Publications by authors named "Randal Betz"

201 Publications

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

Restoration of Thoracic Kyphosis in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Over a Twenty-year Period: Are We Getting Better?

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2020 Dec;45(23):1625-1633

Orthopedics and Scoliosis Division, Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, CA.

Study Design: A multicenter, prospectively collected database of 20 years of operatively treated adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) was utilized to retrospectively examine pre- and postoperative thoracic kyphosis at 2-year follow-up.

Objective: To determine if the adoption of advanced three-dimensional correction techniques has led to improved thoracic kyphosis correction in AIS.

Summary Of Background Data: Over the past 20 years, there has been an evolution of operative treatment for AIS, with more emphasis on sagittal and axial planes. Thoracic hypokyphosis was well treated with an anterior approach, but this was not addressed sufficiently in early posterior approaches. We hypothesized that patients with preoperative thoracic hypokyphosis prior to 2000 would have superior thoracic kyphosis restoration, but the learning curve with pedicle screws would reflect initially inferior restoration and eventual improvement.

Methods: From 1995 to 2015, 1063 patients with preoperative thoracic hypokyphosis (<10°) were identified. A validated formula for assessing three-dimensional sagittal alignment using two-dimensional kyphosis and thoracic Cobb angle was applied. Patients were divided into 1995-2000 (Period 1, primarily anterior), 2001-2009 (Period 2, early thoracic pedicle screws), and 2010-2015 (Period 3, modern posterior) cohorts. Two-way repeated measures analysis of variance and post-hoc Bonferroni corrections were utilized with P < 0.05 considered significant.

Results: Significant differences were demonstrated. Period 1 had excellent restoration of thoracic kyphosis, which worsened in Period 2 and improved to near Period 1 levels during Period 3. Period 3 had superior thoracic kyphosis restoration compared with Period 2.

Conclusion: Although the shift from anterior to posterior approaches in AIS was initially associated with worse thoracic kyphosis restoration, this improved with time. The proportion of patients restored to >20° kyphosis with a contemporary posterior approach has steadily improved to that of the era when anterior approaches were more common.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003659DOI Listing
December 2020

Vertebral growth modulation by posterior dynamic deformity correction device in skeletally immature patients with moderate adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2021 Jan 21;9(1):149-153. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

ApiFix LTD, Kochav Yokneam Bldg, 1 Hacarmel street, Yokneam Ilit, Israel.

Study Design: Retrospective, comparative, multicenter.

Introduction: Growth modulating spinal implants are used in the management of scoliosis such as anterior vertebral body tethering. A motion-sparing posterior device (PDDC) was recently approved for the treatment of moderate AIS. The purpose of this study was to determine if the PDDC can modulate growth in skeletally immature patients with AIS.

Methods: From a database of patients treated with the PDDC over 4 years, we identified those who had a minimum of 2 years follow-up. Pre-operative and post-operative Cobb angles and coronal plane wedging of the apical vertebra were evaluated on standing full length radiographs. Independent sample t test and one-way ANOVA with post-hoc Tukey HSD analysis was used to compare three groups in varying skeletal maturity: Risser 0-1, Risser 2-3, and Risser 4-5.

Results: 45 patients (14.2-years old, 11-17) were evaluated with a mean pre-op curve of 46° (35°-66°). The average preoperative major curve magnitude, of either Lenke 1 or 5 curve type, was similar among the three groups 47.6°, 46° and 41.5°. Deformity correction was similar in the three groups, with reduction to 26.4°, 20.4° and 26.2°, respectively, at final follow-up [p < 0.05]. Pre-op wedging 7.4° (3.8°-15°) was reduced after surgery to 5.7° (1°-15°) (p < 0.05). Of those patients, Risser 0-1 (n = 16) had preoperative wedging of 9.5° (6°-14.5°) that was reduced to 5.4° (1°-8°) postoperatively (p < 0.05); Risser 2-3 (n = 15) had pre-op 7.7° (4°-15°) vs. post-op 7.0° (3°-15°); Risser 4-5 (n = 14) had pre-op 4.8° (3.8°-6.5°) vs. post-op 4.7° (3.7°-6.5°). Delta Wedging in Risser 0-1 stage was significantly different than for Risser 2-3 and for Risser 4-5.

Conclusion: The posterior dynamic deformity correction device was able to modulate vertebral body wedging in skeletally immature patients with AIS. This was most evident in patients who were Risser 0-1. In contrast, curve correction was similar among the three groups. This finding lends support to the device's ability to modulate growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00189-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7775858PMC
January 2021

The Relationship Between 3-dimensional Spinal Alignment, Thoracic Volume, and Pulmonary Function in Surgical Correction of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: A 5-year Follow-up Study.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2020 Jul;45(14):983-992

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, CA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of a prospective multicenter database.

Objective: The aim of this study was to study the effects of thoracic kyphosis (TK) restoration in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) Type 1 and 2 curves on postoperative thoracic volume (TV) and pulmonary function.

Summary Of Background Data: Surgical correction of AIS is advocated to preserve or improve pulmonary function, prevent progressive deformity and pain, and improve self-appearance. Restoration of sagittal and 3D alignment, particularly TK, has become increasingly emphasized in efforts to improve pulmonary function, TVs, sagittal balance, and prevent adjacent-segment degeneration and deformity.

Methods: AIS patients 10 to 21years undergoing surgical correction of Lenke Type 1 and 2 curves with baseline, 1-erect-postoperative, and 5-year (5Y) postoperative visits including stereoradiographic assessment and pulmonary function tests (PFTs) were included. 3D-radiographic analysis was performed to assess spinal-alignment, chest-wall, and rib-cage dimensions at each time point. Outcome variables were analyzed between time points with one-way analysis of variance and between variables with linear regression analysis.

Results: Thirty-nine patients (37 females, 14.4 ± 2.2 years) were included. 3D-spinal-alignment analyses demonstrated significant reduction in preoperative to first-erect thoracic and lumbar Cobb-angles, an increase in TK:T2-12 (19.67°-39.69°) and TK:T5-12 (9.47°-28.05°), and reduction in apical vertebral rotation (AVR) (P < 0.001 for all). Spinal-alignment remained stable from 1-erect to 5Y. 3D rib-cage analysis demonstrated small reductions in baseline to first-erect depth (145-139 mm), width (235-232 mm), and increase in height (219-230 mm, P < 0.01), but no significant change in volume (5161-5222 cm,P = 0.184). From 1-erect to 5Y, significant increases in depth, width, height, and volume (all P < 0.001) occurred. PFTs showed preoperative to 5Y improvement in first second of Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV1) (2.74-2.98 L, P = 0.005) and forced vital capacity (FVC) (3.23-3.47 L, P = 0.008); however, total lung capacity (TLC) did not change (P = 0.517). Percent-predicted TLC decreased (Pre: 101.3% to 5Y: 89.3%, P < 0.001); however, percent-predicted forced expiratory volume and FVC did not (P = 0.112 and P = 0.068).

