Medical complications and health-related quality of life in complex pediatric spine deformities exceeding 100 degrees or treated by 3CO

Fox Pediatric Spinal Deformity Study, FOCOS Research Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study design: Retrospective review of prospectively collected data. Objective: To determine the incidence of medical complications in the pediatric population aged 10–20 years with baseline deformities exceeding 100 degrees or who had 3CO at surgery. Summary of background data: Severe pediatric spine deformity poses a great challenge to the treating physician and carries a high complication rate. Pulmonary complications are among the most life threatening. The onus is on the treating surgeon to identify patients who are high risk and institute measures to mitigate the risk for successful outcomes. Method: Data of 251/311pts from FOX pediatric database from 17 international sites was queried for incidence of major medical complications. Comparative analysis was done to determine the impact of such complications on HRQoL using paired t-test. Risk factors associated with medical complications were assessed using Firth logistic regression. Results: 251/311pts had min 2 year f/u. 142F/109 M, average age 14.61years (10–20). Etiologies included 96 Cong,94 Idiopathic, 14-Post TB, 12-NM,12-NF,10-syndromic,8 others. Curve types included Scoliosis-121, Kyphoscoliosis 72, Kyphosis 58. Coronal and sag cobb avg 88° ± 41.47 and 91.92° ± 39.17, respectively. Deformity apices were in the thoracic region in 88% of patients. Pre-op co-morbidities included 54 (21.5%) cardiopulmonary; 7(2.79%) Genitounrinary;13 (5.18%) GI;13 (5.18%) Anxiety/depression; neurological 24 (9.56%). HGT was utilized in 103pts (41%) at an average duration of 68 days. Mean OR time was 459 min, blood loss averaged 1465 ml. VCR was performed in 120(47.81%), PSO in 16 pts (6.37%), SPO in 145pts (57.77%), Thoracoplasty in 132 pts (52.8%). 96% had blood and other blood products transfusion (FFP and platelets). There were 35 post-op medical complications occurring in 29pts (11.6%). Event-specific cumulative incidence was 24 (9.6%) pulmonary, 5(2.0%) gastrointestinal, 3(1.2%) cardiovascular, 1(0.4%) genitourinary and 1(0.4%) other complication. There was no mortality. Osteotomy grade was found to be an independent predictor of pulmonary complication. Despite significant improvement in baseline SRS total and Domain scores at 2 year FU irrespective of medical complication, the improvement in SRS scores were blunted in the complication group. Conclusion: Medical complications are common among pediatric patients undergoing complex spine surgery for severe deformity. However, medical complications can be managed successfully. Although baseline HRQoL improved irrespective of medical complication status, clinical differences in the magnitude of the changes in HRQoL were observed in some domains.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSpine Deformity
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • 3 column osteotomy (3CO)
  • Complex pediatric spine deformitiy
  • Health-related quality of life (HRQoL)
  • Medical complications


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