Original Article

European Spine Journal

, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp 394-399

First online:

Rip hump correction and rotation of the lumbar spine after selective thoracic fusion

  • A. J. F. HosmanAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedics, Sint Maartenskliniek
  • , G. H. SlotAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedics, Sint Maartenskliniek
  • , W. I. BeijneveldAffiliated withDepartment of Orthopaedics, Sint Maartenskliniek
  • , J. van LimbeekAffiliated withDepartment of Research and Development, Sint MaartenskliniekDepartment of Rehabilitation, Sint Maartenskliniek

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In this study a series of 32 patients with idiopathic scoliosis, managed with selective thoracic fusion, was reviewed. Classified according to King and instrumented with the H-frame, the patients were evaluated for curve correction, rib hump correction and postoperative shift in lumbar rotation. Age and follow-up averaged 19.4 and 2.4 years, respectively. The 32 patients had an average primary and lumbar curve correction of, respectively, 66% (6.0% correction loss) and 53% (3.4% correction loss). The respective values for postoperative rib hump correction and shift in apical lumbar rotation averaged 8° and 9.4° in type II King curves, 4.4° and 3.5° in type III and 11° and-5° in Type IV. Significant differences were noted between the curve types in rib hump correction and shift in lumbar rotation. The study showed that en bloc postoperative rotation of the compensatory lumbar segment, directed towards the rib hump, positively influences rib hump correction. This en bloc rotation of the unfused lumbar segments is induced by the correcting forces applied by the instrumentation. The unfused lumbar spine of a patient with a King type II curve shows a larger lumbar rotation shift and subsequent rib hump correction than that of a patient with a King type III curve. Together with factors such as lateral angulation, rib-vertebra angles and structural limitations, the rotational dynamics of the unfused lumbar spine seem to form an important component in the understanding and surgical management of scoliosis.

Key words

Idiopathic scoliosis Rib hump Vertebral rotation Lumbar spine Selective fusion