Publications by authors named "Suken A Shah"

186 Publications

Early and late hospital readmissions in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2021 May 3. 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
May 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

Microdose protocol stereoradiography has similar reliability to standard low-dose protocol during concurrent Sanders skeletal maturity staging.

Spine Deform 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Shriners for Children Medical Center, 909 South Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA, 91105, USA.

Purpose: Decreasing radiation exposure is important for scoliosis patients who require serial imaging. Microdose protocol stereoradiography is now increasingly utilized. Previous studies have reported similar reliability of concurrent Sanders skeletal maturity staging based on standard low-dose stereoradiography and standard hand radiographs. The purpose of our study was to investigate the reliability and radiation exposure of concurrent Sanders staging using microdose protocol compared to a standard protocol for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. We hypothesized that surgeon-performed Sanders staging would have similar reliability when comparing microdose and standard-dose imaging protocols.

Methods: A randomized survey of 30 hand images using standard protocol spinal stereoradiography and an equal number from microdose protocol were distributed to six experienced pediatric orthopaedic spine surgeons. Images were graded by each surgeon according to the Sanders skeletal maturity grading system. Items were again randomized and graded after a 2-week interval. Fleiss' weighted kappa for inter and intraobserver reliability was calculated and an unpaired t test was used to test for significance.

Results: Interobserver reliability for all modalities was in the strong to almost perfect agreement (average weighted κ > 0.8) range. For the microdose protocol, κ was 0.82 and 0.84 for each separate round of grading. Standard low-dose protocol κ was 0.83 and 0.79. Intraobserver κ was 0.86 for microdose and 0.82 for standard. Average radiation for microdose was significantly less radiation (82.6%) than standard stereoradiography (0.3 ± 0.1 mGy vs. 1.9 ± 0.4 mGy, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Sanders staging reliability of a well-positioned hand during scoliosis stereoradiography was similarly excellent for both microdose and standard low-dose protocol. Microdose protocol used less radiation while still preserving the reliability of Sanders staging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00324-4DOI Listing
March 2021

Specific sagittal alignment patterns are already present in mild adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Eur Spine J 2021 Feb 27. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Orthopaedic Department, Centre Medico Chirurgical Les Massues Croix Rouge Française, Lyon, France.

Purpose: The complex three-dimensional spinal deformity in AIS consists of rotated, lordotic apical areas and neutral junctional zones that modify the spine's sagittal profile. Recently, three specific patterns of thoracic sagittal 'malalignment' were described for severe AIS. The aim of this study is to define whether specific patterns of pathological sagittal alignment are already present in mild AIS.

Methods: Lateral spinal radiographs of 192 mild (10°-20°) and 253 severe (> 45°) AIS patients and 156 controls were derived from an international consortium. Kyphosis characteristics (T4-T12 thoracic kyphosis, T10-L2 angle, C7 slope, location of the apex of kyphosis and of the inflection point) and sagittal curve types according to Abelin-Genevois were systematically compared between the three cohorts.

Results: Even in mild thoracic AIS, already 49% of the curves presented sagittal malalignment, mostly thoracic hypokyphosis, whereas only 13% of the (thoraco) lumbar curves and 6% of the nonscoliosis adolescents were hypokyphotic. In severe AIS, 63% had a sagittal malalignment. Hypokyphosis + thoracolumbar kyphosis occurred more frequently in high-PI and primary lumbar curves, whereas cervicothoracic kyphosis occurred more in double thoracic curves.

Conclusions: Pathological sagittal patterns are often already present in curves 10°-20°, whereas those are rare in non-scoliotic adolescents. This suggests that sagittal 'malalignment' patterns are an integral part of the early pathogenesis of AIS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-021-06772-wDOI Listing
February 2021

Comparison of different strategies on three-dimensional correction of AIS: which plane will suffer?

Eur Spine J 2021 Mar 23;30(3):645-652. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, G05.228, University Medical Center Utrecht, P.O. Box 85500, 35084 GA, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Purpose: There are distinct differences in strategy amongst experienced surgeons from different 'scoliosis schools' around the world. This study aims to test the hypothesis that, due to the 3-D nature of AIS, different strategies can lead to different coronal, axial and sagittal curve correction.

Methods: Consecutive patients who underwent posterior scoliosis surgery for primary thoracic AIS were compared between three major scoliosis centres (n = 193). Patients were treated according to the local surgical expertise: Two centres perform primarily an axial apical derotation manoeuvre (centre 1: high implant density, convex rod first, centre 2: low implant density, concave rod first), whereas centre 3 performs posteromedial apical translation without active derotation. Pre- and postoperative shape of the main thoracic curve was analyzed using coronal curve angle, apical rotation and sagittal alignment parameters (pelvic incidence and tilt, T1-T12, T4-T12 and T10-L2 regional kyphosis angles, C7 slope and the level of the inflection point). In addition, the proximal junctional angle at follow-up was compared.

Results: Pre-operative coronal curve magnitudes were similar between the 3 cohorts and improved 75%, 70% and 59%, from pre- to postoperative, respectively (P < 0.001). The strategy of centres 1 and 2 leads to significantly more apical derotation. Despite similar postoperative T4-T12 kyphosis, the strategy in centre 1 led to more thoracolumbar lordosis and in centre 2 to a higher inflection point as compared to centre 3. Proximal junctional angle was higher in centres 1 and 2 (P < 0.001) at final follow-up.

