Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is the most common type of scoliosis (spine curvature), affecting as many as 2 to 4 out of 100 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18. It is typically corrected through spinal fusion surgery. However, CHOP experts recently discovered that outcomes can be negatively impacted by surgical planning approaches based on two-dimensional X-rays and subjective surgical decision-making. This can lead to increased risk to the patient, a higher risk of additional surgeries, and the need for long-term rehabilitation.
Recently, Saba Pasha, PhD, MS, Director of Orthopaedic Engineering in the Division of Orthopaedics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), along with John M. Flynn, MD, Chief of the Division of Orthopaedics at CHOP, found that implementing a 3-D classification of the spinal curvature and measuring the curvature in all directions, not just in two-dimensional, helped to identify key surgical parameters that could influence the outcome of surgery. By evaluating 67 patients with right thoracic AIS, they were able to determine that by knowing the patients’ pre-operative and early post-operative three-dimensional spinal curve, they could more accurately predict a two-year outcome for those patients. Pasha and Flynn reported this in a recent paper in Scientific Reports.
The ultimate goal of implementing 3-D classification, according to Pasha, is to isolate parameters and determine patient-specific treatments prior to surgery, ultimately leading to better outcomes for patients who undergo surgery for this common spinal deformation.