Surgical treatment of neurological scoliosis using hybrid construct (lumbar transpedicular screws plus thoracic sublaminar acrylic loops)

Guido La Rosa, Giancarlo Giglio, Leonardo Oggiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the nineties, most spinal surgeons supported the validity of segmental spine instrumentation, but this procedure has progressively been abandoned because difficult and with a high risk of neurological complications, in favor of the Cotrel-Dobousset (CD). The CD instrumentation is based on segmentation of curves, thus improving the angular correction and actuates sagittal profile. Sublaminar acrylic loops (Universal Clamp) shows the same resistance to stress as steel or titanium alloy sublaminar wires. The simple procedure and the tensioning of the strips allows re-tensioning and progressive correction. The increased contact area, improves corrective forces, thus reducing the risk of laminar fractures. The aim of this study was to verify the validity of this spinal fixation implant in the surgical treatment of a consecutive series of patients affected by neurologic scoliosis. The authors treated surgically 84 patients affected by neurologic scoliosis with an average age of 14 years (range 10-17). Universal Clamps associated with Socore TM spinal assembly, transpedicular lumbar screws and thoracic hooks at the upper end of the curve were used. The etiology of disease was cerebral palsy in 81 cases, Friedreich ataxia in two cases and Aicardi syndrome in one case. The average preoperative angular value was 73° ± 16°. It was implanted a mean of seven Clamps for each procedure (range 5-9). The average percentage of correction was 72%. Mean operative time was 240 ± 30 min with mean blood loss of 1200 ± 400 ml. No intra-operative complications occurred. Mean follow-up was 36 months. At one-year follow-up the mean loss of correction was 7° ± 2° with no re-intervention required. This is the first report on treatment of neurological scoliosis with this hybrid construct (lumbar screws, thoracic acrylic clamps, thoracic hooks at the upper end of the curve). In this group of patients the Universal Clamps technique appeared safe and effective and its mechanical performance is comparable to all-level screws construct. Furthermore, the kyphotic component can be better managed in case of thoracic lordosis. The most important aspect of this technique is a short operative time and low vascular and neurologic risks combined with a satisfying stability in the short-postoperative period. Nevertheless, it is important to value results on a long-term follow-up to analyze correction loss, pseudoarthrosis, and mechanical failure of the strips.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Coronal correction
  • Neurological scoliosis
  • Operative time
  • Sagittal balance
  • Universal Clamp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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