Vertebral fusion has a definite preventive influence over deformity of the spine following injury to the epiphyseal plate or vertebral body.
There is a definite tendency toward lordosis after fusion of the spine in growing animals. This is due to the fact that there is some inhibition in longitudinal expansion with compensatory growth anteriorly toward the place of least resistance.
The lordosis may exert a corrective influence over an existing kyphosis. In tuberculosis of the spine there may be a lessening of the deformity after the fusion operation.
This corrective influence should be borne in mind in the treatment of vertebral epiphysitis (kyphosis dorsalis juvenilis).
The preventive influence of fusion over scoliosis is also possibly of clinical value. In paralytic scoliosis the problem is quite complex, because of the multiplicity of forces and the difficulty in knowing the exact site and amount of fusion.
(C) 1940 All Rights Reserved.The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.