Conclusion: Although TK increases, coronal-Cobb and AVR decrease postoperatively; these do not directly influence TV, which increases from 1-erect to 5Y due to growth, corresponding with increases in FEV1 and FVC at 5Y; however, surgical restoration of kyphosis does not directly improve pulmonary function.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003472DOI Listing
July 2020

Progressive double major scoliotic curve with concurrent lumbosacral spondylolisthesis in a skeletally immature patient with Marfan syndrome treated with anterior scoliosis correction.

Spine Deform 2020 02 24;8(1):139-146. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

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

Study Design: Case report (review of patient records, imaging, and pulmonary function tests) and literature review.

Objectives: To describe the case of a skeletally immature patient with Marfan syndrome who underwent anterior scoliosis correction (ASC) and muscle-sparing posterior far lateral interbody fusion (FLIF) in a two-stage procedure to correct progressive severe double major scoliosis and spondylolisthesis. Patients with Marfan syndrome suffer from rapidly progressive scoliosis and spondylolisthesis. Operative treatment has typically been limited to PSF, but newer techniques may be less invasive and provide more spine motion.

Methods: A 12-year-old girl with Marfan syndrome, spondylolisthesis, and severe progressive scoliosis underwent a two-stage procedure to achieve correction. Muscle-sparing posterior FLIF of the spondylolisthesis from L4-S1 was initially performed, followed 1 week later by ASC from right T4-T11 and left T11-L3 using an anterior screw/cord construct.

Results: Follow-up from the index procedures for the spondylolisthesis and scoliosis is 35 months. No significant complications occurred in perioperative and postoperative follow-up periods. At the 13-month follow-up, the double major scoliosis showed continued curve correction via growth modulation and overcorrection of the lumbar to - 13°. A revision lengthening procedure of the anterior cord from T11-L3 was performed. An asymptomatic elevated hemidiaphragm was discovered at 6 weeks postoperation, which was believed to be secondary to retraction neuropraxia and subsequently improved. At 21 months postlengthening and 35 months postindex procedure, she is skeletally mature and the curves have maintained correction in both the coronal and sagittal planes without any further complications.

Conclusions: Anterior scoliosis correction of both a thoracic and lumbar curve combined with an L4-S1 PSF was effective for this patient and may be promising for patients with Marfan syndrome, progressive scoliosis, and spondylolisthesis. Overcorrection can be planned for and easily corrected by inserting a new cord of a different length.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00031-6DOI Listing
February 2020

Prospective 10-year follow-up assessment of spinal fusions for thoracic AIS: radiographic and clinical outcomes.

Spine Deform 2020 02 8;8(1):57-66. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Cooper Bone & Joint Institute, Camden, NJ, USA.

Study Design: Prospective registry. The evolution of spinal instrumentation has provided better outcomes in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS); however, there is a paucity of reliable prospective information on 10-year post-operative outcomes of modern surgical techniques.

Methods: A prospective multicenter registry of patients who had surgical correction of AIS was reviewed. Patients with major thoracic scoliosis (Lenke types 1-4) operated on between 1997 and 2007, with 10-year post-operative follow-up data were included. Radiographic and clinical outcomes including Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-22 scores and revision surgeries were evaluated.

Results: One hundred and seventy-four patients (mean 25.0 years of age at most recent evaluation) were included. Pedicle screw constructs were used in 102 patients (58%), hook or hybrid constructs in 22 (13%), and anterior screw-rod constructs in 50 (29%). The mean pre-operative thoracic Cobb angle was corrected from 53° to 18° initially. At 10-year follow-up, the mean thoracic curve was 22° (mean 57% correction), with 29 patients (16.7%) having loss of correction (LOC) ≥ 10°. There were a total of 14 revision surgeries performed in 13 patients (7.5%). SRS-22 pain (p = 0.035), self-image (p < 0.001), and total scores (p < 0.001) significantly improved at 2-year follow-up. The mean pain score at 10-year follow-up was similar to pre-operative scores and lower (more pain) than previously published mean scores of normal adults aged 20-40 years (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Spinal fusion patients report SRS-22 quality of life 10 years after scoliosis surgery that is minimally reduced compared to healthy peers and substantially better than an un-operated cohort of comparably aged scoliosis patients. Adolescents with thoracic idiopathic scoliosis should expect little if any change in their health-related quality of life compared to before surgery, high satisfaction, and a 7.5% chance of revision surgery 10 years after their index spinal fusion.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-019-00015-1DOI Listing
February 2020

Surgical management of moderate adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with a fusionless posterior dynamic deformity correction device: interim results with bridging 5-6 disc levels at 2 or more years of follow-up.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Jan 10:1-7. Epub 2020 Jan 10.

4Institute for Spine & Scoliosis, Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Objective: A posterior dynamic deformity correction (PDDC) system was used to correct adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) without fusion. The preliminary outcomes of bridging only 3-4 discs in patients with variable curve severity have previously been reported. This paper examines a subgroup of patients with the authors' proposed current indications for this device who were also treated with a longer construct.

Methods: Inclusion criteria included a single AIS structural curve between 40° and 60°, curve flexibility ≤ 30°, PDDC spanning 5-6 levels, and minimum 2-year follow-up. A retrospective review was conducted and demographic and radiographic data were recorded. A successful outcome was defined as a curve magnitude of ≤ 30° at final follow-up. Any serious adverse events and reoperations were recorded.

Results: Twenty-two patients who met the inclusion criteria were operated on with the PDDC in 5 medical centers. There were 19 girls and 3 boys, aged 13-17 years, with Risser grades ≥ 2. Thirteen had Lenke type 1 curves and 9 had type 5 curves. The mean preoperative curve was 47° (range 40°-55°). At a minimum of 2 years' follow-up, the mean major curve measured 25° (46% correction, p < 0.05). In 18 (82%) of 22 patients, the mean final Cobb angle measured ≤ 30° (range 15°-30°). Trunk shift was corrected by 1.5 cm (range 0.4-4.3 cm). The mean minor curve was reduced from 27° to 17° at final follow-up (35% correction, p < 0.05). For Lenke type 1 patterns, the mean 2D thoracic kyphosis was 24° preoperatively versus 27° at final follow-up (p < 0.05), and for Lenke type 5 curves, mean lumbar lordosis was 47° preoperatively versus 42° at final follow-up (p < 0.05). The mean preoperative Scoliosis Research Society-22 questionnaire score improved from 2.74 ± 0.3 at baseline to 4.31 ± 0.4 at 2 years after surgery (p < 0.0001). The mean preoperative self-image score and satisfaction scores improved from preoperative values, while other domain scores did not change significantly. Four patients (18%) underwent revision surgery because of nut loosening (n = 2), pedicle screw backup (n = 1), and ratchet malfunction (n = 1).

Conclusions: In AIS patients with a single flexible major curve up to 60°, the fusionless PDDC device achieved a satisfactory result as 82% had residual curves ≤ 30°. These findings suggest that the PDDC device may serve as an alternative to spinal fusion in select patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2019.11.SPINE19827DOI Listing
January 2020

Incidence of complications in the management of non-ambulatory neuromuscular early-onset scoliosis with a rib-based growing system: high- versus low-tone patients.

Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol 2020 May 20;30(4):621-627. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Orthopedic Department, Institute for Spine and Scoliosis, Lawrenceville, NJ, USA.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether patients with high-tone neuromuscular early-onset scoliosis have different surgical outcome and complication rate, when compared to patients with low-tone neuromuscular early-onset scoliosis treated with a rib-to-pelvis rib-based dual growing system.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of 67 neuromuscular early-onset scoliosis patients, collected from a multicenter database, treated with a rib-to-pelvis rib-based dual growing system. All patients were divided into two groups: high tone and low tone. Pre-, intra- and postoperative data were compared between both groups. Complications were reported by a standardized system.

Results: Twenty-six high-tone and 41 low-tone patients were found homogeneous regarding gender, age at surgery, weight, height, estimated blood loss and surgery time. High-tone group (19/26 = 73.1%) experiences more postoperative complications than low-tone group (22/41 = 53.7%). Most common complications were infection, device migration, death and hardware failure. Permanent abandonment of rib-based growing technique and device removal was required in 21% of high-tone patients (P < 0.001). None of the low-tone patients required abandonment.

Conclusion: High-tone patients had more complications than those with low tone in management of neuromuscular early-onset scoliosis treated with a rib-to-pelvis rib-based dual growing system. A different surgical approach may be required to treat the high-tone neuromuscular early-onset scoliosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00590-019-02614-0DOI Listing
May 2020

Brace treatment in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: risk factors for failure-a literature review.

Spine J 2019 12 17;19(12):1917-1925. Epub 2019 Jul 17.

Institute for Spine and Scoliosis, Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Brace treatment is the most common nonoperative treatment for the prevention of curve progression in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The success reported in level 1 and 2 clinical trials is approximately 75%. The aim of this review was to identify the main risk factors that significantly reduce success rate of brace treatment. A literature search using the MEDLINE and Embase databases was conducted. Studies were included if they identified specific risk factor(s) for curve progression. Studies that looked at nighttime braces, superiority of one type of brace over another, the effect of physical therapy on brace performance, cadaver or nonhuman studies were excluded. A total of 1,022 articles were identified of which 25 met all of the inclusion criteria. Seven risk factors were identified: Poor brace compliance (eight studies), lack of skeletal maturity (six studies), Cobb angle over a certain threshold (six studies), poor in-brace correction (three studies), vertebral rotation (four studies), osteopenia (two studies), and thoracic curve type (two studies). Three risk factors were highly repeated in the literature which identified specific subgroups of patients who have a much higher risk to fail brace treatment and to progress to fusion. This data demonstrates that 60% to 70% of the patients referred to bracing are Risser 0 and 30% to 70% of this group will not wear the brace enough to ensure treatment efficacy. Furthermore, Risser 0 patients who reach the accelerated growth phase with a curve ≥40° are at 70% to 100% risk of curve progression to the fusion surgical threshold despite proper brace wear. Skeletally immature patients with relatively large magnitude scoliosis who are noncompliant are at a higher risk of failing brace treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2019.07.008DOI Listing
December 2019

Progressive Neuromuscular Scoliosis Secondary to Spinal Cord Injury in a Young Patient Treated With Nonfusion Anterior Scoliosis Correction.

Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil 2019 ;25(2):150-156

Institute for Spine and Scoliosis, Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Ninety-eight percent of skeletally immature patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) suffer from progressive neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS). Operative treatment has typically been limited to posterior spinal fusion (PSF), but a newer technique as described may be less invasive and preserve more function. A PSF of the entire spine to the pelvis is standard of care. However, maintenance of spinal flexibility, motion, and potential growth is desirable. We present a case for proof-of-concept of utilizing a surgical motion-preserving technique to treat progressive NMS in an 11year-old girl with T10 level (AIS B) paraplegia with a progressive 60° NMS of the lumbar spine. She had anterior scoliosis correction (ASC) from T11-L5 without fusion. Over 24 months, the curve growth-modulated to a residual of 12° with continued modulation to 7° at 3-year follow-up (skeletal maturity).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1310/sci2502-150DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6496969PMC
December 2019

Progressive decline in pulmonary function 5 years post-operatively in patients who underwent anterior instrumentation for surgical correction of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Eur Spine J 2019 06 23;28(6):1322-1330. Epub 2019 Feb 23.

Rady Children's Hospital, 3020 Children's Way, MC5062, San Diego, CA, 92123, USA.

Purpose: To evaluate changes in pulmonary function tests (PFT) at 5 years post-operatively in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and to determine whether these changes are progressive or static after 2 years.

Methods: AIS surgical patients with pre-operative and 5 year post-operative forced expiratory volume (FEV) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were included. The percentage of patients with pulmonary impairment at 5 years was calculated. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to evaluate changes between pre-operative PFT and 5 years post-operative PFT and to determine whether the changes differed between curve types and approach. A sub-analysis of patients with 2 year data was performed to determine whether PFT changes were static or progressive.

Results: Two hundred and sixty-two patients had undergone pre-operative and 5 year post-operative PFTs. At 5 years, 42% were normal, 41% had mild impairment, and 17% had moderate-severe impairment. Overall, there was a decline in % predicted FVC (p < 0.05); FEV remained stable. There was no difference based on major curve type (p > 0.05). Anterior instrumentation cases declined significantly between pre-operative PFT and 5 years post-operative PFT (FEV: - 10% open, - 6% thoracoscopic; FVC: - 13% open, - 8% thoracoscopic) (p ≤ 0.02). The posterior cases remained stable (2% FEV, p = 0.7; - 0.6% FVC, p = 0.06). A subgroup of 90 patients with 2 year post-operative PFTs demonstrated that changes were progressive between 2 and 5 years post-operatively. The average change in FVC from 2 to 5 years was significantly different between the anterior open (- 9%) and posterior-only (0.7%) groups (p = 0.015).

Conclusion: In patients who underwent anterior instrumentation, PFTs declined from the pre-operative to the 5 years post-operative time point. There was a progressive decline of 4-10% beyond 2 years post-operatively. Patients who underwent posterior instrumentation remained stable. These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-019-05923-4DOI Listing
June 2019

Surgeon and Caregiver Agreement on the Goals and Indications for Scoliosis Surgery in Children With Cerebral Palsy.

Spine Deform 2019 03;7(2):304-311

Division of Orthopaedics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3401 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Electronic address:

Study Design: Prospective multicenter comparative study.

Objectives: We aimed 1) to survey surgeons and caregivers to rank the surgical indications for spinal fusion of pediatric patients with neuromuscular scoliosis secondary to cerebral palsy in order of importance and 2) to characterize the agreement of surgeons and caregivers on major (top three) indications.

Summary Of Background Data: Surgery for spinal deformity in children with cerebral palsy is a multifaceted and individualized decision that may lead to miscommunication during informed consent. Little data exist on communication effectiveness between surgeon and caregiver during preoperative discussion.

