Long-term follow-up of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients who had harrington instrumentation and fusion to the lower lumbar vertebrae: Is low back pain a problem?

Bruce J. Bartie, John E. Lonstein, Robert B. Winter

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44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study Design. Retrospective functional and radiographic analysis. Objective. To analyze the back pain and disability in patients who had instrumentation and fusion to L2, L3, L4, or L5, at least 10 years previously, and to compare them with a control group of the same age, sex, weight, and height. Summary of Background Data. Considerable confusion exists as to the incidence and severity of low back problems in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis fused to the lower lumbar spine. Materials and Methods. A total of 171 patients met the inclusion criteria of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, Harrington instrumentation, and fusion to L2, L3, L4, or L5, a minimum follow-up of 10 years following surgery, and a detailed questionnaire at follow-up. These were compared to a control group of 209 persons of equal sex, age, weight, and height. Eighty-eight patients were personally evaluated, including radiographs at follow-up. The mean follow-up was 19 years. Results. Back pain, no matter how trivial or infrequent, was noted in 75% of the patients and 65% of the controls, statistically different at P = 0.039. Pain intensity was equal to controls in fusions to L2 or L3, but increased in those fused to L4. Comparing all fused patients to the controls, there was no difference in narcotic use, use of back supports, visits to physicians, or hospitalizations for back problems. There was no difference in the short form-36 in the patients according to whether fused to L2, L3, or L4. Conclusion. When compared to a control group of equal sex, age, weight, and height, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients had a slightly higher incidence of back pain. When compared to the control group using short form-36 evaluation, the patients had statistically equal scores in all 8 domains. Most patients were able to perform most activities of daily living.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E873-E878
JournalSpine
Volume34
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

Keywords

  • Idiopathic scoliosis
  • Instrumentation
  • Long-term follow-up
  • Spine fusion

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