Neurocentral synchondrosis screws to create and correct experimental deformity: A pilot study

Hong Zhang, Daniel J. Sucato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Unilateral pedicle screw epiphysiodesis of the neurocentral synchondrosis (NCS) can produce asymmetric growth of the synchondrosis to create scoliosis in an immature animal model. Questions/purposes: We asked whether a preexisting experimentally created scoliosis could be limited and corrected by modulating the growth of the faster-growing NCS by a similar method. Methods: Nine 1-month-old pigs were assigned to each of three groups: (1) a sham group in which three animals received a sham operation but without a pedicle screw fixation; (2) an experimental group with double right pedicle screws placed across the NCS from T7 to T14 (scoliosis-untreated); and (3) an experimental group treated in the same way except a second set of double pedicle screws was placed in the left pedicles 6 weeks after the screws were placed on the right (scoliosis-treated). All animals were euthanized at 17 weeks, and radiographs and axial CT images of the spine were obtained. Results: A scoliotic curve was not seen in any of the animals in the sham group, in three of three in the scoliosis-untreated group with an average of 34°, and in three of three in the scoliosis-treated group with an average of 20°. In comparison to the scoliosis-untreated group, the second set of pedicle screws produced a 41% correction of the scoliosis. Conclusions: We found the pedicle screw inhibited the overgrowth of the NCS to prevent further curve progression and obtained some correction of the deformity. The NCS screw epiphysiodesis can create and reverse scoliosis in an immature pig model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1383-1390
Number of pages8
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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