Spinal Deformity Following Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy

David A. Spiegel, Randall T. Loder, Katie A. Alley, Sarah Rowley, Sarah Gutknecht, Deborah L. Smith-Wright, Mary Elizabeth Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

35 Scopus citations


The authors performed a review of 79 patients treated by selective dorsal rhizotomy with laminoplasty, 78 of whom were ambulatory, to determine the prevalence of spinal deformities. The mean radiographic follow-up was 4.2 years, the mean clinical follow-up 5.8 years. Scoliosis (11°-24°) was identified in 13 children, none of whom had a preexisting deformity. There were no significant differences between preoperative and to low-up thoracic kyphosis or lumbar lordosis, although there was a significant difference in lumbar lordosis between sitting and standing radiographs. No progressive or rigid hyperlordotic deformities were observed in the lumbar spine. Spondylolisthesis was identified in nine children (12%) (8/9 grade I), and one patient required an arthrodesis for pain. Spondylolisthesis was correlated with greater lumbar lordosis, stronger hip abductors, and increased popliteal femoral angles preoperatively, and with stronger hip flexors postoperatively. Back pain was identified in 4 of the 79 patients at last follow-up, 2 of whom had spondylolisthesis. As some cases of spondylolisthesis will remain asymptomatic, periodic radiographic follow-up is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Laminoplasty
  • Rhizotomy
  • Scoliosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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    Spiegel, D. A., Loder, R. T., Alley, K. A., Rowley, S., Gutknecht, S., Smith-Wright, D. L., & Dunn, M. E. (2004). Spinal Deformity Following Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, 24(1), 30-36. https://doi.org/10.1097/01241398-200401000-00007