Incidence of complete spinal instrumentation removal following surgery for spinal deformity: A 22-year single institution study

Matthew V. Abola, Christina K. Hardesty, Derrick M. Knapik, Connie Poe-Kochert, Jochen P. Son-Hing, George H. Thompson

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The aim of this study was to define the incidence of complete implant removal following surgical correction of spinal deformity in pediatric patients over a 22-year period and identify possible risk factors. A retrospective review of our Pediatric Orthopedic Spine Database between 1992 and 2016 was performed. We included patients undergoing complete implant removal following scoliosis correction surgery with a minimum of 2-year follow-up. Medical charts were reviewed to determine initial patient diagnosis and the indication for implant removal. Statistical analysis was carried out to determine the associations between sex and factors such as primary diagnosis and indication for removal. A review of 1117 procedures in 1114 patients identified complete instrument removal in 52 (4.7%) patients (34 females and 18 males). Mean time to removal following surgery was 2.3 years (range: 0-5.9 years). Removal occurred in 24 of 548 (4.4%) patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, four of 117 (3.4%) patients with juvenile idiopathic scoliosis, 11 of 287 (3.8%) patients with neuromuscular scoliosis, and three of 79 (3.8%) patients with syndromic scoliosis. Infection was the most common indication for complete implant removal [24 (46%) patients], followed by persistent pain [8 (15%) patients], and metal intolerance [8 (15%) patients]. There were two cases of early infection (<1 year following surgery) and 22 late infections (≥1 year following surgery). The overall 22-year incidence of complete implant removal following spinal correction surgery for scoliosis was 4.7%. Infection continues to be the most common indication, followed by pain and metal intolerance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-384
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics Part B
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • hardware
  • implant
  • pediatric
  • removal
  • scoliosis
  • spine


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