Publications by authors named "Frank Schwab"

500 Publications

Lateral Thoracolumbar Listhesis as an Independent Predictor of Disability in Adult Scoliosis Patients: Multivariable Assessment Before and After Surgical Realignment.

Neurosurgery 2021 Sep 11. Epub 2021 Sep 11.

Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Background: Lateral (ie, coronal) vertebral listhesis may contribute to disability in adult scoliosis patients.

Objective: To assess for a correlation between lateral listhesis and disability among patients with adult scoliosis.

Methods: This was a retrospective multi-center analysis of prospectively collected data. Patients eligible for a minimum of 2-yr follow-up and with coronal plane deformity (defined as maximum Cobb angle ≥20º) were included (n = 724). Outcome measures were Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and leg pain numeric scale rating. Lateral thoracolumbar listhesis was measured as the maximum vertebral listhesis as a percent of the superior endplate across T1-L5 levels. Linear and logistic regression was utilized, as appropriate. Multivariable analyses adjusted for demographics, comorbidities, surgical invasiveness, maximum Cobb angle, and T1-PA. Minimally clinically important difference (MCID) in ODI was defined as 12.8.

Results: In total, 724 adult patients were assessed. The mean baseline maximum lateral thoracolumbar listhesis was 18.3% (standard deviation 9.7%). The optimal statistical grouping for lateral listhesis was empirically determined to be none/mild (<6.7%), moderate (6.7-15.4%), and severe (≥15.4%). In multivariable analysis, listhesis of moderate and severe vs none/mild was associated with worse baseline ODI (none/mild = 33.7; moderate = 41.6; severe = 43.9; P < .001 for both comparisons) and leg pain NSR (none/mild = 2.9, moderate = 4.0, severe = 5.1, P < .05). Resolution of severe lateral listhesis to none/mild was independently associated with increased likelihood of reaching MCID in ODI at 2 yr postoperatively (odds ratio 2.1 95% confidence interval 1.2-3.7, P = .0097).

Conclusion: Lateral thoracolumbar listhesis is associated with worse baseline disability among adult scoliosis patients. Resolution of severe lateral listhesis following deformity correction was independently associated with increased likelihood of reaching MCID in ODI at 2-yr follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuros/nyab356DOI Listing
September 2021

The impact of preoperative supine radiographs on surgical strategy in adult spinal deformity.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Sep 10:1-7. Epub 2021 Sep 10.

Objective: Preoperative planning for adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery is essential to prepare the surgical team and consistently obtain postoperative alignment goals. Positional imaging may allow the surgeon to evaluate spinal flexibility and anticipate the need for more invasive techniques. The purpose of this study was to determine whether spine flexibility, defined by the change in alignment between supine and standing imaging, is associated with the need for an osteotomy in ASD surgery.

Methods: A single-center, dual-surgeon retrospective analysis was performed of adult patients with ASD who underwent correction of a thoracolumbar deformity between 2014 and 2018 (pelvis to upper instrumented vertebra between L1 and T9). Patients were stratified into osteotomy (Ost) and no-osteotomy (NOst) cohorts according to whether an osteotomy was performed (Schwab grade 2 or higher). Demographic, surgical, and radiographic parameters were compared. The sagittal correction from intraoperative prone positioning alone (sagittal flexibility percentage [Sflex%]) was assessed by comparing the change in lumbar lordosis (LL) between preoperative supine to standing radiographs and preoperative to postoperative alignment.

Results: Demographics and preoperative and postoperative sagittal alignment were similar between the Ost (n = 60, 65.9%) and NOst (n = 31, 34.1%) cohorts (p > 0.05). Of all Ost patients, 71.7% had a grade 2 osteotomy (mean 3 per patient), 21.7% had a grade 3 osteotomy, and 12.5% underwent both grade 3 and grade 2 osteotomies. Postoperatively, the NOst and Ost cohorts had similar pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis (PI-LL) mismatch (mean PI-LL 5.2° vs 1.2°; p = 0.205). Correction obtained through positioning (Sflex%) was significantly lower for in the osteotomy cohort (38.0% vs 76.3%, p = 0.004). A threshold of Sflex% < 70% predicted the need for osteotomy at a sensitivity of 78%, specificity of 56%, and positive predictive value of 77%.

Conclusions: The flexibility of the spine is quantitatively related to the use of an osteotomy. Prospective studies are needed to determine thresholds that may be used to standardize surgical decision-making in ASD surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.3.SPINE201739DOI Listing
September 2021

Sagittal age-adjusted score (SAAS) for adult spinal deformity (ASD) more effectively predicts surgical outcomes and proximal junctional kyphosis than previous classifications.

Spine Deform 2021 Aug 30. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

Department of Orthopedics, Hospital for Special Surgery, 525 E 71st St., Belaire 4E, New York, NY, 10021, USA.

Background: Several methodologies have been proposed to determine ideal ASD sagittal spinopelvic alignment (SRS-Schwab classification) global alignment and proportion (GAP) score, patient age-adjusted alignment). A recent study revealed the ability and limitations of these methodologies to predict PJK. The aim of the study was to develop a new approach, inspired by SRS classification, GAP score, and age-alignment to improve the evaluation of the sagittal plane.

Method: A multi-center ASD database was retrospectively evaluated for surgically treated ASD patients with complete fusion of the lumbar spine, and minimum 2 year follow-up. The Sagittal age-adjusted score (SAAS) methodology was created by assigning numerical values to the difference between each patient's postoperative sagittal alignment and ideal alignment defined by previously reported age generational norms for PI-LL, PT, and TPA. Postoperative HRQOL and PJK severity between each SAAS categories were evaluated.

Results: 409 of 667 (61.3%) patients meeting inclusion criteria were evaluated. At 2 year SAAS score showed that 27.0% of the patients were under-corrected, 51.7% over-corrected, and 21.3% matched their age-adjusted target. SAAS score increased as PJK worsened (from SAAS = 0.2 for no-PJK, to 4.0 for PJF, p < 0.001). Post-operatively, HRQOL differences between SAAS groups included ODI, SRS pain, and SRS total.

Conclusion: Inspired by SRS classification, the concept of the GAP score, and age-adjusted alignment targets, the results demonstrated significant association with PJK and patient reported outcomes. With a lower rate of failure and better HRQOL, the SAAS seems to represent a "sweet spot" to optimize HRQOL while mitigating the risk of mechanical complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00397-1DOI Listing
August 2021

The Scoli-RISK 1 results of lower extremity motor function 5 years after complex adult spinal deformity surgery.

Eur Spine J 2021 Aug 30. Epub 2021 Aug 30.

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Introduction: Neurologic complications after complex adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery are important, yet outcomes are heterogeneously reported, and long-term follow-up of actual lower extremity motor function is unknown.

Objective: To prospectively evaluate lower extremity motor function scores (LEMS) before and at 5 years after surgical correction of complex ASD.

Design: Retrospective analysis of a prospective, multicenter, international observational study.

Methods: The Scoli-RISK-1 study enrolled 272 ASD patients undergoing surgery from 15 centers around the world. Inclusion criteria were Cobb angle of > 80°, corrective osteotomy for congenital or revision deformity and/or 3-column osteotomy. Among patients with 5-year follow-up, comparisons of LEMS to baseline and within each follow-up period were made via documented neurologic exams on each patient.

Results: Seventy-seven (28.3%) patients had 5-year follow-up. Among these 77 patients with 5-year follow-up, rates of postoperative LEMS deterioration were: 14.3% hospital discharge, 10.7% at 6 weeks, 6.5% at 6 months, 9.5% at 2 years and 9.3% at 5 years postoperative. During the 2-5 year window, while mean LEMS did not change significantly (-0.5, p = 0.442), eight (11.1%) patients deteriorated (of which 3 were ≥ 4 motor points), and six (8.3%) patients improved (of which 2 were ≥ 4 points). Of the 14 neurologic complications, four (28.6%) were surgery-related, three of which required reoperation. While mean LEMS were not impacted in patients with a major surgery-related complication, mean LEMS were significantly lower in patients with neurologic surgery-related complications at discharge (p = 0.041) and 6 months (p = 0.008) between the two groups as well as the change from baseline to 5 years (p = 0.041).

