Benjamin Sherman, Peymon Madi, Afshin Aminian

March 2021, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 733 - 739 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-020-06715-x

First Online: 18 January 2021


The purpose of this study was to evaluate differences in pain, opiate utilization and oxygen (O2) consumption during the immediate post-operative course for patients undergoing posterior spinal fusion (PSF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) with and without thoracoplasty.


Patients aged 10–21 years old that had undergone PSF for AIS were identified from 1/1/16–8/1/18. A cohort of patients that did not have a thoracoplasty group was used as a control group. A standardized pain protocol (rapid response pathway) was implemented on all patients. A retrospective chart review was performed. Pre-operative, operative and post-operative data and SRS scores were analyzed.


Forty-six patients (38 girls, 8 boys) were included, 23 in each group. The average age was 15.2 years (range 12.0–19.3) and BMI was 20.9 (range 13.1–37.6). Differences in visual analog scores, post-operative oxygen and narcotic consumption were not statistically significant on any POD. Total opiate utilization was 146.06 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) in the control group and 149.41 MME in the thoracoplasty group (p = 0.78). One-year SRS self-image scores were higher in the thoracoplasty group (4.24 vs 3.96) (p = 0.007). There was no difference in length of hospitalization (3.6 vs 3.5 days), levels fused (12.9 vs 12.9) or blood loss (334.1 vs 413.5 mL). There was one pleural effusion and no instances of intercostal neuralgia or pneumothorax in the thoracoplasty group.


There is no increase in immediate post-operative pain, narcotic use or oxygen consumption when a thoracoplasty is performed with a PSF for AIS. Improved SRS self-image scores were seen after thoracoplasty.

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