Surgical Outcomes Research

Surgical Treatment of Lenke 1 Main Thoracic Idiopathic Scoliosis: Results of a Prospective, Multicenter Study

Newton, Peter O. MD*; Marks, Michelle C. PT, MA*; Bastrom, Tracey P. MA*; Betz, Randal MD; Clements, David MD; Lonner, Baron MD§; Crawford, Alvin MD; Shufflebarger, Harry MD; O’Brien, Michael MD; Yaszay, Burt MD*; Harms Study Group K. MD*; Yaszay, Burt MD; Bastrom, Tracey P. MA; Newton, Peter O. MD; Harms Study Group

Study Design. Prospective, consecutive, nonrandomized, multicenter study.

Objective. The purpose of this study was to compare the outcomes of idiopathic scoliosis treatment for Lenke 1 curves with 3 treatment approaches.

Summary of Background Data. Surgical treatment options for Lenke 1 or primary main thoracic curve pattern in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis include thoracoscopic anterior spinal fusion, open anterior spinal fusion, and posterior spinal fusion (PSF) and instrumentation procedures.

Methods. This was a prospective, consecutive, nonrandomized, multicenter study of surgical correction in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Patients with Lenke type 1 curve patterns from 7 sites were enrolled in this minimum 2-year follow-up study. Changes in pre- to postoperative radiographs, pulmonary function tests, Scoliosis Research Society questionnaire scores, and trunk rotation measures were compared.

Results. A total of 149 patients (age: 14.5 ± 2 yr) were included (91% follow-up at 2 yr). The 3 groups were similar preoperatively in thoracic and lumbar curve size. There were 55 patients with thoracoscopic anterior spinal fusion, 17 patients with open anterior spinal fusion, and 64 patients with PSF. The fusion included on average 3 to 4 more levels in PSF than the 2 anterior approaches (P ≤ 0.001). Surgical time tended to be greater in the anterior groups by approximately 2 to 3 hours; however, blood loss was greatest with PSF. At 2 years, all 3 approaches showed similar improvements in the thoracic Cobb angle, coronal balance, the lumbar Cobb angle, Scoliosis Research Society questionnaire scores, and trunk rotation measures. The PSF approach resulted in overall reduction in kyphosis compared with the anterior approaches. Postoperative hyperkyphosis was an issue only in the 2 anterior groups. Major complication rates were similar.

Conclusion. All 3 approaches resulted in similarly satisfactory outcomes for the majority of patients with specific advantages to each technique. The patients with PSF had more levels fused, yet with the shortest operative time. The thoracoscopic anterior spinal fusion group had the smallest incisions and the lowest requirement for transfusion. The open anterior spinal fusion group had a modest loss of pulmonary function without any clear advantages compared with the other 2 groups.


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Spine: 15 February 2013 – Volume 38 – Issue 4 – p 328–338