Eleven patients diagnosed as having muscular dystrophy and who underwent posterior spinal fusion were reviewed: Becker dystrophy in one, limb girdle in two, facioscapulohumeral in one, myopathia unspecified in one, myotonia dystrophica in two, myotonia congenita in one, and hypotonia congenita in three. There were eight females and three males. The curve pattern was thoracic in four, thoracolumbar in three, double thoracic and thoracolumbar in three, and thoracolumbar lordosis in one. Scoliosis was associated with kyphosis in two, with lumbar lordosis in one, and thoracic lordosis in four patients associated with poor vital capacity and shortness of breath. Seven patients had nonoperative treatment, five showing increase of the curve, and two having control of the curve. All patients had posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation with a follow-up of 9 -8 9 months (average, 41 months). Postoperative support was used in all but one. Major complications occurred in four patients: a symptom of vascular obstruction of the duodenum in two, extubation delayed until the 7th day postoperatively in one and pseudarthrosis in one resulting in an increasing curve and refusion. One patient (limb girdle), 6 years after surgery at 21 years died from cardiomyopathy. The second (limb girdle) lost ambulation at age 22 years, 6.6 years after spinal surgery. In conclusion, patients with muscular dystrophies other than Duchenne generally have slowly evolving curves, and the use of an orthosis in the juvenile years controlled the curve until the pubertal growth spurt, when progression occurred. Surgical treatment was successful in stabilizing the deformities.
- Muscular dystrophy (non-Duchenne)
- Spine fusion