoulder imbalance, Risser classification, and sagittal profile.

Results: The present cohort consisted of 29 boys and 31 girls with a mean age at surgery of 14 ± 2.7 years. The most prevalent diagnoses were spinal cord injury (23%) and cerebral palsy (20%). Analysis reflected an overall radiographic PJK rate of 27% (n = 16) and a proximal junctional failure rate of 7% (n = 4). No significant association was identified with previously suggested risk factors such as extent of rostral fixation (P = 0.750), rod metal type (P = 0.776), laminar hooks (P = 0.654), implant density (P = 0.386), nonambulatory functional status (P = 0.254), or pelvic fixation (P = 0.746). Significant risk factors for development of PJK included perioperative use of halo gravity traction (38%, P = 0.029), greater postoperative C2 sagittal translation (P = 0.030), decreased proximal kyphosis preoperatively (P = 0.002), and loss of correction of primary curve magnitude at follow-up (P = 0.047). Increase in lumbar lordosis from post-op to last follow-up trended toward significance (P = 0.055).

Conclusion: Twenty-seven percent of patients with NMS developed PJK, and 7% had revision surgery. Those treated with halo gravity traction or with greater postoperative C2 sagittal translation, loss of primary curve correction, and smaller preoperative proximal kyphosis had the greatest risk of developing PJK.Level of Evidence: 4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003755DOI Listing
February 2021

Single-Staged Management of Pediatric Neuropathic Scoliosis with Intradural-Extramedullary Schwannoma and Improvement in Intraoperative Neuromonitoring: A Case Report.

JBJS Case Connect 2020 Apr-Jun;10(2):e0352

1Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2Division of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring, SpecialtyCare, Brentwood, Tennessee.

Case: A 16-year-old girl with lumbar prominence presented to our outpatient clinic complaining of sporadic back pain without paresthesia. Radiographic investigation revealed a 68° left thoracolumbar curve with the apex at L1. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging identified a mass at T10-11, subsequently confirmed by pathology as a schwannoma. She was treated surgically with resection and posterior spinal fusion in a single-staged procedure under neuromonitoring guidance. Intraoperative improvement in motor evoked potentials after resection informed the decision to perform simultaneous deformity correction.

Conclusion: We discuss the unusual coincidence of a schwannoma with scoliosis and our management algorithm based on operative changes in neuromonitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.CC.19.00352DOI Listing
February 2021

Prolonged Postoperative Intubation After Spinal Fusion in Cerebral Palsy: Are There Modifiable Risk Factors and Associated Consequences?

J Pediatr Orthop 2020 Sep;40(8):431-437

Division of Orthopaedics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Background: Instrumented spinal fusion is performed to correct severe spinal deformity that commonly complicates cerebral palsy (CP). Prolonged intubation (PI) is a common perioperative complication, though little is known about the risk factors and consequences of this phenomenon.

Questions/purposes: The purpose of this study was to determine (1) the preoperative and intraoperative risk factors associated with PI after spine surgery for CP; (2) the perioperative and postoperative complications associated with PI; and (3) any long-term impacts of PI with respect to health-related quality of life.

Patients And Methods: A retrospective case-control analysis of prospectively collected, multicenter data was performed on patients with Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) 4 or 5 CP who underwent instrumented spinal fusion. Patients extubated on postoperative day (POD) 0 were in the early extubation (EE) cohort and those extubated on POD 3 or later were in the PI cohort. Comparisons were made between PI and EE groups with respect to several preoperative and intraoperative variables to identify risk factors for PI. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify independent predictors of this outcome. The postoperative hospital course, rate of complications, and health-related quality of life at 2 years were also compared.

Results: This study included 217 patients (52% male individuals; mean age, 14.0±2.8 y) who underwent spinal fusion for CP. In this cohort, 52 patients (24%) had EE and 58 patients (27%) had PI. There were several independent predictors of PI including history of pneumonia [odds ratio (OR), 6.2; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.6-24.3; P=0.01], estimated blood loss of >3000 mL (OR, 16.5; 95% CI, 2.0-134; P=0.01), weight of <37 kg (OR, 6.4; 95% CI, 1.5-27.1), and Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities (CPCHILD) Communication and Social Interaction score of <15 (OR, 10.8; 95% CI, 1.1-107.3; P=0.04). In addition, PI was associated with a higher rate of perioperative and postoperative respiratory (P<0.001), cardiovascular (P=0.014), gastrointestinal (P<0.001), and surgical site (0.027) complications, in addition to prolonged hospitalization (P<0.001) and intensive care unit stay (P<0.001).

