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Wesley M. Durand, Alan H. Daniels, Kevin DiSilvestro, Renaud Lafage, Bassel G. Diebo, Peter G. Passias, Han Jo Kim, Themistocles Protopsaltis, Virginie Lafage, Justin S. Smith, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Munish C. Gupta, Eric O. Klineberg, Frank Schwab, Jeffrey L. Gum, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Robert K. Eastlack, Khaled Kebaish, Alex Soroceanu, Richard A. Hostin, Douglas Burton, Shay Bess, Christopher P. Ames, Robert A. Hart, D. Kojo Hamilton, and

OBJECTIVE

Revision surgery is often necessary for adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients. Satisfaction with management is an important component of health-related quality of life. The authors hypothesized that patients who underwent multiple revision surgeries following ASD correction would exhibit lower self-reported satisfaction scores.

METHODS

This was a retrospective cohort study of 668 patients who underwent ASD surgery and were eligible for a minimum 2-year follow-up. Visits were stratified by occurrence prior to the index surgery (period 0), after the index surgery only (period 1), after the first revision only (period 2), and after the second revision only (period 3). Patients were further stratified by prior spine surgery before their index surgery. Scoliosis Research Society–22 (SRS-22r) health-related quality-of-life satisfaction subscore and total satisfaction scores were evaluated at all periods using multiple linear regression and adjustment for age, sex, and Charlson Comorbidity Index.

RESULTS

In total, 46.6% of the study patients had undergone prior spine surgery before their index surgery. The overall revision rate was 21.3%. Among patients with no spine surgery prior to the index surgery, SRS-22r satisfaction scores increased from period 0 to 1 (from 2.8 to 4.3, p < 0.0001), decreased after one revision from period 1 to 2 (4.3 to 3.9, p = 0.0004), and decreased further after a second revision from period 2 to 3 (3.9 to 3.3, p = 0.0437). Among patients with spine surgery prior to the index procedure, SRS-22r satisfaction increased from period 0 to 1 (2.8 to 4.2, p < 0.0001) and decreased from period 1 to 2 (4.2 to 3.8, p = 0.0011). No differences in follow-up time from last surgery were observed (all p > 0.3). Among patients with multiple revisions, 40% experienced rod fracture, 40% proximal junctional kyphosis, and 33% pseudarthrosis.

CONCLUSIONS

Among patients undergoing ASD surgery, revision surgery is associated with decreased satisfaction, and multiple revisions are associated with additive detriment to satisfaction among patients initially undergoing primary surgery. These findings have direct implications for preoperative patient counseling and establishment of postoperative expectations.

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Renaud Lafage, Justin S. Smith, Alex Moy Fong, Basel Sheikh Alshabab, Themistocles Protopsaltis, Eric O. Klineberg, Gregory Mundis Jr., Peter G. Passias, Munish Gupta, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Han Jo Kim, Shay Bess, Frank Schwab, Christopher P. Ames, Virginie Lafage, and

OBJECTIVE

Hyperextension of C0–2 is a debilitating compensatory mechanism used to maintain horizontal gaze, analogous to high pelvic tilt in the lumbopelvic complex to maintain an upright posture. This study aims to investigate the impact of cervical deformity (CD) correction on this hyperextension. The authors hypothesize that correction of cervical sagittal malalignment allows for relaxation of C0–2 hyperextension and improved clinical outcomes.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted of a multicenter database of patients with CD undergoing spinal realignment and fusion caudal to C2 and cephalad to the pelvis. Range of motion (ROM) and reserve of extension (ROE) were calculated across C2–7 and C0–2. The association between C2–7 correction and change in C0–2 ROE was investigated while controlling for horizontal gaze, followed by stratification into ΔC2–7 percentiles.