Conclusion: Curve correction by derotation may lead to thoracolumbar lordosis and therefore higher risk for proximal junctional kyphosis. Focus on sagittal plane by posteromedial translation, however, results in more residual coronal and axial deformity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-020-06659-2DOI Listing
March 2021

Cervical kyphosis: A predominant feature of patients with osteogenesis imperfecta type 5.

Bone Rep 2020 Dec 21;13:100735. Epub 2020 Nov 21.

Division of Orthogenetics, Department of Pediatrics, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE, USA.

Objectives: Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a heterogeneous group of genetic disorders of connective tissue that cause skeletal fragility and extra-skeletal manifestations. Classically, four different types of OI were distinguished. Type 5 OI was added due to its distinct clinical and radiographic features. In 2012, two independent groups identified a recurrent heterozygous c.-14C>T mutation in as the responsible genetic change for this type of OI. To our knowledge, cervical kyphosis has not been identified in the literature as a finding in type 5 OI patients. This is a retrospective review of a cohort of patients with type 5 OI and a description of associated cervical spine deformity.

Methods: After institutional review board approval, a retrospective review identified 13 patients with type 5 OI. Clinical, radiologic, and genetic data from 2002 to 2020 were reviewed.

Results: We identified 13 patients with clinical diagnosis of type 5 OI. Twelve had molecular confirmation and the classic , c.14C>T gene mutation was identified. The remaining individual did not undergo genetic testing. Dentinogenesis imperfecta was observed in one patient, while blue sclerae or hearing loss were not present. All patients had at least one fracture and four underwent intramedullary rodding. Radiologic features included subphyseal metaphyseal radiodense line in 12/13 patients (92%), interosseous membrane calcification in seven of 13 patients (54%) (more commonly noted in the upper extremities), and hypertrophic callus in six of 13 patients (46%). Thoracolumbar spinal deformities were seen in six of 13 patients (46%) with two of these individuals requiring surgery. Cervical kyphosis was noted in nine of 13 individuals (69%) ranging in age from 3 months to 22 years. Anterior wedging of the cervical vertebral bodies was noted in the absence of any fractures. Six of nine individuals demonstrated listhesis of C2-C3 or C3-C4 segment. Magnetic resonance imaging studies were performed and reviewed in patients with cervical kyphosis and subluxation; three patients showed narrowing of spinal canal without cervical cord compression and one asymptomatic patient showed impingement of the spinal cord.

Conclusions: Cervical kyphosis appears to be a common feature of type 5 OI. It can be a presenting and apparently life-long association and does not appear to be caused by vertebral body fractures. Evaluation for cervical kyphosis should be performed in patients with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of type 5 OI. Furthermore, if cervical kyphosis is noted in an individual with OI, type 5 OI should be considered.Level of evidence: IV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bonr.2020.100735DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7718132PMC
December 2020

Long-term Patient Perception Following Surgery for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis if Dissatisfied at 2-year Follow-up.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Apr;46(8):507-511

Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, CA.

Study Design: Longitudinal.

Objectives: To evaluate whether the rate of patients who report low health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores at 2 years following surgical correction of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) improves by 5 years postoperatively.

Summary Of Background Data: HRQOL scores are dependent upon a number of factors and even in instances of good surgical correction of a spinal deformity, are not guaranteed to be high postoperatively. Understanding how a low HRQOL score varies over the postoperative period can help surgeons more effectively counsel patients and temper expectations.

Methods: A multicenter database was reviewed for patients with both 2 and 5-year follow-up after spinal fusion and instrumentation for AIS. From a cohort of 916 patients, 52 patients with low HRQOL scores at their 2-year follow-up were identified and reevaluated at 5-year follow-up. A low HRQOL outcome was defined as having SRS-22 domain or total scores less than 2 standard deviations below the mean score. Reoperations were also evaluated to determine if they were associated with HRQOL scores.

Results: Of those patients with low SRS-22 HRQOL scores at 2 years postoperatively, improvements were seen in all SRS-22 domains and total scores at the 5-year time point. The greatest change was seen in the satisfaction category where 41 patients showed improvement. The rate of reoperations during this period did not significantly impact patient-reported outcomes.

Conclusions: Having a low HRQOL score 2 years after surgery for AIS does not guarantee a low score 5 years after surgery. Promisingly, most patients demonstrate some improvement in all domains for patient-reported SRS-22 scores at 5-year compared to 2-year follow-up. Understanding the longer term postoperative evolution in patient-reported outcomes may help surgeons to effectively manage and counsel patients who are dissatisfied in the short term.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003828DOI Listing
April 2021

Risk factors for gastrointestinal complications after spinal fusion in children with cerebral palsy.

Spine Deform 2021 Mar 17;9(2):567-578. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, 201 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA.

Design: Prospective cerebral palsy (CP) registry review.

Objectives: (1) Evaluate the incidence/risk factors of gastrointestinal (GI) complications in CP patients after spinal fusion (SF); and (2) investigate the validity of the modified Clavien-Dindo-Sink classification.

Background: Perioperative GI complications result in increased length of stay (LOS) and patient morbidity/mortality. However, none have analyzed the outcomes of GI complications using an objective classification system.

Methods: A prospective/multicenter CP database identified 425 children (mean, 14.4 ± 2.9 years; range, 7.9-21 years) who underwent SF. GI complications were categorized using the modified Clavien-Dindo-Sink classification. Grades I-II were minor complications and grades III-V major. Patients with and without GI complications were compared.