Conclusions: Surgeons should seek to optimize nutritional status and pulmonary function, and minimize blood loss in patients with CP to decrease the risk of PI after spinal fusion. Efforts should be made to extubate patients on POD 0 to decrease the risk of complications associated with PI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001566DOI Listing
September 2020

Novel Use of Subcostal Polyethylene Bands to Manage Tumor-Related Scoliosis Requiring Serial Imaging: A Case Report.

JBJS Case Connect 2020 Jan-Mar;10(1):e0351

Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Case: A 16-year-old male patient with severe kyphoscoliosis, paraplegia, and neurogenic bowel/bladder caused by a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma was treated surgically using a hybrid fusion construct with polyethylene bands after neoplasm resection. Owing to the necessity of serial postoperative magnetic resonance imaging studies to evaluate the recurrence of pathology and known effect of metal artifact from spinal instrumentation, preservation of radiographic resolution was critical.

Conclusion: We describe the novel utility of polyethylene bands placed around the ribs as a safe and effective form of hybrid construct for reducing radiographic metal artifact in spinal deformity cases requiring serial imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.CC.19.00351DOI Listing
January 2021

Of Major Complication Types, Only Deep Infections After Spinal Fusion Are Associated With Worse Health-related Outcomes in Children With Cerebral Palsy.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2020 Jul;45(14):993-999

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

Study Design: Retrospective review.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether major postoperative complications ("complications") are associated with 2-year improvements in Caregiver Priorities and Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities (CPCHILD) scores after scoliosis surgery, and whether complications and preoperative characteristics predict 2-year improvements in CPCHILD Total score.

Summary Of Background Data: Spinal arthrodesis can halt the progression of spinal deformity in patients with cerebral palsy (CP)-related scoliosis. However, these patients are prone to postoperative complications.

Methods: Using a multicenter CP registry, we identified 222 patients aged ≤21 years who underwent spinal fusion from 2008 to 2015 and had ≥2-year follow-up. We compared CPCHILD score improvement between 71 patients who had 1 or more complications ("complications group") versus 151 who did not ("no-complications group"). Complications were deep infections, thromboembolic events, and cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal, and neurologic complications. Multiple linear regression was used to identify predictors of 2-year postoperative CPCHILD score improvement (alpha = 0.05).

Results: At 2-year follow-up, the complications group had similar mean improvement in CPCHILD score across all domains compared with the no-complications group (P > 0.05). When stratifying by complication type, deep infection was associated with less improvement in CPCHILD Comfort and Emotions (P = 0.02), Quality of Life (P < 0.01), and Total (P = 0.04) scores. When controlling for Gross Motor Function Classification System subcategory, age, and body mass index, only preoperative CPCHILD Total score and postoperative deep infection (F[4, 176] = 14; P < 0.0001; R = 0.24) predicted 2-year improvement in CPCHILD Total score. Higher preoperative Total score and postoperative deep infection independently predicted less improvement in Total score.

Conclusion: Postoperative deep infection and higher preoperative CPCHILD Total score independently predicted less improvement in CPCHILD Total score. Other major postoperative complications were not associated with differences in 2-year postoperative improvements in CPCHILD scores across all domains.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003463DOI Listing
July 2020

Early and late hospital readmissions after spine deformity surgery in children with cerebral palsy.

Spine Deform 2020 06 4;8(3):507-516. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, 3551 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19140, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected multicenter registry of pediatric patients with cerebral palsy (CP) and neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS) undergoing spinal fusion.

Objective: To define risk factors for unplanned readmission after elective spinal deformity surgery. Patients with CP and NMS have high rates of hospital readmission; however, risk factors for readmission are not well established.

