The incidence and outcomes of vertebral column resection in paediatric patients

A population-based, multicentre, follow-up study

I. Helenius, J. Serlo, O. Pajulo


We report the results of vertebral column resection (VCR) for paediatric patients with spinal deformity. A total of 49 VCRs in paediatric patients from four university hospitals between 2005 and 2009 with a minimum two-year follow-up were retrospectively identified. After excluding single hemivertebral resections (n = 25) and VCRs performed for patients with myelomeningocele (n = 6), as well as spondylectomies performed for tumour (n = 4), there were 14 patients who had undergone full VCR at a mean age of 12.3 years (6.5 to 17.9). The aetiology was congenital scoliosis in five, neuromuscular scoliosis in three, congenital kyphosis in two, global kyphosis in two, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in one and secondary scoliosis in one. A total of seven anteroposterior and seven posterolateral approaches were used.

The mean major curve deformity was 86° (67° to 120°) pre-operatively and 37° (17° to 80°) at the two-year follow-up; correction was a mean of 54% (18% to 86%) in the anteroposterior and 60% (41% to 70%) in the posterolateral group at the two-year follow-up (p = 0.53). The mean Scoliosis Research Society-24 total scores were 100 (92 to 108) for the anteroposterior and 102 (95 to 105) for the posterolateral group. There was one paraparesis in the anteroposterior group necessitating urgent re-decompression, with a full recovery.

Patients undergoing VCR are highly satisfied after a successful procedure.


  • Permission to perform this study was obtained from the ethics committee of the hospital where the study was conducted.

    The authors would like to thank Research nurses K. Mattila and K. Kauste for technical help with radiological measurements.

    This study was funded through grants from two Foundations (TYKS Foundation, Finnish Foundation for Paediatric Research) and from two Industrial companies (Medtronic International, Baxter). The funds from Foundations were used to cover the salary of the researchers. The Funds from Industry were used to cover the salary of a part-time research nurse. None of the study funders played a role in writing or other editorial work for this manuscript.

    The author or one or more of the authors have received or will receive benefits for personal or professional use from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. In addition, benefits have been or will be directed to a research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other non- profit organisation with which one or more of the authors are associated.

  • Received October 21, 2011.
  • Accepted February 21, 2012.
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