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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2000 May 1;25(9):1092-7.

Progressive rotational dislocation in kyphoscoliotic deformities: presentation and treatment.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Pediatric Surgery, Hôpital Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Paris, France. rzeller@imagine.fr



Progressive rotational dislocation of the spine has been described as the most serious evolutive risk of kyphoscoliosis. A retrospective chart review was conducted on 11 patients with this deformity.


To delineate the clinical and radiologic characteristics of this entity to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment. The outcome after treatment was analyzed to point out the rationale for appropriate treatment.


The characteristic radiologic feature was a short sharp angled kyphosis (average 112) at the junction of two lordoscoliotic curvatures. The etiology of the spinal deformity was neurofibromatosis in four patients and various dysplastic conditions in seven patients. Two patients had congenital vertebral defects. Structural weakness of the bone was therefore a basic feature. Neurologic impairment was identified in three patients (one complete, two incomplete). Four patients had a nonunion after a previous attempt at spinal fusion: two after a combined anterior and posterior fusion with an anterior approach from the convexity and two after a posterior fusion alone. All patients underwent complete circumferential stabilization through anterior strut-grafting and posterior fusion. An anterior approach from the concavity was performed systematically with tibial strut grafts inserted in a palisade fashion. Preoperative correction of the deformity was performed by progressive controlled elongation in a Stagnara elongation cast. Cotrel-Dubousset instrumentation was used in two patients, Harrington instrumentation was used in two patients, and cast immobilization alone was used in seven patients.


The average follow-up period was 5 years 5 months. All but one patient achieved successful spinal fusion. Loss of correction at the latest follow-up evaluation was less than 3 degrees in nine patients. The two patients with incomplete neurologic deficits were improved, but the patient with the complete deficit remained unchanged after surgery.


Awareness of the possibility of a progressive rotational dislocation in dystrophic forms of kyphoscoliosis should allow for an early diagnosis and stabilization. The percentage of patients having a neurologic deficit in this series was significantly less important than in the initial report. Early anterior strut grafting from the concavity of the scoliotic curvature and posterior fusion is recommended.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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