Current concepts and controversies on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: Part II

Alok Sud, Athanasios I Tsirikos

Indian J Orthopaedics


A new era in the surgical treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) opened with the introduction of pedicle screw instrumentation, which provides 3-column vertebral fixation and allows major deformity correction on the coronal, sagittal, and axial planes. A steep learning curve can be expected for spinal surgeons to become familiar with pedicle screw placement and correction techniques. Potential complications including injury to adjacent neural, vascular, and visceral structures can occur due to screw misplacement or pull-out during correction maneuvers. These major complications are better recognized as pedicle screw techniques become more popular and may result in serious morbidity and mortality. Extensive laboratory and clinical training is mandatory before pedicle screw techniques in scoliosis surgery are put to practice. Wider application, especially in developing countries, is limited by the high cost of implants. Refined correction techniques are currently developed and these utilize a lesser number of pedicle anchors which are strategically positioned to allow optimum deformity correction while reducing the neurological risk, surgical time, and blood loss, as well as instrumentation cost. Such techniques can be particularly attractive at a time when cost has major implications on provision of health care as they can make scoliosis treatment available to a wider population of patients. Pedicle screw techniques are currently considered the gold standard for scoliosis correction due to their documented superior biomechanical properties and ability to produce improved clinical outcomes as reflected by health-related quality-of-life questionnaires. Ongoing research promises further advances with the future of AIS treatment incorporating genetic counseling and possibly fusionless techniques.

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