Conclusions: In 77 patients undergoing complex ASD surgery with 5-year follow-up, while mean LEMS did not change from 2 to 5 years, subtle neurologic changes occurred in approximately 1 in 5 patients (11.1% deteriorated; 8.3% improved). Major surgery-related complication did not result in decreased LEMS; however, those with neurologic surgery-related complications continued to have decreased lower extremity motor function at 5 years postoperative. These results underscore the importance of long-term follow-up to 5 years, using individual motor scores rather than group averages, and comparing outcomes to both baseline and last follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-021-06969-zDOI Listing
August 2021

Global coronal decompensation and adult spinal deformity surgery: comparison of upper-thoracic versus lower-thoracic proximal fixation for long fusions.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 27:1-13. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Deterioration of global coronal alignment (GCA) may be associated with worse outcomes after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The impact of fusion length and upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) selection on patients with this complication is unclear. The authors' objective was to compare outcomes between long sacropelvic fusion with upper-thoracic (UT) UIV and those with lower-thoracic (LT) UIV in patients with worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of a prospective multicenter database of consecutive ASD patients. Index operations involved instrumented fusion from sacropelvis to thoracic spine. Global coronal deterioration was defined as worsening GCA ≥ 1 cm from preoperation to 2-year follow-up.

Results: Of 875 potentially eligible patients, 560 (64%) had complete 2-year follow-up data, of which 144 (25.7%) demonstrated worse GCA at 2-year postoperative follow-up (35.4% of UT patients vs 64.6% of LT patients). At baseline, UT patients were younger (61.6 ± 9.9 vs 64.5 ± 8.6 years, p = 0.008), a greater percentage of UT patients had osteoporosis (35.3% vs 16.1%, p = 0.009), and UT patients had worse scoliosis (51.9° ± 22.5° vs 32.5° ± 16.3°, p < 0.001). Index operations were comparable, except UT patients had longer fusions (16.4 ± 0.9 vs 9.7 ± 1.2 levels, p < 0.001) and operative duration (8.6 ± 3.2 vs 7.6 ± 3.0 hours, p = 0.023). At 2-year follow-up, global coronal deterioration averaged 2.7 ± 1.4 cm (1.9 to 4.6 cm, p < 0.001), scoliosis improved (39.3° ± 20.8° to 18.0° ± 14.8°, p < 0.001), and sagittal spinopelvic alignment improved significantly in all patients. UT patients maintained smaller positive C7 sagittal vertical axis (2.7 ± 5.7 vs 4.7 ± 5.7 cm, p = 0.014). Postoperative 2-year health-related quality of life (HRQL) significantly improved from baseline for all patients. HRQL comparisons demonstrated that UT patients had worse Scoliosis Research Society-22r (SRS-22r) Activity (3.2 ± 1.0 vs 3.6 ± 0.8, p = 0.040) and SRS-22r Satisfaction (3.9 ± 1.1 vs 4.3 ± 0.8, p = 0.021) scores. Also, fewer UT patients improved by ≥ 1 minimal clinically important difference in numerical rating scale scores for leg pain (41.3% vs 62.7%, p = 0.020). Comparable percentages of UT and LT patients had complications (208 total, including 53 reoperations, 77 major complications, and 78 minor complications), but the percentage of reoperated patients was higher among UT patients (35.3% vs 18.3%, p = 0.023). UT patients had higher reoperation rates of rod fracture (13.7% vs 2.2%, p = 0.006) and pseudarthrosis (7.8% vs 1.1%, p = 0.006) but not proximal junctional kyphosis (9.8% vs 8.6%, p = 0.810).

Conclusions: In ASD patients with worse 2-year GCA after long sacropelvic fusion, UT UIV was associated with worse 2-year HRQL compared with LT UIV. This may suggest that residual global coronal malalignment is clinically less tolerated in ASD patients with longer fusion to the proximal thoracic spine. These results may inform operative planning and improve patient counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.2.SPINE201938DOI Listing
August 2021

Orthopedic disease burden in adult patients with symptomatic lumbar scoliosis: results from a prospective multicenter study.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 20:1-9. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Objective: Although the health impact of adult symptomatic lumbar scoliosis (ASLS) is substantial, these patients often have other orthopedic problems that have not been previously quantified. The objective of this study was to assess disease burden of other orthopedic conditions in patients with ASLS based on a retrospective review of a prospective multicenter cohort.

Methods: The ASLS-1 study is an NIH-sponsored prospective multicenter study designed to assess operative versus nonoperative treatment for ASLS. Patients were 40-80 years old with ASLS, defined as a lumbar coronal Cobb angle ≥ 30° and Oswestry Disability Index ≥ 20, or Scoliosis Research Society-22 questionnaire score ≤ 4.0 in pain, function, and/or self-image domains. Nonthoracolumbar orthopedic events, defined as fractures and other orthopedic conditions receiving surgical treatment, were assessed from enrollment to the 4-year follow-up.

Results: Two hundred eighty-six patients (mean age 60.3 years, 90% women) were enrolled, with 173 operative and 113 nonoperative patients, and 81% with 4-year follow-up data. At a mean (± SD) follow-up of 3.8 ± 0.9 years, 104 nonthoracolumbar orthopedic events were reported, affecting 69 patients (24.1%). The most common events were arthroplasty (n = 38), fracture (n = 25), joint ligament/cartilage repair (n = 13), and cervical decompression/fusion (n = 7). Based on the final adjusted model, patients with a nonthoracolumbar orthopedic event were older (HR 1.44 per decade, 95% CI 1.07-1.94), more likely to have a history of tobacco use (HR 1.63, 95% CI 1.00-2.66), and had worse baseline leg pain scores (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01-1.19).

Conclusions: Patients with ASLS have high orthopedic disease burden, with almost 25% having a fracture or nonthoracolumbar orthopedic condition requiring surgical treatment during the mean 3.8 years following enrollment. Comparisons with previous studies suggest that the rate of total knee arthroplasty was considerably greater and the rates of total hip arthroplasty were at least as high in the ASLS-1 cohort compared with the similarly aged general US population. These conditions may further impact health-related quality of life and outcomes assessments of both nonoperative and operative treatment approaches in patients with ASLS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.1.SPINE201911DOI Listing
August 2021

Multicenter assessment of outcomes and complications associated with transforaminal versus anterior lumbar interbody fusion for fractional curve correction.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Aug 20:1-14. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

18Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Objective: Few studies have compared fractional curve correction after long fusion between transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) for adult symptomatic thoracolumbar/lumbar scoliosis (ASLS). The objective of this study was to compare fractional correction, health-related quality of life (HRQL), and complications associated with L4-S1 TLIF versus those of ALIF as an operative treatment of ASLS.

Methods: The authors retrospectively analyzed a prospective multicenter adult spinal deformity database. Inclusion required a fractional curve ≥ 10°, a thoracolumbar/lumbar curve ≥ 30°, index TLIF or ALIF performed at L4-5 and/or L5-S1, and a minimum 2-year follow-up. TLIF and ALIF patients were propensity matched according to the number and type of interbody fusion at L4-S1.

Results: Of 135 potentially eligible consecutive patients, 106 (78.5%) achieved the minimum 2-year follow-up (mean ± SD age 60.6 ± 9.3 years, 85% women, 44.3% underwent TLIF, and 55.7% underwent ALIF). Index operations had mean ± SD 12.2 ± 3.6 posterior levels, 86.6% of patients underwent iliac fixation, 67.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L4-5, and 84.0% underwent TLIF/ALIF at L5-S1. Compared with TLIF patients, ALIF patients had greater cage height (10.9 ± 2.1 mm for TLIF patients vs 14.5 ± 3.0 mm for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and lordosis (6.3° ± 1.6° for TLIF patients vs 17.0° ± 9.9° for ALIF patients, p = 0.001) and longer operative duration (6.7 ± 1.5 hours for TLIF patients vs 8.9 ± 2.5 hours for ALIF patients, p < 0.001). In all patients, final alignment improved significantly in terms of the fractional curve (20.2° ± 7.0° to 6.9° ± 5.2°), maximum coronal Cobb angle (55.0° ± 14.8° to 23.9° ± 14.3°), C7 sagittal vertical axis (5.1 ± 6.2 cm to 2.3 ± 5.4 cm), pelvic tilt (24.6° ± 8.1° to 22.7° ± 9.5°), and lumbar lordosis (32.3° ± 18.8° to 51.4° ± 14.1°) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated comparable fractional correction (-13.6° ± 6.7° for TLIF patients vs -13.6° ± 8.1° for ALIF patients, p = 0.982). In all patients, final HRQL improved significantly in terms of Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score (42.4 ± 16.3 to 24.2 ± 19.9), physical component summary (PCS) score of the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (32.6 ± 9.3 to 41.3 ± 11.7), and Scoliosis Research Society-22r score (2.9 ± 0.6 to 3.7 ± 0.7) (all p < 0.05). Matched analysis demonstrated worse ODI (30.9 ± 21.1 for TLIF patients vs 17.9 ± 17.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.017) and PCS (38.3 ± 12.0 for TLIF patients vs 45.3 ± 10.1 for ALIF patients, p = 0.020) scores for TLIF patients at the last follow-up (despite no differences in these parameters at baseline). The rates of total complications were similar (76.6% for TLIF patients vs 71.2% for ALIF patients, p = 0.530), but significantly more TLIF patients had rod fracture (28.6% of TLIF patients vs 7.1% of ALIF patients, p = 0.036). Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that a 1-mm increase in L4-5 TLIF cage height led to a 2.2° reduction in L4 coronal tilt (p = 0.011), and a 1° increase in L5-S1 ALIF cage lordosis led to a 0.4° increase in L5-S1 segmental lordosis (p = 0.045).