Methods: This is a multicenter, prospective survey of Harms Study Group patient caregivers and their surgeons. Participants ranked their most important of 15 indications in descending level of importance, where the top 3 selections were considered major indications for surgery for the particular patient in question. Demographic and other perioperative factors were recorded. Surgeon-caregiver agreement on major indications was determined, taking into account preoperative factors and intersurgeon differences.

Results: 126 surgeon-caregiver pairs responded. The greatest percentage agreement that an indication was major was "to improve sitting" (69.0% major, 0.8% nonmajor), followed by "to prevent pulmonary compromise" (33.3% major, 24.6% nonmajor), "to improve pain" (31.7% major, 20.6% nonmajor), and "to improve head control/position" (20.7% major, 69.0% nonmajor). Preoperative pain showed an association with surgeon-caregiver agreement on pain as a major indication (p=.004), and intersurgeon differences in agreement on gastrointestinal and pain considerations existed (p=.002, p=.007, respectively).

Conclusions: Surgeon-caregiver agreement is greater where literature support for a particular surgical indication is strong (ie, spinal fusion's known improvement of sitting posture in children with neuromuscular scoliosis). Stronger literature support may bolster surgeons' confidence in recommending a particular procedure, fostering greater communication, understanding, and agreement on surgical necessity between caregivers and surgeons.

Level Of Evidence: Level II, prospective comparative study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2018.07.004DOI Listing
March 2019

Disc Degeneration in Unfused Caudal Motion Segments Ten Years Following Surgery for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2018 Nov - Dec;6(6):684-690

Mount Sinai Hospital, 820 Second Avenue, Suite 7A, New York, NY 10017, USA.

Hypothesis: The frequency of disc degeneration (DD) in the distal mobile segments will increase over time following surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Design: Retrospective review of a prospective AIS registry.

Introduction: Durability of surgical outcomes is essential for maintenance of quality of life as well as for family decision making and for assessment of the value of a healthcare intervention. We assessed DD, its risk factors, and association with health-related quality of life 10 years after AIS surgery.

Methods: Five radiographic indicators of DD, previously validated, were evaluated preoperatively and 1 month, 2, 5, and 10 years postoperatively by a radiologist in operative AIS patients. A composite radiographic score (CRS; range 0-10) was calculated using the sum of each of the DD indicators. The severity of CRS in relation to the time point after surgery and various risk factors were assessed using linear regression or Pearson χ test. CRS ≥3 was chosen to indicate significant DD. Association of CRS with SRS-22 outcome was evaluated by linear regression.

Results: 193 consecutive patients (mean age at surgery 14.4 years; 86% female) were assessed. Surgical approach included 102 posterior and 91 anterior fusions. Contributors to maximum CRS at 10 years were Schmorl's nodes (7.3% of patients), osteophytes (40.4%), sclerosis (29%), and irregular endplate (8.3%). CRS ≥3 occurred in 1.6%, 0.54%, 3.7%, 6.8%, and 7.3% of patients at the various time points (r=0.83, p=.0313), respectively. More than 50% of DD occurred at the second (35.5%) and third (20%) disc caudal to the LIV. LIV of L4 compared with more cephalad LIV had the highest risk of developing significant DD (27.3%; p=.0267). It was found that disc wedging subjacent to the LIV (≥5°) and LIV translation (≥2 cm) lead to a sixfold increase in significant DD (odds ratio=6.71 and 6.13, respectively). Severity of DD was not associated with the number of levels fused (p=.2131), the surgical approach (p=.8245), or the construct type (p=.2922). No significant association was established between 10-year CRS and SRS-22 scores.

Conclusion: In the first study of its kind, we found that only 7.3% of patients had significant DD 10 years after surgical correction of AIS. Rates of DD increased over time. Our data provide evidence to support recommendations to save as many caudal motion segments as possible, to avoid fusing to L4, and maintain the LIV tilt angle below 5° and LIV translation less than 2 cm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2018.03.013DOI Listing
February 2019

Agreement Between Manual and Computerized Designation of Neutral Vertebra in Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2018 Nov - Dec;6(6):644-650

Division of Orthopedics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3401 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Electronic address:

Study Design: Survey-based cross-sectional study.

Objectives: To describe interobserver agreement among experienced spine surgeons in choosing neutral vertebra (NV) based on manual measurements from radiographs. Secondarily, to use axial vertebral rotation (AVR) values obtained from low-dose stereoradiography (SR) post-processing software (SterEOS 2D/3D) to separately designate the NV in subject cases and to compare manually derived and software-derived NV designations.

Summary Of Background Data: Investigators have previously suggested that parameters such as Lenke classification, stable vertebra level, end vertebra level, and NV level be used to decide on fusion levels in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Studies have revealed suboptimal interobserver reliability in these vertebral designations. SR post-processing software may represent a useful tool for standardizing NV designation.

Methods: Thirty-two subjects with idiopathic scoliosis and Lenke 1-4 curves were assessed. Experienced surgeons (range of 7-35 years in practice) assigned NV based on preoperative radiographs. Interobserver reliability was quantified using the Fleiss Kappa statistic. Surgeon responses were compared with NV designations made using AVR values provided by SR postprocessing software. Agreement between these values was quantified using percentage agreement.

Results: Surgeons exhibited moderate agreement in choosing NV based on radiographs (Kappa 0.444). Surgeon responses agreed with the SR-derived NV in 26.9% of cases, lay within 1 level in 82.1% of cases, and lay within 2 levels in 97.5% of cases. Surgeons were more likely to choose distal to the SR NV rather than proximal.

Conclusions: Variability in instrumented level selection and outcomes in idiopathic scoliosis may be partially related to inconsistency in selection of the NV. The use of SR post-processing software may provide a more reliable method for choosing NV.

Level Of Evidence: Level II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2018.03.001DOI Listing
February 2019

Ponte Osteotomies Increase the Risk of Neuromonitoring Alerts in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Correction Surgery.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2019 Feb;44(3):E175-E180

Spine Research Center, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York, NY.

Study Design: Observational cohort study of prospective database registry.

Objective: To determine the incidence of neurological complications in AIS patients undergoing surgical treatment with PO.

Summary Of Background Data: Despite the widespread use of Ponte Osteotomies (PO) in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) correction, outcomes and complications in patients treated with this technique have not been well characterized.

Methods: A multicenter prospective registry of patients undergoing surgical correction of AIS was queried at 2-year follow-up for patient demographics, surgical data, deformity characteristics, and peri-operative complications. A neurological complication was defined as perioperative nerve root or spinal cord injury as identified by the surgeon. Patients were divided into those who underwent peri-apical PO and those without, and further stratified by Lenke curve classification into 3 groups (I-types 1 and 2, II-types 3, 4, 6, and III-type 5). Patients with- and without neurological complications were compared with respect to baseline demographics, surgical variables, curve types, fusion construct types (screws vs. hybrid), curve magnitude (coronal and sagittal Cobb), apical vertebral translation, and coronal-deformity angular ratios (C-DAR).

