, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1264-1272
Date: 08 Feb 2013

Preoperative pelvic axial rotation: a possible predictor for postoperative coronal decompensation in thoracolumbar/lumbar adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

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Abstract

Background

The pelvis as the biomechanical foundation of spine, plays an important role in the balance of the stance and gait through the multi-link spinal-pelvic system. If the pelvic axial rotation (PAR) exists in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients, it should theoretically have some effects on the body balance.

Purpose

To explore the probable effects of preoperative PAR on the spinal balance in coronal plane in AIS patients with main thoracolumbar/lumbar (TL/L) curve after posterior spinal instrumentation.

Methods

Thirty-eight AIS patients (age: 15 ± 1.5 years) with main TL/L curve (51° ± 6.2°) were recruited retrospectively into this study. The mean follow-up period was 27 months (24–36 months). Standing full spine posteroanterior radiographs were taken preoperatively, 3 month and 1 year postoperatively, and at last follow-up. The convex/concave ratio (CV/CC ratio) of the anterior superior iliac spine laterally and the inferior ilium at the sacroiliac joint medially was measured on posteroanterior radiographs. According to the preoperative CV/CC ratios, the patients were divided into two groups: normal group (N-group: 0.95 ≤ CV/CC ≤ 1.05); and the asymmetrical group (A-group: CV/CC < 0.95, or >1.05).

Results

In all the patients, the 3-month-postoperative CV/CC ratio (1.026 ± 0.087) was significantly different from the preoperative CV/CC ratio (0.969 ± 0.095, P < 0.001), indicating that the pelvis had rotated in the opposite direction of the corrective derotation load applied to the TL/L spine after surgery. No significant change was found in the CV/CC ratio from 3-month-postoperative to the last follow-up (1.013 ± 0.103, P > 0.05). There was no significant difference in the demographic, phenotypic, and treatment variables between the N- (n = 16) and A-groups (n = 22) (P > 0.05). However, more coronal decompensation occurred in the A-group after surgery (36.4 vs. 0.0 %, P = 0.013): two patients having trunk translation, three having lower instrumented vertebra (LIV) translation, and one having LIV tilt; meanwhile, one patient having both LIV translation and LIV tilt, and one having both trunk translation and LIV tilt.

Conclusions

The present study confirmed the existence of PAR in AIS patients, and indicated that the pelvis would experience an active rebalancing in the transverse plane within 3 months after spinal correction, and since then, its position would remain stable. Moreover, TL/L-AIS patients with preoperative asymmetrical PAR probably had greater risk of coronal decompensation postoperatively.