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Tomiya Matsumoto, Shinya Okuda, Takafumi Maeno, Tomoya Yamashita, Ryoji Yamasaki, Tsuyoshi Sugiura and Motoki Iwasaki

OBJECTIVE

The importance of spinopelvic balance and its implications for clinical outcomes after spinal arthrodesis has been reported in recent studies. However, little is known about the relationship between adjacent-segment disease (ASD) after lumbar arthrodesis and spinopelvic alignment. The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship between spinopelvic radiographic parameters and symptomatic ASD after L4–5 single-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF).

METHODS

This was a retrospective 1:5 matched case-control study. Twenty patients who had undergone revision surgery for symptomatic ASD after L4–5 PLIF and had standing radiographs of the whole spine before primary and revision surgeries were enrolled from 2005 to 2012. As a control group, 100 age-, sex-, and pathology-matched patients who had undergone L4–5 PLIF during the same period, had no signs of symptomatic ASD for more than 3 years, and had whole-spine radiographs at preoperation and last follow-up were selected. Mean age at the time of primary surgery was 68.9 years in the ASD group and 66.7 years in the control group. Several radiographic spinopelvic parameters were measured as follows: sagittal vertical axis (SVA), thoracic kyphosis (TK), sacral slope (SS), pelvic tilt (PT), pelvic incidence (PI), lumbar lordosis (LL), and segmental lordosis at L4–5 (SL) in the sagittal view, and C7–central sacral vertical line (C7-CSVL) in the coronal view. Radiological parameters were compared between the groups.

RESULTS

No significant change was found between pre- and postoperative radiographic parameters in each group. In terms of preoperative radiographic parameters, the ASD group had significantly lower LL (40.7° vs 47.2°, p < 0.01) and significantly higher PT (27° vs 22.9°, p < 0.05) than the control group. SVA ≥ 50 mm was observed in 10 of 20 patients (50%) in the ASD group and in 21 of 100 patients (21%, p < 0.01) in the control group. PI-LL ≥ 10° was noted in 15 of 20 patients (75%) in the ASD group and in 40 of 100 patients (40%, p < 0.01) in the control group on preoperative radiographs. Postoperatively, the ASD group had significantly lower TK (22.5° vs 30.9°, p < 0.01) and lower LL (39.3° vs 48.1°, p < 0.05) than the control group had. PI-LL ≥ 10° was seen in 15 of 20 patients (75%) in the ASD group and in 43 of 100 patients (43%, p < 0.01) in the control group.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative global sagittal imbalance (SVA > 50 mm and higher PT), pre- and postoperative lower LL, and PI-LL mismatch were significantly associated with ASD. Therefore, even with a single-level PLIF, appropriate SL and LL should be obtained at surgery to improve spinopelvic sagittal imbalance. The results also suggest that the achievement of the appropriate LL and PI-LL prevents ASD after L4–5 PLIF.

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Yoshifumi Takahashi, Shinya Okuda, Yukitaka Nagamoto, Tomiya Matsumoto, Tsuyoshi Sugiura and Motoki Iwasaki

OBJECTIVE

Although the importance of spinopelvic sagittal balance and its implications for clinical outcomes of spinal fusion surgery have been described, to the authors’ knowledge there have been no reports of the relationship between spinopelvic alignment and clinical outcomes for 2-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF). The purpose of this study was to elucidate the relationship between clinical outcomes and spinopelvic sagittal parameters after 2-level PLIF for 2-level degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS).

METHODS

This study was limited to patients who were treated with 2-level PLIF for 2-level DS at L3–4-5. Between 2005 and 2014, 33 patients who could be followed up for at least 2 years were included in this study. The average age at the time of surgery was 72 years, and the average follow-up period was 5.6 years. Based on clinical assessments, the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score and recovery rate were evaluated. The patients were divided into 2 groups based on the recovery rate: the good outcome group (G group; n = 19), with recovery rate ≥ 50%, and the poor outcome group (P group; n = 14) with recovery rate < 50%. Spinopelvic parameters were measured using lateral standing radiographs of the whole spine as follows: sagittal vertical axis (SVA), thoracic kyphosis (TK), sacral slope (SS), pelvic tilt (PT), pelvic incidence (PI), lumbar lordosis (LL), and segmental lordosis (SL) at L3–4-5. The clinical outcomes and radiological parameters were assessed preoperatively and at the final follow-up. Radiological parameters were compared between the 2 groups.

