Ì. Teoman Benli, Serdar Akalin, Mahmut Kiş, Mehmet Çitak, Burhan Kurtuluş, Evrim Duman

December 2000, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 505 - 515 Original article Read Full Article 10.1007/s005860000176

First Online: 11 December 2000

Anterior instrumentation for the correction of scoliotic curves has recently been gaining in popularity. The problems of high mortality and morbidity that were associated with the employment of anterior instrumentation in the first years it was used have now been overcome. Efforts are now being concentrated on increasing the correction rates in the frontal plane and decreasing the kyphotic effect in the sagittal plane. The anterior Cotrel-Dubousset-Hopf (CDH) system is a recently developed instrumentation that has been claimed to decrease the kyphotic effect through the use of double rods. This study aimed to investigate the impact of the anterior CDH system on idiopathic scoliotic curves in frontal and sagittal planes. To this end, 26 idiopathic scoliosis patients treated with the CDH system were followed for a mean period of 32.8 ± 5.3 months. In the frontal plane, Cobb angles of major and secondary curves were measured, and postoperative and final correction rates determined. In the sagittal plane, sagittal contours of both the instrumented region and the thoracic and lumbar regions were measured, and their preoperative, postoperative and final control values were determined. In addition to clinical examination, lateral trunk shift (LT), shift of head (SH) and shift of stable vertebra (SS) were measured in vertebral units (VU), on the preoperative and postoperative radiographs in order to evaluate the effect of the system on trunk balance. It was established that in patients with single flexible thoracolumbar and lumbar curves and those with rigid thoracic curves, the correction rates obtained in the frontal plane were respectively 79.4 ± 14.8%, 68.0 ± 9.4% and 61.5 ± 8.0%, with statistical significance. Their final corrections at the last control were 76.3 ± 17.4%, 56.9 ± 9.1% and 52.3 ± 8.3%, respectively. Although the corrections in the lumbar rigid curves were relatively low, they were still statistically significant. Taking all the patients together, the mean preoperative Cobb angle of the major curves of 67.2°± 20.2° improved to a mean of 28.6°± 21.0°, which was a statistically significant difference (P < 0.05), giving a mean correction rate of 61.2 ± 20.3%. The mean correction loss of major curves in the frontal plane in all patients was 6.0°± 3.8° and the mean final correction rate was 52.6 ± 23.2%. In the sagittal plane, there was a favorable kyphotic effect on the thoracic region of patients with hypokyphosis and lordosis pattern, whilst in patients with kyphotic pattern, this effect was minimal. In patients with a single flexible lumbar curve, kyphotic effect was not observed except in two patients. In these two patients, it was thought that excessive compression force may have been used. As to the patients with a rigid lumbar curve, there was a slight decrease in lumbar lordosis. No postoperative complaints were made about imbalance, and the mean overall correction in LT values was 60.1 ± 21.7%. While preoperatively, the SH and SS values of all patients were over 0.5 VU, postoperatively, 12 patients (46.2%) were completely balanced (SH = 0 VU, SS = 0 VU) and 8 patients (30.8%) were balanced (0 VU < SH and SS < 0.5 VU). The remaining six patients, whose balance values were corrected with statistical significance but were still over 0.5 VU, were found to be the ones with rigid lumbar curves. Implant failure and systemic complications were not noted in the follow-up period. In view of these findings, it was determined that CDH instrumentation achieves significant correction rates in the frontal and sagittal planes, particularly in single flexible lumbar, thoracolumbar and thoracic rigid curves. It was found that the kyphotic effect was minimized with a double rod system. Significant clinical and radiological corrections were achieved in balance values, without any imbalance and decompensation problems.

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