Study design: Retrospective.
Objectives: To assess final outcomes in patients with early-onset scoliosis (EOS) who underwent growth-preserving instrumentation (GPI). Various types of growth-preserving instrumentation (GPI) are frequently employed, but until recently had not been utilized long enough to assess final outcomes.
Methods: GPI “graduates” with multi-level congenital curves were identified. Graduation was defined as a final fusion or 5 years of follow-up without planned future surgeries. Outcomes included radiographic parameters and complications.
Results: 26 patients were included. 11 had associated diagnoses; eight had fused ribs. 17 were treated with traditional growing rods, seven with vertically expandable prosthetic ribs, and two with Shilla procedures. The mean GPI spanned 12.3 levels including 10.7 motion segments, age at index surgery was 5.5 years, treatment spanned 7.5 years, and follow-up was 9.2 years. 24 patients underwent final fusion. Mean major curve decreased from 73° to 49° with index surgery (p < 0.01) and remained unchanged through a final follow-up. Final major curve was < 40° in 9 patients (35%), 40°-60° in 11 patients (42%), and > 60° in 6 patients (23%). None worsened throughout treatment. Mean T1-T12 height increased 2.4 cm with index surgery (p = 0.02) and 5.4 cm total (p < 0.01). T1-T12 height increased in all patients and was ultimately < 18 cm in 10 patients (38%), 18-22 cm in 10 patients (38%), and > 22 cm in 6 patients (23%). On average, there were 2.6 complications per patient, including 1.7 implant failures. 12 patients (46%) experienced ≥ 3 complications; four patients (15%) experienced none.
Conclusion: We observed successful prevention of deformity progression but substantial residual deformity among GPI graduates with multi-level congenital EOS. Most coronal curve correction was attained during GPI implantation; thoracic height improved throughout treatment. While some favorable results were found, treatment strategies allowing improved deformity correction would be valuable for this challenging population.
Investigator, CHEO Research Institute