BACKGROUND:
Correcting pelvic obliquity is among the main goals of surgery for neuromuscular scoliosis. Spino-pelvic fixation must be stable and capable of withstanding the considerable mechanical forces applied at the lumbo-sacral junction. Selection of the best anchoring option is therefore crucial. S2-alar-iliac (S2AI) screws, which are used in adults, are less often chosen in the French paediatric spinal-surgery community. The objective of this study was to report our preliminary experience with S2AI screws used in the treatment of paediatric patients with neuromuscular scoliosis.

HYPOTHESIS:
Pelvic anchoring by means of S2AI screws is reliable and technically feasible in non-ambulatory children with neuromuscular scoliosis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Consecutive non-ambulatory patients who underwent scoliosis surgery with S2AI screw fixation to the pelvis between 2016 and 2018 were retrospectively included. The surgical procedure consisted in either posterior spinal fusion (PSF) or magnetic growing rod (MGR) implantation. In all patients, radiographs were obtained before surgery, within 3 months after surgery, and at last follow-up; and low-dose computed tomography (CT) was performed before and after surgery.

RESULTS:
We included 25 patients with a mean age of 13.8±4.0 years, 18 managed by PSF and 7 by MGRs. Screw diameters ranged from 7.5 to 9.5mm and all screws were at least 60mm in length. The diameters and lengths were the same on both sides in 16 (89%) patients in the PSF group and in all patients in the MGR group. At last follow-up after a mean of 35.5±3.0 months, pelvic obliquity was corrected in all 23 patients with this abnormality before surgery. Complications consisted of lateral cortical screw breakthrough in 8 (32% of screws) patients and screw malposition in 2 (8% of screws) patients. No clinically significant complications related to the fixation material were recorded.

DISCUSSION:
The results of our study demonstrate the feasibility of S2AI screw fixation in paediatric patients with neuromuscular scoliosis. Pelvic asymmetry and dysmorphism do not contra-indicate the procedure but must be evaluated before surgery. Further work is needed to assess the potential long-term consequences on pain and growth of screw passage through the sacro-iliac joints.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:
IV, retrospective study.





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