Vertebral column resection in children with neuromuscular spine deformity

Paul D. Sponseller, Amit Jain, Lawrence G. Lenke, Suken A. Shah, Daniel J. Sucato, John B. Emans, Peter O. Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Study Design. Retrospective analysis. Objective. To determine, in pediatric patients with neuromuscular deformity undergoing vertebral column resection (VCR), the (1) characteristics of the surgery performed; (2) amount of pelvic obliquity restoration, and coronal and sagittal correction achieved; (3) associated blood loss and complications; and (4) extent to which curve type and VCR approach influenced correction, blood loss, and complications. Summary of Background Data. VCR allows for correction of severe, rigid spinal deformity. This technique has not been previously reported in children with neuromuscular disorders. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed the records of 23 children with neuromuscular disorders (mean age, 15 years) and spinal deformities (severe scoliosis, 9; global kyphosis or angular kyphosis, 4; kyphoscoliosis, 10) who underwent VCR. The Student t test was used to compare correction differences (statistical significance, P < 0.05). Results: A mean 1.5 vertebrae (27 thoracic and 6 lumbar) were resected per patient. Significant corrections were achieved in pelvic obliquity (11°, from 19°± 13°to 8°± 7°), in major coronal curve (56°, from 94°± 36°to 38°± 20°), and in major sagittal curve (46°, from 86°± 37°to 40°± 19°). There was no difference in correction between various curve types. VCR was associated with substantial blood loss (mean, 76% [estimated blood loss per total blood volume]), which correlated with patient weight and operating time. Overall, 6 patients experienced major complications: spinal cord injury, pleural effusion requiring chest tube insertion, pneumonia, pancreatitis, deep wound infection, and prominent implant requiring revision surgery. There were no deaths or permanent neurological injuries. Conclusion. VCR achieved significant pelvic obliquity restoration and coronal and sagittal correction in children with neuromuscular disorders and severe, rigid spinal deformity. However, this challenging procedure involves the potential for major complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E655-E661
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 15 2012


  • children
  • neuromuscular scoliosis
  • spine deformity
  • vertebral column resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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