Preoperative factors associated with optimal outcomes of selective thoracic fusion at 5 years

Harms Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Prior work identified optimal outcomes at 2 years following selective thoracic fusion (STF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) but it is unclear whether these published predictors represent what is required to achieve an optimal outcome with further time and potential growth. The purpose of this study was to determine the preoperative factors associated with optimal outcome of STF for AIS at 5 years. Methods: Patients with primary thoracic AIS (Lenke 1–4C curves) who underwent a STF and had minimum 5 years of follow-up were included. Optimal postoperative outcomes for a STF included a deformity-flexibility quotient (DFQ) < 4, lumbar curve < 26°, lumbar correction > 37%, C7-CSVL < 2 cm, lumbar prominence < 5°, and trunk shift < 1.5 cm. These outcomes were used to determine whether adhering to published recommendations for STF increased the likelihood of obtaining an optimal outcome at 5 years, which included: preoperative lumbar curve < 45°, lumbar bend < 25°, apical vertebral translation ratio > 1.2, and thoracic/thoracolumbar Cobb ratio > 1.2. Results: 127 patients met inclusion. A preoperative lumbar curve < 45° was associated with an increased likelihood of achieving three of the optimal outcomes: DFQ < 4, lumbar curve < 26°, and lumbar prominence < 5°. Following the 25° bend rule resulted in two optimal outcomes, while Cobb ratio > 1.2 was only associated with one optimal outcome. AVT > 1.2 was not significantly associated with any optimal outcome measures. Conclusion: This study found that at 5 years, performing a STF when there is a preoperative lumbar Cobb < 45° remained the best guideline for increasing the likelihood of an optimal outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1122
Number of pages6
JournalSpine deformity
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • Lumbar curve
  • Outcomes
  • Selective thoracic fusion


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