European Spine Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 507–512

Spinal fusion in patients with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy and a low forced vital capacity

Original Article

Abstract

Traditionally, spinal fusion has been denied to patients with scoliosis secondary to Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD) when their forced vital capacity (FVC) is less than 30–40% of predicted values (PFVC). The reasons for this decision are a theoretically increased risk of adverse events from a prolonged anaesthetic and extensive surgery. This paper presents a retrospective analysis of 30 patients with DMD scoliosis who underwent posterior spinal fusion at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. Two subgroups of patients were compared: those with more than 30% PFVC (17 patients) and those with less than 30% PVFC (13 patients). One patient in each group required a temporary tracheotomy and there were nine complications in total. The post-operative stay for patients in each group was similar (24 days in the >30% group, 20 days in the <30% group) and the complication rate was comparable with other published series. We conclude that spinal fusion can be offered to patients with DMD even in the presence of a low FVC.

Keywords

Duchennes Scoliosis Surgery Spine 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal National Orthopaedic HospitalStanmoreUK
  2. 2.53 Upland WayEpsomUK

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