A biomechanical analysis of growing rods used in the management of early onset scoliosis

Quick, Mark E., Askin, Geoffrey N., Labrom, Robert D., Adam, Clayton J., & Pearcy, Mark J. (2014) A biomechanical analysis of growing rods used in the management of early onset scoliosis. In 7th World Congress of Biomechanics, 7-11 July 2014, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Managing spinal deformities in young children is challenging, particularly early-onset scoliosis (EOS). Any progressive spinal deformity particularly in early life presents significant health risks for the child and a challenge for the treating surgeon. Surgical intervention is often required if EOS has been unresponsive to conservative treatment particularly with rapidly progressive curves. An emerging treatment option particularly for EOS is fusionless scoliosis surgery. Similar to bracing this surgical option potentially harnesses growth, motion and function of the spine along with correcting spinal deformity. Dual growing rods is one such fusionless treatment, which aims to modulate growth of the vertebrae. The aim of this study was to ascertain the extent to which semi-constrained growing rods (Medtronic, Memphis, TN) with a telescopic sleeve component, reduce rotational constraint on the spine compared with standard rigid rods and hence potentially provide a more physiological mechanical environment for the growing spine.

METHODS

Six 40-60kg English Large White porcine spines served as a model for the paediatric human spine. Each spine was dissected into 7 level thoracolumbar multi-segment unit (MSU) spines, removing all non-ligamentous soft tissues. Appropriately sized semi-constrained growing rods and rigid rods were secured by multi-axial screws (Medtronic) prior to testing in alternating sequences for each spine. Pure nondestructive moments of +/4Nm at a constant rotation rate of 8deg/s was applied to the mounted MSU spines. Displacement of each level was captured using an Optotrak (Northern Digital Inc, Waterloo, ON). The range of motion (ROM), neutral zone (NZ) size and stiffness (Nm/deg) were calculated from the Instron load-displacement data and intervertebral ROM was calculated through a MATLAB algorithm from Optotrak data.

RESULTS

Irrespective of sequence order rigid rods significantly reduced the total ROM (deg) than compared to semi-constrained rods (p<0.05) and resulted in a significantly stiffer (Nm/deg) spine for both left and right axial rotation testing (p<0.05). Analysing the intervertebral motion within the instrumented levels, rigid rods showed reduced ROM (Deg) than compared to semi-constrained growing rods and the un-instrumented (UN-IN) test sequences.

CONCLUSION

The semi-constrained growing rods maintained rotation similar to UN-IN spines while the rigid rods showed significantly reduced axial rotation across all instrumented levels. Clinically the effect of semi-constrained growing rods evaluated in this study is that they will allow growth via the telescopic rod components while maintaining the axial rotation ability of the spine, which may also reduce the occurrence of the crankshaft phenomenon.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 74206
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: early onset scoliosis, juvenile scoliosis, growing rods, fusionless scoliosis surgery, dual growing rods, semi-constrained growing rods, porcine spine
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomechanical Engineering (090302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Orthopaedics (110314)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 21 Jul 2014 22:36
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2017 20:06

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