Experience in Perioperative Management of Patients Undergoing Posterior Spine Fusion for Neuromuscular Scoliosis

  • Pesenti Sebastien
  • Blondel Benjamin
  • Peltier Emilie
  • Launay Franck
  • Fuentes Stéphane
  • Bollini Gérard
  • Viehweger Elke
  • Jouve Jean-Luc


The objective of this investigation was to determine the outcome of spine fusion for neuromuscular (NM) scoliosis, using Unit Rod technique, with emphasis on complications related to preoperative general health. Between 1997 and 2007, 96 consecutive patients with neuromuscular scoliosis operated on with Unit Rod instrumentation were retrospectively reviewed. The inclusion criteria were diagnosis of NM scoliosis due to cerebral palsy (CP) and muscular dystrophy (DMD). Patient's preoperative general health, weight, and nutrition were collected. Different radiographic and clinical parameters were evaluated. There were 66 CP patients (59 nonwalking) and 30 DMD patients (24 nonwalking). Mean age at surgery was 16.5 years and 13.9 years, respectively. All radiographic measurements improved significantly. Wound infection rate was 16.7% (11% of reoperation rate in CP; 10% in DMD; 3 hardware removal cases). No pelvic fracture due to rod irritation was observed. Unit Rod technique provides good radiographic and clinical outcomes even if this surgery is associated with a high complication rate. It is a quick, simple, and reliable technique. Perioperative management strategy should decrease postoperative complications and increases outcome. A standardized preoperative patient evaluation and preparation including respiratory capacity and nutritional, digestive, and musculoskeletal status are mandatory prior to surgery.