Indexed on: 10 Mar '10Published on: 10 Mar '10Published in: European Spine Journal
Instrumentation and fusion to the sacrum/pelvis has been a mainstay in the surgical treatment of scoliosis in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and is recommended to correct pelvic obliquity. The caudal extent of instrumentation and fusion in the surgical treatment of scoliosis in DMD has remained a matter of considerable debate, and there have been few studies on the use of segmental pedicle screw instrumentation for this pathology. From 2004 to 2007, a total of 28 patients with DMD underwent segmental pedicle screw instrumentation and fusion only to L5. Assessment was performed clinically and with radiologic measurements. All patients had a curve with the apex at L2 or higher preoperatively. Preoperative coronal curve averaged 74 degrees, with a postoperative mean of 14 degrees, and 17 degrees at the last follow-up. The pelvic obliquity improved from 17 degrees preoperatively to 6 degrees postoperatively, and 6 degrees at the last follow-up. Good sagittal plane alignment was recreated after surgery and maintained long term. In 23 patients with a preoperative L5 tilt of less than 15 degrees, the pelvic obliquity was effectively corrected to less than 10 degrees and maintained by adequately addressing spinal deformity, while five patients with a preoperative L5 tilt of more than 15 degrees had a postoperative pelvic obliquity of more than 15 degrees. Segmental pedicle screw instrumentation and fusion to L5 was effective and safe in patients with DMD scoliosis with a minimal L5 tilt (<15 degrees) and a curve with the apex at L2 or higher, both initially and long term, obviating the need for fixation to the sacrum/pelvis. Segmental pedicle screw instrumentation and fusion to L5 was safe and effective in patients with DMD scoliosis with stable L5/S1 articulation as evidenced by a minimal L5 tilt of less than 15 degrees, even though pelvic obliquity was significant. There was no major complication. With rigid segmental pedicle screw instrumentation, the caudal extent of fusion in the treatment of DMD scoliosis should be determined by the degree of L5 tilt. This method in appropriate patients can be a viable alternative to instrumentation and fusion to the sacrum/pelvis in the surgical treatment of DMD scoliosis.