Results: 87 GI complications developed in 69 patients (16.2%): 39 minor (57%) and 30 major (43%). Most common were pancreatitis (n = 45) and ileus (n = 22). Patients with preoperative G-tubes had 2.2 × odds of developing a GI complication compared to oral-only feeders (OR 2.2; 95% CI 0.98-4.78; p = 0.006). Similarly, combined G-tube/oral feeders had 6.7 × odds compared to oral-only (OR 6.7; 95% CI 3.10-14.66; p < 0.001). The likelihood of developing a GI complication was 3.4 × with normalized estimated blood loss (nEBL) ≥ 3 ml/kg/level fused (OR 3.41; 95% CI 1.95-5.95; p < 0.001). Patients with GI complications had more fundoplications (29% vs. 17%; p = 0.03) and longer G-tube fasting periods (3 days vs. 2 days; p < 0.001), oral fasting periods (5 days vs. 2 days; p < 0.001), ICU admissions (6 days vs. 3 days; p = 0.002), and LOS (15 days vs. 8 days; p < 0.001). LOS correlated with the Clavien-Dino-Sink classification.

Conclusion: Gastrointestinal complications such as pancreatitis and ileus are not uncommon after SF in children with CP. This is the first study to investigate the validity of the modified Clavien-Dindo-Sink classification in GI complications after SF. Our results suggest a correlation between complication severity grade and LOS. The complexity of perioperative enteral nutritional supplementation requires prospective studies dedicated to enteral feeding protocols.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic-level III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00233-yDOI Listing
March 2021

What are parents willing to accept? A prospective study of risk tolerance in AIS surgery.

Spine Deform 2021 Mar 13;9(2):381-386. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE, USA.

Introduction: Surgical treatment of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) involves healthy individuals with spinal deformity. Parents are responsible for surgical consent on behalf of their children, a burden which causes trepidation and concern. Therefore, explanation of operative risk is a critical component of informed consent and parent decision-making. We set out to quantify parental risk aversion (RA).

Methods: RA questionnaires were administered preoperatively to parents of 58 AIS patients undergoing spinal fusion (SF). RA is the likelihood of a parent to consent to their child's SF (1- least likely, 10- most) with increasing allotments of data about potential complications at each stage (S1-complication named, S2-explained, S3-incidence given, S4-all information). A statistically significant mean difference in answers for each stage was assessed using paired sample t test or Wilcoxon rank t test. Normality was assessed by performing Shapiro-Wilk test.

Results: AIS patients (age 14.2 years, 85% female, major curve 61°) were included. Mean scores for each of the stages were 4.4 ± 3.1, 4.9 ± 3.1, 6.5 ± 3.0, 6.6 ± 3.0, respectively. Highest and lowest RA were reported for death and infection, respectively. The greatest increase in likelihood to proceed with surgery was seen after education on malposition of implants and on death, 2.6 and 2.5, respectively (p < 0.001). The lowest increase in likelihood to proceed with surgery was seen after education on infection, 1.5 (p < 0.001). For all complications, there was an increase in parent willingness to proceed after providing descriptions and occurrence rate with a mean increase from S1 to S4 of 2.1 (95% CI 1.4-2.4), p < 0.001.

Conclusion: As more detailed information was made available regarding potential complications with SF for AIS, parental RA toward surgery decreased and their willingness to proceed with surgery for their child improved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00216-zDOI Listing
March 2021

New neurologic deficit and recovery rates in the treatment of complex pediatric spine deformities exceeding 100 degrees or treated by vertebral column resection (VCR).

Spine Deform 2021 Mar 9;9(2):427-433. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Department of Orthopedics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Study Design: Prospective multicenter international observational study.

Objective: To investigate incidence of new neurologic deficit (NND) and the long-term recovery patterns following complex pediatric spine deformity surgery. The SRS M&M reports identify pediatric patients as having higher rate of new neurologic deficit compared with adults, while congenital and neuromuscular deformities are associated with higher new neurologic risks. Very few studies have had the large numbers of pediatric patients with curves exceeding 100 deg to ascertain the new neurologic deficit (NND) rates and recovery patterns as it relates to curve laterality and diagnosis.

Method: The FOX pediatric database from 17 international sites was queried for New Neurologic Deficit (NND) as characterized by change in American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Lower or Upper Extremity Motor Score. Recovery rates at specific intervals were recorded and related to the curve type and etiology.

Results: Data of 286 consecutive patients with normal pre-operative neurologic exams were reviewed. There were 160 females vs 125 males with an average age of 14.6 years. NND occurred in 27 patients (9.4%) in the immediate post-operative period. Diagnostic categories included idiopathic scoliosis (3 patients); idiopathic kyphoscoliosis(5 patients); congenital scoliosis (7 patients); congenital kyphoscoliosis (4 patients); congenital kyphosis (6 patients), other kyphosis (1 patient) and syndromic (1 patient). 1 patient was lost to follow-up (f/u) after discharge; 1 had chronic deficits at the first post-operative erect visit (from discharge to 9 months f/u) and was subsequently lost to follow-up; 2 patients were improving at 1-year f/u but lost to subsequent f/u. 16 patients had normal neurologic function by the time of the first post-operative erect visit, 21 patients at 1-year f/u and 21 patients at the 2-year f/u. 2 patients (0.69%) had improved NND at 2-year mark.

