Roussouly lumbopelvic sagittal profiles are associated with distinct pathologies or distinct natural histories and prognoses. The associations between developmental lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS) and native lumbopelvic sagittal profiles are unknown. Moreover, the relative effects of multilevel decompression on lumbar sagittal alignment, geometrical parameters of the pelvis, and compensatory mechanisms for each of the Roussouly subtypes are unknown. This study aimed to explore the association between DLSS and native lumbar lordosis (LL) subtypes. It also attempts to understand the natural history of postlaminectomy lumbopelvic sagittal changes and compensatory mechanisms for each of the Roussouly subtypes and to define the critical lumbar segment or specific lordosis arc that is recruited after relief of the stenosis effect.
A total of 418 patients with multilevel DLSS were grouped into various Roussouly subtypes, and lumbopelvic sagittal parameters were prospectively compared at follow-up intervals of preoperative to < 2 years, 2 to < 5 years, and 5 to ≥ 10 years after laminectomy. The variables analyzed included LL, upper lordosis arc from L1 to L4, lower lordosis arc from L4 to S1, and segmental lordosis from L1 to S1. Pelvic parameters included pelvic incidence, sacral slope, pelvic tilt, and pelvic incidence minus LL values.
Of the 329 patients who were followed up throughout this study, 33.7% had Roussouly type 1 native lordosis, whereas the incidence rates of types 2, 3, and 4 were 33.4%, 21.9%, and 10.9%, respectively. LL was not reduced in any of the Roussouly subtypes after multilevel decompressions. Instead, LL increased by 4.5° (SD 11.9°—from 27.3° [SD 11.5°] to 31.8° [SD 9.8°]) in Roussouly type 1 and by 3.1° (SD 11.6°—from 41.3° [SD 9.5°] to 44.4° [SD = 9.7°]) in Roussouly type 2. The other Roussouly types showed no significant changes. Pelvic tilt decreased significantly—by 2.8°, whereas sacral slope increased significantly—by 2.9° in Roussouly type 1 and by 1.7° in Roussouly type 2. The critical lumbar segment that recruits LL differs between Roussouly subtypes. Increments and changes were sustained until the final follow-up.
The study findings are important in predicting patient prognosis, LL evolution, and the need for prophylactic or corrective deformity surgery. Multilevel involvement in DLSS and the high prevalence of Roussouly types 1 and 2 suggest that spinal canal dimensions are closely linked to the developmental evolution of LL.