RESULTS

The mean JOA score improved significantly in all patients from 10.8 points before surgery to 19.6 points at the latest follow-up (mean recovery rate 47.7%). For radiological outcomes, no difference was observed from preoperative assessment to final follow-up in any of the spinopelvic parameters except SVA. Although no significant difference between the 2 groups was detected in any of the spinopelvic parameters, there were significant differences in the change in SL and LL (ΔSL 3.7° vs −2.1° and ΔLL 1.2° vs −5.6° for the G and P groups, respectively). In addition, the number of patients in the G group was significantly larger for the patients with ΔSL-plus than those with ΔSL-minus (p = 0.008).

CONCLUSIONS

The clinical outcomes of 2-level PLIF for 2-level DS limited at L3–4-5 appeared to be satisfactory. The results indicate that acquisition of increased SL in surgery might lead to better clinical outcomes.

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Yukitaka Nagamoto, Motoki Iwasaki, Hironobu Sakaura, Tsuyoshi Sugiura, Takahito Fujimori, Yohei Matsuo, Masafumi Kashii, Tsuyoshi Murase, Hideki Yoshikawa and Kazuomi Sugamoto

OBJECT

Usually additional anchors into the ilium are necessary in long fusion to the sacrum for degenerative lumbar spine disorders (DLSDs), especially for adult spine deformity. Although the use of anchors is becoming quite common, surgeons must always keep in mind that the sacroiliac (SI) joint is mobile and they should be aware of the kinematic properties of the SI joint in patients with DLSDs, including adult spinal deformity. No previous study has clarified in vivo kinematic changes in the SI joint with respect to patient age, sex, or parturition status or the presence of DLSDs. The authors conducted a study to clarify the mobility and kinematic characteristics of the SI joint in patients with DLSDs in comparison with healthy volunteers by using in vivo 3D motion analysis with voxel-based registration, a highly accurate, noninvasive method.

METHODS

Thirteen healthy volunteers (the control group) and 20 patients with DLSDs (the DLSD group) underwent low-dose 3D CT of the lumbar spine and pelvis in 3 positions (neutral, maximal trunk flexion, and maximal trunk extension). SI joint motion was calculated by computer processing of the CT images (voxel-based registration). 3D motion of the SI joint was expressed as both 6 df by Euler angles and translations on the coordinate system and a helical axis of rotation. The correlation between joint motion and the cross-sectional area of the trunk muscles was also investigated.

RESULTS

SI joint motion during trunk flexion-extension was minute in healthy volunteers. The mean rotation angles during trunk flexion were 0.07° around the x axis, −0.02° around the y axis, and 0.16° around the z axis. The mean rotation angles during trunk extension were 0.38° around the x axis, −0.08° around the y axis, and 0.08° around the z axis. During trunk flexion-extension, the largest amount of motion occurred around the x axis. In patients with DLSDs, the mean rotation angles during trunk flexion were 0.57° around the x axis, 0.01° around the y axis, and 0.19° around the z axis. The mean rotation angles during trunk extension were 0.68° around the x axis, −0.11° around the y axis, and 0.05° around the z axis. Joint motion in patients with DLSDs was significantly greater, with greater individual difference, than in healthy volunteers. Among patients with DLSDs, women had significantly more motion than men did during trunk extension. SI joint motion was significantly negatively correlated with the cross-sectional area of the trunk muscles during both flexion and extension of the trunk.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors elucidated the mobility and kinematic characteristics of the SI joint in patients with DLSDs compared with healthy volunteers for the first time. This information is useful for spine surgeons because of the recent increase in spinopelvic fusion for the treatment of DLSDs.

