Posterior spinal arthrodesis for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis using pedicle screw instrumentation

Does a bilateral or unilateral screw technique affect surgical outcome?

A. I. Tsirikos, A. S. Subramanian

Abstract

We reviewed 212 consecutive patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who underwent posterior spinal arthrodesis using all pedicle screw instrumentation in terms of clinical, radiological and Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-22 outcomes. In Group 1 (51 patients), the correction was performed over two rods using bilateral segmental pedicle screws. In Group 2 (161 patients), the correction was performed over one rod using unilateral segmental pedicle screws with the second rod providing stability of the construct through two-level screw fixation at proximal and distal ends. The mean age at surgery was 14.8 years in both groups. Comparison between groups showed no significant differences with regard to age and Risser grade at surgery, pre- and post-operative scoliosis angle, coronal Cobb correction, length of hospital stay and SRS scores. Correction of upper thoracic curves was significantly better in Group 1 (p = 0.02). Increased surgical time and intra-operative blood loss was recorded in Group 1 (p < 0.001 and p = 0.04, respectively). The implant cost was reduced by mean 35% in Group 2 due to the lesser number of pedicle screws.

Unilateral and bilateral pedicle screw techniques have both achieved excellent deformity correction in adolescent patients with idiopathic scoliosis, which was maintained at two-year follow-up. This has been associated with high patient satisfaction and low complication rates.

Footnotes

  • No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

  • Received February 20, 2012.
  • Accepted August 8, 2012.
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