Previous work has demonstrated best results for casting in infantile scoliosis when the curves are small and the child begins casting under 2 years of age. This study examines if casting can delay the need for growth friendly instrumentation in severe curves (50 to 106 degrees) and how the comorbidities of syrinx or genetic syndromes affected outcomes.
All children undergoing casting for scoliosis at a single institution over an 8-year period were examined. Inclusion criteria included initial curve at first casting of ≥50 degrees, age ≤3 years at the start of casting, and a minimum follow-up of 3 years. Of 148 children undergoing casting during this period, 44 met our inclusion criteria. All children underwent magnetic resonance imaging. Ten children with a syrinx were identified. Ten children had known genetic syndromes (2 who also had a syrinx). The 26 children without these comorbidities were considered idiopathic. Curve magnitude ranged from 50 to 106 degrees.
Nine of the 26 (35%) children in the children with idiopathic curves demonstrated resolution of their curves, while only 3 of the remaining 18 (17%) did. Of the children that did not have resolution of their curves, 14 were maintained over the entire follow-up period to within 15 degrees of their initial curve and 13 were improved 15 degrees or more. Only 5 children had an increase of 15 degrees or more over the follow-up period and 4 of these have undergone growth friendly instrumentation after a mean delay from initial cast of 71 months (range, 18 to 100 mo).
This study demonstrates that even in severe curves, casting was effective in delaying instrumentation in all cases, and led to curve resolution of the curves in 12 of 44 children.
Level of Evidence:
Level III—case control study.