Decision Making Regarding Smith-Petersen vs. Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy vs. Vertebral Column Resection for Spinal Deformity

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Study Design.

Author experience and literature review.


To investigate and discuss decision-making on when to perform a Smith-Petersen osteotomy as opposed to a pedicle subtraction procedure and/or a vertebral column resection.

Summary of Background Data.

Articles have been published regarding Smith-Petersen osteotomies, pedicle subtraction procedures, and vertebral column resections. Expectations and complications have been reviewed. However, decision-making regarding which of the 3 procedures is most useful for a particular spinal deformity case is not clearly investigated.


Discussed in this manuscript is the author’s experience and the literature regarding the operative options for a fixed coronal or sagittal deformity.


There are roles for Smith-Petersen osteotomy, pedicle subtraction, and vertebral column resection. Each has specific applications and potential complications.


As the magnitude of resection increases, the ability to correct deformity improves, but also the risk of complication increases. Therein, an understanding of potential applications and complications is helpful.

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