To investigate the correction effectiveness, incidence rate of distal adding on, and post-operative spinal balance in Lenke 3C and 6C AIS treated with extensive fusion using posterior pedicle screw-only constructs.
We reviewed all AIS cases surgically treated in our institution between 2002 and 2008. The inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) Lenke 3C or 6C scoliosis patients who were treated with extensive fusion using posterior pedicle screw-only constructs; (2) minimum two year radiographic follow-up; (3) the lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV) ended at L2, L3 or L4 level. All image data were available in our picture archiving and communication systems (PACSs) , and all radiographic measurements were performed. Standing anteroposterior (AP) and lateral digital radiographs were reviewed at four different time points (pre-op, post-op, three months, and two years). In each standing AP radiograph, CSVL (center sacral vertical line, the vertical line bisecting the proximal sacrum) was first drawn, followed by measurement of the translation (deviation from the CSVL) of some key vertebrae, such as the lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV), LIV + 1 (the first vertebra below LIV), lumbar apical vertebra, thoracic apical vertebra and T1, enabling depiction of how translation of different parts of the spine changes over time. Additionally, the Cobb angles of major thoracic and lumbar curves were measured at the different time points and the correction rate was calculated.
Of the 278 patients reviewed, 25 met the inclusion criteria. Immediately after surgery, satisfactory corrections were achieved from the perspective of not only Cobb angle but also vertebral translation. And the corrections were well retained in the following two years. The incidence rate of distal adding-on was low in this group of patients. In the course of two years following surgery, only six patients had an increase of greater than 5 mm in LIV + 1 translation, and among which only two patients had greater than 10 mm. Regarding global balance, overall, it neither improved nor deteriorated after extensive fusion. Furthermore, trunk shift was found in only three patients at two year follow-up.
In Lenke 3C and 6C scoliosis, extensive fusion can produce satisfactory corrections from the perspectives of both Cobb angle and vertebral translation and rarely causes significant distal adding-on, global imbalance or trunk shift.