Sagittal plane parameters in growing rod patients following final fusion
Almost half of growing rod (GR) patients that undergo final fusion (FF) have an extension of instrumented levels. The purpose of this study was to review sagittal plane radiographic parameters of patients with distal extension of instrumented levels at FF to those whose levels remained the same. Radiographs were assessed preoperatively, after GR insertion/first lengthening, following GR treatment before FFs, and after FF. Measurements included sagittal balance, lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, and distal junction angle (DJA). Twenty-one patients were included. There was no change in sagittal balance. There was a significant decrease in lordosis and kyphosis following initial GR implantation. Kyphosis and lordosis increased during the GR period, but remained unchanged at time of FF. DJA increased 8° on average. Seven patients had distal extension of instrumented levels at time of FF (average 2 levels, range: 1–4). Indication for distal extension was sagittal plane decompensation in four cases. When comparing patients who had distal extension at the time of FF to those whose levels remained the same, there was no difference in the change in sagittal balance, lordosis, or kyphosis. Final DJA was significantly smaller in those patients with distal extension. Most GR patients that undergo FF demonstrate acceptable correction of sagittal plane radiographic parameters. A small cohort of patients requires distal extension at FF due to sagittal plane decompensation. Level of Evidence: Level IV, Therapeutic.