Complications associated with surgical repair of syndromic scoliosis

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35 Scopus citations


Background: There are a number of syndromes that have historically been associated with scoliosis e.g.: Marfan, Down, and Neurofibromatosis. These syndromes have been grouped together as one etiology of scoliosis, known as syndromic scoliosis. While multiple studies indicate that these patients are at high risk for perioperative complications, there is a paucity of literature regarding the collective complication rates and surgical needs of this population. Methods: PubMed and Embase databases were searched for literature encompassing the surgical complications associated with the surgical management of patients undergoing correction of scoliosis in the syndromic scoliosis population. Following exclusion criteria, 24 articles were analyzed for data regarding these complications. Results: The collective complication rates and findings of these articles were categorized based on specific syndrome. The rates and types of complications for each syndrome and the special needs of patients with each syndrome are discussed. Several complication trends of note were observed, including but not limited to the universally nearly high rate of wound infections (>5% in each group), high rate of pulmonary complications in patients with Rett syndrome (29.2%), high rate (>10%) of dural tears in Marfan and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome patients, high rate (>20%) of implant failure in Down and Prader-Willi syndrome patients, and high rate (>25%) of pseudarthrosis in Down and Ehlers-Danlos patients. Conclusions: Though these syndromes have been classically grouped together under the umbrella term "syndromic," there may be specific needs for patients with each of these ailments. Given the high rate of complications, further research is necessary to understand the unique needs for each of these patient groups in the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 23 2015


  • Complications
  • Down
  • Marfan
  • Nuerofibromatosis
  • Rett
  • Scoliosis
  • Surgical
  • Syndromic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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