Comparison of Percentile Weight Gain of Growth-Friendly Constructs in Early-Onset Scoliosis

Liam R. Harris, Lindsay M. Andras, Paul D. Sponseller, Charles E. Johnston, John B. Emans, David L. Skaggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Study Design Multicenter retrospective cohort. Objective To compare improvement in nutritional status seen in early-onset scoliosis (EOS) patients following treatment with various growth-friendly techniques, especially in underweight patients (<20th weight percentile). Background Thoracic insufficiency resulting from EOS can lead to severe cardiopulmonary disease. In this age group, pulmonary function tests are often difficult or impossible to perform. Weight gain has been used in prior studies as a proxy for improvement and has been demonstrated following VEPTR and growing rod implantation. In this study, we aim to analyze weight gain of EOS patients treated with four different spinal implants to evaluate if significant differences in weight percentile change exist between them. Methods Retrospective review of patients treated surgically for EOS was performed from a multicenter database. Exclusion criteria were index instrumentation at >10 years old and <2 years’ follow-up. Results 287 patients met the inclusion criteria and etiologies were as follows: congenital = 85; syndromic = 79; neuromuscular = 69; and idiopathic = 52. Average patient age at surgery was 5.41 years, with an average follow-up of 5.8 years. Preoperatively, 55.4% (162/287) fell below the 20th weight percentile. There was no significant difference in preoperative weight between implants (p =.77), or diagnoses (p =.25). Among this group, the mean change in weight percentile was 10.5% (range: −16.7% to 88.7%) and all implant groups increased in mean weight percentile at final follow-up. There were no significant differences in weight percentile change between the groups when divided by implant type (p =.17). Conclusions Treatment of EOS with growth-friendly constructs resulted in an increase in weight percentile for underweight patients (<20th percentile), with no significant difference between constructs. Level of Evidence Level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-47
Number of pages5
JournalSpine deformity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Early-onset scoliosis
  • Growing rod
  • Growth-friendly construct
  • Guided growth
  • Malnutrition
  • Nutrition
  • Weight gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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