Surgical fusion offers comparable outcomes in patients with, without spinal deformities

Ahmed R. J Neurosurg Spine. 2014;doi:10.3171/2014.1.PEDS13317.

Pediatric patients who undergo surgery for intramedullary spinal cord tumors may be at risk for long-term incidence of spinal deformity; however, spinal fusion appears to offer patients who develop deformities similar long-term functional and survival outcomes as those without deformities.

Researchers identified 55 patients aged younger than 21 years who underwent surgery for intramedullary spinal cord tumors (IMSCTs) between 1975 and 2010. Patients’ clinical records were reviewed for baseline and follow-up imaging, disease outcomes and long-term outcomes following their procedures. Median follow-up time was 11.4 years.

Preoperative skeletal deformities were diagnosed in 11 patients (20%), and postoperative skeletal deformities were found in nine patients (16%). Surgical fusion was found to be necessary in 11 patients (55%). Of those, posterior surgical fusion was sufficient in six (55%) of the cases, whereas combined anterior and posterior fusion was sufficient in the remaining five cases (45%), according to the researchers.

The researchers found the development of spinal deformity was independently associated with laminectomy/laminoplasty at more than four levels (P = .05). The procedures also necessitated surgical fusion. Ten-year disease survival outcomes and functional scores were found to be similar between the two groups.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.



Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Spine Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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