Study Design. Retrospective review.
Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and reliability of intraoperative skeletal traction in the surgical correction of severe adult neglected scoliosis.
Summary of Background Data. Literature shows that curves more than 80° that do not reduce to 50° to 55° on bending radiographs require an anterior release. A combined anterior and posterior approach is often used for treating severe rigid scoliosis. However, anterior approach has its own complications in the form of increased morbidity, increased blood loss, operative time, and pulmonary complications. Corrective surgery gets even more challenging if the patients are adults.
Methods. Ten patients with severe scoliosis (>80°) and low flexibility index (<0.5) treated with intraoperative skeletal traction were part of this study. The patients were operated between April 2008 and May 2010. Eight patients with neglected adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and 2 with neuromuscular scoliosis were included. The mean age was 27.4 years (19–36). Corrective surgery and fusion was performed using intraoperative skeletal traction.
Results. The Cobb angle improved from a mean of 89.35° preoperatively to 40.25° postoperatively giving a mean correction of 55.29%. Apical vertebral rotation (Nash and Moe) improved from a mean of grade 3(2–4) to a mean of grade 2(1–3). Apical vertebral translation improved from a mean of 2.19 cm preoperatively to 0.98 cm postoperatively (55.41% correction). There were no intraoperative adverse events or postoperative complications. All patients had good shoulder balance and were satisfied with the correction achieved.
Conclusion. Intraoperative skull-femoral traction can be a safe and effective method to assist correction of severe and rigid scoliosis. It facilitates surgical exposure and pedicle screw insertion. It obviates the need of an anterior release surgery and associated morbidity, thus reducing the hospital stay and costs. It provides a much simpler way to correct the sagittal and coronal imbalance, as well as the pelvic obliquity.