Background: Final fusion is thought to be the end point for patients with early onset scoliosis following treatment with the use of growing rods. But is it? The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence and cause of any reoperation after final fusion.
Methods: A multicenter database of patients with early onset scoliosis was retrospectively analyzed to identify patients treated with growing rods with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up after final fusion. All reoperations were recorded. Reoperation was defined as a return to the operating room for any complication related to the final fusion surgery or etiology of the spinal deformity.
Results: One hundred (84%) of 119 patients met the inclusion criteria: for 38 of the patients, the etiology of scoliosis was neuromuscular; for 31, syndromic; for 22, idiopathic; and for 9, congenital. The mean age at final fusion was 12.2 years (range, 8.5 to 18.7 years). The mean follow-up after final fusion was 4.3 years (range, 2 to 11.2 years). Twenty (20%) of the patients had 30 complications requiring reoperation (57 procedures). There was a mean of 1.5 complications per patient after final fusion. Eight patients with neuromuscular scoliosis, 8 with syndromic, 4 with idiopathic, and no patient with congenital scoliosis required reoperation. Nine (9%) of the patients experienced infection (33 reoperation procedures); 6 (6%) had instrumentation failure (8 procedures); 5 (5%) had painful or prominent instrumentation (6 procedures); 3 (3%) each had coronal deformity (3 procedures), pseudarthrosis (3 procedures), or sagittal deformity (3 procedures); and 1 (1%) had progressive crankshaft chest wall deformity requiring a thoracoplasty (1 procedure).
Conclusions: A higher-than-anticipated percentage of patients treated with growing rods required unplanned reoperation following final fusion. Long-term follow-up after final fusion is necessary to determine true final results. Patients and parents need to be counseled regarding the possibility of further surgery after final fusion.
Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Disclosure: Funding for this study was provided by the Growing Spine Foundation. On the Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest forms, which are provided with the online version of the article, one or more of the authors checked “yes” to indicate that the author had a relevant financial relationship in the biomedical arena outside the submitted work and “yes” to indicate that the author had other relationships or activities that could be perceived to influence, or have the potential to influence, what was written in this work.
- Copyright © 2016 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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