Study design: A retrospective review of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients with major thoracic-compensatory lumbar C modifier curves treated with a selective posterior fusion using an all-hook construct versus pedicle screw construct.
Objectives: To compare the clinical and radiographic results of selective posterior thoracic fusion using hooks versus pedicle screws in patients with major thoracic-compensatory lumbar C modifier AIS curves.
Summary of background data: Although spontaneous lumbar curve correction often occurs following a selective thoracic spinal fusion, there are few reports that focus on selective posterior thoracic spinal fusion in the presence of a lumbar C modifier curve.
Methods: Sixty-six consecutive patients with major thoracic-compensatory lumbar C modifier AIS curves underwent selective posterior thoracic fusion to T12 or L1 at a single institution (1987-2001). Hooks were used for instrumentation in 32 patients and pedicle screws were used in 34 patients. Patients were evaluated at a minimum 2-year follow-up. To test for differences between groups analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used.
Results: There was no statistical difference between the preoperative thoracic and lumbar Cobb values for the hook group versus the pedicle screw group. The amount of correction obtained surgically of the thoracic Cobb and the amount of spontaneous lumbar Cobb correction were significantly greater in the pedicle screw group (P < 0.001). The incidence of postoperative coronal decompensation, with a greater than 20 mm shift to the left of the C7 plumbline, was higher in the hook group (13 patients) as compared with the pedicle screw Group 4 patients (P < 0.005). There were no complications or reoperations in either group.
Conclusion: Selective thoracic fusion of main thoracic-compensatory lumbar C modifier AIS curves with pedicle screws allowed for better thoracic correction and less postoperative coronal decompensation than seen with hooks.