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Anthony L. Mikula, Jeremy L. Fogelson, Soliman Oushy, Zachariah W. Pinter, Pierce A. Peters, Kingsley Abode-Iyamah, Arjun S. Sebastian, Brett Freedman, Bradford L. Currier, David W. Polly, and Benjamin D. Elder

OBJECTIVE

Pelvic incidence (PI) is a commonly utilized spinopelvic parameter in the evaluation and treatment of patients with spinal deformity and is believed to be a fixed parameter. However, a fixed PI assumes that there is no motion across the sacroiliac (SI) joint, which has been disputed in recent literature. The objective of this study was to determine if patients with SI joint vacuum sign have a change in PI between the supine and standing positions.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review identified patients with a standing radiograph, supine radiograph, and CT scan encompassing the SI joints within a 6-month period. Patients were grouped according to their SI joints having either no vacuum sign, unilateral vacuum sign, or bilateral vacuum sign. PI was measured by two independent reviewers.

RESULTS

Seventy-three patients were identified with an average age of 66 years and a BMI of 30 kg/m2. Patients with bilateral SI joint vacuum sign (n = 27) had an average absolute change in PI of 7.2° (p < 0.0001) between the standing and supine positions compared to patients with unilateral SI joint vacuum sign (n = 20) who had a change of 5.2° (p = 0.0008), and patients without an SI joint vacuum sign (n = 26) who experienced a change of 4.1° (p = 0.74). ANOVA with post hoc Tukey test showed a statistically significant difference in the change in PI between patients with the bilateral SI joint vacuum sign and those without an SI joint vacuum sign (p = 0.023). The intraclass correlation coefficient between the two reviewers was 0.97 for standing PI and 0.96 for supine PI (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with bilateral SI joint vacuum signs had a change in PI between the standing and supine positions, suggesting there may be increasing motion across the SI joint with significant joint degeneration.

Free access

Anthony L. Mikula, Jeremy L. Fogelson, Soliman Oushy, Zachariah W. Pinter, Pierce A. Peters, Kingsley Abode-Iyamah, Arjun S. Sebastian, Brett Freedman, Bradford L. Currier, David W. Polly, and Benjamin D. Elder

OBJECTIVE

Pelvic incidence (PI) is a commonly utilized spinopelvic parameter in the evaluation and treatment of patients with spinal deformity and is believed to be a fixed parameter. However, a fixed PI assumes that there is no motion across the sacroiliac (SI) joint, which has been disputed in recent literature. The objective of this study was to determine if patients with SI joint vacuum sign have a change in PI between the supine and standing positions.

METHODS

A retrospective chart review identified patients with a standing radiograph, supine radiograph, and CT scan encompassing the SI joints within a 6-month period. Patients were grouped according to their SI joints having either no vacuum sign, unilateral vacuum sign, or bilateral vacuum sign. PI was measured by two independent reviewers.

RESULTS

Seventy-three patients were identified with an average age of 66 years and a BMI of 30 kg/m2. Patients with bilateral SI joint vacuum sign (n = 27) had an average absolute change in PI of 7.2° (p < 0.0001) between the standing and supine positions compared to patients with unilateral SI joint vacuum sign (n = 20) who had a change of 5.2° (p = 0.0008), and patients without an SI joint vacuum sign (n = 26) who experienced a change of 4.1° (p = 0.74). ANOVA with post hoc Tukey test showed a statistically significant difference in the change in PI between patients with the bilateral SI joint vacuum sign and those without an SI joint vacuum sign (p = 0.023). The intraclass correlation coefficient between the two reviewers was 0.97 for standing PI and 0.96 for supine PI (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with bilateral SI joint vacuum signs had a change in PI between the standing and supine positions, suggesting there may be increasing motion across the SI joint with significant joint degeneration.

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Anthony L. Mikula, Nikita Lakomkin, Zach Pennington, Zachariah W. Pinter, Ahmad Nassr, Brett Freedman, Arjun S. Sebastian, Kingsley Abode-Iyamah, Mohamad Bydon, Christopher P. Ames, Jeremy L. Fogelson, and Benjamin D. Elder

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to analyze risk factors and avoidance techniques for proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) and proximal junctional failure (PJF) in the upper thoracic spine with an emphasis on bone mineral density (BMD) as estimated by Hounsfield units (HU).

