Short anterior correction of the thoracolumbar/lumbar curve in King 1 idiopathic scoliosis: the behaviour of the instrumented and non-instrumented curves and the trunk balance

Min, Kan ; Hahn, Frederik ; Ziebarth, Kai

In: European Spine Journal, 2007, vol. 16, no. 1, p. 65-72

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    This is a retrospective clinical, radiological and patient outcome assessment of 21 consecutive patients with King 1 idiopathic adolescent scoliosis treated by short anterior selective fusion of the major thoracolumbar/lumbar (TL/L) curve. Three-dimensional changes of both curves, changes in trunk balance and rib hump were evaluated. The minimal follow-up was 24months (max. 83). The Cobb angle of the TL/L curve was 52° (45-67°) with a flexibility of 72% (40-100%). The average length of the main curve was 5 (3-8) segments. An average of 3 (2-4) segments was fused using rigid single rod implants with side-loading screws. The Cobb angle of the thoracic curve was 33° (18-50°) with a flexibility of 69% (29-100%). The thoracic curve in bending was less than 20° in 17 patients, and 20-25° in 4 patients. In the TL/L curve there was an improvement of the Cobb angle of 67%, of the apex vertebral rotation of 51% and of the apex vertebral translation of 74%. The Cobb angle of the thoracic curve improved 29% spontaneously. Shoulder balance improved significantly from an average preoperative imbalance of 14.5-3.1mm at the last follow-up. Seventy-five percent of the patients with preoperative positive shoulder imbalance (higher on the side of the thoracic curve) had levelled shoulders at the last follow-up. C7 offset improved from a preoperative 19.8 (0-40)to 4.8 (0-18) mm at the last follow-up. There were no significant changes in rotation, translation of the thoracic curve and the clinical rib hump. There were no significant changes in thoracic kyphosis or lumbar lordosis. The average score of the SRS-24 questionnaire at the last follow-up was 91 points (max. 120). We conclude that short anterior selective fusion of the TL/L curve in King 1 scoliosis with a thoracic curve bending to 25° or less (Type 5 according to Lenke classification) results in a satisfactory correction and a balanced spine. Short fusions leave enough mobile lumbar segments for the establishment of global spinal balance. A positive shoulder imbalance is not a contraindication for this procedure. Structural interbody grafts are not necessary to maintain lumbar lordosis