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Bang-ping Qian, Ji-chen Huang, Yong Qiu, Bin Wang, Yang Yu, Ze-zhang Zhu, Sai-hu Mao, and Jun Jiang

OBJECTIVE

To describe the incidence of complications in spinal osteotomy for thoracolumbar kyphosis caused by ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and to investigate the risk factors for these complications.

METHODS

From April 2000 to July 2017, 342 consecutive AS patients with a mean age (± SD) of 35.4 ± 9.8 years (range 17–71 years) undergoing spinal osteotomy were enrolled. Patients with complications within the 1st postoperative year were identified. Demographic, radiological, and surgical data were compared between patients with and without complications. The complications were classified into intraoperative and postoperative complications.

RESULTS

A total of 310 consecutive pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) and 37 multiple Smith-Petersen osteotomy (SPO) procedures were performed in 342 patients. Overall, 47 complications were identified in 47 patients (13.7%), including 31 intraoperative complications and 16 postoperative complications. Patients with complications were older than those without (p = 0.006). A significant difference was observed in preoperative global kyphosis (GK), lumbar lordosis (LL), sagittal vertical axis (SVA), and the correction of these radiographic parameters between patients with and without complications (p < 0.05). Two-level PSO (p = 0.022) and an increased number of instrumented vertebrae (p = 0.019) were significantly associated with an increased risk of complications.

CONCLUSIONS

The overall incidence of complications was 13.7%. Age; preoperative GK, LL, and SVA; the correction of GK, LL, and SVA; 2-level PSO; and number of instrumented vertebrae were risk factors. Therefore, the potential risk of extensive surgeries with large correction and long fusion in older AS patients with severe GK should be seriously considered in surgical decision-making.

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Zhuo-jie Liu, Bang-ping Qian, Yong Qiu, Sai-hu Mao, Jun Jiang, and Bin Wang

OBJECTIVE

Relocation of the apex is often found in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS)–associated thoracolumbar/lumbar kyphosis after corrective surgery. This study evaluates the influence of different postoperative apex locations on surgical and clinical outcomes of osteotomy for patients with AS and thoracolumbar kyphosis.

METHODS

Sixty-two patients with a mean age of 34.6 ± 9.7 years (range 17–59 years) and a minimum of 2 years of follow-up, who underwent 1-level lumbar pedicle subtraction osteotomy for AS-related thoracolumbar kyphosis, were enrolled in the study, as well as 62 age-matched healthy individuals. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to the postoperative location of the apex (group 1, T8 or above; group 2, T9 or below). Demographic data, radiographic measurements (including 3 postoperative apex-related parameters), and clinical outcomes were compared between the 2 groups preoperatively, postoperatively, and at the last follow-up. Furthermore, a subgroup analysis was performed among patients with a postoperative apex located at T6–11 and postoperatively the entire AS cohort was compared with normal controls regarding the apex location of the thoracic spine.

RESULTS

In the majority of the enrolled patients, the apex location changed from T12–L2 preoperatively to T6–9 postoperatively. The sagittal vertical axis (SVA) differed significantly both postoperatively (25.7 vs 59.0 mm, p = 0.001) and at the last follow-up (34.6 vs 59.9 mm, p = 0.003) between the 2 groups, and the patients in group 1 had significantly smaller horizontal distance between the C7-vertical line and the apex (DCA) than the patients in group 2 (67.5 vs 103.7 mm, p = 0.001). Subgroup analysis demonstrated similar results, showing that the patients with a postoperative apex located at T8 or above had an average SVA < 47 mm. Notably, a significant correlation was found between postoperative SVA and DCA (r = 0.642, p = 0.001). Patients who underwent an osteotomy at L3 had limited apex relocation but larger SVA correction than those at L1 or L2. However, no significant difference was found in health-related quality of life between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

AS patients with an apex located at T8 or above after surgery tended to have better SVA correction (within 47 mm) than those who had a more caudally located apical vertebra. For ideal postoperative apex relocation, a higher (closer to or at the preoperative apex) level of osteotomy is more likely to obtain the surgical goal.

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Song Li, Saihu Mao, Changzhi Du, Zezhang Zhu, Benlong Shi, Zhen Liu, Jun Qiao, and Yong Qiu

OBJECTIVE

Dystrophic lumbar scoliosis secondary to neurofibromatosis type 1 (DLS-NF1) may present an atypical, unique curve pattern associated with a high incidence of coronal imbalance and regional kyphosis. Early surgical intervention is complicated and risky but necessary. The present study aimed to assess the unique characteristics associated with the surgical treatment of DLS-NF1.

METHODS

Thirty-nine consecutive patients with DLS-NF1 treated surgically at a mean age of 14.4 ± 3.9 years were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were stratified into three types according to the coronal balance classification: type A (C7 translation < 30 mm), 22 patients; type B (concave C7 translation ≥ 30 mm), 0 patients; and type C (convex C7 translation ≥ 30 mm), 17 patients. Types B and C were considered to be coronal imbalance. The diversity of surgical strategies, the outcomes, and the related complications were analyzed.

RESULTS

The posterior-only approach accounted for 79.5% in total; the remaining 20.5% of patients received either additional anterior supplemental bone grafting (12.8%) to strengthen the fixation or convex growth arrest (7.7%) to reduce growth asymmetry. The lower instrumented vertebra (LIV) being L5 accounted for the largest share (41%), followed by L4 and above (35.9%), the sacrum (15.4%), and the pelvis (7.7%). Type C coronal imbalance was found in 23 patients (59%) postoperatively, and the incidence was significantly higher in the preoperative type C group (14/17 type C vs 9/22 type A, p = 0.020). All the patients with postoperative coronal imbalance showed ameliorative transition to type A at the last visit. The rate of screw malposition was 30.5%, including 9.9% breached medially and 20.6% breached laterally, although no serious neurological impairment occurred. The incidence of rod breakage was 16.1% (5/31) and 0% in patients with the posterior-only and combined approaches, respectively. Four revisions with satellite rods and 1 revision with removal of iliac screw for penetration into the hip joint were performed.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical strategies for DLS-NF1 were diverse across a range of arthrodesis and surgical approaches, being crucially determined by the location and the severity of dystrophic changes. The LIV being L5 or lower involving the lumbosacral region and pelvis was not rare. Additional posterior satellite rods or supplementary anterior fusion is necessary in cases with insufficient apical screw density. Despite a high incidence of postoperative coronal imbalance, improvement of coronal balance was frequently confirmed during follow-up. Neurological impairment was scarce despite the higher rate of screw malposition.