Results: Of 2210 patients included in the study, 1611 underwent PO. Peri-operative neurological complications occurred in 7 patients, with 6 in the PO group (0.37%) and 1 in non-PO group (0.17%) though this was not a statistically significant risk factor for peri-operative neurological injury (P = 0.45). Neuromonitoring alerts were recorded in 168 patients (7.6%: 9.3% PO group; 4.2% no-PO group (P < 0.001)). Multivariate logistic regression analysis found PO and curve magnitude to be independent risk factors for intraoperative neuromonitoring alerts (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: PO and curve magnitude were independent risk factors for intraoperative neuromonitoring alerts in surgical AIS correction. The effect of Ponte osteotomy on neurological complications remains unknown due to the low incidence of these complications.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000002784DOI Listing
February 2019

Assessment of Proximal Junctional Kyphosis and Shoulder Balance With Proximal Screws versus Hooks in Posterior Spinal Fusion for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2018 Nov;43(22):E1322-E1328

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Study Design: A retrospective review of a prospectively collected multicenter database.

Objective: To assess the effect of proximal hooks versus screws on proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) as well as shoulder balance in otherwise all pedicle screw (>80%) posterior spinal fusion (PSF) constructs in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Summary Of Background Data: Less rigid forms of fixation at the top of constructs in degenerative lumbar PSF have been postulated to decrease the risk of PJK.

Methods: A multicenter AIS surgical database was reviewed to identify all patients who underwent PSF with all pedicle screw (>80%) constructs and minimum 2-year follow-up. Patients in the "hook" group had two hooks used at the top of the construct, whereas the "screw" group used only pedicle screws at all levels.

Results: A total of 354 patients were identified, 274 (77%) in the screw group, and 80 (23%) in the hook group. There were no significant preoperative differences with regards to curve type, coronal/sagittal Cobb angle, or curve flexibility for either group. At 2 years post-op, the coronal Cobb correction was similar for both groups (60%). There was no difference in correction of shoulder asymmetry and T1 rib angle, including when the groups were matched for preoperative shoulder balance. PJK, defined as the sagittal Cobb angle between the uppermost instrumented and uninstrumented vertebrae, was similar for the screw versus hook group as well (7.1° vs. 6.2°, P = 0.2).

Conclusion: The use of different anchors (pedicle screws vs. hooks) at the top of an otherwise all pedicle screw PSF construct for AIS did not have any significant bearing on the correction of shoulder asymmetry and coronal Cobb angle at 2 years postoperative. There was also no significant difference in the magnitude of PJK or incidence of marked PJK (>15°) between either group at 2 years.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000002700DOI Listing
November 2018

Reciprocal Changes in Sagittal Alignment With Operative Treatment of Adolescent Scheuermann Kyphosis-Prospective Evaluation of 96 Patients.

Spine Deform 2018 Mar - Apr;6(2):177-184

Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, 3020 Children's Way, San Diego, CA 92123, USA.

Introduction: Sagittal alignment abnormalities in Scheuermann kyphosis (SK) strongly correlate with quality of life measures. The changes in spinopelvic parameters after posterior spinal fusion have not been adequately studied. This study is to evaluate the reciprocal changes in spinopelvic parameters following surgical correction for SK.

Methods: Ninety-six operative SK patients (65% male; age 16 years) with minimum 2-year follow-up were identified in the prospective multicenter study. Changes in spinopelvic parameters and the incidence of proximal (PJK) and distal (DJK) junctional kyphosis were assessed as were changes in Scoliosis Research Society-22 (SRS-22) questionnaire scores.

Results: Maximum kyphosis improved from 74.4° to 46.1° (p < .0001), and lumbar lordosis was reduced by 10° (-63.3° to -53.3°; p < .0001) at 2-year postoperation. Pelvic tilt, sacral slope, and sagittal vertical axis remained unchanged. PJK and DJK incidence were 24.2% and 0%, respectively. In patients with PI <45°, patients who developed PJK had greater postoperative T2-T12 (54.8° vs. 44.2°, p = .0019), and postoperative maximum kyphosis (56.4° vs. 44.6°, p = .0005) than those without PJK. In patients with PI ≥45°, patients with PJK had less postoperative T5-T12 than those without (23.6° vs. 32.9°, p = .019). Thoracic and lumbar apices migrated closer to the gravity line after surgery (-10.06 to -4.87 mm, p < .0001, and 2.28 to 2.10 mm, p = .001, respectively). Apex location was normalized to between T5-T8 in 68.5% of patients with a preoperative apex caudal to T8, whereas 90% of patients with a preoperative apex between T5 and T8 remained unchanged. Changes in thoracic apex location and lumbar apex translation were associated with improvements in the SRS function domain.

Conclusion: PJK occurred in 1 in 4 patients, a lower incidence than previously reported perhaps because of improved techniques and planning. Both thoracic and lumbar apices migrated closer to the gravity line, and preoperative apices caudal to T8 normalized in more than two-thirds of patients, resulting in improved postoperative function. Individualizing kyphosis correction to prevent kyphosis and PI mismatch may be protective against PJK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2017.07.001DOI Listing
December 2018

Factors Predictive of Outcomes in Vertebral Body Stapling for Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2018 01;6(1):28-37

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

Study Design: Retrospective review.

Objectives: To identify factors associated with successful outcomes in patients treated with vertebral body stapling (VBS) for idiopathic scoliosis.

Summary Of Background Data: The standard of care for moderate scoliosis (20°-45°) consists of observation and bracing with the goal of halting curve progression. Although several recent studies have confirmed the efficacy of bracing in altering the natural history of scoliosis, bracing is not universally effective. Recent studies have demonstrated that VBS is a safe and viable treatment for some young patients with scoliosis at risk for progression. The identification of factors associated with successful outcomes in VBS for idiopathic scoliosis would better define the population likely to benefit from VBS.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients from a single institution treated with VBS who met previously defined inclusion criteria. Successful treatment was defined as avoidance of a fusion and a final Cobb angle no more than 10° greater than the pretreatment Cobb angle.

Results: We identified 63 patients who met inclusion criteria. The patients underwent VBS at a mean age of 10.78 years and had a mean follow-up of 3.62 years (minimum 2 years). The mean pre-op Cobb angle for stapled thoracic curves was 29.5°. Seventy-four percent of the patients who had VBS of the thoracic curve have avoided progression and/or fusion, and the mean Cobb angle at most recent follow-up was 21.8°. The mean preoperative Cobb angle for lumbar curves was 31.1°. Eighty-two percent of the patients who had VBS of the lumbar curve have avoided progression and/or fusion, and their mean Cobb angle at follow-up was 21.6°.

Conclusion: VBS is effective at preventing progression and fusion for moderate idiopathic scoliosis in immature patients. The complication rates are low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2017.03.004DOI Listing
January 2018

Paper #47: Spasticity is a Risk factor of Complications and Surgical Outcome in the Management of Early-Onset Neuromuscular Scoliosis with a Rib-Based Growing System.

