A comparison of three-and two-rod constructs in the correction of severe pediatric scoliosis

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Purpose: Managing severe scoliosis is challenging and risky with a significant complication rate regardless of treatment strategy. In this retrospective comparative study, we report our results using a three-rod compared to two-rod construct in the surgical treatment of severe spine deformities to investigate which technique is safer, and which provides superior radiological outcomes. Methods: Forty-six consecutive patients undergoing posterior spine fusion for scoliosis between 2006 and 2017 were identified in our institutional records. Inclusion criteria were minimum coronal deformity of 90°, age < 18 years at the time of surgery and a minimum 2 years of follow-up. Radiographic and clinical parameters, as well as post-operative complications were compared between the two groups. Results: There were 21 patients in the three-rod group and 25 in the two-rod group. The mean preoperative major coronal deformity was 100°± 9 and 102°± 10 in the three-rod and two-rod, respectively (p = 0.6). The average major curve correction was 51% and 59% in three-rod and two-rod groups, respectively (p = 0.03). The post-operative thoracic kyphosis was 30°± 11 and 21°± 12 in the three-rod and the two-rod groups, respectively (p = 0.01). The surgical time was 476 ± 52 and 387 ± 84 min in three-rod and two-rod, respectively (p < 0.01). One patient in the two-rod cohort showed permanent post-operative sensory deficit. There were three unplanned returns to operating theater in the two-rod group. Conclusions: Coronal correction was better with two-rod, whereas sagittal balance was superior with three-rod. Both techniques achieved balanced spine treating severe scoliosis. The two-rod technique was associated with a higher likelihood of requiring revision surgery. Level of evidence: level 3.






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Machida, M, B Rocos, R Zeller and DE Lebel (2023). A comparison of three-and two-rod constructs in the correction of severe pediatric scoliosis. Journal of Children's Orthopaedics, 17(2). pp. 148–155. 10.1177/18632521231156438 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29685.

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Brett Rocos

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I joined the team at Duke University Health from London, UK, where I was a Consultant Adult and Paediatric Spine Surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust and Honorary Consultant Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. I completed my surgical training in in the South West of the UK and at the University of Toronto, and am fellowship trained in adult spine surgery, paediatric spine surgery, orthopaedic trauma surgery, research and healthcare management.

I am driven to support patients at every stage of their care, from clinic assessment, through surgery to discharge. Making sure that every person, adult, child, family or friend understands what’s wrong, helping them to choose the right treatment for them, and what the recovery will be like is an important priority.

My research activity focusses on finding effective new treatments for spinal disorders and bringing them to patients. Focusing on spinal deformity, I have led investigations in the UK, Canada and the USA, and I sit on the Global AO Knowledge Forum for Deformity and the Research Grants Committee at the Scoliosis Research Society. I have lectured in North America and Europe about the treatment of spine disorders for the Scoliosis Research Society, Global Spine Congress, AO Spine and Eurospine, and I have worked hard to produce research that improves the care for spine patients wherever they live. Lastly, I review for several orthopaedic journals and I am Deputy Editor of the Bone and Joint 360, a leading publication with a global readership.

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