Posterolateral Diskectomies for Treatment of Pediatric Spinal Deformities

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Abstract

Study Design.

Retrospective.

Objective.

To investigate the indications, radiographic outcomes, and complications in children with spinal deformities treated with posterolateral diskectomy with posterior fusion (PLDF), and to compare them against those of patients treated with anteroposterior spinal fusion (APSF).

Summary of Background Data.

A novel technique for treating large, rigid spinal deformities in children has been proposed, consisting of PLDF at the apex of the deformity using an all-posterior approach.

Methods.

We evaluated records of all patients 21 years or younger who underwent treatment for spinal deformity between 2010 and 2015 by one surgeon using PLDF (n = 56) or APSF (n = 21).

Results.

The indications for PLDF were large, rigid curves (37 patients); focal curves with severe rotation (10 patients); or large curves with open triradiate cartilage (9 patients). PLDF patients had a mean (± standard deviation) of 3 ± 1 diskectomies and 14 ± 3 posterior spinal levels fused. Compared with the APSF group, the PLDF group had significantly greater major curve correction (86% vs. 57%, P = 0.006), less blood transfused (mean, 2.5 ± 2.6 vs. 4.0 ± 3.3 units, P = 0.038), and a lower rate of staged surgery (1.8% vs. 86%, P < 0.001). There were no significant differences between the PLDF and APSF groups in T1-S1 length gained (mean, 6.2 ± 3.4 vs. 6.6 ± 8.8 cm, respectively; P = 0.77) or in the rate of major complications (P = 0.557).

Conclusions.

PLDF is an effective alternative to APSF for treating children with severe spinal deformities. It is effective for treating large, rigid curves with severe rotation and may be useful for treating large curves in children with open triradiate cartilage.

Conclusions.

Level of Evidence: 4

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