Spine Deform 2017 Nov;5(6):465

Spasticity is a risk factor for increased complications and decreased coronal plane correction in the management of neuromuscular Early-Onset Scoliosis with a RBGS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2017.09.050DOI Listing
November 2017

Anesthetic considerations for a novel anterior surgical approach to pediatric scoliosis correction.

Paediatr Anaesth 2017 Oct 31;27(10):1028-1036. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Idiopathic scoliosis is a condition that may require surgical correction. Limitations of previous surgical modalities, however, created the need for novel methods of repair. One such technique, a newer form of anterolateral scoliosis correction, has shown considerable promise, which our center has had substantial experience performing.

Aim: In this article, we present the case details of our first 105 patients for the purposes of describing the evolution and details of the anesthetic management and considerations for this procedure.

Methods: A retrospective review of medical records for 105 patients undergoing anterolateral instrumentation procedure for idiopathic scoliosis correction done at a single institution from May 2014 to June 2016 was performed. The details of perioperative management as well as surgical technique were reported for all patients.

Results: The mean age for patients was 14.8 years (range 10-18); the mean weight was 49.9 kg (range 25-82). Unilateral procedures were performed on 46.7%, with bilateral and hybrid procedures performed on 50.5% and 4.7%, respectively. The median number of levels corrected was 8 (interquartile range [IQR] 7-9) for unilateral, right 7 (IQR 6-7) and left 5 (IQR 4-5) for bilateral, and 4 (IQR 4-4.5) for hybrids. The average estimated blood loss (EBL) was 310 mL±138, with cell salvaged blood transfused in 61% of patients, and allogenic blood transfusion required in only two patients.

Conclusions: The described anesthetic and analgesic management provides a framework for delivering perioperative care for this challenging procedure, which is gaining popularity as a modality for scoliosis correction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pan.13216DOI Listing
October 2017

A Detailed Comparative Analysis of Anterior Versus Posterior Approach to Lenke 5C Curves.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2018 03;43(5):E285-E291

Rady Children's Hospital and Health Center, San Diego, CA.

Study Design: Prospective cohort study.

Objective: To prospectively compare radiographic, perioperative, and functional outcomes between anterior spinal instrumentation and fusion (ASIF) and posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion (PSIF) in Lenke 5C curves.

Summary Of Background Data: Historically, ASIF has been the treatment of choice for treatment of thoracolumbar adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. More recently, PSIF has gained popularity for its ease, versatility, and amount of correction achieved. Current literature lacks a prospective comparative analysis between these two approaches to better aid treating surgeons in decision making when treating Lenke 5C curves.

Methods: A prospective, longitudinal multicenter adolescent idiopathic scoliosis database was used to identify 161 consecutive patients with Lenke 5C curves treated by ASIF with a dual rod system, or PSIF with a pedicle screw-rod construct. Pre- and 2-year postoperative radiographic data, Scoliosis Research Society outcome scores, and perioperative comparisons were made between the two approaches.

Results: A total of 69 patients were treated with ASIF and 92 patients with PSIF. Curve extent, magnitude, stable, and end vertebrae distribution before surgery were similar between the two groups. At 2-year follow-up, there were no significant differences in percentage correction of the main curve (ASIF: 59.1%, PSIF: 59.6%), C7 decompensation (ASIF: -0.6 ± 1.2, PSIF: -0.3 ± 1.4 cm), length of hospital stay (ASIF: 5.6 days, PSIF: 5.7 days), postoperative day conversion to oral pain medication (ASIF: 3.2 days, PSIF: 3.2 days), and SRS outcome scores (P = 0.560) between the two groups. The number of levels fused was significantly lower in ASIF group (ASIF: 4.7, PSIF: 6.3; P < 0.001), but PSIF resulted in significantly less disc angulation below lowest instrumented vertebrae (ASIF: 3.4°, PSIF: 1.7°; P = 0.011), greater lumbar lordosis (P < 0.001), and greater % correction of lumbar prominence (P = 0.017).

Conclusion: The amount of correction achieved was similar between ASIF and PSIF. ASIF resulted in shorter fusions (average 1.6 levels) compared with PSIF. This was at the expense of increased disc angulation below the lowest instrumented vertebrae, less lumbar lordosis, and a lower % correction of the lumbar prominence than PSIF.

Level Of Evidence: 2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000002313DOI Listing
March 2018

Evolution of Surgery for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Over 20 Years: Have Outcomes Improved?

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2018 03;43(6):402-410

Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, San Diego, CA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of a prospective adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) registry.

Objective: To study the evolution of the operative approach, outcomes, and complication rates in AIS surgery over the past 20 years.

Summary Of Background Data: Surgical techniques in AIS surgery have evolved considerably over the past 20 years. We study the trends in the operative management of AIS over this period and their impact on perioperative outcomes.

Methods: A total of 1819 AIS patients (1995-2013) with 2-year F/U were studied. Operative approach, perioperative parameters, major complication rates, and SRS outcomes were assessed. Linear regression was used to assess the trend of changes over 5-year quartiles.

Results: Mean age at surgery was 14.6 ± 2.1 years, 80.2% were females, and this remained consistent throughout. Operative time, EBL/level, and LOS decreased over the 20 years (P < 0.0001). The use of antifibrinolytic (AF) increased from 6.7% to 68.8% in the past 10 years (P < 0.0001). Number of levels fused increased and LIV was more distal (in relation to stable vertebrae) over time in Lenke 1 and 2 curves (levels fused 7.97-9.94, P < 0.0001 and 9.8-11.0, P=0.0134, respectively). Anterior spinal fusion (ASF) in Lenke 1 curves decreased from 81% in the first quartile to 0% in the last (P = 0.0429). ASF for Lenke 5 curves evolved from 78% in the second quartile to 0 in the last. Thoracoplasty performance decreased from 76% to 20.3% (P = 0.1632). All screw constructs in PSF cases increased from 0% to 98.4% (P = 0.0095). Two-year major complication rates decreased over time (18.7%-5.1%; P = 0.0173). Increased improvement in SRS scores were observed in pain, image, function, and total domains.

Conclusion: Evolution of surgical technique in AIS over the past 20 years has resulted in a cessation of anterior only surgery, increasing use of all screw constructs, less blood loss, greater use of AF, shorter operative times and LOS, lower major complications rates, and greater improvements in SRS scores.

Level Of Evidence: 2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000002332DOI Listing
March 2018

Risk Factors of Proximal Junctional Kyphosis in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis-The Pelvis and Other Considerations.

Spine Deform 2017 05;5(3):181-188

Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, D, 477 N El Camino Real #302, Encinitas, CA 92024, USA.

Study Design: Prospective multicenter database study.

Objectives: To assess the incidence of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) in operative adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) using contemporary surgical techniques and to identify risk factors for PJK.

Summary Of Background Data: The incidence of PJK has been reported as high as 46% in AIS. Factors associated with PJK have been incompletely explored.

