The aim of this study was to discern whether patients with a cranial sagittal vertical axis to the hip (CrSVA-H) > 2 cm at 2 years postoperatively exhibit significantly worse patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and clinical outcomes compared with patients with CrSVA-H < 2 cm.
This was a retrospective, 1:1 propensity score–matched (PSM) study of patients who underwent posterior spinal fusion for adult spinal deformity. All patients had a baseline sagittal imbalance of CrSVA-H > 30 mm. Two-year patient-reported and clinical outcomes were assessed in unmatched and PSM cohorts, including Scoliosis Research Society–22r (SRS-22r) and Oswestry Disability Index scores as well as reoperation rates. The study compared two cohorts based on 2-year alignment: CrSVA-H < 20 mm (aligned cohort) vs CrSVA-H > 20 mm (malaligned cohort). For the matched cohorts, binary outcome comparisons were carried out using the McNemar test, while continuous outcomes used the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. For unmatched cohorts, categorical variables were compared using chi-square/Fisher’s tests, while continuous outcomes were compared using Welch’s t-test.
A total of 156 patients with mean age of 63.7 (SEM 1.09) years underwent posterior spinal fusion spanning a mean of 13.5 (0.32) levels. At baseline, the mean pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis mismatch was 19.1° (2.01°), the T1 pelvic angle was 26.6° (1.20°), and the CrSVA-H was 74.9 (4.33) mm. The mean CrSVA-H improved from 74.9 mm to 29.2 mm (p < 0.0001). At the 2-year follow-up, 129 (78%) of 164 patients achieved CrSVA-H < 2 cm (aligned cohort). Patients who had CrSVA-H > 2 cm (malaligned cohort) at the 2-year follow-up had worse preoperative CrSVA-H (p < 0.0001). After performing PSM, 27 matched pairs were generated. In the PSM cohort, the aligned and malaligned cohorts demonstrated comparable preoperative patient-reported outcomes (PROs). However, at the 2-year postoperative follow-up, the malaligned cohort reported worse outcomes in SRS-22r function (p = 0.0275), pain (p = 0.0012), and mean total score (p = 0.0109). Moreover, when patients were stratified based on their magnitude of improvement in CrSVA-H (< 50% vs > 50%), patients with > 50% improvement in CrSVA-H had superior outcomes in SRS-22r function (p = 0.0336), pain (p = 0.0446), and mean total score (p = 0.0416). Finally, patients in the malaligned cohort had a higher 2-year reoperation rate (22% vs 7%; p = 0.0412) compared with patients in the aligned cohort.
Among patients who present with forward sagittal imbalance (CrSVA-H > 30 mm), patients with CrSVA-H exceeding 20 mm at the 2-year postoperative follow-up have inferior PROs and higher reoperation rates.