Decision making in pediatric spinal deformity.
OBJECTIVE: To review the concepts involved in the decision-making process for management of pediatric patients with spinal deformity. METHODS: The literature was reviewed in reference to pediatric deformity evaluation and management. RESULTS: Pediatric spinal deformity includes a broad range of disorders with differing causes, natural histories, and treatments. Appropriate categorization of pediatric deformities is an important first step in the clinical decision-making process. An understanding of both nonoperative and operative treatment modalities and their indications is requisite to providing treatment for pediatric patients with spinal deformity. The primary nonoperative treatment modalities include bracing and casting, and the primary operative treatments include nonfusion instrumentation and fusion with or without instrumentation. In this article, we provide a review of pediatric spinal deformity classification and an overview of general treatment principles. CONCLUSION: The decision-making process in pediatric deformity begins with appropriate diagnosis and classification of the deformity. Treatment decisions, both nonoperative and operative, are often predicated on the basis of the age of the patient and the natural history of the disorder.
Smith, JS; Abel, MF; Shaffrey, CI; Ames, CP
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