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Tsuyoshi Sugiura, Yukitaka Nagamoto, Motoki Iwasaki, Masafumi Kashii, Takashi Kaito, Tsuyoshi Murase, Tetsuya Tomita, Hideki Yoshikawa and Kazuomi Sugamoto

Object

The upper cervical spine is commonly involved in persons with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although 2D measurements have long been used in the evaluation of cervical lesions caused by RA, 2D measurements are limited in their effectiveness for detecting subtle and complex morphological and kinematic changes. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the 3D kinematics of the upper cervical spine in RA and the relationship between 3D morphological changes and decreased segmental rotational motion.

Methods

Twenty-five consecutive patients (2 men and 23 women, mean age 63.5 years, range 42–77 years) with RA (the RA group) and 10 patients (5 men and 5 women, mean age 69.9 years, range 57–82 years) with cervical spondylosis and no involvement of the upper cervical spine (the control group) underwent 3D CT of the cervical spine in 3 positions (neutral, 45° head rotation to the left, and 45° head rotation to the right). The segmental rotation angle from the occiput (Oc) to C-2 was calculated for each participant using a voxel-based registration method, and the 3D destruction of articular facets was quantified using the authors' own parameter, the articular facet index.

Results

The segmental rotation angle was significantly smaller at C1–2 and larger at Oc–C1 in the RA group compared with the control group. The degree of the destruction of the articular facet at C-1 and C-2 correlated with the segmental rotation angle.

Conclusions

In vivo 3D kinematics of the upper cervical spine during head rotation in patients with RA were accurately measured, allowing quantification of the degree of joint destruction for the first time. Joint destruction may play an important role in decreasing segmental motion of the upper cervical spine in RA.

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Yukitaka Nagamoto, Motoki Iwasaki, Tsuyoshi Sugiura, Takahito Fujimori, Yohei Matsuo, Masafumi Kashii, Hironobu Sakaura, Takahiro Ishii, Tsuyoshi Murase, Hideki Yoshikawa and Kazuomi Sugamoto

Object

Cervical laminoplasty is an effective procedure for decompressing the spinal cord at multiple levels, but restriction of neck motion is one of the well-known complications of the procedure. Although many authors have reported on cervical range of motion (ROM) after laminoplasty, they have focused mainly on 2D flexion and extension on lateral radiographs, not on 3D motion (including coupled motion) nor on precise intervertebral motion. The purpose of this study was to clarify the 3D kinematic changes in the cervical spine after laminoplasty performed to treat cervical spondylotic myelopathy.

Methods

Eleven consecutive patients (6 men and 5 women, mean age 68.1 years, age range 57–79 years) with cervical spondylotic myelopathy who had undergone laminoplasty were included in the study. All patients underwent 3D CT of the cervical spine in 5 positions (neutral, 45° head rotation left and right, maximum head flexion, and maximum head extension) using supporting devices. The scans were performed preoperatively and at 6 months after laminoplasty. Segmental ROM from Oc–C1 to C7–T1 was calculated both in flexion-extension and in rotation, using a voxel-based registration method.

Results

Mean C2–7 flexion-extension ROM, equivalent to cervical ROM in all previous studies, was 45.5° ± 7.1° preoperatively and 35.5° ± 8.2° postoperatively, which was a statistically significant 33% decrease. However, mean Oc–T1 flexion-extension ROM, which represented total cervical ROM, was 71.5° ± 8.3° preoperatively and 66.5° ± 8.3° postoperatively, an insignificant 7.0% decrease. In focusing on each motion segment, the authors observed a statistically significant 22.6% decrease in mean segmental ROM at the operated levels during flexion-extension and a statistically insignificant 10.2% decrease during rotation. The most significant decrease was observed at C2–3. Segmental ROM at C2–3 decreased 24.2% during flexion-extension and 21.8% during rotation. However, a statistically insignificant 37.2% increase was observed at the upper cervical spine (Oc–C2) during flexion-extension. The coupling pattern during rotation did not change significantly after laminoplasty.

Conclusions

In this first accurate documentation of 3D segmental kinematic changes after laminoplasty, Oc–T1 ROM, which represented total cervical ROM, did not change significantly during either flexion-extension or rotation by 6 months after laminoplasty despite a significant decrease in C2–7 flexion-extension ROM. This is thought to be partially because of a compensatory increase in segmental ROM at the upper cervical spine (Oc–C2).