Methods: Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to compare the demographics, operative and postoperative course, radiographic characteristics, and preoperative Caregiver Priorities and Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities (CPCHILD) questionnaires of patients who did not require readmission to those who required either early readmission (within 90 days of the index surgery) or late readmission (readmission after 90 days).

Results: Of the 218 patients identified, 19 (8.7%) required early readmission, while 16 (7.3%) required late readmission. Baseline characteristics were similar between the three cohorts. On univariate analysis, early readmission was associated with longer duration of surgery (p < 0.001) and larger magnitude of residual deformity (p = 0.003 and p = 0.029 for postoperative major and minor angles, respectively). The health score of the CPCHILD Questionnaire was lower in patients who required early readmission than in those who did not require readmission (p = 0.032). On multivariate analysis, oral feeding status was inversely related to early readmission (less likely to require readmission), while decreasing lumbar lordosis and increasing length of surgery were related to an increased likelihood of early readmission.

Conclusions: In patients with CP and NMS, longer surgical time, larger residual major and minor Cobb angles, lumbar lordosis, feeding status, and overall health may be related to a greater likelihood for early hospital readmission after elective spinal fusion. No factors were identified that correlated with an increased need for late hospital readmission after elective spinal fusion in patients with CP.

Level Of Evidence: IV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-019-00007-1DOI Listing
June 2020

Preoperative SRS pain score is the primary predictor of postoperative pain after surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: an observational retrospective study of pain outcomes from a registry of 1744 patients with a mean follow-up of 3.4 years.

Eur Spine J 2020 04 28;29(4):754-760. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, 3551 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA, 19140, USA.

Background: Traditionally, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) has not been associated with back pain, but the increasing literature has linked varying factors between pain and AIS and suggested that it is likely underreported.

Purpose: Our objective was to investigate factors associated with post-op pain in AIS.

Methods: A prospectively collected multicenter registry was retrospectively queried. Pediatric patients with AIS having undergone a fusion with at least 2 years of follow-up were divided into two groups: (1) patients with a postoperative SRS pain score ≤ 3 or patients having a reported complication specifically of pain, and (2) patients with no pain. Patients with other complications associated with pain were excluded.

Results: Of 1744 patients, 215 (12%) experienced back pain after postoperative recovery. A total of 1529 patients (88%) had no complaints of pain, and 171 patients (10%) had pain as a complication, with 44 (2%) having an SRS pain score ≤ 3. The mean time from date of surgery to the first complaint of back pain was 25.6 ± 21.6 months. In multivariate analysis, curve type (16% of Lenke 1 and 2 curves vs. 10% of Lenke 5 and 6, p = 0.002) and a low preoperative SRS pain score (no pain 4.15 ± 0.67 vs. pain 3.75 ± 0.79, p < 0.001) were significant. When comparing T2-4 as the upper instrumented vertebrae in a subgroup of Lenke 1 and 2 curves, 9% of patients had pain when fused to T2, 13% when fused to T3, and 18% when fused to T4 (p = 0.002).

Conclusion: 12% of all AIS patients who underwent fusion had back pain after postoperative recovery. The most consistent predictive factor of increased postoperative pain across all curve types was a low preoperative SRS pain score. These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-020-06293-yDOI Listing
April 2020

Prospectively collected surgeon indications for discontinuation of a lengthening program for early-onset scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2020 02 24;8(1):129-133. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

Shriners Hospital for Children, 3551 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA, 19140, USA.

Introduction: At some point after children with early-onset scoliosis (EOS) undergo implantation of a distraction construct to control deformity and promote growth, a decision is made to discontinue lengthening. The purpose of this study was to evaluate surgeon indications for discontinuation of a lengthening program and to evaluate patient outcomes.

Methods: As a part of a multicenter database, surgeons prospectively completed a questionnaire at the completion of growth-friendly treatment. Surgeon indications for discontinuation included patient age, pain/functional status, implant status, and spinal deformity parameters. Patient demographics, scoliosis type, deformity parameters, and length of time in a growing program were queried. Patients were treated with a final fusion or observation, and rate of secondary surgeries was analyzed.

