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Ki Young Lee, Jung-Hee Lee, Kyung-Chung Kang, Sung Joon Shin, Won Ju Shin, Sang-Kyu Im, and Joon Hong Park

OBJECTIVE

Maintaining lumbosacral (LS) arthrodesis and global sagittal balance after long fusion to the sacrum remains an important issue in the surgical treatment for adult spinal deformity (ASD). The importance and usefulness of LS fixation have been documented, but the optimal surgical long fusion to the sacrum remains a matter for debate. Therefore, the authors performed a retrospective study to evaluate fusion on CT scans and the risk factors for LS pseudarthrosis (nonunion) after long fusion to the sacrum in ASD.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective study of 59 patients with lumbar degenerative kyphosis (mean age 69.6 years) who underwent surgical correction, including an interbody fusion of the L5–S1, with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Achievement of LS fusion was evaluated by analyzing 3D-CT scans at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, and 2 years after surgery. Patients were classified into a union group (n = 36) and nonunion group (n = 23). Risk factors for nonunion were analyzed, including patient and surgical factors.

RESULTS

The overall fusion rate was 61% (36/59). Regarding radiological factors, optimal sagittal balance at the final follow-up significantly differed between two groups. There were no significant differences in terms of patient factors, and no significant differences with respect to the use of pedicle subtraction osteotomy, the number of fused segments, the proportion of anterior versus posterior interbody fusion, S2 alar iliac fixation versus conventional iliac fixation, or loosening of sacral or iliac screws. However, the proportion of metal cages to polyetheretherketone cages and the proportion of sacropelvic fixation were significantly higher in the union group (p = 0.022 and p < 0.05, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

LS junction fusion is crucial for global sagittal balance, and the use of iliac screws in addition to LS interbody fusion using a metal cage improves the outcomes of long fusion surgery for ASD patients.

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Ki Young Lee, Jung-Hee Lee, Kyung-Chung Kang, Won-Ju Shin, Sang Kyu Im, and Seong Jin Cho

OBJECTIVE

The incidence of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) after long-segment fixation in patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD) has been reported to range from 17% to 61.7%. Recent studies have reported using “hybrid” techniques in which semirigid fixation is introduced between the fused and flexible segments at the proximal level to allow a more gradual transition. The authors used these hybrid techniques in a clinical setting and analyzed PJK to evaluate the usefulness of the flexible rod (FR) technique.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively selected 77 patients with lumbar degenerative kyphosis (LDK) who underwent sagittal correction and long-segment fixation and had follow-up for > 1 year. An FR was used in 30 of the 77 patients. PJK development and spinal sagittal changes were analyzed in the FR and non-FR groups, and the predictive factors of PJK between a PJK group and a non-PJK group were compared.

RESULTS

The patient population comprised 77 patients (75 females and 2 males) with a mean (± SD) follow-up of 32.0 ± 12.7 months (36.7 ± 9.8 months in the non-FR group and 16.8 ± 4.7 months in the FR group) and mean (± SD) age of 71.7 ± 5.1 years. Sagittal balance was well maintained at final follow-up (10.5 and 1.5 mm) in the non-FR and FR groups, respectively. Thoracic kyphosis (TK) and lumbar lordosis (LL) were improved in both groups, without significant differences between the two (p > 0.05). PJK occurred in 28 cases (36.4%) in total, 3 (10%) in the FR and 25 (53.2%) in the non-FR group (p < 0.001). Postoperatively, PJK was observed at an average of 8.9 months in the non-FR group and 1 month in the FR group. No significant differences in the incidence of PJK regarding patient factors or radiological parameters were found between the PJK group and non-PJK group (p > 0.05). However, FR (vs non-FR) and interbody fusion except L5–S1 using oblique lumbar interbody fusion (vs non–oblique lumbar interbody fusion), demonstrated a significantly lower PJK prevalence (p < 0.001 and p = 0.044) among the surgical factors.

CONCLUSIONS

PJK was reduced after surgical treatment with the FR in the patients with LDK. Solid long-segment fixation and the use of the FR may become another surgical option for spine surgeons who plan and make decisions regarding spine reconstruction surgery for patients with ASD.

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Ki Young Lee, Jung-Hee Lee, Kyung-Chung Kang, Sang-Kyu Im, Hae Seong Lim, and Sun Whan Choi

OBJECTIVE

Restoring the proper sagittal alignment in adult spinal deformity (ASD) can improve radiological and clinical outcomes, but pseudarthrosis including rod fracture (RF) is a common problematic complication. The purpose of this study was to analyze the methods for reducing the incidence of RF in deformity correction of ASD.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively selected 178 consecutive patients (mean age 70.8 years) with lumbar degenerative kyphosis (LDK) who underwent deformity correction with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Patients were classified into the non-RF group (n = 131) and the RF group (n = 47). For predicting the crucial factors of RF, patient factors, radiographic parameters, and surgical factors were analyzed.

RESULTS

The overall incidence of RF was 26% (47/178 cases), occurring in 42% (42/100 cases) of pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO), 7% (5/67 cases) of lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) with posterior column osteotomy, 18% (23/129 cases) of cobalt chrome rods, 49% (24/49 cases) of titanium alloy rods, 6% (2/36 cases) placed with the accessory rod technique, and 32% (45/142 cases) placed with the 2-rod technique. There were no significant differences in the incidence of RF regarding patient factors between two groups. While both groups showed severe sagittal imbalance before operation, lumbar lordosis (LL) was more kyphotic and pelvic incidence (PI) minus LL (PI-LL) mismatch was greater in the RF group (p < 0.05). Postoperatively, while LL and PI-LL did not show significant differences between the two groups, LL and sagittal vertical axis correction were greater in the RF group (p < 0.05). Nonetheless, at the last follow-up, the two groups did not show significant differences in radiographic parameters except thoracolumbar junctional angles. As for surgical factors, use of the cobalt chrome rod and the accessory rod technique was significantly greater in the non-RF group (p < 0.05). As for the correction method, PSO was associated with more RFs than the other correction methods, including LLIF (p < 0.05). By logistic regression analysis, PSO, preoperative PI-LL mismatch, and the accessory rod technique were crucial factors for RF.

CONCLUSIONS

Greater preoperative sagittal spinopelvic malalignment including preoperative PI-LL mismatch was the crucial risk factor for RF in LDK patients 65 years or older. For restoring and maintaining sagittal alignment, use of the cobalt chrome rod, accessory rod technique, or LLIF was shown to be effective for reducing RF in ASD surgery.