Posterior Vertebral Column Resection for Severe Rigid Scoliosis

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Study Design.

Retrospective study.


To report on the technique and results of posterior vertebral column resection (PVCR) for severe rigid scoliosis.

Summary of Background Data.

The treatment of severe rigid scoliosis is a demanding surgical challenge. Conventional procedures such as combined anteroposterior instrumentation enable limited correction. In rigid scoliosis, vertebral column resection is a better option for accomplishing translation of spinal column. PVCR is performed through a single posterior approach.


A total of 16 patients with scoliosis (average age 29 years) subjected to PVCR were retrospectively reviewed after a minimum follow-up of 2 years (range 2−6.8). The indication for PVCR was scoliosis more than 80°, with flexibility less than 25%. The radiographic parameters were evaluated, and clinical records were reviewed.


The number of vertebrae removed averaged 1.3, and 21 total (15 thoracic and 6 lumbar). Average fusion extent was 10.6 vertebrae. The mean preoperative scoliosis of 109.0° was corrected to 45.6° (59% correction) at the most recent follow-up, and the minor curve of 59.3° was corrected to 29.2° (51% correction). The mean preoperative coronal imbalance of 4.0 cm was improved to 1.0 cm at the most recent follow-up, and sagittal imbalance of 4.2 cm was improved to 1.6 cm. Complications were encountered in 4 patients, including 1 complete paralysis, 1 hematoma, 1 hemopneumothorax, and 1 proximal junctional kyphosis.


PVCR is an effective alternative for severe rigid scoliosis. It is a highly technical procedure and should only be performed by an experienced surgical team.

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