Conclusion: A significant proportion of patients with complex spine deformity experience NND. However, significant improvement in neurologic function can be expected over time as seen in this study without additional surgical intervention in most cases. Congenital deformities accounted for 63% of the patients experiencing NND.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00211-4DOI Listing
March 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

Does thoracoplasty adversely affect lung function in complex pediatric spine deformity? A 2-year follow-up review.

Spine Deform 2021 Jan 18;9(1):105-111. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Department of Orthopedics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of prospective multi-center cohort.

Objective: To investigate the impact of thoracoplasty on pulmonary function at 2-year follow-up among complex pediatric spine deformity patients. Complex pediatric spine deformities may be associated with significant rib prominence causing body image concerns. Surgical correction of spine deformity may include thoracoplasty to correct the rotational prominence. Some surgeons refrain from performing thoracoplasty due to its purported negative effect on pulmonary function. There is paucity of literature on the effect of thoracoplasty on pulmonary function at 2-year follow-up in pediatric patients with complex spine deformity.

Methods: We reviewed data of 312 patients (> 100°, with or without vertebral column resection (VCR)) or (< 100° with VCR)) from an international multicenter database. Data of 106 patients with complete radiographic and pulmonary function test (PFT) assessment with a minimum of 2-year follow-up was analyzed. Paired t test was performed to compare pre-op and 2-year PFT results. PFT comparison was stratified based on thoracoplasty status (thoracoplasty: Group 1 vs. no thoracoplasty: Group 2).

Results: 106 patients (61 patients Group 1 vs. 45 in Group 2). The average age and gender ratio were similar in both groups (p  >  0.05). Group 1 had significantly lower body mass index (BMI) compared to Group 2 (18.4 kg m ± 2.8 vs. 19.9 kg m  ±  4.8, p  =  0.0351). The average baseline coronal and sagittal Cobbs were larger for Group 1 relative to Group 2 (p  < 0.05). The distribution of deformity etiology and curve types, and apices were similar between the two groups (p  >  0.05). The rate of pre-op utilization of halo gravity traction (HGT) was 52.5% vs. 26.7% (p  =  0.008), at an average duration of 103 days vs. 47 days, p  =  0.0001. The rate of surgical osteotomies was similar in both groups. Estimated blood volume (EBV) loss was greater in Group 1 (63.1% vs. 43.1%, p  =  0.0012). Post-op coronal and sagittal Cobb correction was similar in both groups. The incidence of post-op pulmonary complication was similar in both groups (8.2% vs. 8.9%, p  =  0.899). Baseline and 2-year follow-up PFT did not differ significantly between and within the groups. Vertebral column resection (VCR) did not negatively affect PFT in both groups.

Conclusion: Despite higher curve magnitudes in patients undergoing surgical correction and thoracoplasty for complex pediatric spine deformity, our findings revealed that thoracoplasty does not negatively affect pulmonary function at 2-year follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00188-0DOI Listing
January 2021

Percutaneous lumbar pedicle fixation in young children with flexion-distraction injury-case report and operative technique.

Childs Nerv Syst 2021 Apr 1;37(4):1363-1368. Epub 2020 Aug 1.

Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa, FL, 33606, USA.

Thoracolumbar fractures in children are relatively uncommon and should be regarded as a separate entity from those in adults. While percutaneous pedicle fixation has emerged as an effective alternative to open fixation in adults with unstable thoracolumbar fractures, this technique is rarely applied in children. We report a 6-year-old girl with an L3 chance fracture, which was treated via short-segment percutaneous pedicle fixation. We also discussed the technical challenges and caveats of this surgical technique in young children. While potentially more challenging, percutaneous pedicle fixation is feasible in young children with thoracolumbar fractures. Specific differences between the developing and mature spine in regard to anatomical and biomechanical characteristics, including ligamentous laxity and intrinsic elasticity, should be taken into consideration. Future studies are needed to compare outcomes of minimally invasive spinal techniques to open surgery in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00381-020-04845-7DOI Listing
April 2021

Major complications following surgical correction of spine deformity in 257 patients with cerebral palsy.

Spine Deform 2020 12 27;8(6):1305-1312. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Division of Orthopedics and Scoliosis, Rady Children's Hospital, 3020 Children's Way, MC 5062, San Diego, CA, 92123, USA.

Study Design: Observational.

Objectives: To report on the rate of major complications following spinal fusion and instrumentation to treat spinal deformity in patients with cerebral palsy (CP). Understanding the risk of major complications following the surgical treatment of spine deformities in patients with CP is critical.

Methods: A prospectively collected, multicenter database of patients with CP who had surgical correction of their spinal deformity (scoliosis or kyphosis) was reviewed for all major complications. Patients with ≥ 2 year follow-up or who died ≤ 2 years of surgery were included. A complication was defined as major if it resulted in reoperation, re-admission to the hospital, prolongation of the hospital stay, was considered life-threatening, or resulted in residual disability. Overall complication and revision rates were calculated for the perioperative (Peri-op; occurring ≤ 90 days postoperative) and delayed postoperative (Delayed; > 90 days) time periods.

