Posterior Column Osteotomies in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Current Concept Review

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Craig R. Louer Jr.
Kenneth D. Illingworth
Tyler D. Metcalf
Lorena V. Floccari


The posterior column osteotomy (PCO) is an adjunct technique for obtaining deformity correction during posterior spine fusion procedures.  Full disarticulation of the posterior spinal column, including bony elements (namely the lamina and facet joints) and ligamentous complex is described as a PCO. This technique was originally described to allow for shortening of the posterior column during correction of excessive thoracic kyphosis; however, its indications have since been expanded to other spine deformities such as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Its expanded role in deformity surgery has been met with controversy: proponents tout increased flexibility and better spinal correction in three planes, while detractors cite lack of ostensible clinical benefit and potential for more complications. Differences in surgical technique are also prevalent. In this manuscript, we review the surgical technique of PCOs, including the traditional PCO as well as a modified posterior column release (PCR). Additionally, the controversy over when this technique should be utilized is further explored through summation of current literature on PCO outcomes.

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How to Cite
Louer Jr., C. R., Illingworth, K. D., Metcalf, T. D., & Floccari, L. V. (2023). Posterior Column Osteotomies in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis: Current Concept Review. Journal of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, 5(1).