Effect of segmental lordosis on the clinical outcomes of 2-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion for 2-level degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis

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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.

ABBREVIATIONS DS = degenerative spondylolisthesis; JOA = Japanese Orthopaedic Association; LL = lumbar lordosis; PI = pelvic incidence; PLIF = posterior lumbar interbody fusion; PT = pelvic tilt; SL = segmental lordosis; SS = sacral slope; SVA = sagittal vertical axis; TK = thoracic kyphosis; Δ = amount of change from preoperative to postoperative.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

Correspondence Yoshifumi Takahashi: Osaka Rosai Hospital, Osaka, Japan. takapati.016@gmail.com.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online July 12, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2019.4.SPINE181463.Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.
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