Upper instrumented vertebra to the right of the lowest instrumented vertebra as a predictor of an increase in the main thoracic curve after selective posterior fusion for the thoracolumbar/lumbar curve in Lenke type 5C adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: multicenter study on the relationship between fusion area and surgical outcome

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OBJECTIVE

Unfused main thoracic (MT) curvatures occasionally increase after selective thoracolumbar/lumbar (TL/L) fusion. This study sought to identify the predictors of an unacceptable increase in MT curve (UIMT) after selective posterior fusion (SPF) of the TL/L curve in patients with Lenke type 5C adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

METHODS

Forty-eight consecutive patients (44 females and 4 males, mean age 15.7 ± 2.5 years, range 13–24 years) with Lenke type 5C AIS who underwent SPF of the TL/L curve were analyzed. The novel “Shinshu line” (S-line) was defined as a line connecting the centers of the concave-side pedicles of the upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) and lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV) on preoperative radiographs. The authors established an S-line tilt to the right as S-line positive (S-line+, i.e., the UIV being to the right of the LIV) and compared S-line+ and S-line− groups for thoracic apical vertebral translation (T-AVT) and MT Cobb angle preoperatively, early postoperatively, and at final follow-up. The predictors for T-AVT > 20 mm at final follow-up were evaluated as well. T-AVT > 20 mm was defined as a UIMT.

RESULTS

Among the 48 consecutively treated patients, 26 were S-line+ and 22 were S-line−. At preoperative, early postoperative, and final follow-up a minimum of 2 years later, the mean T-AVT was 12.8 mm (range −9.3 to 32.8 mm), 19.6 mm (range −13.0 to 41.0 mm), and 22.8 mm (range −1.9 to 68.7 mm) in the S-line+ group, and 10.8 mm (range −5.1 to 27.3 mm), 16.2 mm (range −11.7 to 42.1 mm), and 11.0 mm (range −6.3 to 26.9 mm) in the S-line− group, respectively. T-AVT in S-line+ patients was significantly larger than that in S-line− patients at the final follow-up. Multivariate analysis revealed S-line+ (odds ratio [OR] 23.8, p = 0.003) and preoperative MT Cobb angle (OR 7.9, p = 0.001) to be predictors of a UIMT.

CONCLUSIONS

S-line+ was defined as the UIV being to the right of the LIV. T-AVT in the S-line+ group was significantly larger than in the S-line− group at the final follow-up. S-line+ status and larger preoperative MT Cobb angle were independent predictors of a UIMT after SPF for the TL/L curve in patients with Lenke type 5C AIS. Surgeons should consider changing the UIV and/or LIV in patients exhibiting S-line+ during preoperative planning to avoid a possible increase in MT curve and revision surgery.

ABBREVIATIONS AIS = adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; CSVL = central sacral vertical line; LEV = lower end vertebra; LIV = lowest instrumented vertebra; MT = main thoracic; OR = odds ratio; PA = posteroanterior; PT = proximal thoracic; S-line = Shinshu line; S-line+ = S-line positive tilt; S-line− = S-line negative tilt; SPF = selective posterior fusion; SRS = Scoliosis Research Society; T-AVT = thoracic apical vertebral translation; TK = thoracic kyphosis; TL/L = thoracolumbar/lumbar; UEV = upper end vertebra; UIMT = unacceptable increase in MT curve; UIV = upper instrumented vertebra.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

Correspondence Jun Takahashi: Shinshu University School of Medicine, Nagano, Japan. jtaka@shinshu-u.ac.jp.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online August 23, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2019.5.SPINE181469.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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