2018 Volume 2 Issue 4 Pages 278-282
Introduction: Patients with neuromuscular disorders sometimes show progressive spinal scoliosis. The surgery for neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS) has high rates of complications. In this study, we elucidated the perioperative complications in patients with NMS.
Methods: We included 83 patients with NMS (58 boys and 25 girls; 61 with muscular dystrophy, 18 with spinal muscular atrophy, and 4 others) who had undergone posterior fusion surgery for scoliosis. We evaluated the perioperative complications (within 3 months), age at time of surgery, operative time, blood loss, preoperative %VC and FEV1.0 (%) for pulmonary function, and preoperative ejection fraction (EF) for cardiac function.
Results: There were 5 (6%) major complications, including pneumonia and a cardiovascular complication requiring intensive care unit (ICU) care, and 15 (18%) minor complications including viral enteritis and a urinary tract infection. Overall, there were 20 (24%) complications. Three of the 5 major complications were pulmonary. The mean age at the time of surgery was 13.7 y, operative time was 304 min, and blood loss was 1530 ml. The mean preoperative %VC was 41%, FEV1.0 was 91%, and EF was 60%. When we separated the patients into a group with major complications (n = 5) and a group without major complications (n = 78), the preoperative %VC in the group with major complications (23%) was significantly lower than that in the group without (42%) (p < 0.05). However, operative time, blood loss, preoperative FEV1.0 (%) and EF between the two groups were not significantly different (p > 0.05).
Conclusions: Compared with the previous findings of the perioperative complication rate (45%-74%) for NMS, the complication rate was remarkably low in this case series. Because of advances in medical skills, including anesthesia and surgical instruments, surgery for NMS appears to be safe. However, patients with NMS with complications demonstrated severe restrictive ventilatory impairment preoperatively. Therefore, we should be vigilant for perioperative pulmonary complications especially in patients with NMS and preoperative severe restrictive ventilatory impairment.