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Devon J. Ryan, Nicholas D. Stekas, Ethan W. Ayres, Mohamed A. Moawad, Eaman Balouch, Dennis Vasquez-Montes, Charla R. Fischer, Aaron J. Buckland, Thomas J. Errico, and Themistocles S. Protopsaltis

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to reliably predict sagittal and coronal spinal alignment with clinical photographs by using markers placed at easily localized anatomical landmarks.

METHODS

A consecutive series of patients with adult spinal deformity were enrolled from a single center. Full-length standing radiographs were obtained at the baseline visit. Clinical photographs were taken with reflective markers placed overlying C2, S1, the greater trochanter, and each posterior-superior iliac spine. Sagittal radiographic parameters were C2 pelvic angle (CPA), T1 pelvic angle (TPA), and pelvic tilt. Coronal radiographic parameters were pelvic obliquity and T1 coronal tilt. Linear regressions were performed to evaluate the relationship between radiographic parameters and their photographic “equivalents.” The data were reanalyzed after stratifying the cohort into low–body mass index (BMI) (< 30) and high-BMI (≥ 30) groups. Interobserver and intraobserver reliability was assessed for clinical measures via intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs).

RESULTS

A total of 38 patients were enrolled (mean age 61 years, mean BMI 27.4 kg/m2, 63% female). All regression models were significant, but sagittal parameters were more closely correlated to photographic parameters than coronal measurements. TPA and CPA had the strongest associations with their photographic equivalents (both r2 = 0.59, p < 0.001). Radiographic and clinical parameters tended to be more strongly correlated in the low-BMI group. Clinical measures of TPA and CPA had high intraobserver reliability (all ICC > 0.99, p < 0.001) and interobserver reliability (both ICC > 0.99, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The photographic measures of spinal deformity developed in this study were highly correlated with their radiographic counterparts and had high inter- and intraobserver reliability. Clinical photography can not only reduce radiation exposure in patients with adult spinal deformity, but also be used to assess deformity when full-spine radiographs are unavailable.

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Dana L. Cruz, Ethan W. Ayres, Matthew A. Spiegel, Louis M. Day, Robert A. Hart, Christopher P. Ames, Douglas C. Burton, Justin S. Smith, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Frank J. Schwab, Thomas J. Errico, Shay Bess, Virginie Lafage, and Themistocles S. Protopsaltis

OBJECTIVE

Neck and back pain are highly prevalent conditions that account for major disability. The Neck Disability Index (NDI) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) are the two most common functional status measures for neck and back pain. However, no single instrument exists to evaluate patients with concurrent neck and back pain. The recently developed Total Disability Index (TDI) combines overlapping elements from the ODI and NDI with the unique items from each. This study aimed to prospectively validate the TDI in patients with spinal deformity, back pain, and/or neck pain.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective review of prospectively collected data from a single center. The 14-item TDI, derived from ODI and NDI domains, was administered to consecutive patients presenting to a spine practice. Patients were assessed using the ODI, NDI, and EQ-5D. Validation of internal consistency, test-retest reproducibility, and validity of reconstructed NDI and ODI scores derived from TDI were assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 252 patients (mean age 55 years, 56% female) completed initial assessments (back pain, n = 115; neck pain, n = 52; back and neck pain, n = 55; spinal deformity, n = 55; and no pain/deformity, n = 29). Of these patients, 155 completed retests within 14 days. Patients represented a wide range of disability (mean ODI score: 36.3 ± 21.6; NDI score: 30.8 ± 21.8; and TDI score: 34.1 ± 20.0). TDI demonstrated excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.922) and test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.96). Differences between actual and reconstructed scores were not clinically significant. Subanalyses demonstrated TDI’s ability to quantify the degree of disability due to back or neck pain in patients complaining of pain in both regions.

CONCLUSIONS

The TDI is a valid and reliable disability measure in patients with back and/or neck pain and can capture each spine region’s contribution to total disability. The TDI could be a valuable method for total spine assessment in a clinical setting, and its completion is less time consuming than that for both the ODI and NDI.