Early-onset scoliosis (EOS) is common in children with cerebral palsy (CP). The effectiveness of magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGR) and the risk for unplanned return to the operating room (UPROR) remain to be studied in this patient population. The primary outcome of this study was to examine the frequency of UPROR between MCGRs as compared with traditional growth friendly (TGF) surgeries for children with EOS secondary to CP.

Patients with EOS secondary to CP were prospectively identified from an international database, with data retrospectively analyzed. Scoliosis, kyphosis, T1-S1, and T1-T12 height were measured preoperation, immediate postoperation, and at minimum 2-year follow-up. The risk and etiology of UPRORs were compared between MCGR and TGF.

Of the 120 patients that met inclusion criteria, 86 received TGF (age 7.5±0. 1.8 y; mean follow-up 7.0±2.9 y) and 34 received MCGR (age 7.1±2.2 y, mean follow-up 2.8±0.0.5 y). Compared with TGF, MCGR resulted in significant improvements in maintenance of scoliosis (P=0.007). At final follow-up, UPRORs were 8 of 34 patients (24%) for MCGR and 37 of 86 patients (43%) for TGF (P=0.05). To minimize the influence of follow-up period, UPRORs within the first 2 years postoperation were evaluated: MCGR (7 of 34 patients, 21%) versus TGF (20 of 86 patients, 23%; P=0.75). Within the first 2 years, etiology of UPROR as a percentage of all patients per group were deep infection (13% TGF, 6% MCGR), implant failure/migration (12% TGF, 9% MCGR), dehiscence (4% TGF, 3% MCGR), and superficial infection (4% TGF, 3% MCGR). The most common etiology of UPROR for TGF was deep infection and for MCGR was implant failure/migration.

For patients with EOS secondary to CP, there was no difference in the risk of UPROR within the first 2 years postoperatively whether treated with TGF surgery or with MCGRs (23% TGF, 21% MCGR).

Level III-retrospective cohort, therapeutic study.

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