Conclusions: Operative treatment of ASLS with L4-S1 TLIF versus ALIF demonstrated comparable mean fractional curve correction (66.7% vs 64.8%), despite use of significantly larger, more lordotic ALIF cages. TLIF cage height had a significant impact on leveling L4 coronal tilt, whereas ALIF cage lordosis had a significant impact on restoration of lumbosacral lordosis. The advantages of TLIF may include reduced operative duration and hospitalization; however, associated HRQL was inferior and more rod fractures were detected in the TLIF patients included in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.11.SPINE201915DOI Listing
August 2021

Does Achieving Global Spinal Alignment Lead to Higher Patient Satisfaction and Lower Disability in Adult Spinal Deformity?

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Aug;46(16):1105-1110

Spine service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY.

Study Design: Multicenter retrospective review of prospective database.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate potential associations between postoperative alignment and satisfaction.

Summary Of Background Data: Achieving high satisfaction is the main goal of any treatment, including adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. Despite being one of the key elements, literature is sparse regarding postoperative factors influencing patient satisfaction.

Methods: ASD patients with 2-year follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. Patients without revision after the index procedure were stratified according to deformity type: sagittal (T1 pelvic angle >22°), coronal (C7 plumb line [C7PL] >5 cm or MaxCobb >50°), or mixed. Bivariate correlation between satisfaction and postoperative data was conducted on the entire cohort as well as by type of preoperative deformity. Multivariate regression controlling for pre-op alignment and demographic information was used to identify independent predictors of 2Y satisfaction.

Results: A total of 509 patients were included in the analysis (58.7 ± 14.8, 80% females). The quality of life significantly improved between pre- and 2-year (ΔOswestry Disability Index [ODI]: 17.6, p < 0.001). At 2 years, SRS22 satisfaction was 4.27 ± 0.89 (median 4.5). Significant associations were found between satisfaction and disability (ODI, r = -0.50) and global coronal (C7PL r = -0.15) and sagittal (sagittal vertical axis [SVA], r = -0.10) alignment (all p < 0.01) but not with the coronal clavicle angle. Stratification by preoperative deformity revealed significant associations between satisfaction and SVA for sagittal deformity only, C7PL and MaxCobb for coronal only, and C7PL for combined deformity. In the multivariate analysis controlling for demographic and pre-op deformity, 2-year ODI and 2-year C7PL were independent predictors of satisfaction. Multilinear regression demonstrated 2-year SVA, pre-op ODI and patient's age were the independent predictors 2-year ODI.

Conclusion: The ability to restore global alignment depends on the severity of the preoperative deformity as well as the correction of the main aspect of the deformity. Achieving global coronal and sagittal alignment is an independent predictor of both satisfaction and disability at 2 years post-op. Patients who continue to be disabled are also not satisfied.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004002DOI Listing
August 2021

Increasing Cost Efficiency in Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: Identifying Predictors of Lower Total Costs.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Aug 13. Epub 2021 Aug 13.

Division of Spinal Surgery/Departments of Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery, NYU Medical Center, NY Spine Institute, New York, NY, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, KY, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, WA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Baylor Scoliosis Center, Dallas, Texas, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD Department of Spine Surgery, Denver International Spine Clinic, Presbyterian St. Luke's/Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, Colorado. Department of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA.

Study Design: Retrospective study of a prospective multicenter database.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of lower total surgery costs at 3 years for Adult Spinal Deformity (ASD) patients.

Summary Of Background Data: ASD surgery involves complex deformity correction.

Methods: Inclusion criteria: surgical ASD (scoliosis≥20°, SVA≥5 cm, PT≥25°, or thoracic kyphosis ≥60°) patients >18 years. Total costs for surgery were calculated using the PearlDiver database. Cost per quality adjusted life year was assessed. A Conditional Variable Importance Table used non-replacement sampling set of 20,000 Conditional Inference trees to identify top factors associated with lower cost surgery for low (LSVA), moderate (MSVA), and high (HSVA) SRS Schwab SVA grades.

Results: 316/322 ASD patients met inclusion criteria. At 3Y follow up, the potential cost of ASD surgery ranged from $57,606.88 to $116,312.54. The average costs of surgery at 3 years was found to be $72,947.87, with no significant difference in costs between deformity groups (p > 0.05). There were 152 LSVA patients, 53 MSVA patients, and 111 HSVA patients. For all patients, the top predictors of lower costs were frailty scores <0.19, BL SRS Activity >1.5, baseline (BL) ODI <50 (all p < 0.05). For LSVA patients, no history of osteoporosis, SRS Activity scores >1.5, age <64, were the top predictors of lower costs (all p < 0.05). Among MSVA patients, ASD invasiveness scores <94.16, no past history of cancer, and frailty scores <0.3 trended towards lower total costs (p = 0.071, p = 0.210). For HSVA, no history of smoking and BMI <27.8 trended towards lower costs (both p = 0.060).

Conclusions: ASD surgery has the potential for improved cost efficiency, as costs ranged from $57,606.88 to $116,312.54. Predictors of lower costs included higher baseline SRS activity, decreased frailty, and not having depression. Additionally, predictors of lower costs were identified for different baseline deformity profiles, allowing for the optimization of cost efficiency for all patients.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004201DOI Listing
August 2021

Examination of Adult Spinal Deformity Patients Undergoing Surgery with Implanted Spinal Cord Stimulators and Intrathecal Pumps.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jul 23. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Orthopaedics, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI Brown University, Providence, RI Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA Department of Orthopedics, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York, NY University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA Duke University, Durham, NC Washington University, St. Louis, MO University of California-Davis, Sacramento, CA Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Louisville, KY Scripp's Clinic, La Jolla, CA Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD University of Calgary Spine Program, University of Calgary, Alberta Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Baylor Scoliosis Center, Dallas, TX University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, KS Denver International Spine Center, Denver, CO University of California-San Francisco, CA Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, WA.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study of a prospectively collected multi-center database of adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients.

Objective: We hypothesized that patients undergoing ASD surgery with and without previous SCS/ITP would exhibit increased complication rates but comparable improvement in HRQOL.

Summary Of Background Data: ASD patients sometimes seek pain management with spinal cord stimulators (SCS) or intrathecal medication pumps (ITP) prior to spinal deformity correction. Few studies have examined outcomes in this patient population.

Methods: Patients undergoing ASD surgery and eligible for 2-year follow-up were included. Pre-operative radiographs were reviewed for the presence of SCS/ITP. Outcomes included complications, ODI, SF-36 MCS, and SRS-22r. Propensity score matching was utilized.

Results: In total, out of 1,034 eligible ASD patients, a propensity score-matched cohort of 60 patients (30 with SCS/ITP, 30 controls) was developed. SCS/ITP were removed intra-operatively in most patients (56.7%, n = 17). The overall complication rate was 80.0% versus 76.7% for SCS/ITP versus control (p > 0.2), with similarly non-significant differences for intraoperative and infection complications (all p > 0.2). ODI was significantly higher among patients with SCS/ITP at baseline (59.2 versus 47.6, p = 0.0057) and at 2-year follow-up (44.4 versus 27.7, p = 0.0295). The magnitude of improvement, however, did not significantly differ (p = 0.45). Similar results were observed for SRS-22r pain domain. Satisfaction did not differ between groups at either baseline or follow-up (p > 0.2). No significant difference was observed in the proportion of patients with SCS/ITP versus control reaching MCID in ODI (47.6% versus 60.9%, p = 0.38). Narcotic usage was more common among patients with SCS/ITP at both baseline and follow-up (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: ASD patients undergoing surgery with SCS/ITP exhibited worse preoperative and post-operative ODI and SRS-22r pain domain; however, the mean improvement in outcome scores was not significantly different from patients without stimulators or pumps. No significant differences in complications were observed between patients with versus without SCS/ITP.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004176DOI Listing
July 2021

Outcomes of Patients With Parkinson Disease Undergoing Cervical Spine Surgery for Radiculopathy and Myelopathy With Minimum 2-Year Follow-up.

Clin Spine Surg 2021 Jul 21. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital Spine Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY.

Study Design: This was a retrospective cohort analysis.

Objective: To identify the impact of Parkinson disease (PD) on 2-year postoperative outcomes following cervical spine surgery (CSS).