Results: Questionnaires were completed on 121 patients (61% female). EOS etiology was 31% neuromuscular, 43% congenital, 16% idiopathic, and 10% syndromic. Average age at initiation of growing program was 6.8 ± 3.1 years, and average age at discontinuation was 12.7 ± 2.5 years. The most commonly cited indications for discontinuation of a lengthening program included bone age/skeletal maturity (n = 46), patient age (n = 33), and diminishing returns with expansions (n = 33). A larger coronal Cobb angle was found in patients who underwent definitive fusion (65°) when compared with continued observation (55°, p = 0.001). Twenty-nine (24%) patients were initially treated with observation after completion of a growing construct. In this subgroup, at a minimum of 2 years' (average 3.8 years') follow-up, 26/29 (90%) patients remained stable with observation alone; whereas, three (10%) underwent delayed final fusion surgery.

Conclusions: The most common surgeon-cited indications for discontinuation of a lengthening program in EOS patients are skeletal maturity and patient age. The majority of patients (76%) underwent definitive spinal fusion after discontinuation of a lengthening program; whereas, those treated with observation alone had a survivorship of 90% at a minimum follow-up of two years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00048-xDOI Listing
February 2020

Results of growth-friendly management of early-onset scoliosis in children with and without skeletal dysplasias: a matched comparison.

Bone Joint J 2019 12;101-B(12):1563-1569

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Aims: The aim of this study was to compare the surgical and quality-of-life outcomes of children with skeletal dysplasia to those in children with idiopathic early-onset scoliosis (EOS) undergoing growth-friendly management.

Patients And Methods: A retrospective review of two prospective multicentre EOS databases identified 33 children with skeletal dysplasia and EOS (major curve ≥ 30°) who were treated with growth-friendly instrumentation at younger than ten years of age, had a minimum two years of postoperative follow-up, and had undergone three or more lengthening procedures. From the same registries, 33 matched controls with idiopathic EOS were identified. A total of 20 children in both groups were treated with growing rods and 13 children were treated with vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) instrumentation.

Results: Mean preoperative major curves were 76° (34° to 115°) in the skeletal dysplasia group and 75° (51° to 113°) in the idiopathic group (p = 0.55), which were corrected at final follow-up to 49° (13° to 113°) and 46° (12° to 112°; p = 0.68), respectively. T1-S1 height increased by a mean of 36 mm (0 to 105) in the skeletal dysplasia group and 38 mm (7 to 104) in the idiopathic group at the index surgery (p = 0.40), and by 21 mm (1 to 68) and 46 mm (7 to 157), respectively, during the distraction period (p = 0.0085). The skeletal dysplasia group had significantly worse scores in the physical function, daily living, financial impact, and parent satisfaction preoperatively, as well as on financial impact and child satisfaction at final follow-up, than the idiopathic group (all p < 0.05). The domains of the 24-Item Early-Onset Scoliosis Questionnaire (EOSQ24) remained at the same level from preoperative to final follow-up in the skeletal dysplasia group (all p > 0.10).

Conclusion: Children with skeletal dysplasia gained significantly less spinal growth during growth-friendly management of their EOS and their health-related quality of life was significantly lower both preoperatively and at final follow-up than in children with idiopathic EOS. Cite this article: 2019;101-B:1563-1569.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1302/0301-620X.101B12.BJJ-2019-0735.R1DOI Listing
December 2019

Lower SRS Mental Health Scores are Associated With Greater Preoperative Pain in Patients With Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2019 Dec;44(23):1647-1652

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19140.

Study Design: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected multicenter database.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate factors associated with low preoperative SRS pain scores.

Summary Of Background Data: The prevalence of preoperative pain in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) has become increasingly evident and is a primary concern for patients and families. Greater preoperative pain is associated with more postoperative pain; however, less is understood about what contributes to preoperative pain.

Methods: A prospectively collected, multicenter database was queried for patients with AIS. Patients were divided into 2 cohorts based on preoperative SRS pain scores: ≤ 3 (Pain cohort), 4 to 5 (No Pain cohort). Univariate analysis was performed identifying which factors were associated with a low preoperative SRS score and used for a CART analysis.

