, Volume 470, Issue 4, pp 1144-1150
Date: 12 Apr 2011

Convex Instrumented Hemiepiphysiodesis with Concave Distraction: A Preliminary Report

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The convex growth arrest (CGA) procedure has been well accepted for treatment of congenital scoliosis as it is a simpler procedure with successful results. However, unpredictability of curve behavior, slow and usually inadequate correction, and necessity of anterior surgery for completeness of the epiphysiodesis are its shortcomings.


In a preliminary study we asked whether a modification of the CGA procedure using convex instrumented hemiepiphysiodesis with concave distraction would correct the coronal plane Cobb angles and would correct or maintain sagittal plane local and global kyphosis angles. We also identified complications.

Patients and Methods

We retrospectively reviewed five female patients who underwent the modified procedure. Their mean age at the index operation was 40 months (range, 17–55 months). The patients underwent concave distractions every 6 months. The magnitude of the convex instrumented and concave distracted curves and sagittal plane parameters were determined on the preoperative and most recent followup radiographs. Minimum followup was 26 months (mean, 34 months; range, 26–40 months).


In the coronal plane, the preoperative magnitude of the convex instrumented congenital curve averaged 48°. It was corrected to 36° (25%) postoperatively and was further improved to 27° (44%) at the latest followup. For the distracted segment, the mean preoperative curve was 35°, corrected to 16° postoperatively and to 8° at the latest followup, for an average correction of 77%. Sagittal plane alignment was minimally affected from the procedure. In four of the five patients we identified partial pullout of screws for the concave distraction; these were revised at the time of planned lengthening.


This procedure may obviate the need for multiple osteotomies and long thoracic fusions in young children with long sweeping thoracic deformities involving multiple anomalous vertebrae. Implant-related complications on the concave side may be avoided using paired pedicle screws at the proximal and distal anchor sites.

Level of Evidence

Level IV, therapeutic study. See the guidelines online for a complete description of level of evidence.

Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.
Each author certifies that his or her institution has approved the human protocol for this investigation, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained.
This work was performed at Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Ankara, Turkey.