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Ming-Kai Hsieh, Fu-Cheng Kao, Wen-Jer Chen, I-Jung Chen, and Sheng-Fen Wang

OBJECTIVE

Spinopelvic parameters, such as the pelvic incidence (PI) angle, sacral slope angle, and pelvic tilt angle, are important anatomical indices for determining the sagittal curvature of the spine and the individual variability of the lumbar lordosis (LL) curve. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of spinopelvic parameters and LL on adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) after short lumbar and lumbosacral fusion for single-level degenerative spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of all short lumbar and lumbosacral fusion surgeries performed between August 2003 and July 2010 for single-level degenerative spondylolisthesis in their orthopedic department.

RESULTS

A total of 30 patients (21 women and 9 men, mean age 64 years) with ASD after lower lumbar or lumbosacral fusion surgery comprised the study group. Thirty matched patients (21 women and 9 men, mean age 63 years) without ASD comprised the control group, according to the following matching criteria: same diagnosis on admission, similar pathologic level (≤ 1 level difference), similar sex, and age. The average follow-up was 6.8 years (range 5–8 years). The spinopelvic parameters had no significant influence on ASD after short spinal fusion.

CONCLUSIONS

Neither the spinopelvic parameters nor a mismatch of PI and LL were significant factors responsible for ASD after short spinal fusion due to single-level degenerative spondylolisthesis.

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Yung-Hsueh Hu, Yu-Cheng Yeh, Chi-Chien Niu, Ming-Kai Hsieh, Tsung-Ting Tsai, Wen-Jer Chen, and Po-Liang Lai

OBJECTIVE

Decreased bone mineral density as measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) has been reported to be associated with cage subsidence following transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). However, DEXA is not often available or routinely performed before surgery. A novel MRI-based vertebral bone quality (VBQ) score has been developed and reported to be correlated with DEXA T-scores. The authors investigated the ability of the VBQ score to predict cage subsidence and other risk factors associated with this complication.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, the authors reviewed the records of patients who had undergone single-level TLIF from March 2014 to October 2015 and had a follow-up of more than 2 years. Cage subsidence was measured as postoperative disc height loss and was graded according to the system proposed by Marchi et al. The MRI-based VBQ score was measured on T1-weighted images. Univariable analysis and multivariable binary logistic regression analysis were performed. Ad hoc analysis with receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to assess the predictive ability of the significant continuous variables. Additional analyses were used to determine the correlations between the VBQ score and T-scores and between the significant continuous variables and the amount of cage subsidence.

RESULTS

Among 242 patients eligible for study inclusion, 111 (45.87%) had cage subsidence after the index operation. Multivariable logistic regression analyses demonstrated that an increased VBQ score (OR 14.615 ± 0.377, p < 0.001), decreased depth ratio (OR 0.011 ± 1.796, p = 0.013), and the use of kidney-shaped cages instead of bullet-shaped cages (OR 2.766 ± 0.358, p = 0.008) were associated with increased cage subsidence. The VBQ score was shown to significantly predict cage subsidence with an accuracy of 85.6%. The VBQ score was found to be moderately correlated with DEXA T-scores of the total hip (r = −0.540, p < 0.001) and the lumbar spine (r = −0.546, p < 0.001). The amount of cage subsidence was moderately correlated with the VBQ score (r = 0.512, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Increased VBQ scores, posteriorly placed cages, and kidney-shaped cages were risk factors for cage subsidence. The VBQ score was shown to be a good predictor of cage subsidence, was moderately correlated with DEXA T-scores for the total hip and lumbar spine, and also had a moderate correlation with the amount of cage subsidence.