Novel Porcine Experimental Model of Severe Progressive ThoracicScoliosis With Compensatory Curves Induced by Interpedicular BentRigid Temporary Tethering
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Posterior spinal tether
Using flexible tethering techniques, porcine models of experimental scoliosis have shown scoliotic curves with vertebralwedging but very limited axial rotation. The aim of this experimental work was to induce a severe progressive scoliosis in a growingporcine model for research purposes. A unilateral spinal bent rigid tether was anchored to two ipsilateral pedicle screws in eight pigs.The spinal tether was removed after 8 weeks. Ten weeks later, the animals were sacrificed. Conventional radiographs and 3D CT-scanswere taken to evaluate changes in the alignment of the thoracic spine. After the first 8 weeks of rigid tethering, all animals developedscoliotic curves (mean Cobb angle: 24.3 ̊). Once the interpedicular tether was removed, the scoliotic curves progressed in all animalsduring 10 weeks reaching a mean Cobb angle of 49.9 ̊. The sagittal alignment of the thoracic spine showed loss of physiologic kyphosis(Mean: 18.3 ̊). Axial rotation ranged from 10 ̊ to 49 ̊ (Mean 25.7 ̊). Release of the spinal tether results in progression of the deformitywith the development of proximal and distal compensatory curves. In conclusion, temporary interpedicular tethering at the thoracicspine induces severe scoliotic curves in pigs, with significant wedging and rotation of the vertebral bodies, and true compensatorycurves. Clinical Relevance: The tether release model will be used to evaluate corrective non-fusion technologies in future investigations.