Surgical management of neuromuscular scoliosis: approaches, pitfalls and outcomes

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Background. Scoliosis is a common problem among neuromuscular disorders with increased incidence of morbidity and mortality. The management of neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS) is complex and requires a cooperative multi-disciplinary team to provide meticulous perioperative care. Conservative treatment, such as bracing, can delay but not replace surgical correction. However, surgery has the risk of higher perioperative complication rates in this patient population. Aim. It is a retrospective study to evaluate clinical outcome, approaches, pitfalls in management of NMS patients undergoing surgical correction. Materials and methods. We retrospectively evaluated patients with NMS who underwent surgery for scoliosis from 2004 to 2018. Sixty-eight patients were included in the study after meticulous preoperative checkup. In most cases an single-pedicle screw construct was used, but in a few others a hybrid construct was used. A follow up was performed to make a clinical and radiological assessment and recorded all measurements and any complications. A telephone questionnaire was used for functional evaluation and patient/parent satisfaction with surgery. Only 52 patients could participate in the questionnaire. Results. The mean follow up period was 43.28 months, and the mean age at the time of surgery was 14.29 years. The mean preoperative Cobbs angle was 71.7°, while that of final follow-up was 34.6°. The mean Cobbs correction percentage was 53.25%. For correction of fixed pelvic obliquity ≥15°, a sacropelvic extension was done in 60.29% of cases. Complications occurred in 39.71% of operated cases; chest related in 36.11% (of all complications), hardware-related 16.67%, visceral complications (as paralytic ileus) in 13.89%, decubitus ulcer and delayed wound healing in 13.89%, deep wound infection in 8.33%, CNS complications (as status epilepticus) in 8.33%, and death in 2.78% (one case). The results of the questionnaire indicated favorable functional outcomes and patient/family satisfaction with surgery. Conclusion. Despite the perioperative difficulties seen in patients with NMS, patients who had relatively higher postoperative morbidity and mortality, most patients/parents were satisfied with the results of the spinal deformity surgery. The patients/parents would recommend surgery to other patients with similar disorders.

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About the authors

Elsayed E. Negm

Tanta University

MD, Assistant lecturer of the Orthopedic Department, Faculty of Medicine Tanta

Vinay Saraph

Medical University of Graz

MD, Senior consultant of the Pediatric Orthopedic Unit, Department of Pediatric Surgery Graz

Mohamed S. Said

Tanta University

MD, Professor and senior consultant of the Orthopedic Department, Faculty of Medicine Tanta

Nikita Khusainov


Aleksandr Yur'evich Mushkin


Yuriy Alekseevich Lapkin



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Copyright (c) 2020 Negm E.E., Saraph V., Said M.S., Khusainov N., Mushkin A.Y., Lapkin Y.A.

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