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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-34

The evaluation of short fusion in idiopathic scoliosis

1 Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand
2 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
3 Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Wichien Laohacharoensombat
Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.58603

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Background: Selective thoracic fusion in type II curve has been recommended by King et al. since 1983. They suggested that care must be taken to use the vertebra that is neutral and stable so that the lower level of fusion is centered over the sacrum. Since then there has been the trend to do shorter and selective fusion of the major curve. This study was conducted to find out whether short posterior pedicle instrumentation alone could provide efficient correction and maintain trunk balance comparing to the anterior instrumentation. Materials and Methods: A prospective study was conducted during 2005-2007 on 39 consecutive cases with idiopathic scoliosis cases King 2 and 3 (Lenke 1A, 1B), 5C and miscellaneous. Only the major curve was instrumented unless both curves were equally rigid and of the same magnitude. The level of fusion was planned as the end vertebra (EVB) to EVB fusion, although minor adjustment was modified by the surgeons intraoperatively. The most common fusion levels in major thoracic curves were T6-T12, whereas the most common fusion levels in the thoraco-lumbar curves were T10-L3. Fusion was performed from the posterior only approach and the implants utilized were uniformly plate and pedicle screw system. All the patients were followed at least 2 years till skeletal maturity. The correction of the curve were assessed according to type of curve (lenke IA, IB and 5), severity of curve (less than 450, 450-890 and more than 900), age at surgery (14 or less and 15 or more) and number of the segment involved in instrumentation (fusion level less than curve, fusion level as of the curve and fusion more than the curve) Results: The average long-term curve correction for the thoracic was 40.4% in Lenke 1A, 52.2% in Lenke 1B and 56.3% in Lenke 5. The factors associated with poorer outcome were younger age at surgery (<11 years or Risser 0), fusion at wrong levels (shorter than the measured end vertebra) and rigid curve identified by bending study. However, all patients had significant improved trunk balance and coronal hump at the final assessment at maturity. Two patients underwent late extension fusion because of junctional scoliosis. Conclusions: With modern instrumentations, the EVB of the major curve can be used at the end of the instrumentation in most cases of idiopathic scoliosis. In those cases with either severe trunk shift, younger than 11 years old, or extreme rigid curve, an extension of one or more levels might be safer. In particular situations, the concept of centering the lowest vertebra over the sacrum should be adopted.

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