Early-onset scoliosis, which appears before the age of 10, can be due to congenital vertebral anomalies, neuromuscular diseases, scoliosis-associated syndromes, or idiopathic causes. It can have serious consequences for lung development and significantly reduce the life expectancy compared to adolescent scoliosis. Extended posterior fusion must be avoided to prevent the crankshaft phenomenon, uneven growth of the trunk and especially restrictive lung disease. Conservative (non-surgical) treatment is used first. If this fails, fusionless surgery can be performed to delay the final fusion procedure until the patient is older. The gold standard delaying surgical treatment is the implantation of growing rods as described by Moe and colleagues in the mid-1980s. These rods, which are lengthened during short surgical procedures at regular intervals, curb the scoliosis progression until the patient reaches an age where fusion can be performed. Knowledge of this technique and its complications has led to several mechanical improvements being made, namely use of rods that can be distracted magnetically on an outpatient basis, without the need for anesthesia. Devices based on the same principle have been designed that preferentially attach to the ribs to specifically address chest wall and spine dysplasia. The second category of surgical devices consists of rods used to guide spinal growth that do not require repeated surgical procedures. The third type of fusionless surgical treatment involves slowing the growth of the scoliosis convexity to help reduce the Cobb angle. The indications are constantly changing. Improvements in surgical techniques and greater surgeon experience may help to reduce the number of complications and make this lengthy treatment acceptable to patients and their family. Long-term effects of surgery on the Cobb angle have not been compared to those involving conservative “delaying” treatments. Because the latter has fewer complications associated with it than surgery, it should be the first-line treatment for most cases of early-onset scoliosis.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Scoliosis, Children, Growth, Breathing, Fusionless