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Open Access Research

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) treated with arthrodesis and posterior titanium instrumentation: 8 to 12 years follow up without late infection

Franz J Mueller* and Herbert Gluch

Author Affiliations

Department of Spinal Surgery and Scoliosis Center, Behandlungszentrum Vogtareuth, Germany

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Scoliosis 2009, 4:16  doi:10.1186/1748-7161-4-16

Published: 12 August 2009

Abstract

Background

There are no data in the peer-reviewed literature regarding long term results in patients treated for AIS with a posterior titanium instrumentation. Therefore we assessed the outcome in 50 patients treated by titanium implant.

Methods

A total of 50 patients with a mean age of 16.6 years were treated. In all patients, titanium hooks and pedicle screws were used in combination. The demographic data and the pre- and post-operative radiographs of all 50 patients were re-examined, and 49 of the 50 patients (98%) attended a radiological and clinical follow up-examination on average 10.1 years post-operatively. The clinical results were recorded by means of the SRS 24 questionnaire.

Results

In the frontal plane, the mean pre-operative thoracic and lumbar curve had been 62.4° and 43.5° respectively, post-operatively the curves were reduced to 26.9° and 16.3°, resulting in a correction rate of 56.9% for thoracic and 62.5% for lumbar curve. At the follow up-evaluation, the Cobb angle of the thoracic and lumbar curve was 31.0° and 21.3° respectively, giving a final correction rate of 50.3% for thoracic, and 51.0% for lumbar curve. 7 of the 50 patients (14.3%) had undergo revision surgery for complications, but complete implant removal was necessary in only one case. Analysis of the SRS 24 questionnaire showed an average score of 95.8 points.

Conclusion

Posterior titanium instrumentation is a safe and effective procedure in the surgical correction of AIS. In this retrospective study with small patient number, it shows favourable long-term results; in particular, the loss of correction is low, no late infection occurred and there was a very high survival rate of the implant itself.