Results: Two hundred and fifty-seven patients met inclusion. Seventy-eight (30%) patients had a major complication, 18 (7%) had > 1. There were 92 (36%) major complications; 64 (24.9%) occurred Peri-op. The most common Peri-op complications were wound (n = 16, 6.2%) and pulmonary issues (n = 28, 10.9%), specifically deep infections (n = 12, 4.7%) and prolonged ventilator support (n = 21, 8.2%). Delayed complications (n = 28, 10.9%) were primarily deep infections (n = 8, 3.1%) and instrumentation-related (n = 6, 2.3%). There were 42 additional surgeries for an overall unplanned return to the operating room rate of 16% (Peri-op: 8.6%, Delayed: 7.8%). Thirty-six (14.0%) reoperations were spine related surgeries (wound or instrumentation-related). Eleven (4.3%) patients died between 3 months to 5.6 years postoperatively; 4 occurred ≤ 1 year of surgery. Two deaths were directly related to the spinal deformity surgery.

Conclusion: Spinal deformity surgery in CP patients with greater than 2 years of follow-up have a postoperative major complication rate of 36% with a spine-related reoperation rate of 14.0%.

Level Of Evidence: Therapeutic-IV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00165-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7384279PMC
December 2020

Comparing short-term AIS post-operative complications between ACS-NSQIP and a surgeon study group.

Spine Deform 2020 12 27;8(6):1247-1252. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Rady Children's Hospital, Encinitas, USA.

Study Design: Prospective cohort review.

Objective: To compare two AIS databases to determine if a performance improvement-based surgeon group has different outcomes compared to a national database. The American College of Surgeon's National Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) and a surgeon study group (SG) collect prospective data on AIS surgery outcomes. NSQIP offers open enrollment to all institutions, and SG membership is limited to 15 high-volume institutions, with a major initiative to improve surgeon performance. While both provide important outcome benchmarks, they may reflect outcomes that are not relatable nationwide.

Methods: The ASC-NSQIP Pediatric Spine Fusion and SG database were queried for AIS 30- and 90-day complication data for 2014 and 2015. Prospective enrollment and a dedicated site coordinator with rigorous data quality assurance protocols existed for both registries. Outcomes were compared between groups with respect to superficial and deep surgical site infections (SSI), neurologic injury, readmission, and reoperation.

Results: There were a total of 2927 AIS patients included in the ASC-NSQIP data and 721 in the SG database. Total complication rate was 9.4% NSQIP and 3.6% SG. At 90 days, there were fewer surgical site infections reported by SG than ASC-NSQIP (0.6% vs. 1.6%, p = 0.03). Similarly, there were less spinal cord injuries (0.8% vs 1.5%, p = 0.006), 30-day readmissions (0.8% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.002), and 30-day reoperations (0.6% vs. 1.7%, p = 0.02) in the SG cohort.

Conclusions: Comparison of these two data sets suggests a range of complications and readmission rates, with the SG demonstrating lower values. These results are likely multi-factorial with the performance improvement initiative of the SG playing a role. Understanding the rate and ultimate risk factors for readmission and complications from big data sources has the potential to further drive quality improvement.

Level Of Evidence: III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00170-wDOI Listing
December 2020

The patient generated index and decision regret in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Spine Deform 2020 12 25;8(6):1231-1238. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE, USA.

Hypothesis: AIS patients and their parents will have distinct perspectives regarding the impact of AIS on patients' lives.

Introduction: Current outcome assessment tools for AIS do not fully assess patient-specific disease impact and fail to distinguish between patient and parent perspectives. Patient Generated Index (PGI) has been used in other disease states to assess individual experiences. This study assesses PGI in operative AIS patients and their parents.

Design: Level 1, prospective multi-center study.

Methods: 44 AIS patient and parent pairs completed the PGI questionnaire comprised of three stages (S1, S2, S3) and decision regret (DR). S1 asks for five areas of the patient's life most affected by AIS and a 6th encompassing all other areas of their lives affected, S2 focuses on the magnitude of effect, S3 identifies desire to improve affected areas and DR if the surgery did not improve the specific area. S1 free responses were organized into 14 domains. Descriptive statistics were reported for stage scores; free-response format of PGI and DR limited ability for paired sample t test analysis.

Results: Mean age at surgery was 14.3 years, 84% female, and mean major curve magnitude was 61°. The three most common patient-reported concerns prior to surgery were (in descending order): sports, general function, and general fitness. However, the three most common parent-reported concerns were (in descending order): general function, sports, and appearance. Patients reported self-esteem and parents reported physical appearance as the most affected domain (S2). Patients reported pain and self-esteem and parents reported sleep and self-esteem as main operative aspirations (S3). Decision regret was the highest for uncertainty of future health in patients and sleep in parents.

Conclusion: AIS patients and their parents reported different concerns and DR regarding surgical treatment. PGI provides insight into patient and parent views toward the disease as well as treatment aspirations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00155-9DOI Listing
December 2020

Outcomes of pregnancy in operative vs. nonoperative adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients at mean 30-year follow-up.

Spine Deform 2020 12 23;8(6):1169-1174. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 200 1st St SW, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Objective: To determine whether patients who underwent surgical treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) in childhood would have an increased C-section risk in adulthood. Although the impact of scoliosis on future pregnancy and child delivery is a common question for patients and parents, there is limited data regarding pregnancy outcomes following childhood treatment of AIS.

