Surgical outcomes of posterior correction surgery for scoliosis associated with syringomyelia

Osahiko Tsuji, Satoshi Suzuki, Yohei Takahashi, Satoshi Nori, Narihito Nagoshi, Eijiro Okada, Nobuyuki Fujita, Mitsuru Yagi, Masaya Nakamura, Morio Matsumoto, Kota Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Although syringomyelia is considered a risk factor for neurological complications of correction surgery for scoliosis, only a few reports on the surgical results of the correction surgery complicated with associated syringomyelia are available. The purpose of this study is to verify the potential risk of neurological complications due to the presence of syringomyelia and explore the factors affecting the surgical outcomes of posterior correction surgery for scoliosis associated with syringomyelia. Methods: This is a retrospective observational study in a single university hospital setting. Among 754 consecutive patients who underwent posterior correction and fusion surgery for scoliosis from 2009 through 2018 in our institution, we identified 28 patients presenting with spinal syringomyelia on preoperative whole spine MRI. The identified cases comprised 14 males and 14 females aged 11 years to 23 years (14.0 ± 2.9 years), and those with wide-type syrinx within fused spinal levels had undergone surgery for syringomyelia beforehand. First, we investigated the occurrence rate of peri- and postoperative neurological complications. Then we explored the factors affecting the correction rate of the Cobb angle and the incidence of coronal decompensation. Results: Neurological complication (transient sensory deficits in bilateral legs) occurred in one case with thoracic single curve and narrow-type syrinx, disappearing spontaneously within several weeks postoperatively. The cases with an L4 long curve (n = 3, including L4 in thoracolumbar long C-shaped curve) showed a significantly poor correction rate (38.7%, p = 0.003) and developed postoperative coronal decompensation. Conclusions: Prior treatment for wide-type syrinx located within the spinal fusion level effectively prevented severe neurological complications, and when treating cases with long-curve L4 scoliosis associated with syringomyelia, the surgeons should note the occurrence of postoperative coronal decompensation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101608
JournalInterdisciplinary Neurosurgery: Advanced Techniques and Case Management
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • Coronal decompensation
  • Neurological complication
  • Surgical outcome
  • Syndromic scoliosis
  • Syringomyelia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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