Anterior and Posterior Vertebral Column Resection Versus Posterior-only Technique: A Comparison of Clinical Outcomes and Complications in Congenital Kyphoscoliosis

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Abstract

Study Design:

Retrospective cohort.

Objective:

The purpose of this study is to compare the anterior-posterior surgery to posterior-only vertebra resection for congenital kyphoscoliosis in pediatric patients.

Summary of Background Data:

Vertebral column resection is a very powerful correction technique mainly used in the treatment of severe and rigid spinal deformities. The technique can be applied with combined anterior and posterior vertebral column resection (APVCR) or posterior-only vertebral column resection (PVCR) approaches. PVCR has gained popularity recently due to several apparent advantages, but APVCR is still believed by some to be a viable alternative, despite the use of an anterior exposure.

Materials and Methods:

A retrospective chart and radiographic review was performed including the patients with congenital kyphoscoliosis up to 16 years of age who were operated on by a single senior surgeon in our department after 2005. The data included surgical time, estimated blood loss, duration of hospital and postoperative intensive care unit stay, intraoperative and postoperative complications. Preoperative, postoperative, and follow-up radiographs were evaluated for scoliosis, kyphosis, and spinal balance.

Results:

Twenty-six patients (20 girls, 6 boys) met the inclusion criteria. APVCR was performed on 17 (median age, 13.2 y) and PVCR on 9 (median age, 10.7 y). Scoliosis correction at the time of last follow-up was 54.3% and 52.6% for APVCR and PVCR, respectively, whereas the average kyphosis correction was 25.4 degrees in APVCR and 30.1 degrees in PVCR group. Surgical time, hospital stay, and estimated blood loss were all significantly higher in the APVCR group, whereas the complication rates were similar. No neurological or vascular complications were encountered.

Conclusions:

This study showed that although the operative time and surgical blood loss were higher with APVCR, there were no major complications and the radiologic outcomes were similar between APVCR and PVCR. APVCR should be considered as an acceptable technique especially in deformities where PVCR would be technically difficult or at the beginning of the spine surgeon’s learning curve.

Level of Evidence:

Level III.

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