Methods: Between 1975 and 1992, 60 female patients underwent treatment for AIS with bracing, surgery, or observation and had data available regarding obstetrical history in the electronic medical record or in paper charts. In childhood, 28 had nonoperative treatment and 32 had fusion surgery. During the follow-up period, 2 nonoperative patients and 1 operative patient had fusion surgery in adulthood, but after childbearing years. Mean age at latest follow-up was 43 years (CI 38, 48). Meantime to follow-up since childhood treatment was 31 years (CI 26, 35).

Results: 29% of nonoperative patients had a C-section with at least one live birth compared to 38% of operative patients (p = 0.464). For surgical patients fused to L3 or lower, 46% required at least one C-section, compared to 32% of patients fused to L2 or higher (p = 0.40). Overall, 33% of the cohort of patients-including those with all scoliosis treatment methods-required at least one C-section, compared to the state weighted C-section rate of 20.5% (p = 0.014). The percentage of patients with operative treatment-including all levels of fusion-requiring at least one C-section was statistically different than the weighted state C-section rate (p = 0.020).

Conclusion: In this long-term cohort of 60 US scoliosis patients, childhood operative fusion treatment was associated with a statistically significant increased incidence of C-section compared to the state incidence at both the patient level and the delivery level.

Level Of Evidence: III, comparative cohort study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00158-6DOI Listing
December 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective.

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

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

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

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

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

MRI utilization and rates of abnormal pretreatment MRI findings in early-onset scoliosis: review of a global cohort.

Spine Deform 2020 10 24;8(5):1099-1107. Epub 2020 Apr 24.

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

Study Design: Retrospective review OBJECTIVES: To report the frequency of pretreatment magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) utilization and rates and types of intra-spinal abnormalities identified on MRI in patients with early-onset scoliosis (EOS). MRI can help identify spinal cord abnormalities in patients with EOS.

Methods: We reviewed data from patients enrolled from 1993-2018 in an international EOS registry. Patients with incomplete/unverifiable data and those with spinal deformities secondary to infection or tumor were excluded, leaving 1343 patients for analysis. Demographic characteristics, pretreatment major curve magnitude, treatment type, and MRI findings were analyzed. Patients were categorized by EOS type (congenital, idiopathic, neuromuscular, syndromic), pretreatment MRI utilization, and presence of intra-spinal abnormality on MRI. Univariate testing and multivariate logistic regression were performed to identify demographic, radiographic, and clinical predictors of MRI utilization and abnormal MRI findings.

Results: MRI was used in 836 patients (62%). Pretreatment MRI utilization rates ranged from 42% in neuromuscular EOS to 74% in congenital EOS. Prevalence of abnormal MRI findings was 24% overall, ranging from 13% in patients with idiopathic EOS to 39% in neuromuscular EOS. Compared with white/Caucasian patients, Asian/Asian-American patients had higher odds of MRI utilization and abnormal MRI findings. Treatment type, pretreatment major curve magnitude, age at MRI, and age at treatment were not associated with abnormal MRI findings. Overall, 249 abnormalities were identified in 197 patients. The most common findings were syrinx and tethered cord. Syrinx with Chiari malformation was the most frequent combination of abnormal findings.

Conclusion: In the two-thirds of patients who underwent MRI before EOS treatment, findings were abnormal in 24%. EOS type and race/ethnicity were associated with both MRI utilization and abnormal findings. The most frequent abnormalities were syrinx and tethered cord, and the type of abnormalities appeared to differ by EOS type.

Level Of Evidence: Prognostic, Level III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00115-3DOI Listing
October 2020

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

Impact of Pregnancy on Loss of Deformity Correction After Pedicle Screw Instrumentation for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.

World Neurosurg 2020 07 6;139:e121-e126. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

Department of Pediatric Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland.

Objective: A retrospective multicenter comparative study was carried out to evaluate whether pregnancy leads to the loss of deformity correction (LOC) in female patients surgically treated for idiopathic scoliosis.

Methods: A total of 128 female patients who underwent segmental spinal instrumentation and fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) between 1999 and 2014 were reviewed. Of these patients, 62 became pregnant (surgery-pregnancy group [SPG]), whereas 66 did not (surgery-nonpregnancy [SNP] group). Radiographic parameters were analyzed before surgery, after surgery, before pregnancy, up to 1 year after delivery, and at final follow-up (FFU). Health-related quality of life was analyzed using the Scoliosis Research Society outcome questionnaire (SRS-22r).

Results: The mean age at the time of surgery was 16 years in both groups. The mean preoperative major curves were 65° (standard deviation [SD], 12°) versus 67° (SD, 11°), 18° (SD, 9°) versus 17° (SD, 9°) immediately after surgery, and 20° (SD, 8°) versus 20° (SD, 8°) at FFU in the SPG and SNP groups, respectively (P > 0.10 for all comparisons). The mean loss of correction was 3.5° (SD, 3°) in the SPG and 4.5 (SD, 3°) for SNP groups, respectively (P = 0.379). The mean preoperative thoracic kyphosis (T5-T12) was 26.5° (SD, 11.9°) for SPG and 24.7° (SD, 14.5°) for SNP, after surgery 19.2° (SD, 9.5°) for SPG, 18.8 (SD, 8.9°) for SNP and at FFU, 20.3° (SD, 9°) for SPG and 21.3° (SD, 8.5°) for SNP.