RESULTS

Sixty-five patients were included (mean age 61.8 ± 9.6 years, 68% female). At baseline, patients had cervical kyphosis (C2–7, −11.7° ± 18.2°; T1 slope–cervical lordosis mismatch, 38.6° ± 18.6°), negative global alignment (sagittal vertical axis [SVA] −12.8 ± 71.2 mm), and hyperlordosis at C0–2 (mean 33.2° ± 11.8°). The mean ROM was 25.7° ± 17.7° and 21.3° ± 9.9° at C2–7 and C0–2, respectively, with an ROE of approximately 9° for each segment. Limited C0–2 ROM and ROE correlated with the Neck Disability Index (r = −0.371 and −0.394, p < 0.01). The mean number of levels fused was 7.0 ± 3.1 (24.6% anterior, 43.1% posterior), with 87.7% undergoing at least an osteotomy. At 1 year, mean C2–7 increased to 5.5° ± 13.4°, SVA became neutral (11.5 ± 54.8 mm), C0–2 hyperlordosis decreased to 27.8° ± 11.7°, and thoracic kyphosis (TK) increased to −49.4° ± 18.1° (all p < 0.001). Concurrently, mean C0–2 ROM increased to 27.6° ± 8.1° and C2–7 ROM decreased significantly to 9.0° ± 12.3° without a change in ROE. Controlling for horizontal gaze, change in C2–7 lordosis significantly correlated with increased TK (r = −0.617, p < 0.001), decreased C0–2 (r = −0.747, p < 0.001), and increased C0–2 ROE (r = 0.550, p = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS

CD correction can significantly impact cephalad and caudal compensation in the upper cervical and thoracic spine. Restoration of cervical alignment resulted in increased C0–2 ROE and TK and was also associated with improved clinical outcome.

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Elias Elias, Shay Bess, Breton Line, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Eric Klineberg, Han Jo Kim, Peter G. Passias, Zeina Nasser, Jeffrey L. Gum, Khal Kebaish, Robert Eastlack, Alan H. Daniels, Gregory Mundis Jr., Richard Hostin, Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, Alex Soroceanu, D. Kojo Hamilton, Michael P. Kelly, Munish Gupta, Robert Hart, Frank J. Schwab, Douglas Burton, Christopher P. Ames, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Justin S. Smith, and

OBJECTIVE

The current literature has primarily focused on the 2-year outcomes of operative adult spinal deformity (ASD) treatment. Longer term durability is important given the invasiveness, complications, and costs of these procedures. The aim of this study was to assess minimum 3-year outcomes and complications of ASD surgery.

METHODS

Operatively treated ASD patients were assessed at baseline, follow-up, and through mailings. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) included scores on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Scoliosis Research Society–22r (SRS-22r) questionnaire, mental component summary (MCS) and physical component summary (PCS) of the SF-36, and numeric rating scale (NRS) for back and leg pain. Complications were classified as perioperative (≤ 90 days), delayed (90 days to 2 years), and long term (≥ 2 years). Analyses focused on patients with minimum 3-year follow-up.

RESULTS

Of 569 patients, 427 (75%) with minimum 3-year follow-up (mean ± SD [range] 4.1 ± 1.1 [3.0–9.6] years) had a mean age of 60.8 years and 75% were women. Operative treatment included a posterior approach for 426 patients (99%), with a mean ± SD 12 ± 4 fusion levels. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion was performed in 35 (8%) patients, and 89 (21%) underwent 3-column osteotomy. All PROMs improved significantly from baseline to last follow-up, including scores on ODI (45.4 to 30.5), PCS (31.0 to 38.5), MCS (45.3 to 50.6), SRS-22r total (2.7 to 3.6), SRS-22r activity (2.8 to 3.5), SRS-22r pain (2.3 to 3.4), SRS-22r appearance (2.4 to 3.5), SRS-22r mental (3.4 to 3.7), SRS-22r satisfaction (2.7 to 4.1), NRS for back pain (7.1 to 3.8), and NRS for leg pain (4.8 to 3.0) (all p < 0.001). Degradations in some outcome measures were observed between the 2-year and last follow-up evaluations, but the magnitudes of these degradations were modest and arguably not clinically significant. Overall, 277 (65%) patients had at least 1 complication, including 185 (43%) perioperative, 118 (27%) delayed, and 56 (13%) long term. Notably, the 142 patients who did not achieve 3-year follow-up were similar to the study patients in terms of demographic characteristics, deformities, and baseline PROMs and had similar rates and types of complications.

CONCLUSIONS

This prospective multicenter analysis demonstrated that operative ASD treatment provided significant improvement of health-related quality of life at minimum 3-year follow-up (mean 4.1 years), suggesting that the benefits of surgery for ASD remain durable at longer follow-up. These findings should prove useful for counseling, cost-effectiveness assessments, and efforts to improve the safety of care.