Summary Of Background Data: (PD) patients are prone to spine malalignment and surgical interventions, yet little is known regarding outcomes of CSS among PD patients.

Materials And Methods: All patients from the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System with cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy who underwent CSS were included; among these, those with PD were identified. PD and non-PD patients (n=64 each) were 1:1 propensity score-matched by age, sex, race, surgical approach, and Deyo-Charlson Comorbidity Index (DCCI). Demographics, hospital-related parameters, and adverse postoperative outcomes were compared between cohorts. Logistic regression identified predictive factors for outcomes.

Results: Overall, patient demographics were comparable between cohorts, except that DCCI was higher in PD patients (1.28 vs. 0.67, P=0.028). PD patients had lengthier mean hospital stays than non-PD patients (6.4 vs. 4.1 d, P=0.046). PD patients also incurred comparable total hospital expenses ($69,565 vs. $57,388, P=0.248). Individual medical complication rates were comparable between cohorts; though PD patients had higher rates of postoperative altered mental status (4.7% vs. 0%, P=0.08) and acute renal failure (10.9% vs. 3.1%, P=0.084), these differences were not significant. Yet, PD patients experienced higher rates of overall medical complications (35.9% vs. 18.8%, P=0.029). PD patients had comparable rates of individual and overall surgical complications. The PD cohort underwent higher reoperation rates (15.6% vs. 7.8%, P=0.169) compared with non-PD patients, though this difference was not significant. Of note, PD was not a significant predictor of overall 2-year complications (odds ratio=1.57, P=0.268) or reoperations (odds ratio=2.03, P=0.251).

Conclusion: Overall medical complication rates were higher in patients with PD, while individual medical complications as well as surgical complication and reoperation rates after elective CSS were similar in patients with and without PD, though PD patients required longer hospital stays. Importantly, a baseline diagnosis of PD was not significantly associated with adverse two-year medical and surgical complications. This data may improve counseling and risk-stratification for PD patients before CSS.

Level Of Evidence: Level III.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BSD.0000000000001233DOI Listing
July 2021

Prevalence of Cannabidiol Use in Patients With Spine Complaints: Results of an Anonymous Survey.

Int J Spine Surg 2021 Aug 20;15(4):663-668. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

Hospital for Special Surgery, Spine Service, New York, New York.

Background: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis derivative that has been popularized as a medicinal product with analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Given the anecdotal observations that several patients have reported use of CBD for spine-related pain, this study was designed to characterize CBD consumption patterns and perceived effects in patients with spine-related complaints.

Methods: The study design was a cross-sectional survey. Over a 4-week period, an anonymous paper survey was administered to all patients presenting for evaluation by 1 of 9 spine surgeons at a single institution. Surveys were given upon registration for the office visit and collected by the office manager or nurse before evaluation by the surgeon. Patients were included regardless of surgical status (ie, preoperative, postoperative, or nonoperative) or region of pathology (lumbar, thoracic, or cervical). The survey consisted of multiple-choice questions on patient patterns of CBD use.

Results: Out of 300 surveys, 214 (71%) were completed. CBD use for spine-related pain was reported by 54 (25.2%) patients. CBD was initially used for potential relief of back pain (66.7%), neck pain (37.0%), leg pain (35.2%), and/or arm pain (9.3%). Users also sought improvements in insomnia (25.9%) and mood (18.5%). Oil was the most popular formulation (64.8%). CBD was most often consumed 2-5 times (40.7%) or 6-10 times (31.5%) per week. The most common source of initial recommendation for CBD was friends or family (75.9%). Reported benefits were pain relief (46.3%), improved sleep (33.3%), and reduced anxiety (20.4%); however, 24.1% of patients reported no benefit from CBD use. The most reported side effect was fatigue (7.4%). Most users (63.0%) would recommend CBD to a friend for pain relief.

Conclusion: CBD is already used by many patients, and further high-quality research on this supplement is essential.

Level Of Evidence: 4.

Clinical Relevance: CBD is a commonly used by spine patients as an off label treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14444/8087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8375682PMC
August 2021

Redefining cervical spine deformity classification through novel cutoffs: An assessment of the relationship between radiographic parameters and functional neurological outcomes.

J Craniovertebr Junction Spine 2021 Apr-Jun;12(2):157-164. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Spine Surgery, Denver International Spine Center, Presbyterian St. Luke's/Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Purpose: The aim is to investigate the relationship between cervical parameters and the modified Japanese Orthopedic Association scale (mJOA).

Materials And Methods: Surgical adult cervical deformity (CD) patients were included in this retrospective analysis. After determining data followed a parametric distribution through the Shapiro-Wilk Normality ( = 0.15, > 0.05), Pearson correlations were run for radiographic parameters and mJOA. For significant correlations, logistic regressions were performed to determine a threshold of radiographic measures for which the correlation with mJOA scores was most significant. mJOA score of 14 and <12 reported cut-off values for moderate (M) and severe (S) disability. New modifiers were compared to an existing classification using Spearman's rho and logistic regression analyses to predict outcomes up to 2 years.

Results: A total of 123 CD patients were included (60.5 years, 65%F, 29.1 kg/m). For significant baseline factors from Pearson correlations, the following thresholds were predicted: MGS (M:-12 to-9° and 0°-19°, = 0.020; S: >19° and <-12°, χ= 4.291, = 0.036), TS-CL (M: 26°to 45°, = 0.201; S: >45°, χ= 7.8, = 0.005), CL (M:-21° to 3°, χ= 8.947, = 0.004; S: <-21°, χ= 9.3, = 0.009), C2-T3 (M: -35° to -25°, χ= 5.485, = 0.046; S: <-35°, χ= 4.1, = 0.041), C2 Slope (M: 33° to 49°, = 0.122; S: >49°, χ= 5.7, = 0.008), and Frailty (Mild: 0.18-0.27, = 0.129; Severe: >0.27, = 0.002). Compared to existing Ames- International Spine Study Group classification, the novel thresholds demonstrated significant predictive value for reoperation and mortality up to 2 years.

Conclusions: Collectively, these radiographic values can be utilized in refining existing classifications and developing collective understanding of severity and surgical targets in corrective surgery for adult CD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/jcvjs.jcvjs_22_21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8214235PMC
June 2021

Not Frail and Elderly: How Invasive Can We Go In This Different Type of Adult Spinal Deformity Patient?

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Division of Spinal Surgery/Departments of Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery, NYU Medical Center, NY Spine Institute, New York, NY, USA UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, New York, NY Department of Orthopaedics, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, SUNY Downstate, New York, NY.

Study Design: Retrospective review of a single-center spine database.

Objective: Investigate the intersections of chronological age and physiological age via frailty to determine the influence of surgical invasiveness on patient outcomes.

Summary Of Background Data: Frailty is a well-established factor in preoperative risk stratification and prediction of postoperative outcomes. The surgical profile of operative adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients who present as elderly and not frail has yet to be investigated. Our aim was to examine the surgical profile and outcomes of ASD patients who were not frail and elderly.

Methods: Included: ASD patients≥18 years old, ≥4 levels fused, with baseline(BL) and follow up data. Patients were categorized by ASD frailty index: Not Frail[NF], Frail[F], Severely Frail [SF]. An elderly patient was defined as ≥70 years. Patients were grouped into NF/elderly and F/elderly. SRS-Schwab modifiers were assessed at baseline and 1-year(0, +, ++). Logistic regression analysis assessed the relationship between increasing invasiveness, no reoperations, or major complications, and improvement in SRS-Schwab modifiers[Good Outcome]. Decision tree analysis assessed thresholds for an invasiveness risk/benefit cutoff point.

Results: 598 ASD pts included(55.3yrs, 59.7%F, 28.3 kg/m2). 29.8% of patients were above age 70. At baseline, 51.3% of patients were NF, 37.5% F, and 11.2% SF. 66(11%) of patients were NF and elderly. 24.2% of NF-Elderly patients improved in SRS-Schwab by 1-year and had no reoperation or complication postoperatively. Binary regression analysis found a relationship between worsening SRS-Schwab, postop complication, and reoperation with invasiveness score(OR: 1.056[1.013-1.102], p = 0.011). Risk/benefit cut-off was 10(p = 0.004). Patients below this threshold were 7.9[2.2-28.4] times more likely to have a Good Outcome. 156 patients were elderly and F/SF with 16.7% having Good Outcome, with a risk/benefit cut-off point of <8 (4.4[2.2-9.0], p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Frailty status impacted the balance of surgical invasiveness relative to operative risk in an inverse manner, while the opposite was seen amongst elderly patients with a frailty status less than their chronologic age. Surgeons should perhaps consider incorporation of frailty status over age status when determining realignment plans in patients of advanced age.Level of Evidence: ???
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004148DOI Listing
June 2021

Improvement in some Ames-ISSG cervical deformity classification modifier grades may correlate with clinical improvement.

