Risk factors affecting the immediate postoperative course in pediatric scoliosis surgery

Roei Hod-Feins, Ibrahim Abu-Kishk, Gideon Eshel, Yosi Barr, Yoram Anekstein, Yigal Mirovsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


STUDY DESIGN. A retrospective analysis of pediatric records of idiopathic scoliosis (IS) and neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS) etiology, in a search for complications and their risk factors immediately following surgical repair. OBJECTIVE. To evaluate the influence of pre- and intraoperative parameters on the postoperative course and lay the cornerstone for a course-prediction model. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA. Only a few studies have addressed the immediate postoperative complications of pediatric scoliosis surgery. METHODS. Our study included all children who underwent spinal fusion for scoliosis in our hospital between 1998 and 2006. The following data were collected: curve etiology, Cobb angle, number of fused vertebrae, fusion approach, and the addition of thoracoplasty. We evaluated the influence of this data on the rate of delayed extubations, length of intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalization, and the presence of major and minor immediate postoperative complications. RESULTS. The study included 126 children (95 IS and 31 NMS). Delayed extubations were recorded in 17 children (3% of IS vs. 45% of NMS). The most common major and minor complications were pulmonary and hematological-biochemical, respectively. Overall pulmonary complications (major and minor) were recorded in 38 children. Major complications (of any category) were recorded in 19 children. Average length of ICU hospitalization was 3.8 days. The rate of complications in the NMS group was significantly higher than in the idiopathic group. Posterior fusions were associated with a significantly lower rate of pulmonary complications and shorter ICU hospitalizations, in comparison to anterior and combined fusions. Cobb angle, number of fused vertebrae, and the addition of thoracoplasty did not correlate with any postoperative parameters. CONCLUSION. While NMS etiology, anterior and combined fusions correlated with a worse course, the Cobb angle, number of fused vertebrae, and the addition of thoracoplasty did not. Optimization of postoperative care should be carried out accordingly. Scoliosis surgery is safe even in extreme curves and long fusions. Thoracoplasty can be added whenever indicated, in order to improve the overall outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2355-2360
Number of pages6
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Anterior and posterior fusions
  • Cobb angle
  • Idiopathic and neuromuscular etiology
  • Scoliosis
  • Thoracoplasty


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