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Peter G. Passias, Sara Naessig, Nicholas Kummer, Lara Passfall, Renaud Lafage, Virginie Lafage, Breton Line, Bassel G. Diebo, Themistocles Protopsaltis, Han Jo Kim, Robert Eastlack, Alex Soroceanu, Eric O. Klineberg, Robert A. Hart, Douglas Burton, Shay Bess, Frank Schwab, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Justin S. Smith, and Christopher P. Ames

OBJECTIVE

This retrospective cohort study aimed to develop a formal predictive model distinguishing between symptomatic and asymptomatic distal junctional kyphosis (DJK). In this study the authors identified a DJK rate of 32.2%. Predictive models were created that can be used with high reliability to help distinguish between severe symptomatic DJK and mild asymptomatic DJK through the use of surgical factors, radiographic parameters, and patient variables.

METHODS

Patients with cervical deformity (CD) were stratified into asymptomatic and symptomatic DJK groups. Symptomatic: 1) DJK angle (DJKA) > 10° and either reoperation due to DJK or > 1 new-onset neurological sequela related to DJK; or 2) either a DJKA > 20° or ∆DJKA > 20°. Asymptomatic: ∆DJK > 10° in the absence of neurological sequelae. Stepwise logistic regressions were used to identify factors associated with these types of DJK. Decision tree analysis established cutoffs.

RESULTS

A total of 99 patients with CD were included, with 32.2% developing DJK (34.3% asymptomatic, 65.7% symptomatic). A total of 37.5% of asymptomatic patients received a reoperation versus 62.5% symptomatic patients. Multivariate analysis identified independent baseline factors for developing symptomatic DJK as follows: pelvic incidence (OR 1.02); preoperative cervical flexibility (OR 1.04); and combined approach (OR 6.2). Having abnormal hyperkyphosis in the thoracic spine, more so than abnormal cervical lordosis, was a factor for developing symptomatic disease when analyzed against asymptomatic patients (OR 1.2). Predictive modeling identified factors that were predictive of symptomatic versus no DJK, as follows: myelopathy (modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association score 12–14); combined approach; uppermost instrumented vertebra C3 or C4; preoperative hypermobility; and > 7 levels fused (area under the curve 0.89). A predictive model for symptomatic versus asymptomatic disease (area under the curve 0.85) included being frail, T1 slope minus cervical lordosis > 20°, and a pelvic incidence > 46.3°. Controlling for baseline deformity and disability, symptomatic patients had a greater cervical sagittal vertical axis (4–8 cm: 47.6% vs 27%) and were more malaligned according to their Scoliosis Research Society sagittal vertical axis measurement (OR 0.1) than patients without DJK at 1 year (all p < 0.05). Despite their symptomatology and higher reoperation rate, outcomes equilibrated in the symptomatic cohort at 1 year following revision.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, 32.2% of patients with CD suffered from DJK. Symptomatic DJK can be predicted with high reliability. It can be further distinguished from asymptomatic occurrences by taking into account pelvic incidence and baseline cervicothoracic deformity severity.

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Renaud Lafage, Justin S. Smith, Basel Sheikh Alshabab, Christopher Ames, Peter G. Passias, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Gregory Mundis Jr., Themistocles Protopsaltis, Munish Gupta, Eric Klineberg, Han Jo Kim, Shay Bess, Frank Schwab, Virginie Lafage, and

OBJECTIVE

Cervical deformity (CD) is a complex condition with a clear impact on patient quality of life, which can be improved with surgical treatment. Previous study following thoracolumbar surgery demonstrated a spontaneous and maintained improvement in cervical alignment following lumbar pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO). In this study the authors aimed to investigate the complementary questions of whether cervical alignment induces a change in global alignment and whether this change stabilizes over time.

METHODS

To analyze spontaneous changes, this study included only patients with at least 5 levels remaining unfused following surgery. After data were obtained for the entire cohort, repeated-measures analyses were conducted between preoperative baseline and 3-month and 1-year follow-ups with a post hoc analysis and Bonferroni correction. A subanalysis of patients with 2-year follow-up was performed.