Results: Of 2585 patients total, 2141 (83%) patients had SRS pain scores of 4 to 5 (No Pain) and 444 (17%) had SRS pain scores ≤3 (Pain). Female sex, older age, greater % body mass index, larger lumbar curves, greater T5-12 kyphosis, and lower mental health scores were associated with greater preoperative pain. In multivariate CART analysis, lower mental health SRS scores (P = 0.04) and older age (P = 0.003) remained significant, with mental health scores having the greatest contribution. In subdividing the mental health component questions, anxiety-related questions appeared to have the greatest effect followed by mood/depression (SRS Question 13: OR 2.04; Q16: OR 1.35; Q7: OR 1.31; Q3: OR 1.20).

Conclusion: Anxiety and mood are potentially modifiable risk factors that have the greatest impact on pre- and postoperative pain. These results can be used to identify higher-risk patients and develop preoperative therapeutic protocols to improve postoperative outcomes.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003162DOI Listing
December 2019

Os Odontoideum in Children: Treatment Outcomes and Neurological Risk Factors.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2019 Oct;101(19):1750-1760

Department of Pediatric Orthopedics, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Orlando, Florida.

Background: Treatment outcomes and risk factors for neurological deficits in pediatric patients with an os odontoideum are unclear.

Methods: We reviewed the data for 102 children with os odontoideum who were managed at 11 centers between 2000 and 2016 and had a minimum duration of follow-up of 2 years. Thirty-one children had nonoperative treatment, and 71 underwent instrumented posterior cervical spinal arthrodesis for the treatment of C1-C2 instability. Nonoperative treatment consisted of observation (n = 29) or immobilization with a cervical collar (n = 1) or halo body jacket (n = 1). Surgical treatment consisted of atlantoaxial (n = 50) or occipitocervical (n = 21) arthrodesis. One patient also underwent transoral odontoidectomy.

Results: Thirty children (29%) presented with neurological deficits, 28 of whom had radiographic atlantoaxial instability (atlantoaxial distance >5 mm) or limited space (≤13 mm) available for the spinal cord (risk ratio, 7.8 [95% confidence interval, 2.0 to 31] compared with children with no radiographic risk factors). The 27 children without neurological deficits or atlantoaxial instability at presentation underwent nonoperative treatment and remained asymptomatic. Of the initial nonoperative cohort, one child developed atlantoaxial instability, and another had a persistent neurological deficit; both children underwent spinal arthrodesis during the study period. One child with cervical instability declined surgery and remained asymptomatic. Spinal fusion occurred in 68 patients in the surgical group by the end of the study period (mean, 3.7 years; range, 2.0 to 11.8 years). Surgical complications occurred in 21 children, including nonunion in 12, new neurological deficits in 4, cerebrospinal fluid leak in 2, symptomatic instrumentation requiring removal 2, and vertebral artery injury in 1. Nine children underwent revision surgery. In the surgical group, Japanese Orthopaedic Association neurological function scores improved significantly from preoperatively to the latest follow-up for the upper extremities (p = 0.026) and lower extremities (p = 0.007).

Conclusions: The risk of developing a neurological deficit was strongly associated with atlantoaxial instability and limited space available for the spinal cord in children with os odontoideum. Nonoperative treatment was safe for asymptomatic patients without atlantoaxial instability. Spinal arthrodesis resolved the neurological deficits of children with symptomatic os odontoideum.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2106/JBJS.19.00314DOI Listing
October 2019

The Effect of Expansion Thoracostomy on Spine Growth in Patients with Spinal Deformity and Fused Ribs Treated with Rib-Based Growing Constructs.

Spine Deform 2019 09;7(5):836-841

Growing Spine Foundation, 555 E. Wells St., Milwaukee, WI 53202, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of prospective registries.

Objectives: We hypothesized that patients with congenitally fused ribs who underwent thoracostomy upon implantation of rib-based distraction devices would achieve improved spine growth compared with those who did not undergo thoracostomy.

Summary Of Background Data: Patients with fused ribs may develop thoracic insufficiency syndrome. Treatment for severe early-onset spinal deformity with rib fusions often includes the placement of rib-based expansion devices with surgical division of the fused ribs (thoracostomy). The effect of thoracostomy on spinal growth has not been fully examined.

