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Back Pain after Harrington Rod Instrumentation for Idiopathic Scoliosis

FABRY, G, MD; VAN MELKEBEEK, J, MD; BOCKX, E, MD

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The purpose of this study is to compare preoperative and postoperative back pain problems in 182 patients operated on for idiopathic scoliosis. Preoperatively 32% of the patients presented with back pain, increasing to 66% postoperatively. Minor degrees of back pain increased (from 45 to 65%) and more severe complaints decreased (from 55 to 35%). Moderate to severe back pain increases from 0 to 46%, together with lower hook placement from L1 to L5. It is concluded that, ideally, the lower limit of the fusion should not go beyond L1 or L2. Lower fusions are prone to give more back pain, with major problems, however, only in a minority of cases (7% in fusions to L4–L5).

From the Department of Orthopaedics, University Hospital, Pellenberg, Belgium

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.