RESULTS

One-year follow-up data were available for 121 of 168 patients (72%), and 89 patients had at least 5 levels remaining unfused following surgery. Preoperatively there was a moderate anterior cervical alignment (C2–7, −7.7° [kyphosis]; T1 slope minus cervical lordosis, 37.1°; cervical sagittal vertebral axis [cSVA], 37 mm) combined with a posterior global alignment (SVA, −8 mm) with lumbar hyperextension (pelvic incidence [PI] minus lumbar lordosis [LL] mismatch [PI-LL], −0.6°). Patients underwent a significant correction of the cervical alignment (median ΔC2–7, 13.6°). Simultaneously, PI-LL, T1 pelvic angle (TPA), and SVA increased significantly (all p < 0.05) between baseline and 3-month and 1-year follow-ups. Post hoc analysis demonstrated that all of the changes occurred between baseline and 3 months. Subanalysis of patients with complete 2-year follow-up demonstrated similar results, with stable postoperative thoracolumbar alignment achieved at 3 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Correction of cervical malalignment can have a significant impact on thoracolumbar regional and global alignment. Peak relaxation of compensatory mechanisms is achieved by the 3-month follow-up and tends to remain stable. Subanalysis with 2-year data further supports this finding. These findings can help to identify when the results of cervical surgery on global alignment can be best evaluated.

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Hai V. Le, Joseph B. Wick, Renaud Lafage, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Robert K. Eastlack, Shay Bess, Douglas C. Burton, Christopher P. Ames, Justin S. Smith, Peter G. Passias, Munish C. Gupta, Virginie Lafage, Eric O. Klineberg, and

OBJECTIVE

The authors’ objective was to determine whether preoperative lateral extension cervical spine radiography can be used to predict osteotomy type and postoperative alignment parameters after cervical spine deformity surgery.

METHODS

A total of 106 patients with cervical spine deformity were reviewed. Radiographic parameters on preoperative cervical neutral and extension lateral radiography were compared with 3-month postoperative radiographic alignment parameters. The parameters included T1 slope, C2 slope, C2–7 cervical lordosis, cervical sagittal vertical axis, and T1 slope minus cervical lordosis. Associations of radiographic parameters with osteotomy type and surgical approach were also assessed.

RESULTS

On extension lateral radiography, patients who underwent lower grade osteotomy had significantly lower T1 slope, T1 slope minus cervical lordosis, cervical sagittal vertical axis, and C2 slope. Patients who achieved more normal parameters on extension lateral radiography were more likely to undergo surgery via an anterior approach. Although baseline parameters were significantly different between neutral lateral and extension lateral radiographs, 3-month postoperative lateral and preoperative extension lateral radiographs were statistically similar for T1 slope minus cervical lordosis and C2 slope.

CONCLUSIONS

Radiographic parameters on preoperative extension lateral radiography were significantly associated with surgical approach and osteotomy grade and were similar to those on 3-month postoperative lateral radiography. These results demonstrated that extension lateral radiography is useful for preoperative planning and predicting postoperative alignment.

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Thomas J. Buell, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Han Jo Kim, Eric O. Klineberg, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, Peter G. Passias, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Robert K. Eastlack, Vedat Deviren, Michael P. Kelly, Alan H. Daniels, Jeffrey L. Gum, Alex Soroceanu, D. Kojo Hamilton, Munish C. Gupta, Douglas C. Burton, Richard A. Hostin, Khaled M. Kebaish, Robert A. Hart, Frank J. Schwab, Shay Bess, Christopher P. Ames, Justin S. Smith, and The International Spine Study Group (ISSG)

OBJECTIVE

Deterioration of global coronal alignment (GCA) may be associated with worse outcomes after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The impact of fusion length and upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) selection on patients with this complication is unclear. The authors’ objective was to compare outcomes between long sacropelvic fusion with upper-thoracic (UT) UIV and those with lower-thoracic (LT) UIV in patients with worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm.

METHODS

This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database of consecutive ASD patients. Index operations involved instrumented fusion from sacropelvis to thoracic spine. Global coronal deterioration was defined as worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm from preoperation to 2-year follow-up.

