Adult Reconstruction Surgery
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Clinical Research: Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery
Selected Abstracts 2008-2009
Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
J. Richard Bowen, MD
Kirk W. Dabney, MD
Peter G. Gabos, MD
Candice P. Holden, MD
Shanmuga S. Jayakumar, MD
Richard W. Kruse, MD
William G. Mackenzie, MD
Freeman Miller, MD
Suken A. Shah, MD
Mihir M. Thacker, MD

Efficacy and safety of percutaneous epiphysiodesis.
Inan M, Chan G, Littleton AG, Kubiak P, Bowen JR.
J Pediatr Orthop. 2008 Sep;28(6):648-51.

BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to evaluate outcomes of percutaneous epiphysiodesis, as described by Bowen, in 97 patients and to assess complications and determine whether the effect of the epiphysiodesis will accurately follow the Moseley chart predictions.

METHODS: A total of 97 patients were reviewed retrospectively. Fifty-six girls and 41 boys, with a mean skeletal age of 12.6 years (range, 10-16 years) at the time of operation, were followed up until skeletal maturity, a mean of 3.8 years (range, 1-10 years).

RESULTS: The mean residual leg length discrepancy (LLD) in 88 patients at maturity was 1.3 cm (range, 0-3.5 cm). In 9 patients, the epiphysiodesis was combined with a femoral lengthening or femoral shortening. The residual leg length discrepancy in these 9 patients was 3.3 cm at maturity (range, 0-6.5 cm). Minor complications including knee effusion (n = 2), superficial wound infection (n = 1), and exostosis (n = 3) occurred in 6 patients. Failure of the epiphysiodesis was the only major complication seen (n = 3).

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that complications are infrequent when performing percutaneous epiphysiodesis and that the Moseley straight-line method accurately and efficaciously predicted the timing for percutaneous epiphysiodesis in all but one patient who had unpredictable growth from hemihypertrophy secondary to a hemangiomatosis.

Baclofen pump implantation and spinal fusion in children: techniques and complications.
Borowski A, Shah SA, Littleton AG, Dabney KW, Miller F.
Spine. 2008 Aug 15;33(18):1995-2000.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective clinical and radiographic review of complications related to intrathecal baclofen therapy (ITB) and posterior spine fusion (PSF) in patients with cerebral palsy.

OBJECTIVE: To report the technical considerations and complications associated with ITB in patients undergoing PSF.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: A common treatment for spasticity in children with cerebral palsy is ITB. This population also has a high incidence of severe spinal deformities requiring PSF.

METHODS: There were 4 groups: A, 26 patients with PSF before ITB; B, 11 patients who underwent PSF and ITB concurrently; C, 25 patients with PSF after ITB; and D, the control group: 103 patients with ITB only. Complications and infections were tabulated from a retrospective chart review and ongoing surveillance data. Multiple chi analyses were used to compare the number of patients who experienced complications and infections among the groups. The operative sequence and catheter management techniques for the various scenarios are described in detail in the text.

RESULTS: The outcome by group was as follows: group A had 5 catheter malfunctions and 2 infections at the pump site, group B had 2 catheter malfunctions, 1 hypermobile pump and 1 infection at the spinal site, group C had 3 catheter malfunctions, 1 infection at the pump site and 1 infection at the spinal site. The control group had 23 catheter malfunctions, 5 pump failures, 8 infections at the pump site, and 1 infection at the spinal site. Multiple chi analyses showed no difference in the number of infection or device/catheter complications among any of the groups.

CONCLUSION: The rate of ITB therapy complications is not increased despite PSF in any order of the procedures. There are technical details in each situation that require attention. With understanding of the appropriate techniques of catheter management, ITB pumps can be implanted and managed without an increased complication rate before, during or after spinal fusion surgery.