Methods: Two multicenter registries of primarily prospectively collected data were searched. Patients with fused ribs and implantation of a rib-based device were identified. A total of 151 patients with rib fusions treated with rib-based constructs and minimum two-year follow-up were included. Among those, 103 patients were treated with expansion thoracostomy at the time of implantation, whereas 48 patients received device implantation alone. We evaluated change in T1-T12 and T1-S1 height, coronal Cobb angle, kyphosis, and number of surgeries. Preoperative deformity was similar between the two groups. Only 19% of patient underwent final fusion, with similar numbers fused in each group.

Results: At latest follow-up, the expansion thoracostomy group had a greater total improvement in T1-S1 height (7.2 cm vs. 4.8 cm, p = .004). There was no difference between the two groups for change in spinal height at each lengthening procedure. Interestingly, thoracostomy patients also underwent more total surgeries (11.5 vs. 9.6, p = .031) and more lengthening procedures (8.3 vs. 6.6, p = .017) than the comparison group despite similar length of follow-up.

Conclusions: Patients who underwent expansion thoracostomy at the time of rib expansion device implantation achieved greater improvement in T1-S1 height than those who underwent implantation of rib expansion device alone. Further work is needed to evaluate whether expansion thoracostomy impacts pulmonary function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2019.01.004DOI Listing
September 2019

Improving Health-related Quality of Life for Patients With Nonambulatory Cerebral Palsy: Who Stands to Gain From Scoliosis Surgery?

J Pediatr Orthop 2020 Mar;40(3):e186-e192

Divison of Orthopaedic Surgery, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Introduction: It is unclear what factors influence health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in neuromuscular scoliosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate which factors are associated with an improvement in an HRQOL after spinal fusion surgery for nonambulatory patients with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods: A total of 157 patients with nonambulatory CP (Gross Motor Function Classification System IV and V) with a minimum of 2-year follow-up after PSF were identified from a prospective multicenter registry. Radiographs and quality of life were evaluated preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively. Quality of life was evaluated using the validated Caregiver Priorities and Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities (CPCHILD) questionnaire. Patients who had an increase of 10 points or greater from baseline CPCHILD scores were considered to have meaningful improvement at 2 years postoperatively. 10 points was chosen as a threshold for meaningful improvement based on differences between Gross Motor Function Classification System IV and V patients reported during the development of the CPCHILD. Perioperative demographic, clinical, and radiographic variables were analyzed to determine predicators for meaningful improvement by univariate and multivariate regression analysis.

Results: A total of 36.3% (57/157) of the patients reported meaningful improvement in CPCHILD scores at 2 years postoperatively. Preoperative radiographic parameters, postoperative radiographic parameters, and deformity correction did not differ significantly between groups. Patients who experienced meaningful improvement from surgery had significantly lower preoperative total CHPILD scores (43.8 vs. 55.2, P<0.001). On backwards conditional binary logistic regression, only the preoperative comfort, emotions, and behavior domain of the CPCHILD was predictive of meaningful improvement after surgery (P≤0.001).

Conclusion: Analysis of 157 CP patients revealed a meaningful improvement in an HRQOL in 36.3% of the patients. These patients tended to have lower preoperative HRQOL, suggesting more "room for improvement" from surgery. A lower score within the comfort, emotions, and behavior domain of the CPCHILD was predictive of meaningful improvement after surgery. Radiographic parameters of deformity or curve correction were not associated with meaningful improvement after surgery.

Level Of Evidence: Level II-retrospective review of prospectively collected data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001424DOI Listing
March 2020

Establishing Consensus on the Best Practice Guidelines for Use of Halo Gravity Traction for Pediatric Spinal Deformity.

J Pediatr Orthop 2020 Jan;40(1):e42-e48

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center, New York.

Background: Although halo gravity traction (HGT) has been used to treat children with severe spinal deformity for decades, there is a distinct lack of high-quality evidence to speak to its merits or to dictate ideal manner of implementation. In addition, no guidelines exist to drive research or assist surgeons in their practice. The aim of this study was to establish best practice guidelines (BPG) using formal techniques of consensus building among a group of experienced pediatric spinal deformity surgeons to determine ideal indications and implementation of HGT for pediatric spinal deformity.