Conclusions: Women who have undergone pedicle screw instrumentation and fusion who have had ≥1 pregnancies do not have curve progression or deterioration in the longer-term outcomes compared with patients who have not become pregnant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2020.03.142DOI Listing
July 2020

Proximal anchor fixation in magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGR): preliminary 2-year results of the impact of anchor location and density.

Spine Deform 2020 08 18;8(4):793-800. Epub 2020 Mar 18.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 3401 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

Study Design: Multicenter, retrospective cohort study.

Objectives: Analyze the impact of MCGR proximal anchor location and density on radiographic outcomes and complications. Magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGRs) reduce the need for repeat operations for lengthening when treating spinal deformity in children. The evidence behind choosing the location and density of proximal anchors comes from the traditional growing rod and rib-based distraction technique literature. Thus, there is much debate regarding the optimal quantity and location of proximal anchors.

Methods: This study included early-onset scoliosis patients treated with MCGR with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Comparisons of 2-year correction in the coronal and sagittal planes, complication rates, and patient-reported outcomes were made based on proximal fixation type, proximal anchor density, and type of case (primary, conversion).

Results: This study included 155 MCGR patients. Spinal deformity correction at 2 years was significantly higher in spine-based than rib-based constructs, in terms of both the major (23.9° vs. 17.1°, p = 0.05) and minor curves (10.0° vs. 4.5°, p = 0.03). Greater proximal anchor density, regardless of location, was also associated with better major curve correction at 2 years (25.0° vs. 18.2°, p < 0.05). There was a trend towards higher risk of device migration with rib-based fixation (13.8% vs. 4.1%, p = 0.06) and rod breakage with spine-based fixation (10.3% vs. 3.4%, p = 0.21). Having 5+ proximal anchors did not significantly decrease the risk of complication, including device migration (8.4% vs. 7.7%).

Conclusions: When using the MCGR, proximal spine anchors and greater anchor density impart superior deformity correction but do not significantly impact the risk of device complications. Although rib-based constructs afford less rigidity than spine-based constructs, there is a similar risk of rod breakage and device migration. This study suggests that having 5+ MCGR proximal anchors does not protect against proximal anchor complication.

Level Of Evidence: Level III-therapeutic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-020-00102-8DOI Listing
August 2020

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

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

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

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

Study Design: Retrospective, multicenter.

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

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

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

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

New Paradigms in the Continuum of Spine Care: From Newborns to Elderly Patients.

Instr Course Lect 2019 ;68:289-304

The evaluation and management of spinal disorders is complex and constantly evolving. Back pain and spinal deformity are substantial contributors to hospital and outpatient physician visits even for young patients. With new insights into the etiology, clinical presentation, and evaluation, children can be more accurately diagnosed and treated. Patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis may undergo selective fusion to preserve motion segments, and in some cases, vertebral body tethering or other growth-modification techniques may provide correction with motion preservation in this rapidly changing specialty. The understanding of spinopelvic parameters (pelvic incidence, pelvic tilt, sacral slope) and sagittal balance as they relate to clinical health status has provided surgeons with valuable guidance when managing pediatric and adult spinal deformity. An evidence-based approach to the management of spinal disorders across the continuum of ages has the goal of improving the value of care through optimization of outcomes and limitation of costs and complications. There are new paradigms in the management of spinal disorders and evidence-based approaches to the evaluation and management of patients across the ages.
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February 2020

Do seizures compromise correction maintenance after spinal fusion in cerebral palsy scoliosis?

J Pediatr Orthop B 2020 Nov;29(6):538-541

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Seizure disorder in cerebral palsy (CP) has been described as a risk factor for postoperative complications after posterior spinal fusion. However, the effect of seizures on the maintenance of curve correction has not been reported. The aim of this study is to investigate associations between seizure history and maintenance of curve correction after posterior spinal fusion in children with CP. We analyzed records of 201 children with CP who underwent posterior spinal fusion with two-year follow-up. Patients were classified as having no seizures (31%); controlled seizures (54%); or poorly controlled seizures (PCS, 15%). Perioperative data, radiographic measurements, and complications were compared between groups. Groups were similar in operative time, estimated blood loss, and rates of deep wound infection and implant-related complications. The PCS group had a higher rate of respiratory complications (27%) than the no seizures (10%; P = 0.03) and controlled seizures (12%; P = 0.04) groups. Controlled seizures and PCS groups had longer ICU stays than the no seizures group (P= 0.02 and P= 0.04). Major coronal curve and pelvic obliquity were corrected significantly in all groups, and correction was maintained at 2 years. Loss of correction during follow-up was similar between groups. Although seizures were associated with longer ICU stays and more respiratory complications, there was no association between seizure history and loss of curve correction at two years of follow-up after CP scoliosis surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BPB.0000000000000705DOI Listing
November 2020

Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial (BrAIST): Development and Validation of a Prognostic Model in Untreated Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Using the Simplified Skeletal Maturity System.

Spine Deform 2019 11;7(6):890-898.e4

3851 Katella Avenue, Suite 255, Los Alamitos, CA 90720, USA.

Study Design: Prognostic study and validation using prospective clinical trial data.

Objective: To derive and validate a model predicting curve progression to ≥45° before skeletal maturity in untreated patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

Summary Of Background Data: Studies have linked the natural history of AIS with characteristics such as sex, skeletal maturity, curve magnitude, and pattern. The Simplified Skeletal Maturity Scoring System may be of particular prognostic utility for the study of curve progression. The reliability of the system has been addressed; however, its value as a prognostic marker for the outcomes of AIS has not. The BrAIST trial followed a sample of untreated AIS patients from enrollment to skeletal maturity, providing a rare source of prospective data for prognostic modeling.

