Posterior Spinal Fusion With Pedicle Screws in Patients With Idiopathic Scoliosis and Open Triradiate Cartilage: Does Deformity Progression Occur?

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Background:Anterior-posterior spinal fusion (APSF) is the traditional treatment for patients with idiopathic scoliosis and open triradiate cartilage (OTRC). Our goals were to assess whether posterior-only spinal fusion (PSF) with pedicle screws can halt deformity progression as effectively as APSF in patients with OTRC, and whether selection of the distal fusion level influences curve progression.Methods:We studied a prospective multicenter database to identify all children with 2-year radiographic and clinical follow-up who were 11 years or younger with Risser grade 0 and OTRC who were treated with (1) PSF (OTRC-PSF group, N=20); or (2) APSF (OTRC-APSF group, N=9). A reference group was constructed of 20 children who were 18 years or younger with Risser grade 4 or 5 and closed triradiate cartilage (CTRC) and who were treated with PSF (CTRC-PSF group) and matched in preoperative curve magnitude and type to the OTRC-PSF group. The 3 groups were compared with respect to operative time, blood loss, length of hospital stay, and radiographic and functional outcomes (significance, P<0.05).Results:OTRC-APSF patients had significantly longer operative time (P<0.01), greater blood loss (P=0.02), and longer hospital stays (P<0.01) than OTRC-PSF patients. At 2 years, 7 (35%) OTRC-PSF patients had >10 degrees of curve progression compared with no patients in the OTRC-APSF group (P=0.042) and 1 patient in the CTRC-PSF group (P=0.018). The OTRC-PSF group had the highest number of patients fused to the stable vertebra. Of the 11 OTRC-PSF patients fused to 1 vertebra short of stable, 6 (55%) had >10 degrees of curve progression. Of the 9 OTRC-PSF patients fused to at least the stable vertebra or lower, only 1 (11%) had curve progression. There were no significant differences in Scoliosis Research Society outcome scores between OTRC-PSF patients who did and those who did not have >10 degrees of curve progression.Conclusions:PSF with pedicle screws was associated with curve progression in a significantly greater proportion of patients with OTRC compared with APSF. Not fusing to stable was also associated with curve progression in patients treated with PSF but not APSF.Level of Evidence:Level III—therapeutic.

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