Methods: The Delphi process and nominal group technique were used to formally derive consensus among leaders in pediatric spine surgery. Initial work identified significant areas of variability in practice for which we sought to garner consensus. After review of the literature, 3 iterative surveys were administered from February through April 2018 to nationwide experts in pediatric spinal deformity. Surveys assessed anonymous opinions on ideal practices for indications, preoperative evaluation, protocols, and complications, with agreement of 80% or higher considered consensus. Final determination of consensus items and equipoise were established using the Nominal group technique in a facilitated meeting.

Results: Of the 42 surgeons invited, responses were received from 32, 40, and 31 surgeons for each survey, respectively. The final meeting included 14 experts with an average 10.5 years in practice and average 88 annual spinal deformity cases. Experts reached consensus on 67 items [indications (17), goals (1), preoperative evaluations (5), protocols (36), complications (8)]; these were consolidated to create final BPG in all categories, including statements to help dictate practice such as using at least 6 to 8 pins under 4 to 8 lbs of torque, with a small, tolerable starting weight and reaching goal weight of 50% TBW in ∼2 weeks. Nine items remained items of equipoise for the purposes of guiding future research.

Conclusions: We developed consensus-based BPG for the use and implementation of HGT for pediatric spinal deformity. This can serve as a measure to help drive future research as well as give new surgeons a place to begin their practice of HGT.

Level Of Evidence: Level V-expert opinion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPO.0000000000001379DOI Listing
January 2020

The minimum detectable measurement difference for the Scoliosis Research Society-22r in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a comparison with the minimum clinically important difference.

Spine J 2019 08 12;19(8):1319-1323. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

University of Virginia School of Medicine, 1215 Lee St, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

Background Context: The minimal clinically important difference (MCID) is the smallest change in an outcomes instrument deemed relevant to a patient. MCID values proposed in spine research are limited by poor discriminative abilities to accurately classify patients as "improved" or "not improved." Furthermore, the MCID should not compare relative effectiveness between two groups of patients, though it is frequently used for this. The minimum detectable measurement difference (MDMD) is an alternative to the MCID in outcomes research. The MDMD must be greater than the MCID for the latter to be of value and the MDMD can compare change between groups.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the MDMD for the Scoliosis Research Society-22r (SRS-22r) in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients treated with surgery.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study from multi-center registry.

Patient Sample: Patients treated surgically for AIS.

Outcome Measures: Self-reported SRS-22r.

Methods: An observational cohort of surgically treated AIS patients was queried for patients with complete baseline, 1-year, and 2-year SRS-22r data. The MDMD was calculated for SRS-22r domain and subscores. Effect size (ES) and standardized response mean were calculated to measure responsiveness of the SRS-22r to change. MDMD values were compared with MCID values. Research grants were received from DePuy Synthes Spine, EOS imaging, K2M, Medtronic, NuVasive, and Zimmer Biomet to Setting Scoliosis Straight Foundation.

Results: One thousand two hundred and eighty-one AIS patients (1,034 female, 247 male, mean age 14.6 years) were analyzed. MDMD values were between 0.23 and 0.31. SRS-Pain MDMD was 0.3, greater than the MCID of 0.2. SRS-Activity MDMD was 0.24, greater than the MCID of 0.08. SRS-self-image MDMD was 0.3, less than the MCID of 0.98. Sixty-four percent of those with baseline SRS-self-image>4.0 improved MDMD or more, whereas only 14% improved beyond the MCID. ES and standardized response mean were highest for subscore and self-image.

Conclusions: The MDMD can compare the relevance of change in SRS-22r scores between groups of AIS patients. SRS-pain and SRS-activity MDMD values are greater than the MCID and should serve as the threshold for clinically relevant improvement. MDMD may help evaluate change in patients with baseline self-image>4.0.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2019.04.008DOI Listing
August 2019

Team Approach: Treatment and Rehabilitation of Patients with Spinal Cord Injury Resulting in Tetraplegia.

JBJS Rev 2019 04;7(4):e2

Shriners Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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April 2019

The Effect of the Level of Training of the First Assistant on the Outcomes of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Surgery.