RESULTS

Of 875 potentially eligible patients, 560 (64%) had complete 2-year follow-up data, of which 144 (25.7%) demonstrated worse GCA at 2-year postoperative follow-up (35.4% of UT patients vs 64.6% of LT patients). At baseline, UT patients were younger (61.6 ± 9.9 vs 64.5 ± 8.6 years, p = 0.008), a greater percentage of UT patients had osteoporosis (35.3% vs 16.1%, p = 0.009), and UT patients had worse scoliosis (51.9° ± 22.5° vs 32.5° ± 16.3°, p < 0.001). Index operations were comparable, except UT patients had longer fusions (16.4 ± 0.9 vs 9.7 ± 1.2 levels, p < 0.001) and operative duration (8.6 ± 3.2 vs 7.6 ± 3.0 hours, p = 0.023). At 2-year follow-up, global coronal deterioration averaged 2.7 ± 1.4 cm (1.9 to 4.6 cm, p < 0.001), scoliosis improved (39.3° ± 20.8° to 18.0° ± 14.8°, p < 0.001), and sagittal spinopelvic alignment improved significantly in all patients. UT patients maintained smaller positive C7 sagittal vertical axis (2.7 ± 5.7 vs 4.7 ± 5.7 cm, p = 0.014). Postoperative 2-year health-related quality of life (HRQL) significantly improved from baseline for all patients. HRQL comparisons demonstrated that UT patients had worse Scoliosis Research Society–22r (SRS-22r) Activity (3.2 ± 1.0 vs 3.6 ± 0.8, p = 0.040) and SRS-22r Satisfaction (3.9 ± 1.1 vs 4.3 ± 0.8, p = 0.021) scores. Also, fewer UT patients improved by ≥ 1 minimal clinically important difference in numerical rating scale scores for leg pain (41.3% vs 62.7%, p = 0.020). Comparable percentages of UT and LT patients had complications (208 total, including 53 reoperations, 77 major complications, and 78 minor complications), but the percentage of reoperated patients was higher among UT patients (35.3% vs 18.3%, p = 0.023). UT patients had higher reoperation rates of rod fracture (13.7% vs 2.2%, p = 0.006) and pseudarthrosis (7.8% vs 1.1%, p = 0.006) but not proximal junctional kyphosis (9.8% vs 8.6%, p = 0.810).

CONCLUSIONS

In ASD patients with worse 2-year GCA after long sacropelvic fusion, UT UIV was associated with worse 2-year HRQL compared with LT UIV. This may suggest that residual global coronal malalignment is clinically less tolerated in ASD patients with longer fusion to the proximal thoracic spine. These results may inform operative planning and improve patient counseling.

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Thomas J. Buell, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Shay Bess, Han Jo Kim, Eric O. Klineberg, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, Peter G. Passias, Gregory M. Mundis Jr., Robert K. Eastlack, Vedat Deviren, Michael P. Kelly, Alan H. Daniels, Jeffrey L. Gum, Alex Soroceanu, D. Kojo Hamilton, Munish C. Gupta, Douglas C. Burton, Richard A. Hostin, Khaled M. Kebaish, Robert A. Hart, Frank J. Schwab, Christopher P. Ames, Justin S. Smith, and the International Spine Study Group

OBJECTIVE

Few studies have compared fractional curve correction after long fusion between transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) for adult symptomatic thoracolumbar/lumbar scoliosis (ASLS). The objective of this study was to compare fractional correction, health-related quality of life (HRQL), and complications associated with L4–S1 TLIF versus those of ALIF as an operative treatment of ASLS.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed a prospective multicenter adult spinal deformity database. Inclusion required a fractional curve ≥ 10°, a thoracolumbar/lumbar curve ≥ 30°, index TLIF or ALIF performed at L4–5 and/or L5–S1, and a minimum 2-year follow-up. TLIF and ALIF patients were propensity matched according to the number and type of interbody fusion at L4–S1.

