Unplanned return to OR (UPROR) for children with early onset scoliosis (EOS): a comprehensive evaluation of all diagnoses and instrumentation strategies

Children’s Spine Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Study design: Retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected multicenter database. Objectives: Our goal was to study unplanned return to the OR (UPROR, a postoperative complication that could not be treated without an additional anesthetic) as a function of C-EOS diagnosis and implant type. Summary of background data: Growing concerns over the impact of multiple anesthetic events on the young brain have focused attention on limiting UPROR in early onset scoliosis (EOS). Methods: We studied all patients with a diagnosis of EOS who had surgical implantation of growing instrumentation from October 4, 2010, to September 27, 2015, with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Among the complications requiring surgical treatment (revision for implant or anchor failure, infection, or implant removal), we analyzed all UPROR events—those that required a separate anesthetic (could not be treated as part of a planned surgical lengthening) within the first 2 years after initial implantation. UPROR was analyzed by diagnosis, deformity type, and implant strategy using the C-EOS classification. Results: A total of 369 patients met inclusion criteria. Eighty-five of the 369 (23%) required unplanned trips to the operating room for various reasons. The C-EOS group at highest risk of an unplanned trip to the operating room is the hyperkyphotic neuromuscular (M3+, 14/85) cohort, followed closely by the congenital (C3N, 9/85) and neuromuscular (M3N, 8/85) groups with normal sagittal profiles and Cobb angles between 50° and 90°. Implant strategy was significantly related to risk of UPROR (p =.009; Table 1), with traditional implants (vertically expandable prosthetic titanium rib/traditional growing rod) being less likely to have an UPROR event. Conclusions: Growing instrumentation to treat EOS, when considered comprehensively, results in a true unplanned reoperation rate within 2 years of implantation of 23% (85/369). UPROR events are more common with certain C-EOS groups (hyperkyphotic neuromuscular deformities) and implant strategies. Families should be counseled that unplanned anesthetics are common with any implant strategy available today. Level of evidence: Level III, therapeutic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalSpine deformity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • C-EOS classification
  • Early onset scoliosis
  • Growing instrumentation
  • Unplanned return to OR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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