Methods: Prospectively enrolled 851 AIS patients (2000-2011, 78.5% female, average 14.4 years) were evaluated 2 years postoperatively. Radiographic and sagittal spinopelvic parameters and rod contour angle (RCA), a new measure that reflects the proximal contouring of the rod, were independently evaluated for association with PJK based on Lenke type. Multivariate logistic regression with backward elimination was performed to identify risk factors for PJK.

Results: Overall PJK incidence was 7.05% and varies based on Lenke type (Lenke 1, 6.35%; Lenke 2 and 4, 4.39%; Lenke 3 and 6, 11.64%; and Lenke 5, 8.49%; p = .06). Among patients with Lenke 1 curves, risk factors for PJK were loss of kyphosis after surgery, and stopping caudal to the upper end vertebra (UEV). The risk of developing PJK increases by 7.1% with each lost degree of kyphosis compared with preoperation that occurs after the instrumentation is placed. For Lenke 2 and 4 curves, loss of kyphosis and more lordotic (negative) RCA were risk factors for PJK. For Lenke 3 and 6 curves, larger preoperative T5-T12 kyphosis was the only significant risk factor for PJK. Upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) at or cephalad to the UEV was associated with increased risk of PJK in Lenke 5 curves, which was contrary to the finding for Lenke 1 curves. No significant correlation was found between sagittal pelvic parameters and developing PJK.

Conclusion: The incidence of PJK in patients after surgery for AIS is 7.05% and varies based on Lenke type. Loss of kyphosis, larger preoperative kyphosis, UIV caudal to the proximal UEV (Lenke 1), UIV at or cephalad to the UEV (Lenke 5), and decreased RCA were the major risk factors for PJK in AIS.

Level Of Evidence: Level II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2016.10.003DOI Listing
May 2017

MRI Screening in Operative Scheuermann Kyphosis: Is it Necessary?

Spine Deform 2017 03;5(2):124-133

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rady Children's Hospital, 3020 Children's Way, San Diego, CA 92123, USA.

Study Design: Patients with preoperative spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies from a prospective multicenter study of operative adolescent Scheuermann kyphosis (SK).

Objectives: To investigate the usefulness of MRI screening in operative planning for SK surgeries.

Summary Of Background Data: Neural axis abnormalities in operative SK have not been previously studied with MRI screening, despite its use.

Methods: One orthopedic surgeon and two radiologists evaluated all images retrospectively. Radiographs were evaluated for kyphosis apex and magnitude. MRIs were evaluated for spinal cord abnormalities, epidural lipomatosis, location and number of vertebral wedging, Schmorl nodes and posterior disc herniations, frequency of spondylolysis, etc. The relationship of these pathologies to the kyphosis apex was explored. This group was compared to a surgical SK group without preoperative MRIs.

Results: Eighty-six patients with MRIs, mean age 16.3 years, 64% male, and a mean preoperative kyphosis of 75.9° were evaluated. There were 17 spinal cord abnormalities. Low-lying conus was found in 2 patients, and syrinx in 15 (no Chiari malformations). Epidural lipomatosis was found in 49 patients, average of 5.7 levels. Anterior vertebral wedging occurred in all (mean 4.7 levels). Posterior disc herniations averaged 5.2 levels/patient and 1.8 levels caudad to the apex. Spondylolysis was reported in 8.1%. Four cases (4.7%) had the operative plan changed as a result of the preoperative MRI: two due to neural compression, one due to disc herniation and one due to a spinal cord draped over the apex. Thirty-one patients did not receive an MRI; there were no significant differences between the two groups. The rate of postoperative neurologic change was 3.5% in the MRI group and 3.2% in the no-MRI group.

Conclusions: Based on 4.7% of cases requiring a change in the operative plan as a result of preoperative MRI, the authors recommend considering performing screening MRI in operative SK patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2016.10.008DOI Listing
March 2017

Factors affecting the outcome in appearance of AIS surgery in terms of the minimal clinically important difference.

Eur Spine J 2017 06 9;26(6):1782-1788. Epub 2016 Dec 9.

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

Purpose: The minimal clinically important difference (MCID) of the Appearance domain of the SRS-22 questionnaire is an increase ≥1.0 in surgically treated patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). However, no study has sought to identify the factors associated with an SRS-22 Appearance score increase greater than the MCID at 2 years.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on a prospectively collected multicenter database of 1020 surgically treated AIS patients with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Patients were divided into two cohorts: "I" = Improved after surgery (Δ Appearance ≥1.0) and "NI" = Not improved after surgery (Δ Appearance <1.0). Univariate regression was used to find a significant difference between the cohorts for individual measures. Multivariate logistic regression was used to find continuous predictors.

Results: 663 (65%) patients were improved greater than the MCID, and 357 were not improved (35%). The improved cohort trended toward a greater percentage of underweight patients (p = 0.074) with lower preoperative SRS Appearance scores (p < 0.001) and larger preoperative trunk shifts (p = 0.033). Postoperatively, those patients with greater percent correction of thoracic (p = 0.021) and lumbar (p = 0.003) Cobb angles, smaller apical lumbar translation (p = 0.006), and a greater correction in trunk shift (p = 0.003) were most likely to attain the MCID.

Conclusion: Several factors influence which patients are most likely to attain the MCID following surgery for AIS. Factors such as preoperative appearance scores and body weight are patient specific; other factors such as percent correction of the thoracic and lumbar Cobb angles, trunk shift, and lumbar apical translation may be influenced by the surgeon.

Level Of Evidence: II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-016-4857-xDOI Listing
June 2017

The Effect of Time and Fusion Length on Motion of the Unfused Lumbar Segments in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2015 Nov 28;3(6):549-553. Epub 2015 Oct 28.

Setting Scoliosis Straight Foundation, San Diego, CA, USA; Department of Orthopedics, Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, CA, USA; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess L4-S1 inter-vertebral coronal motion of the unfused distal segments of the spine in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) after instrumented fusion with regards to postoperative time and fusion length, independently.

Methods: Coronal motion was assessed by standardized radiographs acquired in maximum right and left bending positions. The intervertebral angles were measured via digital radiographic measuring software and the motion from the levels of L4-S1 was summed. The entire cohort was included to evaluate the effect of follow-up time on residual motion. Patients were grouped into early (<5 years), midterm (5-10 years), and long-term (>10 years) follow-up groups. A subset of patients (n = 35) with a primary thoracic curve and a nonstructural modifier type "C" lumbar curve were grouped as either selective fusion (lowest instrumented vertebra [LIV] of L1 and above) or longer fusion (LIV of L2 and below) and effect on motion was evaluated.

Results: The data for 259 patients are included. The distal residual unfused motion (from L4 to S1) remained unchanged across early, midterm, to long-term follow-up. In the selective fusion subset of patients, a significant increase in motion from L4 to S1 was seen in the patients who were fused long versus the selectively fused patients, irrespective of length of follow-up time.

