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Justin S. Smith, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Virginie Lafage, Benjamin Blondel, Frank Schwab, Richard Hostin, Robert Hart, Brian O'Shaughnessy, Shay Bess, Serena S. Hu, Vedat Deviren, Christopher P. Ames and International Spine Study Group

Object

Sagittal spinopelvic malalignment is a significant cause of pain and disability in patients with adult spinal deformity. Surgical correction of spinopelvic malalignment can result in compensatory changes in spinal alignment outside of the fused spinal segments. These compensatory changes, termed reciprocal changes, have been defined for thoracic and lumbar regions but not for the cervical spine. The object of this study was to evaluate postoperative reciprocal changes within the cervical spine following lumbar pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO).

Methods

This was a multicenter retrospective radiographic analysis of patients from International Spine Study Group centers. Inclusion criteria were as follows: adults (>18 years old) with spinal deformity treated using lumbar PSO, a preoperative C7–S1 plumb line greater than 5 cm, and availability of pre- and postoperative full-length standing radiographs.

Results

Seventy-five patients (60 women, mean age 59 years) were included. The lumbar PSO significantly improved sagittal alignment, including the C7–S1 plumb line, C7–T12 inclination, and pelvic tilt (p <0.001). After lumbar PSO, reciprocal changes were seen to occur in C2–7 cervical lordosis (from 30.8° to 21.6°, p <0.001), C2–7 plumb line (from 27.0 mm to 22.9 mm), and T-1 slope (from −38.9° to −30.4°, p <0.001). Ideal correction of sagittal malalignment (postoperative sagittal vertical alignment < 50 mm) was associated with the greatest relaxation of cervical hyperlordosis (−12.4° vs −5.7°, p = 0.037). A change in cervical lordosis correlated with changes in T-1 slope (r = −0.621, p <0.001), C7–T12 inclination (r = 0.418, p <0.001), T12–S1 angle (r = −0.339, p = 0.005), and C7–S1 plumb line (r = 0.289, p = 0.018). Radiographic parameters that correlated with changes in cervical lordosis on multivariate linear regression analysis included change in T-1 slope and change in C2–7 plumb line (r2 = 0.53, p <0.001).

Conclusions

Adults with positive sagittal spinopelvic malalignment compensate with abnormally increased cervical lordosis in an effort to maintain horizontal gaze. Surgical correction of sagittal malalignment results in improvement of the abnormal cervical hyperlordosis through reciprocal changes.

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Virginie Lafage, Frank Schwab, Shaleen Vira, Robert Hart, Douglas Burton, Justin S. Smith, Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, Alexis Shelokov, Richard Hostin, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Munish Gupta, Behrooz A. Akbarnia, Shay Bess and Jean-Pierre Farcy

Object

Pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) is a spinal realignment technique that may be used to correct sagittal spinal imbalance. Theoretically, the level and degree of resection via a PSO should impact the degree of sagittal plane correction in the setting of deformity. However, the quantitative effect of PSO level and focal angular change on postoperative spinopelvic parameters has not been well described. The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between the level/degree of PSO and changes in global sagittal balance and spinopelvic parameters.

Methods

In this multicenter retrospective study, 70 patients (54 women and 16 men) underwent lumbar PSO surgery for spinal imbalance. Preoperative and postoperative free-standing sagittal radiographs were obtained and analyzed by regional curves (lumbar, thoracic, and thoracolumbar), pelvic parameters (pelvic incidence and pelvic tilt [PT]) and global balance (sagittal vertical axis [SVA] and T-1 spinopelvic inclination). Correlations between PSO parameters (level and degree of change in angle between the 2 adjacent vertebrae) and spinopelvic measurements were analyzed.

Results

Pedicle subtraction osteotomy distribution by level and degree of correction was as follows: L-1 (6 patients, 24°), L-2 (15 patients, 24°), L-3 (29 patients, 25°), and L-4 (20 patients, 22°). There was no significant difference in the focal correction achieved by PSO by level. All patients demonstrated changes in preoperative to postoperative parameters including increased lumbar lordosis (from 20° to 49°, p < 0.001), increased thoracic kyphosis (from 30° to 38°, p < 0.001), decreased SVA and T-1 spinopelvic inclination (from 122 to 34 mm, p < 0.001 and from +3° to −4°, p < 0.001, respectively), and decreased PT (from 31° to 23°, p < 0.001). More caudal PSO was correlated with greater PT reduction (r = −0.410, p < 0.05). No correlation was found between SVA correction and PSO location. The PSO degree was correlated with change in thoracic kyphosis (r = −0.474, p < 0.001), lumbar lordosis (r = 0.667, p < 0.001), sacral slope (r = 0.426, p < 0.001), and PT (r = −0.358, p < 0.005).

Conclusions

The degree of PSO resection correlates more with spinopelvic parameters (lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, PT, and sacral slope) than PSO level. More importantly, PSO level impacts postoperative PT correction but not SVA.