Growth-Friendly Spine Surgery in Escobar Syndrome

J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Aug;39(7):e506-e513. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001315.


Background: The aims of this study were to characterize the spinal deformity of patients with Escobar syndrome, describe results of growth-friendly treatments, and compare these results with those of an idiopathic early-onset scoliosis (EOS) cohort to determine whether the axial stiffness in Escobar syndrome limited correction.

Methods: We used 2 multicenter databases to review the records of 8 patients with EOS associated with Escobar syndrome who had at least 2-year follow-up after initiation of growth-friendly treatment from 1990 to 2016. An idiopathic EOS cohort of 16 patients matched for age at surgery (±1 y), postoperative follow-up (±1 y), and initial curve magnitude (±10 degrees) was identified. A randomized 1:2 matching algorithm was applied (α=0.05).

Results: In the Escobar group, spinal deformity involved 7 to 13 vertebrae and ranged from no vertebral anomalies in 3 patients to multiple segmentation defects in 6 patients. Mean age at first surgery was 5 years (range, 1.4 to 7.8 y) with a mean follow-up of 7.5 years (range, 4.0 to 10 y). Mean major curve improved from 76 degrees at initial presentation, to 43 degrees at first instrumentation, to 37 degrees at final follow-up (both P<0.001). Mean pelvic obliquity improved from 16 degrees (range, 5 to 31 degrees) preoperatively to 4 degrees (range, 0 to 8 degrees) at final follow-up (P=0.005). There were no differences in the mean percentage of major curve correction between the idiopathic EOS and Escobar groups at the immediate postoperative visit (P=0.743) or final follow-up (P=0.511). There were no differences between the cohorts in T1-S1 height at initial presentation (P=0.129) or in growth per month (P=0.211).

Conclusions: Multiple congenital fusions and spinal curve deformity are common in Escobar syndrome. Despite large areas of congenital fusion, growth-friendly constructs facilitate spinal growth and improve curve correction. These results are comparable to those in idiopathic EOS.

Level of evidence: Level III-case-control study.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple* / surgery
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malignant Hyperthermia* / complications
  • Malignant Hyperthermia* / surgery
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Abnormalities* / complications
  • Skin Abnormalities* / surgery
  • Spinal Curvatures* / diagnosis
  • Spinal Curvatures* / etiology
  • Spinal Curvatures* / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome

Supplementary concepts

  • Multiple pterygium syndrome