Zihao Chen, Limin Rong

January 2016, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 363 - 371 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-015-3968-0

First Online: 22 April 2015


Choosing a surgical approach to treat adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is still controversial. To compare the effectiveness and safety of combined anterior–posterior approach to posterior-only approach, we conducted a meta-analysis.


We searched electronic database for relevant studies that compared anterior–posterior approach with posterior approach in AIS. Then data extraction and quality assessment were conducted. We used RevMan 5.1 for data analysis. A random effects model was used for heterogeneous data, while a fixed effect model was used for homogeneous data.


A total of ten non-randomized controlled studies involving 872 patients were included. There was no significant difference in Cobb angle (95 % CI −0.33 to 4.91, P = 0.09) and percent-predicted FEV1 (95 % CI −6.79 to 4.54, P = 0.70) between the two groups. In subgroup analysis, the kyphosis angle correction was significantly higher than posterior group in severe subgroup (95 % CI 0.72–6.50, P = 0.01), while no significant difference was found in no-restriction subgroup (95 % CI −2.75 to 5.42, P = 0.52). Patients in posterior group obtained a better percent-predicted FVC than those in anterior–posterior group (95 % CI −13.18 to −4.74, P < 0.0001). Significant less complication rate (95 % CI 2.75–17.49, P < 0.0001), blood loss (95 % CI 363.28–658.91, P < 0.00001), operative time (95 % CI 2.65–3.45, P < 0.00001) and length of hospital stay (95 % CI 1.98–22.94, P = 0.02) were found in posterior group.


Posterior-only approach can achieve similar coronal plane correction and percent-predicted FEV1 compared to combined anterior–posterior approach. The posterior approach even does better in sagittal correction in severe AIS patients. Significantly less complication rate, blood loss, operative time, length of hospital stay and better percent-predicted FVC are also achieved by posterior-only approach. Posterior-only approach seems to be effective and safe in treating AIS for experienced surgeons.

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