, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 101-106

Predominantly posterior instrumentation and fusion in neuromuscular and neurogenic scoliosis in children and adolescents

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We studied the results in 46 patients with neuromuscular and neurogenic scoliosis (average age 13.5 years, range 6–19 years) who had had posterior fusion with a modified Luque technique between May 1985 and June 1992. The main criteria to recommend surgery were curve progression, loss of balance when sitting, control of the head and difficulties in wearing an external orthotic support. The mean preoperative curve was 63°, the postoperative value was 24°, representing a correction of about 62%. The average number of stabilized segments was 13. In 39 out of 46 patients, lumbosacral fixation was included in the construct. Failure of implants, pseudarthroses and major losses of correction in purely neuromuscular scolioses could be avoided by using rigid segmental fixation and a dorsolateral fusion with a mixture of autologous and allogenous bone. The scoliosis most difficult to influence was found to be Friedreich's ataxia. In Duchenne muscular dystrophy the best method of treatment was surgery performed as early as possible, i.e. at the time of loss of walking capacity in the case of a scoliosis exceeding 20° and with two consecutive X-rays proving curve progression. Analysis of our series does not confirm the morbidity and complication rates of previous studies.