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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2002 Nov 1;27(21):2374-82.

Posterior vertebral column resection for severe spinal deformities.

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Seoul Spine Institute, Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea.



Retrospective study.


To report a technique of vertebral column resection through a single posterior approach and its preliminary results in the treatment of moderate to severe spinal deformities with limited flexibility.


Vertebral column resection is a formidable operation reserved for moderate to severe deformities with limited flexibility. The authors devised a technique of vertebral column resection through a single posterior approach that offers significant advantages over the anterior-posterior vertebral column resection.


Seventy spinal deformity patients treated by posterior vertebral column resection were reviewed. Minimum follow-up was 2 years (range 2-3.3 years). There were 34 males and 36 females with a mean age of 27.4 years at the time of the operation. Etiologic diagnoses were adult scoliosis in 7, congenital kyphoscoliosis in 38, and postinfectious kyphosis in 25. The surgery consisted of temporary stabilization of the vertebral column with segmental pedicle screw fixation, resection of the vertebral column at the apex of the deformity via the posterior route, followed by gradual deformity correction and global fusion.


The total number of resected vertebrae was 143: 76 in thoracic and 67 in lumbar. Mean operation time was 4 hours, 31 minutes with average blood loss of 2333 mL. The deformity correction was 61.9% in the coronal plane and 45.2 degrees in the sagittal plane. Complications were encountered in 24 patients: 2 complete cord injuries in severe adult scoliosis and thoracic kyphosis patient who had significant preoperative cord compromise, 6 hematomas, 4 root injuries (all incomplete), 5 fixation failures, 2 infections, and 5 hemopneumothoraxes.


Posterior vertebral column resection is an effective alternative for moderate to severe deformities with limited flexibility. However, it is a technically demanding and exhausting procedure with possible risks for major complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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