Segmental self growing rod construct is a “powerful, definitive technique”

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Hossein Mehdian, The Centre for Spinal Studies and Surgery, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospital, Nottingham, UK, and co-investigators, presented a small study at Britspine (2–4 May 2012, Newcastle, UK) in which the segmental self growing rod construct was found to be effective for the management of early onset neuromuscular scoliosis (EONMS).

Mehdian et al reported that correction of spinal deformity was important because the deformity could restrict lung growth and could contribute to pulmonary complications. However, they explained that this correction should not be at the expense of spinal growth. The aim of Mehdian et al’s study was to “evaluate the structural effectiveness, degree of correction, spinal growth, and complications with the use of segmental self growing rod constructs in early onset neuromuscular scoliosis.”


In the study, 16 patients (seven male; nine females) with early onset neuromuscular scoliosis underwent deformity correction surgery with the self growing rod instrumentation. The average age of the patients was 7.1 years, mean follow-up was 3.2 years, and hospital stay average 7.6 days.

The average preoperative scoliosis was 68.9 degrees (range 40–92 degrees) and this decreased to an average of 9.6 degrees after the operation (range 0–35 degrees). Additionally, the average preoperative kyphosis was 62 degrees (37–90 degrees) and decreased to an average of 28.5 degrees (range 20–40 degrees) postoperatively. The complications included superficial infection in one patient (treated with antibiotics) and one loss of distal fixation requiring revision surgery.

Mehdian
et al concluded: “The mean scoliosis correction was 59 degrees, kyphosis 34 degrees; maintained at average follow-up of 3.2 years. The observed mean spinal growth of 3cm over four years represents 79% of that expected. The segmental self growing rod construct is a powerful, definitive technique for managing EONMS without the morbidity of repetitive surgery, while maximising  spinal growth and thoracic development.”

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