Surgical correction of scoliosis in pediatric patients with cerebral palsy using the unit rod instrumentation.
Tsirikos AI, Lipton G, Chang WN, Dabney KW, Miller F.
Spine. 2008 May 1;33(10):1133-40.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective clinical and radiographic consecutive case series of 2 surgeons.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to present a large consecutive series of patients with cerebral palsy who were treated with the Unit rod instrumentation at a single institution. The goal was to report the incidence of surgical complications, degree of deformity correction, reoperation rate, prevalence of pseudarthrosis, and the caretakers' perceived outcome.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Children with cerebral palsy frequently develop scoliosis that requires surgical correction. Segmental instrumentation has been the primary mode of treatment. There are no reported large series with long-term follow up. METHODS: This study was a retrospective review of 287 children treated with the Unit rod instrumentation. This instrumentation with fusion included the whole spine (between C7 and T3 into the pelvis) with 242 posterior-only and 45 anterior-posterior procedures. Of this group, 241 patients were observed for more than 2 years. This review focused on the rate of complications and radiographic outcome of the treatment. Parent and caretaker interviews were conducted to define perceived functional outcome after surgery.

RESULTS: Scoliosis was corrected from a mean of 76 degrees to 25 degrees (68%). Pelvic obliquity was corrected from a mean of 17 degrees to 5 degrees (71%). In posterior-only procedures the average blood loss was 2.8 L, ICU stay was 4.9 days, and the hospital stay was 19.6 days. In combined procedures, the average blood loss was 3.4 L, ICU stay was 6.7 days, and the hospital stay was 24.5 days. Major complications included 3 perioperative deaths, 18 deep wound infections [12 early deep infections in a total of 287 patients (4.2%); 6 late deep infections in a total of 236 patients (2.5%)], and 2 patients with septicemia who recovered after prolonged antibiotic management. Caretakers' survey reported a 96% satisfaction rate.

CONCLUSION: The Unit rod instrumentation is a common standard technique and the primary instrumentation system for the treatment of pediatric patients with cerebral palsy and neuromuscular scoliosis because it is simple to use, it is considerably less expensive than most other systems, and can achieve good deformity correction with a low loss of correction, as well as a low prevalence of associated complications and a low reoperation rate.

Soft tissue sarcomas of the foot and ankle: impact of unplanned excision, limb salvage, and multimodality therapy.
Thacker MM, Potter BK, Pitcher JD, Temple HT.
Foot Ankle Int. 2008 Jul;29(7):690-8.

BACKGROUND: Foot and ankle sarcomas have historically been treated with amputation because of the difficulty in achieving local disease control and maintaining a functional foot. Potential opportunities for limb salvage may be further compromised by unplanned excisions.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed 52 consecutive patients with soft tissue sarcomas of the foot and ankle and analyzed the impact of planned versus unplanned initial excision, limb salvage, and multimodality therapy on treatment and outcomes.

RESULTS: Unplanned excisions had been performed in 29 (55.8%) patients. Limb salvage was performed in 38 patients, with 14 requiring free soft tissue transfers. At an average followup of 99 (range, 24 to 216) months, the 5-year overall survival estimate was 76.3%. Although not statistically significant, we noted clinically relevant potential differences in local recurrence-free, disease-free, and oncologic survival between the planned and unplanned excision groups. Seven patients (13.5%) had a local recurrence, five of these following an unplanned excision. Functional scores averaged 83.2% for all patients which were similar between planned versus unplanned and amputation versus limb salvage groups. Significantly more patients with unplanned excisions required free flaps for limb salvage (p = 0.017) and received adjuvant radiotherapy (p = 0.0004).

CONCLUSION: Unplanned surgery for soft tissue sarcomas of the foot and ankle often results in the need for more aggressive surgery and/or adjuvant radiotherapy and may impact oncologic outcomes, but does not necessarily portend worse functional outcomes. Multimodal therapy and judicious use of soft tissue flap reconstruction allows limb salvage in most patients with favorable outcomes.
© 2010 Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.