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The Safety and Efficacy of Isola-Galveston Instrumentation and Arthrodesis in the Treatment of Neuromuscular Spinal Deformities*†

Yazici, Muharrem M.D.‡; Asher, Marc A. M.D.§; Hardacker, James W. M.D.#

Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery - American Volume: April 2000 - Volume 82 - Issue 4 - p 524

Background: Implant systems that realign and stabilize a deformed spine continue to evolve. The purpose of the study of this case series was to determine the safety and effectiveness of a system designed to integrate hook, wire, screw, and post anchors for the treatment of a wide spectrum of neuromuscular disorders associated with pelvic deformity or the potential for deformity.

Methods: Forty-seven consecutive patients who had a spinal deformity that was due to cerebral palsy or an upper motor-neuron cerebral palsy-like disease (thirty-one patients), myelomeningocele (nine), Duchenne muscular dystrophy (four), or other disorders (three) were managed with Isola-Galveston instrumentation and arthrodesis. The average age at the time of the operation was fourteen years and three months (range, five years and four months to twenty-three years and nine months). Eight patients (17 percent) had an additional anterior discectomy and arthrodesis without instrumentation, and three (6 percent) had an additional decancellation eggshell osteotomy. The forty-seven patients were followed for an average of forty-seven months (range, twenty-four to 100 months). The complications were tabulated to assess the safety of the procedure, and the correction of each deformity was calculated to determine the efficacy.

Results: There were no deaths, acute wound infections, or serious neurological problems. Reoperation was necessary in five patients (11 percent). One reoperation was performed because of a delayed deep wound infection; one, because of delayed sterile drainage; and one, for a pseudarthrosis repair. The remaining two reoperations were done for removal of an implant because the cephalad portion had become prominent. In addition to the pseudarthrosis that required a reoperation, there were three possible pseudarthroses that did not require a reoperation (overall prevalence of pseudarthrosis, 9 percent). Postoperative bracing was used for eleven patients (23 percent); it did not influence the rate of pseudarthrosis or possible pseudarthrosis.

The average preoperative scoliosis of 70 degrees was corrected to 24 degrees (a 66 percent correction) at the time of the latest follow-up, and the average preoperative pelvic obliquity of 27 degrees was corrected to 5 degrees (an 81 percent correction). A survey of the patients, parents, and caregivers indicated that 96 percent of them were satisfied or very satisfied with the result of the operation.

Conclusions: Isola-Galveston instrumentation seems as safe and effective as other types of instrumentation that have been studied in comparable series in the literature. Isola-Galveston instrumentation is probably more effective for the correction of pelvic obliquity and the maintenance of correction. Only a posterior procedure is used, and the instrumentation appears to decrease the need for an additional anterior approach. Spinal hook, wire, screw, and post anchors have been successfully integrated into one posterior spinal implant system.

§Section of Orthopedics, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas 66160-7387. E-mail address:

#The Spine Institute, 5299 James Court, Carmel, Indiana 46033.

‡Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, Orthopaedics, Sihhiye, Ankara 06100, Turkey.

Copyright 2000 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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