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Jul 21;89:297-304. Epub 2021 May 21.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

This retrospective cohort study describes adult cervical deformity(ACD) patients with Ames-ACD classification at baseline(BL) and 1-year post-operatively and assesses the relationship of improvement in Ames modifiers with clinical outcomes. Patients ≥ 18yrs with BL and post-op(1-year) radiographs were included. Patients were categorized with Ames classification by primary deformity descriptors (C = cervical; CT = cervicothoracic junction; T = thoracic; S = coronal) and alignment/myelopathy modifiers(C2-C7 Sagittal Vertical Axis[cSVA], T1 Slope-Cervical Lordosis[TS-CL], Horizontal Gaze[Horiz], mJOA). Univariate analysis evaluated demographics, clinical intervention, and Ames deformity descriptor. Patients were evaluated for radiographic improvement by Ames classification and reaching Minimal Clinically Important Differences(MCID) for mJOA, Neck Disability Index(NDI), and EuroQuol-5D(EQ5D). A total of 73 patients were categorized: C = 41(56.2%), CT = 18(24.7%), T = 9(12.3%), S = 5(6.8%). By Ames modifier 1-year improvement, 13(17.8%) improved in mJOA, 26(35.6%) in cSVA grade, 19(26.0%) in Horiz, and 15(20.5%) in TS-CL. The overall proportion of patients without severe Ames modifier grades at 1-year was as follows: 100% cSVA, 27.4% TS-CL, 67.1% Horiz, 69.9% mJOA. 1-year post-operatively, severe myelopathy(mJOA = 3) prevalence differed between Ames-ACD descriptors (C = 26.3%, CT = 15.4%, T = 0.0%, S = 0.0%, p = 0.033). Improvement in mJOA modifier correlated with reaching 1-year NDI MCID in the overall cohort (r = 0.354,p = 0.002). For C descriptors, cSVA improvement correlated with reaching 1-year NDI MCID (r = 0.387,p = 0.016). Improvement in more than one radiographic Ames modifier correlated with reaching 1-year mJOA MCID (r = 0.344,p = 0.003) and with reaching more than one MCID for mJOA, NDI, and EQ-5D (r = 0.272,p = 0.020). In conclusion, improvements in radiographic Ames modifier grades correlated with improvement in 1-year postoperative clinical outcomes. Although limited in scope, this analysis suggests the Ames-ACD classification may describe cervical deformity patients' alignment and outcomes at 1-year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2021.05.007DOI Listing
July 2021

Outcomes of Surgical Treatment for 138 Patients With Severe Sagittal Deformity at a Minimum 2-Year Follow-up: A Case Series.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 Aug;21(3):94-103

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

Background: Operative treatment of adult spinal deformity (ASD) can be very challenging with high complication rates. It is well established that patients benefit from such treatment; however, the surgical outcomes for patients with severe sagittal deformity have not been reported.

Objective: To report the outcomes of patients undergoing surgical correction for severe sagittal deformity.

Methods: Retrospective review of a prospective, multicenter ASD database. Inclusion criteria: operative patients age ≥18, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) ≥15 cm, mismatch between pelvic incidence and lumbar lordosis (PI-LL) ≥30°, and/or lumbar kyphosis ≥5° with minimum 2 yr follow-up. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores including minimal clinically important difference (MCID)/substantial clinical benefit (SCB), sagittal and coronal radiographic values, demographic, frailty, surgical, and complication data were collected. Comparisons between 2 yr postoperative and baseline HRQOL/radiographic data were made. P < .05 was significant.

Results: A total of 138 patients were included from 502 operative patients (54.3% Female, Average (Avg) age 63.3 ± 11.5 yr). Avg operating room (OR) time 386.2 ± 136.5 min, estimated blood loss (EBL) 1829.8 ± 1474.6 cc. A total of 71(51.4%) had prior fusion. A total of 89.9% were posterior fusion only. Mean posterior levels fused 11.5 ± 4.1. A total of 44.9% had a 3-column osteotomy. All 2 yr postoperative radiographic parameters were significantly improved compared to baseline (P < .001 for all). All 2yr HRQOL measures were significantly improved compared to baseline (P < .004 for all). A total of 46.6% to 73.8% of patients met either MCID/SCB for all HRQOL. A total of 74.6% of patients had at least 1 complication, 11.6% had 4 or more complications, 33.3% had minimum 1 major complication, and 42(30.4%) had a postop revision.

Conclusion: Patients with severe sagittal malalignment benefit from surgical correction at 2 yr postoperative both radiographically and clinically despite having a high complication rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opab153DOI Listing
August 2021

Use of rhBMP-2 for adult spinal deformity surgery: patterns of usage and changes over the past decade.

Neurosurg Focus 2021 06;50(6):E4

7Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York.

Objective: Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) has been shown to increase fusion rates; however, cost, limited FDA approval, and possible complications impact its use. Decisions regarding rhBMP-2 use and changes over time have not been well defined. In this study, the authors aimed to assess changes in rhBMP-2 use for adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery over the past decade.

Methods: A retrospective review of the International Spine Study Group prospective multicenter database was performed to identify ASD patients treated surgically from 2008 to 2018. For assessment of rhBMP-2 use over time, 3 periods were created: 2008-2011, 2012-2015, and 2016-2018.

Results: Of the patients identified, 1180 met inclusion criteria, with a mean age 60 years and 30% of patients requiring revision surgery; rhBMP-2 was used in 73.9% of patients overall. The mean rhBMP-2 dose per patient was 23.6 mg. Patients receiving rhBMP-2 were older (61 vs 58 years, p < 0.001) and had more comorbidities (Charlson Comorbidity Index 1.9 vs 1.4, p < 0.001), a higher rate of the Scoliosis Research Society-Schwab pelvic tilt modifier (> 0; 68% vs 62%, p = 0.026), a greater deformity correction (change in pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis 15° vs 12°, p = 0.01), and more levels fused (8.9 vs 7.9, p = 0.003). Over the 3 time periods, the overall rate of rhBMP-2 use increased and then stabilized (62.5% vs 79% vs 77%). Stratified analysis showed that after an overall increase in rhBMP-2 use, only patients who were younger than 50 years, those who were smokers, those who received a three-column osteotomy (3CO), and patients who underwent revision sustained an increased rate of rhBMP-2 use between the later two periods. No similar increases were noted for older patients, nonsmokers, primary surgery patients, and patients without a 3CO. The total rhBMP-2 dose decreased over time (26.6 mg vs 24.8 mg vs 20.7 mg, p < 0.001). After matching patients by preoperative alignment, 215 patients were included, and a significantly lower rate of complications leading to revision surgery was observed within the 2012-2015 period compared with the 2008-2011 (21.4% vs 13.0%, p = 0.029) period, while rhBMP-2 was increasingly used (80.5% vs 66.0%, p = 0.001). There was a trend toward a lower rate of pseudarthrosis for patients in the 2012-2015 period, but this difference did not reach statistical significance (7% vs 4.2%, p = 0.283).

Conclusions: The authors found that rhBMP-2 was used in the majority of ASD patients and was more commonly used in those with greater deformity correction. Additionally, over the last 10 years, rhBMP-2 was increasingly used for ASD patients, but the dose has decreased.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2021.3.FOCUS2164DOI Listing
June 2021

Cervicothoracic Versus Proximal Thoracic Lower Instrumented Vertebra Have Comparable Radiographic and Clinical Outcomes in Adult Cervical Deformity.

Global Spine J 2021 May 20:21925682211017478. Epub 2021 May 20.

Spine Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA.

Study Design: Comparative cohort study.

Objective: Factors that influence the lower instrumented vertebra (LIV) selection in adult cervical deformity (ACD) are less reported, and outcomes in the cervicothoracic junction (CTJ) and proximal thoracic (PT) spine are unclear.

Methods: A prospective ACD database was analyzed using the following inclusion criteria: LIV between C7 and T5, upper instrumented vertebra at C2, and at least a 1-year follow-up. Patients were divided into CTJ (LIV C7-T2) and PT groups (LIV T3-T5) based on LIV levels. Demographics, operative details, radiographic parameters, and the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores were compared.

Results: Forty-six patients were included (mean age, 62 years), with 22 and 24 patients in the CTJ and PT groups, respectively. Demographics and surgical parameters were comparable between the groups. The PT group had a significantly higher preoperative C2-C7 sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) (46.9 mm vs 32.6 mm, = 0.002) and T1 slope minus cervical lordosis (45.9° vs 36.0°, = 0.042) than the CTJ group and was more likely treated with pedicle-subtraction osteotomy (33.3% vs 0%, = 0.004). The PT group had a larger correction of cSVA (-7.7 vs 0.7 mm, = 0.037) and reciprocal change of increased T4-T12 kyphosis (8.6° vs 0.0°, = 0.001). Complications and reoperations were comparable. The HRQOL scores were not different preoperatively and at 1-year follow-up.

