Performing a Definitive Fusion in Juvenile CP Patients is a Good Surgical Option

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Abstract

Background:

In juveniles with progressive curves, there is debate regarding the use of growth friendly implants versus definitive fusion. This study presents outcomes of juvenile cerebral palsy (CP) scoliosis patients who underwent definitive fusion before age 11.

Methods:

A review of a prospective, multicenter registry identified patients 10 years and younger who had a definitive posterior fusion for their CP scoliosis. Preoperative and postoperative demographic and radiographic changes were evaluated with descriptive statistics. Repeated measures analysis of variance were utilized to compare outcome scores.

Results:

Fourteen children with a mean age of 9.7 years (8.3 to 10.8 y) and a minimum of 2 years follow-up (range 2 to 3 y) were identified. The mean preoperative curve magnitude and pelvic obliquity was 84±25 degrees (range 63 to 144 degrees) and 25±14 degrees, respectively. All patients were skeletally immature with open triradiate cartilage. Three patients had unit rods with wires while the rest incorporated pedicle screws. Immediately postoperation, the average major curve was 25±17 degrees (P≤0.001, 71% correction rate). At most recent follow-up, the average major curve increased to 30±18 degrees (P≤0.001) for a 65% correction rate. Pelvic obliquity improved to 4±4 degrees (84% correction, P≤0.001) immediately postoperation and to 6±5 degrees (P=0.002) at latest follow-up for a 76% correction rate. None of the patients required revision surgery for progression. From pre to most recent follow-up, the CPchild Health outcome scores improved from 47 to 58 (P=0.019). One patient had a deep infection, and 1 patient had a broken rod that did not require any further treatment.

Conclusions:

Progressive scoliosis in juvenile CP patients requires the surgeon to balance the need for further growth with the risks of progression or repeated surgical procedures. Our study demonstrates that definitive fusion once the curves approach 90 degrees results in significant radiographic and quality of life improvements, but further follow-up is needed to determine whether those results remain after skeletal maturity.

Level of Evidence:

Level IV—therapeutic.

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