We evaluated the radiographic results of posterior spinal arthrodesis with use of Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation in seventy-six patients who had adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. At an average of six years (range, five to ten years) postoperatively, the fusion appeared to be solid in all patients. Comparison of radiographs that had been made immediately postoperatively with those that had been made at the time of the latest follow-up showed that no patient had lost any correction in the coronal plane at the levels with instrumentation and seventy-five had had no change in the thoracic or lumbar sagittal alignment at the levels with or without instrumentation. In the remaining patient, a kyphosis had developed at the junction of the segments with instrumentation and those without instrumentation, necessitating additional operative treatment.
Sixty-three patients completed a questionnaire for assessment of the clinical status. Their responses were favorable with regard to function, cosmetic appearance, and general satisfaction with the operative result. Twenty-four (38 per cent) of the sixty-three patients reported occasional pain in the spine that did not interfere with work or school activities. Sixty-two patients stated that, given the hypothetical situation of reverting to the preoperative status, they would have the operation again.