Coronal deformity correction in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients using the fulcrum-bending radiograph: a prospective comparative analysis of the proximal thoracic, main thoracic, and thoracolumbar/lumbar curves.
The aim of the prospective, comparative radiographic analysis was to determine the role of the fulcrum-bending radiograph (FBR) for the assessment of the proximal thoracic (PT), main thoracic (MT), and the thoracolumbar/lumbar (TL/L) curves in patients undergoing posterior spinal pedicle screw fixation and fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). The FBR demonstrated statistically better correction than other preoperative methods for the assessment of frontal plane correction of the MT curves. The fulcrum-bending correction index (FBCI) has been considered a superior method than the correction rate for comparing curve correction undergoing posterior spinal fusion because it accounts for the curve flexibility. However, their applicability to assess the PT and TL/L curves in AIS patients remains speculative. The relation between FBR and correction obtained by pedicle screws fixation is still unknown. Thirty-eight consecutive AIS patients who underwent pedicle screw fixation and posterior fusion were included in this study. The assessment of preoperative radiographs included standing posterior-anterior (PA), FBR, supine side-bending, and postoperative standing PA and lateral plain radiographs. The flexibility of the curve, as well as the FBCI, was calculated for all patients. Postoperatively, radiographs were assessed at immediate (i.e. 1 week), 3-month, 6-month, 12-month, and 2-year follow-up. Cobb angles were obtained from the PT, MT, and TL/L curves. The study consisted of 9 PT, 37 MT, and 12 TL/L curves, with a mean age of 15.1 years. The mean FBR flexibility of the PT, MT, and the TL/L curves was 42.6, 61.1, and 66.2%, respectively. The mean operative correction rates in the PT, MT, and TL/L curves were 43.4, 69.3, and 73.9%, respectively, and the mean FBCI was 103.8, 117.0, and 114.8%, respectively. Fulcrum-bending flexibility was positively correlated with the operative correction rate in PT, MT, and TL/L curves. Although the correction rate in MT and TL/L curves was higher than PT curves, the FBCI in PT, MT, and TL/L curves was not significantly different (p < 0.05). The FBR can be used to assist in the assessment of PT, MT, and TL/L curve corrections in AIS patients. When curve flexibility is taken into account by FBR, the ability of pedicle screws to correct PT, MT, and TL/L curves is the same.