Risk of revision surgery for adult idiopathic scoliosis: a survival analysis of 517 cases over 25 years

Riouallon G, Bouyer B, Wolff S Eur Spine J. 2016 Aug;25(8):2527-34. doi: 10.1007/s00586-016-4505-5. Epub 2016 Mar 10.

Purpose: Little is known about the long-term status of patients operated for spine deformities. The aim of this study was to determine the survival of primary fusion in adult idiopathic scoliosis and identify the risk factors of revision surgery.

METHODS: Adult patients who underwent primary fusion for idiopathic scoliosis between 1983 and 2011 were included in a continuous monocentric retrospective series. Any additional surgery was registered for survival analysis. Survival and follow-up were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method and an analysis was performed to identify the risk factors of revision surgery.

RESULTS: This series included 447 women (86.5 %) and 70 men (13.5 %) reviewed after a mean follow-up of 7 years (range 0-26.4). Mean age was 44.4 years. Fusion was performed on a median 11 levels (range 3-15); revision rate was 13 % (CI 10-17), 18 % (CI 14-23) and 20 % (CI 16-26) at 5, 10 and 15 years, respectively. Revision surgery was associated with age, anterior release, length of fusion, the inferior limit of fusion, post-operative sagittal balance and junctional kyphosis. The length of fusion (HR 1.13 per vertebrae fused, p = 0.007) and the lower limit of fusion (HR 5.9, p < 0.001) remained independent predictors of revision surgery on multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSION: This series evaluated the risk of revision surgery following spinal fusion for idiopathic scoliosis. Our results show that the risk seemed to increase linearly with a rate of nearly 20 % after 10 years. The length and lower limit of fusion are the main risk factors for revision surgery. Level IV (e.g. case series).


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