Posterior only pedicle screw instrumentation with intraoperative halo-femoral traction in the surgical treatment of severe scoliosis (>100 degrees)

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Apr 20;33(9):979-83. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e31816c8b17.


Study design: Retrospective clinical study.

Objective: To report the results of surgical correction achieved by intraoperative halo-femoral traction and posterior only pedicle screw instrumentation in severe scoliosis (scoliosis greater than 100 degrees ).

Summary of background data: Although previous reports show the effectiveness of preoperative halo traction in the treatment of severe spinal deformity, the intraoperative use of halo-femoral traction in conjunction with posterior pedicle screw instrumentation has never been reported in patients with severe spinal deformity.

Methods: A total of 15 consecutive patients with severe (>100 degrees) thoracic idiopathic scoliosis and/or kyphoscoliosis operated by using intraoperative halo-femoral traction and posterior only pedicle screw instrumentation were included in the study. Subjects were analyzed by age at date of examination, gender, major coronal curve magnitude, major compensatory coronal curve magnitude, major sagittal curve magnitude, shoulder imbalance, and preoperative vital capacity of the lungs. Halo-traction related complications and short- and long-term complications were noted in each case.

Results: The average age at the time of surgery was 17.8 years (range, 16-19). There were 4 males and 11 females. The average improvement was 51% in the major thoracic curve, 33% in the compensatory lumbar curve, and 53% in the major sagittal curve. The average follow-up was 56 (range, 24-96) months. Loss of correction averaged 4 degrees for major thoracic curves and 2 degrees for thoracic kyphosis based on measurements at the final follow-up date.

Conclusion: The use of intraoperative halo-femoral traction together with the wide facet resection and posterior release gradually provide a good correction and balance maintained by pedicle screw instrumentation. Intraoperative halo-femoral traction not only elongates spinal column but also elongates the thoracic cavity improving the compromised pulmonary function.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Screws*
  • Bone Transplantation
  • Female
  • Femur / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Care
  • Kyphosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Kyphosis / physiopathology
  • Kyphosis / surgery*
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scoliosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Scoliosis / physiopathology
  • Scoliosis / surgery*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spinal Fusion / instrumentation*
  • Thoracoplasty
  • Traction* / instrumentation
  • Traction* / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vital Capacity