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Gradual scoliosis correction over time with shape-memory metal: a preliminary report of an experimental study

José Miguel Sánchez Márquez*, Francisco Javier Sánchez Pérez-Grueso, Nicomedes Fernández-Baíllo and Enrique Gil Garay

Author Affiliations

Orthopedic Surgery Department, Spine Service, La Paz University Hospital, Madrid, Spain

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Scoliosis 2012, 7:20  doi:10.1186/1748-7161-7-20

Published: 5 November 2012

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

Severe and progressive scoliosis is a complex three-dimensional spinal deformity that commonly requires treatment to address curve progression during growth. Standard treatment options for progressive scoliosis are essentially limited to bracing or surgery. Brace treatment is noninvasive and preserves growth; however it is only modestly successful in preventing curve progression and has a negative psychological impact [1-3] that may decrease patient compliance. Instead, surgical treatment with an instrumented spinal arthrodesis usually results in good deformity correction but has several risks. Those risks are associated to the invasiveness of spinal arthrodesis, the instantaneous correction of spinal deformity, and the altered biomechanics of the fused spine. Spinal fusion can have deleterious effects on subsequent development. Besides the known loss of motion and risk of adjacent segment disease with long-segment fusion, the loss of growth potential can lead to a significant decrease in trunk height and may negatively impact pulmonary development. Therefore, recent interest has been focused on new strategies for the effective surgical management of severe scoliosis in young children without the use of multisegmental spinal fusion. Fusionless scoliosis surgery provides theoretical advantages over traditional surgical arthrodesis, including the potential preservation of growth, motion and function of the spine [4].