2019 Volume 3 Issue 2 Pages 113-125
Introduction: Controversies still exist in the surgical indications and outcomes of selective thoracic fusion (STF) for a primary thoracic curve with a compensatory large lumbar curve (King-Moe type II/Lenke 1C curve) in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Issues of the greatest concern regarding this curve type include curve criteria that indicate STF to prevent postoperative coronal decompensation and postoperative radiographic outcomes, including curve correction, coronal balance, and thoracolumbar kyphosis, after STF.
Methods: This review comprehensively documents the issues raised in the literature regarding surgical indications and radiographic outcomes of STF for King-Moe type II/Lenke 1C curve in AIS.
Results: Studies suggest that radiographic curve criteria indicating STF for this curve type include the preoperative dominance of the thoracic curve to the lumbar curve in the Cobb angle and the characteristics of the lumbar curve in magnitude and flexibility. Studies warn the need for a careful clinical evaluation of the thoracic and lumbar rotational prominences. Documented radiographic outcomes of importance include the postoperative behavior of the unfused lumbar curve, coronal or sagittal decompensation after STF, and factors associated with these issues.
A comprehensive review of the literature suggests that the use of a segmental pedicle screw construct and better instrumented thoracic curve correction achieve better spontaneous lumbar curve correction. Although the causes of postoperative coronal decompensation remain multifactorial, preoperative coronal decompensation to the left and an inappropriate selection of the lowest instrumented vertebra are consistently reported to be the major causative factors.
Conclusions: STF has been validated in general for the treatment of King-Moe type II or Lenke 1C curve in AIS; however, controversies remain regarding the surgical indications and outcomes.
Long-term impacts of residual lumbar curve, coronal decompensation, and mild thoracolumbar kyphosis on clinical outcomes after STF, along with optimal indications and strategy for STF, should further be assessed.