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Open Access Research

Transverse plane pelvic rotation increase (TPPRI) following rotationally corrective instrumentation of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis double curves

Marc A Asher1*, Sue-Min Lai2, Brandon B Carlson1, Jeffrey L Gum1 and Douglas C Burton1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kansas University Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard: Mail Stop 3017, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA

2 Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Kansas University Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA

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Scoliosis 2010, 5:18  doi:10.1186/1748-7161-5-18

Published: 26 August 2010

Abstract

Background

We have occasionally observed clinically noticeable postoperative transverse plane pelvic rotation increase (TPPRI) in the direction of direct thoracolumbar/lumbar rotational corrective load applied during posterior instrumentation and arthrodesis for double (Lenke 3 and 6) adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) curves. Our purposes were to document this occurrence; identify its frequency, associated variables, and natural history; and determine its effect upon patient outcome.

Methods

Transverse plane pelvic rotation (TPPR) can be quantified using the left/right hemipelvis width ratio as measured on standing posterior-anterior scoliosis radiographs. Descriptive statistics were done to determine means and standard deviations. Non-parametric statistical tests were used due to the small sample size and non-normally distributed data. Significance was set at P < 0.05.

Results

Seventeen of 21 (81%) consecutive patients with double curves (7 with Lenke 3 curves and 10 with Lenke 6) instrumented with lumbar pedicle screw anchors to achieve direct rotation had a complete sequence of measurable radiographs. While 10 of these 17 had no postoperative TPPRI, 7 did all in the direction of the rotationally corrective thoracolumbar instrumentation load. Two preoperative variables were associated with postoperative TPPRI: more tilt of the vertebra below the lower instrumented vertebra (-23° ± 3.1° vs. -29° ± 4.6°, P = 0.014) and concurrent anterior thoracolumbar discectomy and arthrodesis (5 of 10 vs. 7 of 7, P = 0.044). Patients with a larger thoracolumbar/lumbar angle of trunk inclination or larger lower instrumented vertebra plus one to sacrum fractional/hemicurve were more likely to have received additional anterior thoracolumbar discectomy and arthrodesis (c = 0.90 and c = 0.833, respectively).

Postoperative TPPRI resolved in 5 of the 7 by intermediate follow-up at 12 months. Patient outcome was not adversely affected by postoperative TPPRI, whether or not it persisted.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that TPPRI is a decompensation caused by extension of the corrective thoracolumbar rotational load into the lumbosacral hemicurve below. As posterior instrumentation of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis becomes increasingly more effective in the transverse plane, postoperative TPPRI may become more widely noticed. This study provides some assurance that recompensation usually occurs, but that in either event TPPRI does not seem to affect clinical outcome.