Treatment of stiff thoracic scoliosis by thoracoscopic anterior release combined with posterior instrumentation and fusion

Cheung, Kenneth M. C.; Jing-ping Wu; Qing-he Cheng; Ma, Bonnie S. C.; Gao, Jichang; Luk, Keith D. K.
January 2007
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Research;2007, Vol. 2, p16
Academic Journal
Background: Thoracoscopic anterior release has been shown that it can effectively improve spinal flexibility in animal and human cadaveric studies, and has been advocated for use in patients with scoliosis. This prospective case series aims to investigate the improvement of the spinal flexibility and the effectiveness in deformity correction by anterior thoracoscopic release and posterior spinal fusion. Methods: Eleven patients with stiff idiopathic thoracic scoliosis underwent anterior thoracoscopic release followed by posterior instrumentation. The average number of discs excised was five. Spinal flexibility was assessed by the fulcrum bending technique. Cobb angle before and after the anterior release was compared. Results: The patients were followed for an average of 5.6 years (range 2.2 to 8.1 years). Fulcrum bending flexibility was increased from 39% before the thoracoscopic anterior spinal release to 54% after the release. The average Cobb angle before anterior release was 74° on the standing radiograph and 45° with the fulcrum-bending radiograph. This reduced to 34° on the fulcrumbending radiograph after the release, and highly corresponded to the 31° measured at the postoperative standing radiograph. Conclusion: It was demonstrated in patients with stiff idiopathic thoracic scoliosis that thoracoscopic anterior spinal release can effectively improve the spinal flexibility and increase the correction of the spinal deformity.


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