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Surgical treatment for scoliosis associated with rare disease.

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  • 1Department of Spinal Deformity Surgery, Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Bologna Italy.


This is a retrospective study of 11 patients, 7 females and 4 males, treated at Our Department for an early onset scoliosis (EOS) associated with rare syndromes with growing spinal implants (Growing Rod or VEPTR-like) from 2006 to 2011. Mean follow-up was 24 months (range, 12 to 36). The mean age at surgery was 7. Patients were affected by Escobar's syndrome (1), scoliosis associated to congenital heart disease (1), Arnold Chiari type 1 (1), syringomyelia (1), NF 1 (2), Prader-Willi syndrome (1), trisomy 8 (1), arthrogryposis (2) and spondylo-rib dysplasia (1). Each patient was studied from the genetic point of view, and were performed: brain-spine MRI, pulmonary function tests, Cardio-US and abdominal US, neuropsychiatric and neurological evaluation, C0-C2 CT scan. After first implant and lengthening procedures (11), the correction of the thoracic curve averaged 50%. Unfortunately, a little loss of correction of the lumbar curve occurred during the follow up. There were 8 post-operative complications, that required revision surgery in 2 cases. Our results confirmed the effectiveness and safety of growing spinal implants in the treatment of early-onset scoliosis in rare syndromes.

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