In their retrospective analysis, Anand and coworkers report the effects of minimally invasive percutaneous spine surgery (scoliosis correction) on blood loss, hospital length of stay and functional outcome in 28 patients with a mean age of 67.7 years (22-81 years). Mean blood loss amounted to 241 mL for anterior procedures and 231 mL for posterior procedures and thus was 6.5 to 14 times less than mean blood losses reported for conventional major scoliosis surgery. Only one of the 28 patients reported had to be transfused due to a postoperative bleeding complication. Four patients (14%) presented major surgical complications as compared to complication rates of 20-80% in previous studies. Mean hospital stay was 10 days (3-20 days) and the long-term functional outcome was excellent.

In conclusion, minimally invasive circumferential deformity correction may be considered an effective means to reduce transfusion rates and postoperative morbidity in major scoliosis surgery.

– Oliver Habler