Fixation points within the main thoracic curve: Does more instrumentation produce greater curve correction and improved results?

James O. Sanders, Mohammad Diab, Stephens B. Richards, Lawrence G. Lenke, Charles E. Johnston, John B. Emans, Daniel J. Sucato, Mark A. Erickson, Keith H. Bridwell, Richard E. McCarthy, John F. Sarwark, John P. Dormans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Study Design.: Prospective consecutive multicenter case series. Objective.: To compare fixation type and amount to curve correction controlled for curve flexibility. Summary of Background Data.: The enhanced spinal purchase from segmental fixation should increase the force implants can exert without failure. This study evaluates whether this translates into correction beyond that expected from preoperative bending radiographs in thoracic curves where maximum correction was feasible (1A, 1B, and nonselective 1C fusions). Methods.: One hundred seventy-one Lenke type 1 curves (118 1A, 36 1B, 23 1C) with 2-year follow-up were evaluated for the number and type of fixation points within the main curves compared to the correction obtained on preoperative bend films. SRS scores were compared to the amount of correction. Results.: The number of fixation points both within the curve (P = 0.01) and for each vertebral body (P = 0.002) was larger for curves with greater correction compared to the bend films than those with less correction. Overall absolute correction was best for all screw and screw and wire constructs, followed by hook and screw, and least with hooks. However, compared to the bend films, these differences were not significant (P = 0.132). For all groups, the SRS scores significantly improved (P < 0.001), and was slightly more notable for the all screw constructs than other instrumentation patterns (P = 0.023). However, there were no significant difference in this improvement between those correcting more and those correcting less than the bend films (P = 0.578). Conclusion.: Absolute curve correction improved most with all pedicle screw and screw and wire constructs, but, when compared to bending films, the number of fixation points is more important than fixation type for curve correction. Although SRS scores improved the most in those with all screw constructs, the significance of this improvement is uncertain, and the SRS scores did not relate to whether curve correction was more or less than the bend films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1402-e1406
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011


  • adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • functional outcomes
  • spinal instrumentation


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