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Eur Spine J. 2008 Aug;17(8):1012-8. Epub 2007 Oct 3.

Radiographic evaluation of selective anterior thoracolumbar or lumbar fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

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Spine Section Department of Orthopaedics, Sixth People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University, Yishan Road 600, Shanghai, 200233, China.


According to Lenke classification of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), patients with type 5 curve in which the structural major curve is thoracolumbar or lumbar curve with nonstructural proximal thoracic and main thoracic curves, could be surgically treated with selective anterior thoracolumbar or lumbar (TL/L) fusion. This study retrospectively analyzed the radiographies of selective anterior TL/L fusion in 35 cases of AIS with Lenke type 5 curve. Segmental fixation with a single rigid rod through anterior thoracoabdominal approach was applied in all patients. Measurements of scoliosis curve in preoperative, immediate postoperative and follow-up radiographies were analyzed. The average follow up time was 36 months (24-42 months). The average preoperative Cobb angle of the TL/L curve was 45.6 degrees and improved into 9.7 degrees immediate postoperatively, with 79.7% curve correction. In addition, the minor thoracic curve decreased from 29.7 degrees preoperatively to 17.6 degrees postoperatively, with a spontaneous correction of 41.5%. During the follow-up, a loss of 4.6 degrees correction was found and the average Cobb angle of TL/L increased to 14.4 degrees . Also, the minor thoracic curve increased to average 20.1 degrees with a loss of 2.4 degrees correction. Trunk shift deteriorated slightly immediate postoperatively and improved at the follow-up. The lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV) tilt was improved significantly and maintained its results at the follow-up. During the follow-up, the coronal disc angle immediately above the upper instrumented vertebra (UIVDA) and below the LIV (LIVDA) aggravated, while the sagittal contours of T5-T12 and T10-L2 were well maintained. The lumbar lordosis of L1-S1 and the sagittal Cobb angle of the instrumented segments were reduced slightly postoperatively and at the follow-up. There were no major complications or pseudarthrosis. The outcomes of this study show that selective anterior thoracolumbar or lumbar fusion with solid rod instrumentation is effective for surgical correction of AIS with Lenke type 5 curve. The TL/L curve, minor thoracic curve, and LIV title can be improved significantly, with good maintenance of sagittal contour. However, the UIVDA and LIVDA aggravate postoperatively when the trunk rebalances itself during follow-up. The degeneration of LIV disc warrants longer-term follow-up.

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