The object of this study was to analyze the prevalence of postoperative coronal imbalance (CIB) and related factors in patients with adult lumbar scoliosis.
This was a retrospective single-center study of data from patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD) who had undergone corrective surgery performed by a single surgeon between 2009 and 2017. The inclusion criteria were as follows: 1) age at surgery > 40 years, 2) Cobb angles of the thoracolumbar/lumbar (TL/L) curve > 40°, 3) upper instrumented vertebra of T9 or T10, 4) lowest instrumented vertebra of L5 or the pelvis, and 5) minimum 2-year follow-up period. Radiographic parameters were measured before surgery, 2 weeks after surgery, and at the latest follow-up. Curve flexibility was also assessed using side bending radiographs. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using the 22-Item Scoliosis Research Society Outcomes Questionnaire (SRS-22) and the SF-36. CIB was considered to have occurred if the C7 plumbline was more than 2.5 cm lateral to the central sacral vertical line (i.e., coronal vertical axis [CVA] > 2.5 cm) at the final follow-up. Parameters between the patients with (CIB group) and without (coronal balance [CB] group) CIB were compared, and factors related to CIB were evaluated.
From among 66 consecutively treated ASD patients, a total of 37 patients (mean age at surgery 66.3 years, average follow-up 63 months) met the study inclusion criteria. CIB was found in 6 patients at the final follow-up (16.2%), and the CVA of all patients in the CIB group shifted to the convex side of the TL/L curve. A comparative analysis between the CB and CIB groups, respectively, at the final follow-up indicated the following factors were related to CIB: lumbosacral (LS) curve, 11.0°/16.5° (p = 0.02); LS correction rate (CR), 61%/47% (p = 0.02); and CR ratio (LS vs TL/L), 0.93/0.67 (p = 0.0002). Regarding clinical outcomes, the satisfaction domain of the SRS-22 (CB 4.4 vs CIB 3.5) showed a significant difference between the CIB and CB groups (p = 0.02), and patients in the CB group tended to score better on the pain domain (CB 4.3 vs CIB 3.7), but the difference was not significant (p = 0.06).
Postoperative CIB negatively impacted patients’ HRQOL. An imbalanced correction ratio between the TL/L and LS curves may cause postoperative CIB. Therefore, adequate correction of the LS curve may prevent postoperative CIB.