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2019 Mar;101(6):e23

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Background: At academic medical centers, residents and fellows play an integral role as surgical first assistants in spinal deformity surgery. However, limited data exist on whether the experience level of the surgical assistant affects outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter, multisurgeon study comparing perioperative and postoperative outcomes after adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) surgery for the same 11 surgeons who performed cases that were assisted by residents compared with cases that were assisted by fellows. Blood loss, operative time, duration of hospitalization, complication rates, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-22 questionnaire scores, and radiographic outcomes were compared between the 2 groups.

Results: We evaluated outcomes for 347 surgical procedures; 118 cases were assisted by residents and 229 were assisted by fellows. Preoperative radiographic and demographic parameters were not different between the groups. The resident group had significantly more estimated blood loss than the fellow group (939 compared with 762 mL, p = 0.02). Otherwise, the perioperative characteristics were similar between the groups, including the volume of the autologous blood recovery system product that was transfused, the operative time, and the occurrence of intraoperative neuromonitoring changes. Postoperatively, the percentage correction of the Cobb angle, the number of levels that had been fused, the number of days until the discharge criteria had been met, and the rate of major complications were similar between the groups. At the 2-year follow-up, the overall and subdomain SRS-22 questionnaire scores were not different between the groups, except that patients in the resident-assisted group had slightly worse pain scores than those in the fellow-assisted group (4.3 compared with 4.5, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: The first assistant's level of training did not affect clinical or radiographic outcomes following AIS surgery.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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March 2019

Risk Factors for Wound Infections after Deformity Correction Surgery in Neuromuscular Scoliosis.

Pediatr Neurosurg 2019 15;54(2):108-115. Epub 2019 Feb 15.

Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA,

Objective: This study aims to elucidate surgical risk factors in neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS) with respect to wound site infection after spinal fusion.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed of all patients treated surgically for NMS between January 2008 and December 2016 (minimum 6 months' follow-up). A sub-cohort of 60 patients with minimum 2 years of follow-up data was also analyzed.

Results: In 102 patients (53 boys and 49 girls), the mean age at surgery was 14.0 years (SD ±2.7). Mean follow-up was 2.53 years (±1.66), and mean time to presentation of infection was 2.14 months (±4.95). The overall perioperative complication rate was 26.5%, with 14.7% of patients developing deep wound infection. Gram-negative bacteria were responsible for 60% of infections; 20% were Gram positive, and 20% involved both types. Pulmonary comorbidities (p = 0.007), pre- to postoperative increase in weight (p = 0.010), exaggerated lumbar lordosis at follow-up (p = 0.008), history of seizures (p = 0.046), previous myelomeningocele repair (p = 0.046), and previous operations (p = 0.013) were significant risk factors for infection.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that in the pediatric population treated surgically for NMS, wound infection is strongly associated with postoperative increase in body weight, residual lumbar lordosis, pulmonary comorbidity, history of myelomeningocele repair, seizures, and previous operations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000496693DOI Listing
April 2019

Pedicle stress shielding following growing rod implantation: case report.

J Neurosurg Spine 2019 05 1;30(5):700-704. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

1Department of Neurosurgery, Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and.

Growing rod surgery for skeletally immature patients helps correct severe scoliosis while allowing continued spinal column growth. Previous reports have studied vertebral body changes following growing rod surgery, but there are currently no published reports on alterations in pedicle morphology. Given the potential need for definitive spinal fusion with pedicle screw instrumentation, an awareness of changes in pedicle morphology is critical. A morphometric analysis of pedicles was performed using 3D reconstructions of 3 CT scans (preoperative and at 3 and 6 years) obtained in a young girl with infantile idiopathic scoliosis (T7 apex) who underwent unilateral rib-to-spine growing rod (2nd-4th ribs to L1) implantation with lengthening every 6 months for 6 years. The pedicle widths on the growing rod side from T5 to T9 (apex ± 2) were all smaller at 6 years postoperatively than preoperatively, while the same-level pedicles opposite the device significantly increased in width. These findings support anecdotal intraoperative reports by surgeons and provide evidence of pedicle stress shielding due to growing rod distraction and force deprivation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2018.10.SPINE18955DOI Listing
May 2019
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