Conclusions: The selection of PT LIV in cervical deformities was more common in patients with larger baseline deformities, who were more likely to undergo pedicle-subtraction osteotomy. Despite this, the complications and HRQOL outcomes were comparable at 1-year follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/21925682211017478DOI Listing
May 2021

Power-assisted Pedicle Screw Technique Protects Against Risk of Surgeon Overuse Injury: A Comparative Electromyography Study of the Neck and Upper Extremity Muscle Groups in a Simulated Surgical Environment.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 May 10. Epub 2021 May 10.

Zimmer Biomet Spine, Westminster, CO Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.

Study Design: Cadaveric.

Objective: The aim of this study was to quantify the amplitude and duration of surgeons' muscle exertion from pedicle cannulation to screw placement using both manual and power-assisted tools in a simulated surgical environment using surface electromyography (EMG).

Summary Of Background Data: A survey of Scoliosis Research Society members reported rates of neck pain, rotator cuff disease, lateral epicondylitis, and cervical radiculopathy at 3×, 5×, 10×, and 100× greater than the general population. The use of power-assisted tools in spine surgery to facilitate pedicle cannulation through screw placement during open posterior fixation surgery may reduce torque on the upper limb and risk of overuse injury.

Methods: Pedicle preparation and screw placement was performed from T4-L5 in four cadavers by two board-certified spine surgeons using both manual and power-assisted techniques. EMG-recorded muscle activity from the flexor carpi radialis, extensor carpi radialis, biceps, triceps, deltoid, upper trapezius, and neck extensors. Muscle activity was reported as a percentage of the maximum voluntary exertion of each muscle group (%MVE) and muscle exertion was linked to low- (0-20% MVE), moderate- (20%-45% MVE), high- (45%-70% MVE) and highest- (70%-100% MVE) risk of overuse injury based on literature.

Results: Use of power-assisted tools for pedicle cannulation through screw placement maintains average muscle exertion at low risk for overuse injury for every muscle group. Conversely with manual technique, the extensor carpi radialis, biceps, upper trapezius and neck extensors operate at levels of exertion that risk overuse injury for 50% to 92% of procedure time. Power-assisted tools reduce average muscle exertion of the biceps, triceps, and deltoid by upwards of 80%.

Conclusion: Power-assisted technique protects against risk of overuse injury. Elevated muscle exertion of the extensor carpi radialis, biceps, upper trapezius, and neck extensors during manual technique directly correlate with surgeons' self-reported diagnoses of lateral epicondylitis, rotator cuff disease, and cervical myelopathy.Level of Evidence: N/A.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000004097DOI Listing
May 2021

Predictors of serious, preventable, and costly medical complications in a population of adult spinal deformity patients.

Spine J 2021 Sep 8;21(9):1559-1566. Epub 2021 May 8.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, USA.

Background Context: In 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) established a list of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) with significant deleterious effects on both patients and providers. Adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery is complex and highly invasive, and as such may result in significant morbidity including these HACs.

Purpose: Identify predictors for developing the most common HACs among adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients undergoing corrective surgery.

Study Design/setting: Retrospective analysis.

Patient Sample: One thousand one hundred and seventy-one ASD patients.

Outcome Measures: HACs, Health-Related Quality of Life scores(HRQLs), Reoperation, Integrated Health State (IHS) METHODS: ASD pts undergoing surgery (>18 years, scoliosis ≥20°, SVA ≥5 cm, PT ≥25° and/or TK >60°) with complete data at BL and up to 2 years post-op were included. Patients were stratified by presence of >1 HAC, defined as at least one superficial/deep SSI, UTI, DVT, or PE within a 30-day post-op window. Random forest analysis generated 5,000 Conditional Inference Trees to compute a variable importance table for top predictors of HACs. An area-under-the-curve (AUC) methodology compared normalized HRQL scores between groups to determine an IHS with 2-year follow-up.

Results: Total of 1,171 pts (59.8 years, 76.2%F, 28.1kg/m) underwent corrective ASD surgery, with 1,053 pts in the non-HAC group and 118 in the HAC group. Of these pts, 25.4% had UTI, 15.4% DVT, 19.2% superficial SSI, 20.8% deep SSI, and 19.2% PE. HAC pts were on average older (63.5 vs 59.3, p=.004) and more often frail (51.3 vs 39.7%, p=.021) than non-HAC pts. Postop LOS and reoperation were most associated with HAC groups: [1] LOS >7 days [2] reoperation. Patient-related predictors of HACs were [3] age >50 yerr, [4] frailty, and [13] BMI >31. Procedure-related predictors of HACs were [5] operative-time >405 minutes, [6] levels fused >9, EBL >1450 mL, and [11] decompression. BL radiographic predictors were [7] PT >20°, [9] PI-LL>6°, [10] TL Cobb angle >15°, [12] SVA C7-S1 >29 mm. No differences were observed between groups with regards to IHS ODI (0.73 vs 0.74, p=.863), SRS (1.3 vs1.3, p=.374), NRS Back (0.6 vs 0.6, p=.158). HAC had higher rates of reoperation than non-HAC (0.08 vs 0.01, p=.066), and any HAC within 30-days of index was a significant predictor of reoperation (OR: 2.448 [1.94-3.09], p<.001).

Conclusions: In a population of ASD patients, HACs were associated with length of stay, reoperation, age, and frailty. Radiographic parameters such as pelvic tilt >20°, PI-LL >6°, & SVA >29 mm also increased odds of HACs, and should raise postoperative awareness for HAC development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2021.04.020DOI Listing
September 2021

The utility of supine radiographs in the assessment of thoracic flexibility and risk of proximal junctional kyphosis.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 May 7:1-7. Epub 2021 May 7.

Objective: Supine radiographs have successfully been used for preoperative planning of lumbar deformity corrections. However, they have not been used to assess thoracic flexibility, which has recently garnered attention as a potential contributor to proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK). The purpose of this study was to compare supine to standing radiographs to assess thoracic flexibility and to determine whether thoracic flexibility is associated with PJK.

Methods: A retrospective study was conducted of a single-institution database of patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD). Sagittal alignment parameters were compared between standing and supine and between pre- and postoperative radiographs. Thoracic flexibility was determined as the change between preoperative standing thoracic kyphosis (TK) and preoperative supine TK, and these changes were measured over the overall thoracic spine and the fused portion of the thoracic spine (i.e., TK fused). A case-control analysis was performed to compare thoracic flexibility between patients with PJK and those without (no PJK). The cohort was also stratified into three groups based on thoracic flexibility: kyphotic change (increased TK), lordotic change (decreased TK), and no change. The PJK rate was compared between the cohorts.

Results: A total of 101 patients (mean 63 years old, 82.2% female, mean BMI 27.4 kg/m2) were included. Preoperative Scoliosis Research Society-Schwab ASD classification showed moderate preoperative deformity (pelvic tilt 27.7% [score ++]; pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch 44.6% [score ++]; sagittal vertical axis 42.6% [score ++]). Postoperatively, the average offset from age-adjusted alignment goals demonstrated slight overcorrection in the study sample (-8.5° ± 15.6° pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch, -29.2 ± 53.1 mm sagittal vertical axis, -5.4 ± 10.8 pelvic tilt, and -7.6 ± 11.7 T1 pelvic angle). TK decreased between standing and supine radiographs and increased postoperatively (TK fused: -25.3° vs -19.6° vs -29.9°; all p < 0.001). The overall rate of radiographic PJK was 23.8%. Comparisons between PJK and no PJK demonstrated that offsets from age-adjusted alignment goals were similar (p > 0.05 for all). There was a significant difference in the PJK rate when stratified by thoracic flexibility cohorts (kyphotic: 0.0% vs no change: 18.4% vs lordotic: 35.0%; p = 0.049). Logistic regression revealed thoracic flexibility (p = 0.045) as the only independent correlate of PJK.

Conclusions: Half of patients with ASD experienced significant changes in TK during supine positioning, a quality that may influence surgical strategy. Increased thoracic flexibility is associated with PJK, possibly secondary to fusing the patient's spine in a flattened position intraoperatively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.11.SPINE201565DOI Listing
May 2021

Operative versus nonoperative treatment for adult symptomatic lumbar scoliosis at 5-year follow-up: durability of outcomes and impact of treatment-related serious adverse events.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Apr 30:1-13. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Objective: Although short-term adult symptomatic lumbar scoliosis (ASLS) studies favor operative over nonoperative treatment, longer outcomes are critical for assessment of treatment durability, especially for operative treatment, because the majority of implant failures and nonunions present between 2 and 5 years after surgery. The objectives of this study were to assess the durability of treatment outcomes for operative versus nonoperative treatment of ASLS, to report the rates and types of associated serious adverse events (SAEs), and to determine the potential impact of treatment-related SAEs on outcomes.