Conclusion: Motion in the unfused distal lumbar segments did not vary within the >10-year follow-up period. However, in patients with a primary thoracic curve and a nonstructural lumbar curve, the choice to fuse longer versus shorter may have significant consequences. The summed motion from L4 to S1 is 50% greater in patients fused longer compared with those patients with a selective fusion, in which postoperative motion is shared by more unfused segments. The implications of this focal increased motion are unknown, and further research is warranted but can be surmised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2015.03.007DOI Listing
November 2015

Multicenter Comparison of 3D Spinal Measurements Using Surface Topography With Those From Conventional Radiography.

Spine Deform 2016 Mar 2;4(2):98-103. Epub 2016 Feb 2.

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

Introduction: In pediatric spinal deformity the gold standard for curve surveillance remains standing full-column radiographs, but repeated exposure to ionizing radiation motivates us to look for nonradiographic solutions. This study tests a modern system of surface topography (ST) to determine whether it is reliable and reproducible.

Methods: Patients from 6 pediatric spinal deformity clinics were recruited for enrollment. Inclusion criteria were age 8-18; diagnosis of scoliosis measuring ≥10 and <50 degrees or increased kyphosis of ≥45 degrees. Standing radiographs and ST scans (DIERS Formetric, Diers Medical Systems, Chicago, IL) were obtained on all patients and then measured and compared. A single investigator using a validated electronic measurement tool performed all radiographic measurements. Analysis of reproducibility and comparison of ST and radiographs were done.

Results: A total of 193 patients were enrolled (148 F [77%]). The mean age was 13.25 years (range 8-18). The scoliosis magnitude was as follows: thoracic average 22.7 ± 10 degrees; lumbar average 19.6 ± 9 degrees. The kyphosis magnitude was 54.0 ± 11 degrees. The reproducibility for each ST parameter for 3 repeated scans was strong (interclass correlation = 0.855-0.944). Comparison to radiographic measurements was strong in the thoracic (r = 0.7) and moderate in the lumbar curve (r = 0.5). There was an average difference of 5.8 degrees in the thoracic spine and 8.8 degrees in the lumbar spine between ST Cobb angle estimates and radiographs. Thoracic kyphosis also had a strong correlation (r = 0.8) with radiographs.

Conclusions: Although the results are intended to measure similar aspects of deformity as the traditional Cobb angle, the measurement is not intended to be an exact estimation. The utility of ST is in the reproducible quantification of deformity after the initial radiograph has been taken. This has the potential to make longitudinal assessment of change in deformity without serial radiographs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2015.08.008DOI Listing
March 2016

Reversible Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring Alerts in Patients Undergoing Arthrodesis for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: What Are the Outcomes of Surgery?

J Bone Joint Surg Am 2016 Sep;98(17):1478-83

Institute for Spine & Scoliosis, Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Background: Confidence in intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring (IONM) data can allow scoliosis surgeons to proceed with surgery even after a monitoring alert, assuming the recovery of signals. We sought to determine the outcomes of surgical treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) after a notable IONM alert.

Methods: We identified 676 patients who underwent arthrodesis with use of IONM for the treatment of AIS. The patients were divided into 2 cohorts: those who experienced a lower-extremity IONM alert and those who did not. An alert was defined as a notable change in IONM data, specifically, a ≥50% drop in somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) and/or in transcranial motor evoked potentials (tcMEPs).

Results: Of the 676 patients, 36 (5.3%) experienced IONM alerts. Those patients had a larger preoperative major Cobb angle (mean of 61° ± 13° compared with 55° ± 12° for the no-alert group; p < 0.01), a greater number of levels fused (mean of 12 ± 2 compared with 11 ± 2; p < 0.01), a longer operative duration (mean of 357 ± 157 minutes compared with 298 ± 117 minutes; p < 0.01), a higher estimated blood loss (1,857 ± 1,323 mL compared with 999 ± 796 mL; p < 0.01), and a greater volume of autologous blood transfused (mean of 527 ± 525 mL compared with 268 ± 327 mL; p < 0.01). Among patients who experienced an alert and had a completed operation (34 of 36 patients), mean postoperative radiographic measurements were similar to those of the no-alert group in terms of the percentage of correction of the major Cobb angle (alert, 66% ± 13%; no alert, 64% ± 19%; p = 0.53) and of rib prominence (alert, 49% ± 36%; no alert, 47% ± 46%; p = 0.83) and measurement of thoracic kyphosis (alert, 23° ± 10°; no alert, 22° ± 2°; p = 0.58). The Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-22 outcome scores were also similar between the 2 cohorts.

Conclusions: Notable IONM changes occurred in 5.3% of the patients who underwent arthrodesis for AIS. Those patients had larger preoperative deformity, a longer operative duration, a greater number of levels fused, a higher estimated blood loss, and a greater volume of autologous blood transfused. Return of IONM data guided the surgeon to safely complete the procedure in 34 of 36 patients, with correction similar to that of patients who did not experience an alert.

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.15.01379DOI Listing
September 2016

Factors associated with spinal fusion after posterior fossa decompression in pediatric patients with Chiari I malformation and scoliosis.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2016 Dec 2;25(6):737-743. Epub 2016 Sep 2.

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

OBJECTIVE The authors performed a study to identify clinical characteristics of pediatric patients diagnosed with Chiari I malformation and scoliosis associated with a need for spinal fusion after posterior fossa decompression when managing the scoliotic curve. METHODS The authors conducted a multicenter retrospective review of 44 patients, aged 18 years or younger, diagnosed with Chiari I malformation and scoliosis who underwent posterior fossa decompression from 2000 to 2010. The outcome of interest was the need for spinal fusion after decompression. RESULTS Overall, 18 patients (40%) underwent posterior fossa decompression alone, and 26 patients (60%) required a spinal fusion after the decompression. The mean Cobb angle at presentation and the proportion of patients with curves > 35° differed between the decompression-only and fusion cohorts (30.7° ± 11.8° vs 52.1° ± 26.3°, p = 0.002; 5 of 18 vs 17 of 26, p = 0.031). An odds ratio of 1.0625 favoring a need for fusion was established for each 1° of increase in Cobb angle (p = 0.012, OR 1.0625, 95% CI 1.0135-1.1138). Among the 14 patients older than 10 years of age with a primary Cobb angle exceeding 35°, 13 (93%) ultimately required fusion. Patients with at least 1 year of follow-up whose curves progressed more 10° after decompression were younger than those without curve progression (6.1 ± 3.0 years vs 13.7 ± 3.2 years, p = 0.001, Mann-Whitney U-test). Left apical thoracic curves constituted a higher proportion of curves in the decompression-only group (8 of 16 vs 1 of 21, p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS The need for fusion after posterior fossa decompression reflected the curve severity at clinical presentation. Patients presenting with curves measuring > 35°, as well as those greater than 10 years of age, may be at greater risk for requiring fusion after posterior fossa decompression, while patients less than 10 years of age may require routine monitoring for curve progression. Left apical thoracic curves may have a better response to Chiari malformation decompression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2016.5.PEDS16180DOI Listing
December 2016