We have treated 101 patients with scoliosis secondary to muscular dystrophy over a 13-year period; 64 had Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, 33 spinal muscular atrophy and four congenital muscular dystrophy. The patients underwent a modified Luque (87) or Harrington-Luque instrumentation (14) combined with a limited Moe fusion in all except 27 cases. A mean of 13 levels was instrumented. The mean preoperative sitting Cobb angle was 84 degrees (10 to 150) and the mean postoperative angle 40 degrees (52% correction). Most patients (96%) were able to discard their braces and there was a high level of patient satisfaction (89.6%). Less correction was seen for severe curves, and there was a greater recurrence of postoperative pelvic tilt in those patients not instrumented to the sacrum. Although the incidence of minor or temporary complications was high, these occurred chiefly in the early high-risk patients with very severe curves and considerable pre-existing immobility.





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