Does higher anchor density result in increased curve correction and improved clinical outcomes in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis?

A. Noelle Larson, David W. Polly, Beverly Diamond, Charles Ledonio, B. Stephens Richards, John B. Emans, Daniel J. Sucato, Charles E. Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


STUDY DESIGN.: Retrospective review of prospectively collected data. OBJECTIVE.: To determine whether anchor density is associated with curve correction and patient-reported outcomes. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: There is limited information as to whether anchor density affects the results of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery. METHODS.: A total of 952 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis met inclusion criteria (Lenke 1, 2, and 5 curves) with predominantly screw constructs (no. of screws/no. of total anchors >75%). Anchor density was defined as the number of screws, hooks, and wires per level fused, with less than 1.54 considered low density. Analysis of covariance was undertaken to determine association of anchor density with percent curve correction, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), and Spinal Appearance Questionnaire (SAQ) scores, controlling for flexibility, fusion length, demographics, and surgeon. RESULTS.: High- compared with low-anchor density was associated with increased percent curve correction in Lenke 1 curves at 1 year (69% vs. 66% correction, P = 0.0022), controlling for percent preoperative curve flexibility, length of fusion, and sex (model, P < 0.0001). Similar associations held at 2-year follow-up and for Lenke 2 curves. Decreased thoracic kyphosis was found with increased anchor density for Lenke 1 and 2 curve patterns. There were no associations found between anchor density and Lenke 5 curves. For Lenke 1 curve patterns at 2 years postoperatively, in the high- versus low-anchor density cohorts, there were statistically higher SRS Activity (4.3 vs. 4.2, P = 0.019), Appearance (4.3 vs. 4.1, P = 0.0005), Satisfaction (4.5 vs. 4.3, P = 0.028), and Total scores (4.3 vs. 4.2; P = 0.024). Similarly, the SAQ Appearance score at 1 year similarly was improved in the high-anchor density group (high: 14.1 vs. low: 15.0, P = 0.03) for Lenke 1 curve patterns only. CONCLUSION.: For Lenke 1 and 2 curve patterns, improved percent correction of major coronal curve was noted in the high-screw density cohort. Although statistical significance was reached, it is unclear whether screw density resulted in clinically significant differences in patient-reported outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-578
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014


  • Adolesent
  • Curve correction
  • Density
  • Idiopathic
  • Implant
  • Outcomes
  • Scoliosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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