METHODS

A retrospective chart review identified patients at least 50 years of age who underwent instrumented fusion extending from the pelvis to an upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) between T1 and T6 and had a preoperative CT, pre- and postoperative radiographs, and a minimum follow-up of 12 months. HU were measured in the UIV, the vertebral body cephalad to the UIV (UIV+1), and the L3 and L4 vertebral bodies. Numerous perioperative variables were collected, including basic demographics, smoking and steroid use, preoperative osteoporosis treatment, multiple frailty indices, use of a proximal junctional tether, UIV soft landing, preoperative dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, spinopelvic parameters, UIV screw tip distance to the superior endplate, UIV pedicle screw/pedicle diameter ratio, lumbar lordosis distribution, and postoperative spinopelvic parameters compared with age-adjusted normal values.

RESULTS

Eighty-one patients were included in the study (21 men and 60 women) with a mean (SD) age of 66 years (6.9 years), BMI of 29 (5.5), and follow-up of 38 months (25 months). Spinal fusion constructs at the time of surgery extended from the pelvis to a UIV of T1 (5%), T2 (15%), T3 (25%), T4 (33%), T5 (21%), and T6 (1%). Twenty-seven patients (33%) developed PJK and/or PJF; 21 (26%) had PJK and 15 (19%) had PJF. Variables associated with PJK/PJF with p < 0.05 were included in the multivariable analysis, including HU at the UIV/UIV+1, HU at L3/L4, DXA femoral neck T-score, UIV screw tip distance to the superior endplate, UIV pedicle screw/pedicle diameter ratio, and postoperative lumbar lordosis distribution. Multivariable analysis (area under the curve = 0.77) demonstrated HU at the UIV/UIV+1 to be the only independent predictor of PJK and PJF with an OR of 0.96 (p = 0.005). Patients with < 147 HU (n = 27), 147–195 HU (n = 27), and > 195 HU (n = 27) at the UIV/UIV+1 had PJK/PJF rates of 59%, 33%, and 7%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

In patients with upper thoracic–to-pelvis spinal reconstruction, lower HU at the UIV and UIV+1 were independently associated with PJK and PJF, with an optimal cutoff of 159 HU that maximizes sensitivity and specificity.

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Nikita Lakomkin, Anthony L. Mikula, Zachariah W. Pinter, Elizabeth Wellings, Mohammed Ali Alvi, Kristen M. Scheitler, Zach Pennington, Nathan J. Lee, Brett A. Freedman, Arjun S. Sebastian, Jeremy L. Fogelson, Mohamad Bydon, Michelle J. Clarke, and Benjamin D. Elder

OBJECTIVE

Patients with ankylosing spinal disorders (ASDs), including ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), have been shown to experience significantly increased rates of postoperative complications. Despite this, very few risk stratification tools have been validated for this population. As such, the purpose of this study was to identify predictors of adverse events and mortality in ASD patients undergoing surgery for 3-column fractures.

METHODS

All adult patients with a documented history of AS or DISH who underwent surgery for a traumatic 3-column fracture between 2000 and 2020 were identified. Perioperative variables, including comorbidities, time to diagnosis, and number of fused segments, were collected. Three instruments, including the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), modified frailty index (mFI), and Injury Severity Score (ISS), were computed for each patient. The primary outcomes of interest included 1-year mortality, as well as postoperative complications.

RESULTS

A total of 108 patients were included, with a mean ± SD age of 73 ± 11 years. Of these, 41 (38%) experienced at least 1 postoperative complication and 22 (20.4%) died within 12 months after surgery. When the authors controlled for potential known confounders, the CCI score was significantly associated with postoperative adverse events (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.00–1.42, p = 0.045) and trended toward significance for mortality (OR 1.19, 95% CI 0.97–1.45, p = 0.098). In contrast, mFI score and ISS were not significantly predictive of either outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Complications in spine trauma patients with ASD may be driven by comorbidity burden rather than operative or injury-related factors. The CCI may be a valuable tool for the evaluation of this unique population.