RESULTS

Of 135 potentially eligible consecutive patients, 106 (78.5%) achieved the minimum 2-year follow-up (mean ± SD age 60.6 ± 9.3 years, 85% women, 44.3% underwent TLIF, and 55.7% underwent ALIF). Index operations had mean ± SD 12.2 ± 3.6 posterior levels, 86.6% of patients underwent iliac fixation, 67.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L4–5, and 84.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L5–S1. Compared with TLIF patients, ALIF patients had greater cage height (10.9 ± 2.1 mm for TLIF patients vs 14.5 ± 3.0 mm for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and lordosis (6.3° ± 1.6° for TLIF patients vs 17.0° ± 9.9° for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and longer operative duration (6.7 ± 1.5 hours for TLIF patients vs 8.9 ± 2.5 hours for ALIF patients, p < 0.001). In all patients, final alignment improved significantly in terms of the fractional curve (20.2° ± 7.0° to 6.9° ± 5.2°), maximum coronal Cobb angle (55.0° ± 14.8° to 23.9° ± 14.3°), C7 sagittal vertical axis (5.1 ± 6.2 cm to 2.3 ± 5.4 cm), pelvic tilt (24.6° ± 8.1° to 22.7° ± 9.5°), and lumbar lordosis (32.3° ± 18.8° to 51.4° ± 14.1°) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated comparable fractional correction (−13.6° ± 6.7° for TLIF patients vs −13.6° ± 8.1° for ALIF patients, p = 0.982). In all patients, final HRQL improved significantly in terms of Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score (42.4 ± 16.3 to 24.2 ± 19.9), physical component summary (PCS) score of the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (32.6 ± 9.3 to 41.3 ± 11.7), and Scoliosis Research Society–22r score (2.9 ± 0.6 to 3.7 ± 0.7) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated worse ODI (30.9 ± 21.1 for TLIF patients vs 17.9 ± 17.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.017) and PCS (38.3 ± 12.0 for TLIF patients vs 45.3 ± 10.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.020) scores for TLIF patients at the last follow-up (despite no differences in these parameters at baseline). The rates of total complications were similar (76.6% for TLIF patients vs 71.2% for ALIF patients, p = 0.530), but significantly more TLIF patients had rod fracture (28.6% of TLIF patients vs 7.1% of ALIF patients, p = 0.036). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that a 1-mm increase in L4–5 TLIF cage height led to a 2.2° reduction in L4 coronal tilt (p = 0.011), and a 1° increase in L5–S1 ALIF cage lordosis led to a 0.4° increase in L5–S1 segmental lordosis (p = 0.045).

CONCLUSIONS

Operative treatment of ASLS with L4–S1 TLIF versus ALIF demonstrated comparable mean fractional curve correction (66.7% vs 64.8%), despite use of significantly larger, more lordotic ALIF cages. TLIF cage height had a significant impact on leveling L4 coronal tilt, whereas ALIF cage lordosis had a significant impact on restoration of lumbosacral lordosis. The advantages of TLIF may include reduced operative duration and hospitalization; however, associated HRQL was inferior and more rod fractures were detected in the TLIF patients included in this study.

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Peter G. Passias, Haddy Alas, Shay Bess, Breton G. Line, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Christopher P. Ames, Douglas C. Burton, Avery Brown, Cole Bortz, Katherine Pierce, Waleed Ahmad, Sara Naessig, Michael P. Kelly, Richard Hostin, Khaled M. Kebaish, Khoi D. Than, Pierce Nunley, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Eric O. Klineberg, Justin S. Smith, Frank J. Schwab, and the International Spine Study Group

OBJECTIVE

Patients with nonoperative (N-Op) adult spinal deformity (ASD) have inferior long-term spinopelvic alignment and clinical outcomes. Predictors of lower quality-of-life measures in N-Op populations have yet to be sufficiently investigated. The aim of this study was to identify patient-related factors and radiographic parameters associated with inferior health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) scores in N-Op ASD patients.

METHODS

N-Op ASD patients with complete radiographic and outcome data at baseline and 2 years were included. N-Op patients and operative (Op) patients were propensity score matched for baseline disability and deformity. Patient-related factors and radiographic alignment parameters (pelvic tilt [PT], sagittal vertical axis [SVA], pelvic incidence [PI]–lumbar lordosis [LL] mismatch, mismatch between cervical lordosis and T1 segment slope [TS-CL], cervical-thoracic pelvic angle [PA], and others) at baseline and 2 years were analyzed as predictors for moderate to severe 2-year Oswestry Disability Index (ODI > 20) and failing to meet the minimal clinically importance difference (MCID) for 2-year Scoliosis Research Society Outcomes Questionnaire (SRS) scores (< 0.4 increase from baseline). Conditional inference decision trees identified predictors of each HRQOL measure and established cutoffs at which factors have a global effect. Random forest analysis (RFA) generated 5000 conditional inference trees to compute a variable importance table for top predictors of inferior HRQOL. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS

