Evolution of the postoperative sagittal spinal profile in early-onset scoliosis: is there a difference between rib-based and spine-based growth-friendly instrumentation?


Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, Ahead of Print.
OBJECTIVEAlthough the vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) and growing rod instrumentation (GRI) encourage spinal growth via regular lengthening, they can create different results because of their different fixation patterns and mechanisms in correcting scoliosis. Previous studies have focused comparisons on coronal plane deformity with minimal attention to the sagittal profile. In this retrospective study, the authors aimed to compare the evolution of the sagittal spinal profile in early-onset scoliosis (EOS) treated with VEPTR versus GRI.METHODSThe data for 11 patients with VEPTR and 22 with GRI were reviewed. All patients had more than 2 years’ follow-up with more than 2 lengthening procedures. Radiographic measurements were performed before and after the index surgery and at the latest follow-up. The complications in both groups were recorded.RESULTSPatients in both groups had similar diagnoses, age at the index surgery, and number of lengthening procedures. The changes in the major coronal Cobb angle and T1–S1 spinal height were not significantly different between the 2 groups. Compared with the GRI group, the VEPTR group had less correction in thoracic kyphosis (23% ± 12% vs 44% ± 16%, p < 0.001) after the index surgery and experienced a greater correction loss in thoracic kyphosis (46% ± 18% vs 11% ± 8%, p < 0.001) at the latest follow-up. Although the increase in the proximal junctional angle was not significantly different (VEPTR: 7° ± 4° vs GRI: 8° ± 5°, p = 0.569), the incidence of proximal junctional kyphosis was relatively lower in the VEPTR group (VEPTR: 18.2% vs GRI: 22.7%). No significant changes in the spinopelvic parameters were observed, while the sagittal vertical axis showed a tendency toward a neutral position in both groups. The overall complication rate was higher in the VEPTR group than in the GRI group (72.7% vs 54.5%).CONCLUSIONSThe VEPTR had coronal correction and spinal growth results similar to those with GRI. In the sagittal plane, however, the VEPTR was not comparable to the GRI in controlling thoracic kyphosis. Thus, for hyperkyphotic EOS patients, GRI is recommended over VEPTR.


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