Three-dimensional correction of scoliosis by a double spring reduction system as a dynamic internal brace: a pre-clinical study in Göttingen minipigs

Justin V.C. Lemans*, Sebastiaan P.J. Wijdicks, Gerrit Overweg, Edsko E.G. Hekman, Tom P.C. Schlösser, René M. Castelein, Gijsbertus J. Verkerke, Moyo C. Kruyt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a major skeletal deformity that is characterized by a combination of apical rotation, lateral bending and apical lordosis. To provide full 3D correction, all these deformations should be addressed. We developed the Double Spring Reduction (DSR) system, a (growth-friendly) concept that continuously corrects the deformity through two different elements: A posterior convex Torsional Spring Implant (TSI) that provides a derotational torque at the apex, and a concave Spring Distraction System (SDS), which provides posterior, concave distraction to restore thoracic kyphosis. PURPOSE: To determine whether the DSR components are able to correct an induced idiopathic-like scoliosis and to compare correction realized by the TSI alone to correction enforced by the complete DSR implant. STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: Preclinical randomized animal cohort study. PATIENT SAMPLE: Twelve growing Göttingen minipigs. OUTCOME MEASURES: Coronal Cobb angle, T10-L3 lordosis/kyphosis, apical axial rotation, relative anterior lengthening. METHODS: All mini-pigs received the TSI with a contralateral tether to induce an idiopathic-like scoliosis with apical rotation (mean Cobb: 20.4°; mean axial apical rotation: 13.1°, mean lordosis: 4.9°). After induction, the animals were divided into two groups: One group (N=6) was corrected by TSI only (TSI only-group), another group (N=6) was corrected by a combination of TSI and SDS (DSR-group). 3D spinal morphology on CT was compared between groups over time. After 2 months of correction, animals were euthanized. RESULTS: Both intervention groups showed excellent apical derotation (TSI only-group: 15.0° to 5.4°; DSR-group: 11.2° to 3.5°). The TSI only-group showed coronal Cobb improvement from 22.5° to 6.0°, while the DSR-group overcorrected the 18.3° Cobb to -9.2°. Lordosis was converted to kyphosis in both groups (TSI only-group: -4.6° to 4.3°; DSR-group: -5.2° to 25.0°) which was significantly larger in the DSR-group (p<.001). CONCLUSIONS: The TSI alone realized strong apical derotation and moderate correction in the coronal and sagittal plane. The addition of distraction on the posterior concavity resulted in more coronal correction and reversal of induced lordosis into physiological kyphosis. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: This study shows that dynamic spring forces could be a viable method to guide the spine towards healthy alignment, without fusing it or inhibiting its growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-608
Number of pages10
JournalSpine journal
Issue number4
Early online date5 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Double Spring Reduction
  • Growth
  • Growth-friendly
  • Minipigs
  • Non-fusion
  • Scoliosis
  • Spine


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