Six hundred sixty-two patients with ASD (331 Op patients and 331 N-Op patients) with complete radiographic and HRQOL data at their 2-year follow-up were included. There were no differences in demographics, ODI, and Schwab deformity modifiers between groups at baseline (all p > 0.05). N-Op patients had higher 2-year ODI scores (27.9 vs 20.3, p < 0.001), higher rates of moderate to severe disability (29.3% vs 22.4%, p = 0.05), lower SRS total scores (3.47 vs 3.91, p < 0.001), and higher rates of failure to reach SRS MCID (35.3% vs 15.7%, p < 0.001) than Op patients at 2 years. RFA ranked the top overall predictors for moderate to severe ODI at 2 years for N-Op patients as follows: 1) frailty index > 2.8, 2) BMI > 35 kg/m , T4PA > 28°, and 4) Charlson Comorbidity Index > 1. Top radiographic predictors were T4PA > 28° and C2–S1 SVA > 93 mm. RFA also ranked the top overall predictors for failure to reach 2-year SRS MCID for N-Op patients, as follows: 1) T12–S1 lordosis > 53°, 2) cervical SVA (cSVA) > 28 mm, 3) C2–S1 angle > 14.5°, 4) TS-CL > 12°, and 5) PT > 23°. The top radiographic predictors were T12–S1 Cobb angle, cSVA, C2–S1 angle, and TS-CL.

CONCLUSIONS

When controlling for baseline deformity in N-Op versus Op patients, subsequent deterioration in frailty, BMI, and radiographic progression over a 2-year follow-up were found to drive suboptimal patient-reported outcome measures in N-Op cohorts as measured by validated ODI and SRS clinical instruments.

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Peter G. Passias, Haddy Alas, Sara Naessig, Han Jo Kim, Renaud Lafage, Christopher Ames, Eric Klineberg, Katherine Pierce, Waleed Ahmad, Douglas Burton, Bassel Diebo, Shay Bess, D. Kojo Hamilton, Munish Gupta, Paul Park, Breton Line, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Justin S. Smith, Frank Schwab, Virginie Lafage, and the International Spine Study Group

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to assess the conversion rate from baseline cervical alignment to postoperative cervical deformity (CD) and the corresponding proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) rate in patients undergoing thoracolumbar adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.

METHODS

The operative records of patients with ASD with complete radiographic data beginning at baseline up to 3 years were included. Patients with no baseline CD were postoperatively stratified by Ames CD criteria (T1 slope–cervical lordosis mismatch [TS-CL] > 20°, cervical sagittal vertical axis [cSVA] > 40 mm), where CD was defined as fulfilling one or more of the Ames criteria. Severe CD was defined as TS-CL > 30° or cSVA > 60 mm. Follow-up intervals were established after ASD surgery, with 6 weeks postoperatively defined as early; 6 weeks–1 year as intermediate; 1–2 years as late; and 2–3 years as long-term. Descriptive analyses and McNemar tests identified the CD conversion rate, PJK rate (< −10° change in uppermost instrumented vertebra and the superior endplate of the vertebra 2 levels superior to the uppermost instrumented vertebra), and specific alignment parameters that converted.

RESULTS

Two hundred sixty-six patients who underwent ASD surgery (mean age 59.7 years, 77.4% female) met the inclusion criteria; 103 of these converted postoperatively, and the remaining 163 did not meet conversion criteria. Thirty-eight patients converted to CD early, 26 converted at the intermediate time point, 29 converted late, and 10 converted in the long-term. At conversion, the early group had the highest mean TS-CL at 25.4° ± 8.5° and the highest mean cSVA at 33.6 mm—both higher than any other conversion group. The long-term group had the highest mean C2–7 angle at 19.7° and the highest rate of PJK compared to other groups (p = 0.180). The early group had the highest rate of conversion to severe CD, with 9 of 38 patients having severe TS-CL and only 1 patient per group converting to severe cSVA. Seven patients progressed from having only malaligned TS-CL at baseline (with normal cSVA) to CD with both malaligned TS-CL and cSVA by 6 weeks. Conversely, only 2 patients progressed from malaligned cSVA to both malaligned cSVA and TS-CL. By 1 year, the former number increased from 7 to 26 patients, and the latter increased from 2 to 20 patients. The revision rate was highest in the intermediate group at 48.0%, versus the early group at 19.2%, late group at 27.3%, and long-term group at 20% (p = 0.128). A higher pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis mismatch, lower thoracic kyphosis, and a higher thoracic kyphosis apex immediately postoperatively significantly predicted earlier rather than later conversion (all p < 0.05). Baseline lumbar lordosis, pelvic tilt, and sacral slope were not significant predictors.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with ASD with normative cervical alignment who converted to CD after thoracolumbar surgery had varying radiographic findings based on timing of conversion. Although the highest number of patients converted within 6 weeks postoperatively, patients who converted in the late or long-term follow-up intervals had higher rates of concurrent PJK and greater radiographic progression.