Lumbosacral fractional curves in adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients often have sharp coronal curves resulting in significant pain and imbalance. Postoperative stretch neuropraxia after fractional curve correction can lead to discomfort and unsatisfactory outcomes. The goal of this study was to use radiographic measures to increase understanding of the relationship between postoperative stretch neuropraxia and fractional curve correction.
In 62 ASD patients treated from 2015 to 2018, radiographic review was performed, including measurement of the distance between the lower lumbar neural foramen (L4 and L5) in the concavity and convexity of the lumbosacral fractional curve and the ipsilateral femoral heads (FHs; L4–FH and L5–FH) in pre- and postoperative anteroposterior spine radiographs. The largest absolute preoperative to postoperative change in distance between the lower lumbar neural foramen and the ipsilateral FH (ΔL4/L5–FH) was used for analysis. Chi-square analyses, independent and paired t-tests, and logistic regression were performed to study the relationship between L4/L5–FH and stretch neuropraxia for categorical and continuous variables, respectively.
Of the 62 patients, 13 (21.0%) had postoperative stretch neuropraxia. Patients without postoperative stretch neuropraxia had an average ΔL4–FH distance of 16.2 mm compared to patients with stretch neuropraxia, who had an average ΔL4–FH distance of 31.5 mm (p < 0.01). Patients without postoperative neuropraxia had an average ΔL5–FH distance of 11.1 mm compared to those with stretch neuropraxia, who had an average ΔL5–FH distance of 23.0 mm (p < 0.01). Chi-square analysis showed that patients had a 4.78-fold risk of developing stretch neuropraxia with ΔL4–FH > 20 mm (95% CI 1.3–17.3) and a 5.17-fold risk of developing stretch neuropraxia with ΔL5–FH > 15 mm (95% CI 1.4–18.7). Logistic regression analysis indicated that the odds of developing stretch neuropraxia were 15:1 with a ΔL4–FH > 20 mm (95% CI 3–78) and 21:1 with a ΔL5–FH > 15 mm (95% CI 4–113).
The novel ΔL4/L5–FH distances are strongly associated with postoperative stretch neuropraxia in ASD patients. A ΔL4–FH > 20 mm and ΔL5–FH > 15 mm significantly increase the odds for patients to develop postoperative stretch neuropraxia.