Surgical Outcomes Research

Computed Tomography Evaluation of Rotation Correction in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Comparison of an All Pedicle Screw Construct Versus a Hook-Rod System

Asghar, Jahangir MD*; Samdani, Amer F. MD*; Pahys, Joshua M. MD*; D’Andrea, Linda P. MD†; Guille, James T. MD†; Clements, David H. MD‡; Betz, Randal R. MD*; The Harms Study Group

Study Design. Retrospective review with historical cohort.

Objective. Our study measures axial rotation of the apical vertebral bodies of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treated with an all pedicle screw (APS) construct versus a hook-rod (HR) construct using computed tomography (CT).

Summary of Background Data. Ecker et al (Spine 1988;13:1141–4) observed a 22% derotation of the apical vertebrate of the thoracic spine and 33% of the apical vertebra of the lumbar spine when using an HR system (CD instrumentation). More recently Lee et al (Spine 2004;29:343–9) reported 42.5% derotation of the apical vertebra (both thoracic and lumbar) in a series of APS constructs. Currently, there is no comparison series reported between the 2 types of constructs.

Methods. From a database of 193 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and posterior spinal fusions, 32 patients were identified as having all APS constructs with pre- and postoperative CT scans. This cohort of patients was compared with a historical published cohort of patients treated with HR constructs by Ecker et al (Spine 1988;13:1141–4) Comparison of the groups showed no statistically significant differences for age and preoperative Cobb angle of the main curve (P > 0.05); however, there was a statistically significant difference (P < 0.05) in postoperative correction values. The apical vertebral rotation for the major curve was measured from the pre- and postoperative axial CT using the methods described by Aaro and Dahlborn (Spine 1981;6:460–7).

Result. The average preoperative rotation was similar between the 2 groups (thoracic: HR = 22.6, APS = 21.3, P = 0.6; lumbar: HR = 19.4, APS = 20.6, P = 0.7). The postoperative correction had a significant difference (thoracic: HR = 16, APS = 8.5, P = 0.015; lumbar: HR = 13.4, APS = 7.0, P = 0.032). The percent correction of the apical vertebrae showed a significant difference, with 22% correction in the HR group and 60% in APS group (P < 0.001).

Conclusion. Our study finds axial rotation correction using APSs and a direct vertebral body derotation technique was significantly greater than that obtained with the HR construct.


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Spine: 15 April 2009 – Volume 34 – Issue 8 – pp 804-807