Results and complications after spinal fusion for neuromuscular scoliosis in cerebral palsy and static encephalopathy using luque galveston instrumentation: Experience in 93 patients

John E Lonstein, Steven E. Koop, Tom F. Novachek, Joseph H. Perra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN.: Retrospective cohort analysis. OBJECTIVE.: To evaluate the results of spine fusion for neuromuscular scoliosis in cerebral palsy and static encephalopathy, using Luque-Galveston technique, with emphasis on the early and late complications, especially those increasing the hospital stay or requiring additional surgery. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: There are numerous studies in the literature on the treatment of neuromuscular scoliosis using Luque-Galveston instrumentation analyzing the results and complications. Most series are small and evaluate some of the complications, with none evaluating all the early and late complications and none assessing the impact of the complication on length of hospitalization or the need for additional surgical intervention. METHODS.: This was a retrospective review of a consecutive series of patients operated on for neuromuscular scoliosis in cerebral palsy and static encephalopathy with Luque-Galveston instrumentation at 1 institution from January 1997 to December 2003. Ninety-three patients were identified. RESULTS.: The average age at surgery was 14.3 years, with an average age at follow-up of 18.2 years, and an average follow-up of 3.8 years. The mean preoperative scoliosis was 72° with correction postoperatively to a mean of 33°, maintained at 36° at final follow-up. There were 83 early complications in 54 patients, for a complication rate of 58% of patients for the entire study. There were no perioperative deaths or neurological complications. There was only 1 deep wound infection, for an infection rate of 1.1%. Patients with 1 complication had a longer length of stay, 9 versus 7 days, the difference being statistically significant (Mann-Whitney U test, P < 0.001). Two patients required reoperation during the initial hospitalization (1.1%): 1, one for infection and 1 for proximal hook cutout and proximal junction kyphosis.There were a total of 81 late complications in 44 patients, for a late complication rate of 47% of patients for the entire study. The majority of the complications were minor, not requiring additional care or surgery. Seven patients had a pseudarthrosis (7.5%), presenting at an average of 30 months postoperatively. Eight patients underwent 9 procedures for late complications: 5 for repair of a pseudarthrosis, 3 for removal of a prominent iliac screw, and 1 for superior junctional kyphosis. All the pseudarthrosis repairs were solid at follow-up. CONCLUSION.: Spinal fusion in neuromuscular scoliosis with Luque-Galveston technique is a safe and effective procedure. Any early complication increased the length of stay, with a low rate of reoperation during the hospitalization. The majority of late complications were minor, not requiring additional care. Pseudarthroses were detected late and were the main reason for additional surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-591
Number of pages9
JournalSpine
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012

Keywords

  • complications
  • infectionn
  • neuromuscular
  • pseudarthrosis
  • scoliosis

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