Methods: The ASLS-1 (Adult Symptomatic Lumbar Scoliosis-1) trial is an NIH-sponsored multicenter prospective study to assess operative versus nonoperative ASLS treatment. Patients were 40-80 years of age and had ASLS (Cobb angle ≥ 30° and Oswestry Disability Index [ODI] ≥ 20 or Scoliosis Research Society [SRS]-22 subscore ≤ 4.0 in the Pain, Function, and/or Self-Image domains). Patients receiving operative and nonoperative treatment were compared using as-treated analysis, and the impact of related SAEs was assessed. Primary outcome measures were ODI and SRS-22.

Results: The 286 patients with ASLS (107 with nonoperative treatment, 179 with operative treatment) had 2-year and 5-year follow-up rates of 90% (n = 256) and 74% (n = 211), respectively. At 5 years, compared with patients treated nonoperatively, those who underwent surgery had greater improvement in ODI (mean difference -15.2 [95% CI -18.7 to -11.7]) and SRS-22 subscore (mean difference 0.63 [95% CI 0.48-0.78]) (p < 0.001), with treatment effects (TEs) exceeding the minimum detectable measurement difference (MDMD) for ODI (7) and SRS-22 subscore (0.4). TEs at 5 years remained as favorable as 2-year TEs (ODI -13.9, SRS-22 0.52). For patients in the operative group, the incidence rates of treatment-related SAEs during the first 2 years and 2-5 years after surgery were 22.38 and 8.17 per 100 person-years, respectively. At 5 years, patients in the operative group who had 1 treatment-related SAE still had significantly greater improvement, with TEs (ODI -12.2, SRS-22 0.53; p < 0.001) exceeding the MDMD. Twelve patients who received surgery and who had 2 or more treatment-related SAEs had greater improvement than nonsurgically treated patients based on ODI (TE -8.34, p = 0.017) and SRS-22 (TE 0.32, p = 0.029), but the SRS-22 TE did not exceed the MDMD.

Conclusions: The significantly greater improvement of operative versus nonoperative treatment for ASLS at 2 years was durably maintained at the 5-year follow-up. Patients in the operative cohort with a treatment-related SAE still had greater improvement than patients in the nonoperative cohort. These findings have important implications for patient counseling and future cost-effectiveness assessments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.9.SPINE201472DOI Listing
April 2021

Lowest Instrumented Vertebra Selection to S1 or Ilium Versus L4 or L5 in Adult Spinal Deformity: Factors for Consideration in 349 Patients With a Mean 46-Month Follow-Up.

Global Spine J 2021 Apr 28:21925682211009178. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Spine Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Objective: To compare the outcomes of patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD) following spinal fusion with the lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV) at L4/L5 versus S1/ilium.

Methods: A multicenter ASD database was evaluated. Patients were categorized into 2 groups based on LIV levels-groups L (fusion to L4/L5) and S (fusion to S1/ilium). Both groups were propensity matched by age and preoperative radiographic alignments. Patient demographics, operative details, radiographic parameters, revision rates, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores were compared.

Results: Overall, 349 patients had complete data, with a mean follow-up of 46 months. Patients in group S (n = 311) were older and had larger sagittal and coronal plane deformities than those in group L (n = 38). After matching, 28 patients were allocated to each group with similar demographic, radiographic, and clinical parameters. Sagittal alignment restoration at postoperative week 6 was significantly better in group S than in group L, but it was similar in both groups at the 2-year follow-up. Fusion to S1/ilium involved a longer operating time, higher PJK rates, and greater PJK angles than that to L4/L5. There were no significant differences in the complication and revision rates between the groups. Both groups showed significant improvements in HRQOL scores.

Conclusions: Fusion to S1/ilium had better sagittal alignment restoration at postoperative week 6 and involved higher PJK rates and greater PJK angles than that to L4/L5. The clinical outcomes and rates of revision surgery and complications were similar between the groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/21925682211009178DOI Listing
April 2021

Artificial intelligence clustering of adult spinal deformity sagittal plane morphology predicts surgical characteristics, alignment, and outcomes.

Eur Spine J 2021 08 15;30(8):2157-2166. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Alpert Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, 1 Kettle Point Avenue, East Providence, RI, 02914, USA.

Purpose: AI algorithms have shown promise in medical image analysis. Previous studies of ASD clusters have analyzed alignment metrics-this study sought to complement these efforts by analyzing images of sagittal anatomical spinopelvic landmarks. We hypothesized that an AI algorithm would cluster preoperative lateral radiographs into groups with distinct morphology.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of a multicenter, prospectively collected database of adult spinal deformity. A total of 915 patients with adult spinal deformity and preoperative lateral radiographs were included. A 2 × 3, self-organizing map-a form of artificial neural network frequently employed in unsupervised classification tasks-was developed. The mean spine shape was plotted for each of the six clusters. Alignment, surgical characteristics, and outcomes were compared.

Results: Qualitatively, clusters C and D exhibited only mild sagittal plane deformity. Clusters B, E, and F, however, exhibited marked positive sagittal balance and loss of lumbar lordosis. Cluster A had mixed characteristics, likely representing compensated deformity. Patients in clusters B, E, and F disproportionately underwent 3-CO. PJK and PJF were particularly prevalent among clusters A and E. Among clusters B and F, patients who experienced PJK had significantly greater positive sagittal balance than those who did not.

Conclusions: This study clustered preoperative lateral radiographs of ASD patients into groups with highly distinct overall spinal morphology and association with sagittal alignment parameters, baseline HRQOL, and surgical characteristics. The relationship between SVA and PJK differed by cluster. This study represents significant progress toward incorporation of computer vision into clinically relevant classification systems in adult spinal deformity.

Level Of Evidence Iv: Diagnostic: individual cross-sectional studies with the consistently applied reference standard and blinding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00586-021-06799-zDOI Listing
August 2021

Effect of age-adjusted alignment goals and distal inclination angle on the fate of distal junctional kyphosis in cervical deformity surgery.

J Craniovertebr Junction Spine 2021 Jan-Mar;12(1):65-71. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Background: Age-adjusted alignment targets in the context of distal junctional kyphosis (DJK) development have yet to be investigated. Our aim was to assess age-adjusted alignment targets, reciprocal changes, and role of lowest instrumented level orientation in DJK development in cervical deformity (CD) patients.

Methods: CD patients were evaluated based on lowest fused level: cervical (C7 or above), upper thoracic (UT: T1-T6), and lower thoracic (LT: T7-T12). Age-adjusted alignment targets were calculated using published formulas for sagittal vertical axis (SVA), pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis (PI-LL), pelvic tilt (PT), T1 pelvic angle (TPA), and LL-thoracic kyphosis (TK). Outcome measures were cervical and global alignment parameters: Cervical SVA (cSVA), cervical lordosis, C2 slope, C2-T3 angle, C2-T3 SVA, TS-CL, PI-LL, PT, and SVA. Subanalysis matched baseline PI to assess age-adjusted alignment between DJK and non-DJK.

Results: Seventy-six CD patients included. By 1Y, 20 patients developed DJK. Non-DJK patients had 27% cervical lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV), 68% UT, and 5% LT. DJK patients had 25% cervical, 50% UT, and 25% LT. There were no baseline or 1Y differences for PI, PI-LL, SVA, TPA, or PT for actual and age-adjusted targets. DJK patients had worse baseline cSVA and more severe 1Y cSVA, C2-T3 SVA, and C2 slope ( < 0.05). The distribution of over/under corrected patients and the offset between actual and ideal alignment for SVA, PT, TPA, PI-LL, and LL-TK were similar between DJK and non-DJK patients. DJK patients requiring reoperation had worse postoperative changes in all cervical parameters and trended toward larger offsets for global parameters.

Conclusion: CD patients with severe baseline malalignment went on to develop postoperative DJK. Age-adjusted alignment targets did not capture differences in these populations, suggesting the need for cervical-specific goals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_170_20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8035585PMC
March 2021

Factors influencing upper-most instrumented vertebrae selection in adult spinal deformity patients: qualitative case-based survey of deformity surgeons.

J Spine Surg 2021 Mar;7(1):37-47

Department of Orthopedics, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA.

Background: The decision upper-most instrumented vertebrae (UIV) in a multi-level fusion procedure can dramatically influence outcomes of corrective spine surgery. We aimed to create an algorithm for selection of UIV based on surgeon selection/reasoning of sample cases.

