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S. Shelby Burks, Juan S. Uribe, John Paul G. Kolcun, Adisson Fortunel, Jakub Godzik, Konrad Bach, and Michael Y. Wang

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive techniques are increasingly used in adult deformity surgery as surgeon familiarity improves and long-term data are published. Concerns raised in such cases include pseudarthrosis at levels where interbody grafts are not utilized. Few previous studies have specifically examined the thoracolumbar component of long surgical constructs, which is commonly instrumented without interbody or intertransverse fusion.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis was performed on all patients who underwent hybrid minimally invasive deformity corrections in two academic spine centers over a 9-year period. Inclusion criteria were at least 2 rostral levels instrumented percutaneously, ranging from T8 to L1 as the upper end of the construct. Fusion assessment was made using CT when possible or radiography. Common radiographic parameters and clinical variables were assessed pre- and postoperatively.

RESULTS

A total of 36 patients fit the inclusion criteria. Baseline characteristics included a 1:1.8 male/female ratio, average age of 65.7 years, and BMI of 30.2 kg/m2. Follow-up imaging was obtained at a mean of 35.7 months. The average number of levels fused was 7.5, with an average of 3.4 instrumented percutaneously between T8 and L1, representing a total of 120 rostral levels instrumented percutaneously. Fusion assessment was performed using CT in 69 levels and radiography in 51 levels. Among the 120 rostral levels instrumented percutaneously, robust fusion was noted in 25 (20.8%), with 53 (44.2%) exhibiting some evidence of fusion. Pseudarthrosis was noted in 2 rostral segments (1.7%). There were no instances of proximal hardware revision. Eight patients exhibited radiographic proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK; 22.2%), none of whom underwent surgical intervention.

CONCLUSIONS

In the present series of adult patients with scoliosis undergoing thoracolumbar deformity correction, rostral segments instrumented percutaneously have a very low rate of pseudarthrosis, with radiographic evidence of bone fusion occurring in more than 60% of patients. The rate of PJK was acceptable and similar to other published series.

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Chun-Po Yen, Joshua M. Beckman, Andrew C. Vivas, Konrad Bach, and Juan S. Uribe

OBJECTIVE

The authors investigated whether the presence of intradiscal vacuum phenomenon (IVP) results in greater correction of disc height and restoration of segmental lordosis (SL).

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was performed on every patient at the University of South Florida's Department of Neurosurgery treated with lateral lumbar interbody fusion between 2011 and 2015. From these charts, preoperative plain radiographs and CT images were reviewed for the presence of IVP. Preoperative and postoperative posterior disc height (PDH), anterior disc height (ADH), and SL were measured at disc levels with IVP and compared with those at disc levels without IVP using the t-test. Linear regression was used to evaluate the factors that predict changes in PDH, ADH, and SL.

RESULTS

One hundred forty patients with 247 disc levels between L-1 and L-5 were treated with lateral lumbar interbody fusion. Among all disc levels treated, the mean PDH increased from 3.69 to 6.66 mm (p = 0.011), the mean ADH increased from 5.45 to 11.53 mm (p < 0.001), and the mean SL increased from 9.59° to 14.55° (p < 0.001). Significantly increased PDH was associated with the presence of IVP, addition of pedicle screws, and lack of cage subsidence; significantly increased ADH was associated with the presence of IVP, anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) release, addition of pedicle screws, and lack of subsidence; and significantly increased SL was associated with the presence of IVP and ALL release.

CONCLUSIONS

IVP in patients with degenerative spinal disease remains grossly underreported. The data from the present study suggest that the presence of IVP results in increased restoration of disc height and SL.

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Lawrence G. Lenke

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Jotham C. Manwaring, Konrad Bach, Amir A. Ahmadian, Armen R. Deukmedjian, Donald A. Smith, and Juan S. Uribe

Object

Minimally invasive (MI) fusion and instrumentation techniques are playing a new role in the treatment of adult spinal deformity. The open pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) and Smith-Petersen osteotomy (SPO) are proven segmental methods for improving regional lordosis and global sagittal parameters. Recently the MI anterior column release (ACR) was introduced as a segmental method for treating sagittal imbalance. There is a paucity of data in the literature evaluating the alternatives to PSO and SPO for sagittal balance correction.

Thus, the authors conducted a preliminary retrospective radiographic review of prospectively collected data from 2009 to 2012 at a single institution. The objectives of this study were to: 1) investigate the radiographic effect of MI-ACR on spinopelvic parameters, 2) compare the radiographic effect of MI-ACR with PSO and SPO for treatment of adult spinal deformity, and 3) investigate the radiographic effect of percutaneous posterior spinal instrumentation on spinopelvic parameters when combined with MI transpsoas lateral interbody fusion (LIF) for adult spinal deformity.

Methods:

Patient demographics and radiographic data were collected for 36 patients (9 patients who underwent MI-ACR and 27 patients who did not undergo MI-ACR). Patients included in the study were those who had undergone at least a 2-level MI-LIF procedure; adequate preoperative and postoperative 36-inch radiographs of the scoliotic curvature; a separate second-stage procedure for the placement of posterior spinal instrumentation; and a diagnosis of degenerative scoliosis (coronal Cobb angle > 10° and/or sagittal vertebral axis > 5 cm). Statistical analysis was performed for normality and significance testing.

Results

Percutaneous transpedicular spinal instrumentation did not significantly alter any of the spinopelvic parameters in either the ACR group or the non-ACR group. Lateral MI-LIF alone significantly improved coronal Cobb angle by 16°, and the fractional curve significantly improved in a subgroup treated with L5–S1 transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. Fifteen ACRs were performed in 9 patients and resulted in significant coronal Cobb angle correction, lumbar lordosis correction of 16.5°, and sagittal vertebral axis correction of 4.8 cm per patient. Segmental analysis revealed a 12° gain in segmental lumbar lordosis and a 3.1-cm correction of the sagittal vertebral axis per ACR level treated.

Conclusions

The lateral MI-LIF with ACR has the ability to powerfully restore lumbar lordosis and correct sagittal imbalance. This segmental MI surgical technique boasts equivalence to SPO correction of these global radiographic parameters while simultaneously creating additional disc height and correcting coronal imbalance. Addition of posterior percutaneous instrumentation without in situ manipulation or overcorrection does not alter radiographic parameters when combined with the lateral MI-LIF.