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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 197-201

Increased cautiousness in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients concordant with syringomyelia fails to improve overall patient outcomes

1 Department of Orthopedics and Neurological Surgery, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York, NY, USA
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, SUNY Downstate, New York, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Peter G Passias
Departments of Orthopaedic and Neurological Surgery, NYU Langone Medical Center Orthopaedic Hospital, 301 East 17th St., New York, NY, 10003
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.jcvjs_25_21

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Background: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a common cause of spinal deformity in adolescents. AIS can be associated with certain intraspinal anomalies such as syringomyelia (SM). This study assessed the rate o f SM in AIS patients and compared trends in surgical approach and postoperative outcomes in AIS patients with and without SM. Methods: The database was queried using ICD-9 codes for AIS patients from 2003–2012 (737.1–3, 737.39, 737.8, 737.85, and 756.1) and SM (336.0). The patients were separated into two groups: AIS-SM and AIS-N. Groups were compared using t-tests and Chi-squared tests for categorical and discrete variables, respectively. Results: Totally 77,183 AIS patients were included in the study (15.2 years, 64% F): 821 (1.2%) – AIS-SM (13.7 years, 58% F) and 76,362 – AIS-N (15.2 years, 64% F). The incidence of SM increased from 2003–2012 (0.9 to 1.2%, P = 0.036). AIS-SM had higher comorbidity rates (79 vs. 56%, P < 0.001). Comorbidities were assessed between AIS-SM and AIS-N, demonstrating significantly more neurological and pulmonary in AIS-SM patients. 41.2% of the patients were operative, 48% of AIS-SM, compared to 41.6% AIS-N. AIS-SM had fewer surgeries with fusion (anterior or posterior) and interbody device placement. AIS-SM patients had lower invasiveness scores (2.72 vs. 3.02, P = 0.049) and less LOS (5.0 vs. 6.1 days, P = 0.001). AIS-SM patients underwent more routine discharges (92.7 vs. 90.9%). AIS-SM had more nervous system complications, including hemiplegia and paraplegia, brain compression, hydrocephalous and cerebrovascular complications, all P < 0.001. After controlling for respiratory, renal, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal comorbidities, invasiveness score remained lower for AIS-SM patients (P < 0.001). Conclusions: These results indicate that patients concordant with AIS and SM may be treated more cautiously (lower invasiveness score and less fusions) than those without SM.

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