Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

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We evaluated the results of segmental fixation of the spine with Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation in ninety-five patients who had adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The instrumentation was used in an attempt to achieve three-dimensional correction of the scoliosis, maintain lumbar lordosis, create thoracic kyphosis, and avoid the need for a postoperative cast or brace. The patients were followed for twenty-four to sixty-four months (average, thirty-five months). Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation provided an average correction of the coronal curve of 48 per cent at the time of the most recent follow-up. The normal sagittal curves at the thoracolumbar junction and in the lumbar spine were maintained, and the thoracic kyphosis was increased slightly (average, +7 degrees). Apical translation improved an average of 60 per cent, and apical rotation improved an average of 11 per cent. Forced vital capacity improved an average of 21 per cent, and the one-second forced expiratory volume improved an average of 18 per cent. There were no major neurological deficits. A symptomatic pseudarthrosis developed in one patient. Postoperatively, decompensation of the spine developed in five of the first twenty-six patients who had a Type-II or Type-III curve. This complication was avoided in the last twenty-four patients who had a Type-II or Type-III curve by means of a stricter adherence to the definition of a Type-II curve, and reversal of the bend of the rod and the hooks between the caudal neutral and stable vertebrae. The major advantages of Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation are the stable fixation that is achieved and the preservation of segmental lumbar lordosis.

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