Methods: The development sample included 115 untreated BrAIST participants. Logistic regression was used to predict curve progression to ≥45° (or surgery) before skeletal maturity. Predictors included the Cobb angle, age, sex, curve type, triradiate cartilage, and skeletal maturity stage (SMS). Internal and external validity was evaluated using jackknifed samples of the BrAIST data set and an independent cohort (n = 152). Indices of discrimination and calibration were estimated. A risk classification was created and the accuracy evaluated via the positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV).

Results: The final model included the SMS, Cobb angle, and curve type. The model demonstrated strong discrimination (c-statistics 0.89-0.91) and calibration in all data sets. The classification system resulted in PPVs of 0.71-0.72 and NPVs of 0.85-0.93.

Conclusions: This study provides the first rigorously validated model predicting a short-term outcome of untreated AIS. The resultant estimates can serve two important functions: 1) setting benchmarks for comparative effectiveness studies and 2) most importantly, providing clinicians and families with individual risk estimates to guide treatment decisions.

Level Of Evidence: Level 1, prognostic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2019.01.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6939758PMC
November 2019

Obesity Is Associated With Increased Thoracic Kyphosis in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Patients and Nonscoliotic Adolescents.

Spine Deform 2019 11;7(6):865-869

University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0021, USA; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, 3020 Children's Way, San Diego, CA 92123, USA. Electronic address:

Study Design: Retrospective comparative cohort study.

Objective: To compare radiographic parameters between adolescents with a greater body mass index (BMI) percentile to underweight individuals.

Summary Of Background Data: Increased BMI percentile has been associated with increased complications after surgical correction of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). However, association between BMI percentile and preoperative sagittal plane alignment has not been evaluated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of BMI percentile on sagittal alignment in AIS patients compared with nonscoliotic adolescents.

Methods: Posterior-anterior and lateral spinal radiographs of 1,551 AIS patients with a thoracic major curve (Lenke 1-4) and 70 nonscoliotic adolescent patients were compared. BMI percentile was determined based on age and sex, and patients were divided into four categories: underweight (<5th percentile), normal-weight (5th-85th percentile), overweight (85th-95th percentile), and obese (≥95th percentile).

Results: Coronal plane deformity magnitude was not significantly different between the 4 categories of AIS patients (p = .51). Increased BMI percentile was associated with increased thoracic kyphosis globally (T2-T12: p < .005) as well as segmentally (T2-T5: p < .001; T5-T12: p < .001) in patients with AIS. This was also true in obese adolescents without spinal deformity (p < .04). Lumbar lordosis, pelvic incidence, and pelvic tilt were not significantly different between AIS patients in the four BMI percentile categories (p > .07). Pelvic incidence was significantly greater in AIS patients compared with nonscoliotic adolescents (54 ± 13 vs. 46 ± 11; p = .01).

Conclusion: Increased BMI percentile is associated with increased thoracic kyphosis in AIS patients and nonscoliotic adolescents. Excess weight may reduce anterior vertebral growth. AIS patients have an increased pelvic incidence compared with nonscoliotic adolescents; however, this variable is not influenced by body mass. These relationships should be taken into account when planning sagittal plane deformity correction or considering neuro axis disorders (also associated with increased kyphosis) in patients with scoliosis.

Level Of Evidence: Level II.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jspd.2019.03.010DOI Listing
November 2019

The Role of Cross-Links in Posterior Spinal Fusion for Cerebral Palsy-Related Scoliosis.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2019 Nov;44(21):E1256-E1263

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

Study Design: Retrospective review of a multicenter, prospective database.

Objective: Our aim was to compare complication rates and maintenance of radiographic correction at 2 years after posterior spinal fusion (PSF) with or without cross-links in patients with cerebral palsy (CP)-related scoliosis.

Summary Of Background Data: Cross-links are frequently used in PSF to correct scoliosis in patients with CP because they are thought to increase the stiffness and torsional rigidity of the construct.

Methods: We reviewed the records of patients with CP who underwent primary PSF with or without cross-links between August 2008 and April 2015. Inclusion criteria were minimum follow-up of 2 years, availability of complications data (implant failure, surgical site infection, revision), and pre- and postoperative measurements of the major curve (measured using the Cobb method). The 256 patients included in this analysis had a mean age of 14.1 ± 2.7 years. Ninety-four patients had cross-links (57% using one cross-link; 43% using two cross-links) and 162 patients did not have cross-links. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: The two groups did not differ significantly with regard to sex, age at surgery, preoperative menarche status, Gross Motor Function Classification System level, major curve magnitude, pelvic obliquity, kyphosis, and lordosis angles. There were no significant differences between groups in the correction achieved or the maintenance of correction at 2 years for the major curve, pelvic obliquity, kyphosis, or lordosis (all P > 0.05). Complication rates were similar between the cross-link group (16%, N = 15) and the non-cross-link group (14%, N = 22).

Conclusion: At 2 years after PSF to treat CP-related scoliosis, patients had no significant differences in the degree of correction achieved, the maintenance of correction, or the rate of complications between those whose fusion constructs used cross-links and those whose constructs did not.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003117DOI Listing
November 2019