Surgical treatment of neuromuscular scoliosis: current techniques.
ABSTRACT 41 consecutive patients surgically treated at Our Department by posterior only instrumented fusion from January 1995 to January 2009 were reviewed. There were 20 females and 21 males with a mean age of 15.8 years (range, 10 to 38). Diagnosis was: cerebral palsy (13 cases), Duchenne muscular dystrophy (7), spinal amyotrophy (7), myelomeningocele (5), poliomyelitis (3), Friedreich's ataxia (2), Escobar syndrome (2), Steinert's disease (1), Charcot Marie Tooth disease (1). Main scoliosis Cobb angle averaged 94.05° (range, 34° to 165°), the curve was thoracic in 19 cases, thoracolumbar or lumbar in 22 cases. Kyphosis (T5-T12) averaged 42.86° (range, 7° to 90°), lordosis was 33.57°. The fusion was extended to the lumbar tract in 23 patients, to the sacrum in the other 18. Our results showed that, in patients with neuromuscular scoliosis, posterior instrumented fusion is a safe and effective procedure and is the treatment of choice for patients with limited respiratory function, as in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy. The surgery should be performed as early as possible, and the extension of the fusion to the sacrum should be avoided in patients with residual walking ability.