Klaas Beckmann, Tobias Lange, Georg Gosheger, Albert Schulze Bövingloh, Matthias Borowski, Viola Bullmann, Ulf Liljenqvist, Tobias L. Schulte

January 2016, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 506 - 516 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-015-4107-7

First Online: 09 July 2015


There is a lack of data in the literature on surgical correction of severe neuromuscular scoliosis in patients with serious extent of cerebral palsy. The purpose of this retrospective cohort study was to analyze the radiological and clinical results after posterior-only instrumentation (group P) and combined anterior–posterior instrumentation (group AP) in severe scoliosis in patients with Gross Motor Function Classification System grades IV and V.

Materials and methods

All eligible patients who underwent surgery in one institution between 1997 and 2012 were analyzed, and charts, surgical reports, and radiographs were evaluated with a minimum follow-up period of 2 years.


Fifty-seven patients were included (35 in group P, 22 in group AP), with a median follow-up period of 4.1 years. The preoperative mean Cobb angles were 84° (34 % flexibility) in group P and 109° (27 % flexibility) in group AP. In group P, the Cobb angle was 39° (54 % correction) at discharge and 43° at the final follow-up, while in group AP the figures were 54° (50 % correction) at discharge and 56° at the final follow-up. Major complications occurred in 23 vs. 46 % of the patients, respectively. Preoperative curve flexibility was an important predictor for relative curve correction, independently of the type of surgery.


Posterior-only surgery appears to lead to comparable radiological results, with shorter operating times and shorter intensive-care unit and hospital stays than combined surgery. The duration of surgery was a relevant predictor for complications.

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