Comparison of Single-Level Versus Multilevel Vertebral Column Resection Surgery for Pediatric Patients with Severe Spinal Deformities

Chang Ju Hwang, Lawrence G. Lenke, Brenda A. Sides, Kathy M. Blanke, Michael P. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Study Design.Retrospective cohort of pediatric patients (younger than 21 years) with severe spinal deformities who underwent vertebral column resection (VCR) surgery.Objective.To compare patients who underwent single-versus multilevel VCR surgery in terms of radiographic correction and perioperative complications.Summary of Background Data.There are few studies comparing single-to multilevel VCR surgery regarding the efficacy and safety of the procedures.Methods.Eighty-Two pediatric patients who underwent a VCR for severe spinal deformity between 2002 and 2012 by one surgeon were included. A single-level VCR was performed in 45 patients with an average of 4.7-year follow-up, and multilevel VCR in 37 patients with an average of 4.6-year follow-up.Results.Coronal Cobb corrections were not different between groups (single level: 63%, multilevel: 58%, P=0.146). Correction loss at final follow-up did not differ (3.1° vs. 0.3°, P=0.132). Patients in the single-level group had shorter operation times (9.2 vs. 10.5hours, P=0.046), whereas estimated blood loss did not differ between the two groups (1061 vs. 1200mL, P=0.181). The rate of spinal cord monitoring events was 20% (8/40) and 30% (9/30), respectively. No patient in the single-level group had a postoperative neurologic deficit, whereas three patients in the multilevel group experienced a temporary deficit postoperatively (0/45 vs. 3/37, P=0.088).Conclusion.There was no difference in radiographic correction between the single-and multilevel VCR groups. The multilevel VCR patients had longer operative times, and although the differences were not statistically significant due to low sample size, the multilevel VCR group also had an increased rate of postoperative neurologic deficits. We would recommend single-level VCRs unless there is an absolute indication for multilevel resection as in necessary decompression for spinal cord impingement.Level of Evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E664-E670
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • multilevel
  • severe spinal deformity
  • single level
  • vertebral column resection


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