Methods: The clinical/imaging data for 11 adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients were presented to 14 spine deformity surgeons who selected the UIV and provided reasons for avoidance of adjacent levels. The UIV chosen was grouped into either upper thoracic (UT, T1-T6), lower thoracic (LT, T7-T12), lumbar or cervical. Disagreement between surgeons was defined as ≥3 not agreeing. We performed a descriptive analysis of responses and created an algorithm for choosing UIV then applied this to a large database of ASD patients.

Results: Surgeons agreed in 8/11 cases on regional choice of UIV. T10 was the most common UIV in the LT region (58%) and T3 was the most common UIV in the UT region (44%). The most common determinant of UIV in the UT region was proximal thoracic kyphosis and presence of coronal deformity. The most common determinant of UIV in the LT region was small proximal thoracic kyphosis. Within the ASD database (236 patients), when the algorithm called for UT fusion, patients fused to TL region were more likely to develop proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) at 1 year post-operatively (76.9% . 38.9%, P=0.025).

Conclusions: Our algorithm for selection of UIV emphasizes the role of proximal and regional thoracic kyphosis. Failure to follow this consensus for UT fusion was associated with twice the rate of PJK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jss-20-598DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8024758PMC
March 2021

Infection control measures in nosocomial MRSA outbreaks-Results of a systematic analysis.

PLoS One 2021 7;16(4):e0249837. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

There is a lack of data on factors that contribute to the implementation of hygiene measures during nosocomial outbreaks (NO) caused by Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Therefore, we first conducted a systematic literature analysis to identify MRSA outbreak reports. The expenditure for infection control in each outbreak was then evaluated by a weighted cumulative hygiene score (WCHS). Effects of factors on this score were determined by multivariable linear regression analysis. 104 NO got included, mostly from neonatology (n = 32), surgery (n = 27), internal medicine and burn units (n = 10 each), including 4,361 patients (thereof 657 infections and 73 deaths) and 279 employees. The outbreak sources remained unknown in 10 NO and were not reported from further 61 NO. The national MRSA prevalence did not correlate with the WCHS (p = .714). There were significant WCHS differences for internal medicine (p = 0.014), burn units (p<0.01), for Japanese NO (p<0.01), and NO with an unknown source (p<0.01). In sum, management of a NO due to MRSA does not depend on the local MRSA burden. However, differences of MRSA management among medical departments do exist. Strict adherence to the Outbreak Reports and Intervention Studies Of Nosocomial infection (ORION) statement is highly recommended for. The WCHS may also serve as a useful tool to quantify infection control effort and could therefore be used for further investigations.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249837PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026056PMC
April 2021

Patient-related and radiographic predictors of inferior health-related quality-of-life measures in adult patients with nonoperative spinal deformity.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Apr 2:1-7. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

3Department of Orthopedics, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York.

Objective: Patients with nonoperative (N-Op) adult spinal deformity (ASD) have inferior long-term spinopelvic alignment and clinical outcomes. Predictors of lower quality-of-life measures in N-Op populations have yet to be sufficiently investigated. The aim of this study was to identify patient-related factors and radiographic parameters associated with inferior health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) scores in N-Op ASD patients.

Methods: N-Op ASD patients with complete radiographic and outcome data at baseline and 2 years were included. N-Op patients and operative (Op) patients were propensity score matched for baseline disability and deformity. Patient-related factors and radiographic alignment parameters (pelvic tilt [PT], sagittal vertical axis [SVA], pelvic incidence [PI]-lumbar lordosis [LL] mismatch, mismatch between cervical lordosis and T1 segment slope [TS-CL], cervical-thoracic pelvic angle [PA], and others) at baseline and 2 years were analyzed as predictors for moderate to severe 2-year Oswestry Disability Index (ODI > 20) and failing to meet the minimal clinically importance difference (MCID) for 2-year Scoliosis Research Society Outcomes Questionnaire (SRS) scores (< 0.4 increase from baseline). Conditional inference decision trees identified predictors of each HRQOL measure and established cutoffs at which factors have a global effect. Random forest analysis (RFA) generated 5000 conditional inference trees to compute a variable importance table for top predictors of inferior HRQOL. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.

Results: Six hundred sixty-two patients with ASD (331 Op patients and 331 N-Op patients) with complete radiographic and HRQOL data at their 2-year follow-up were included. There were no differences in demographics, ODI, and Schwab deformity modifiers between groups at baseline (all p > 0.05). N-Op patients had higher 2-year ODI scores (27.9 vs 20.3, p < 0.001), higher rates of moderate to severe disability (29.3% vs 22.4%, p = 0.05), lower SRS total scores (3.47 vs 3.91, p < 0.001), and higher rates of failure to reach SRS MCID (35.3% vs 15.7%, p < 0.001) than Op patients at 2 years. RFA ranked the top overall predictors for moderate to severe ODI at 2 years for N-Op patients as follows: 1) frailty index > 2.8, 2) BMI > 35 kg/m2, T4PA > 28°, and 4) Charlson Comorbidity Index > 1. Top radiographic predictors were T4PA > 28° and C2-S1 SVA > 93 mm. RFA also ranked the top overall predictors for failure to reach 2-year SRS MCID for N-Op patients, as follows: 1) T12-S1 lordosis > 53°, 2) cervical SVA (cSVA) > 28 mm, 3) C2-S1 angle > 14.5°, 4) TS-CL > 12°, and 5) PT > 23°. The top radiographic predictors were T12-S1 Cobb angle, cSVA, C2-S1 angle, and TS-CL.

Conclusions: When controlling for baseline deformity in N-Op versus Op patients, subsequent deterioration in frailty, BMI, and radiographic progression over a 2-year follow-up were found to drive suboptimal patient-reported outcome measures in N-Op cohorts as measured by validated ODI and SRS clinical instruments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.9.SPINE20519DOI Listing
April 2021

Timing of conversion to cervical malalignment and proximal junctional kyphosis following surgical correction of adult spinal deformity: a 3-year radiographic analysis.

J Neurosurg Spine 2021 Mar 19:1-9. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York.

Objective: The goal of this study was to assess the conversion rate from baseline cervical alignment to postoperative cervical deformity (CD) and the corresponding proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) rate in patients undergoing thoracolumbar adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.

Methods: The operative records of patients with ASD with complete radiographic data beginning at baseline up to 3 years were included. Patients with no baseline CD were postoperatively stratified by Ames CD criteria (T1 slope-cervical lordosis mismatch [TS-CL] > 20°, cervical sagittal vertical axis [cSVA] > 40 mm), where CD was defined as fulfilling one or more of the Ames criteria. Severe CD was defined as TS-CL > 30° or cSVA > 60 mm. Follow-up intervals were established after ASD surgery, with 6 weeks postoperatively defined as early; 6 weeks-1 year as intermediate; 1-2 years as late; and 2-3 years as long-term. Descriptive analyses and McNemar tests identified the CD conversion rate, PJK rate (< -10° change in uppermost instrumented vertebra and the superior endplate of the vertebra 2 levels superior to the uppermost instrumented vertebra), and specific alignment parameters that converted.

Results: Two hundred sixty-six patients who underwent ASD surgery (mean age 59.7 years, 77.4% female) met the inclusion criteria; 103 of these converted postoperatively, and the remaining 163 did not meet conversion criteria. Thirty-eight patients converted to CD early, 26 converted at the intermediate time point, 29 converted late, and 10 converted in the long-term. At conversion, the early group had the highest mean TS-CL at 25.4° ± 8.5° and the highest mean cSVA at 33.6 mm-both higher than any other conversion group. The long-term group had the highest mean C2-7 angle at 19.7° and the highest rate of PJK compared to other groups (p = 0.180). The early group had the highest rate of conversion to severe CD, with 9 of 38 patients having severe TS-CL and only 1 patient per group converting to severe cSVA. Seven patients progressed from having only malaligned TS-CL at baseline (with normal cSVA) to CD with both malaligned TS-CL and cSVA by 6 weeks. Conversely, only 2 patients progressed from malaligned cSVA to both malaligned cSVA and TS-CL. By 1 year, the former number increased from 7 to 26 patients, and the latter increased from 2 to 20 patients. The revision rate was highest in the intermediate group at 48.0%, versus the early group at 19.2%, late group at 27.3%, and long-term group at 20% (p = 0.128). A higher pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch, lower thoracic kyphosis, and a higher thoracic kyphosis apex immediately postoperatively significantly predicted earlier rather than later conversion (all p < 0.05). Baseline lumbar lordosis, pelvic tilt, and sacral slope were not significant predictors.

Conclusions: Patients with ASD with normative cervical alignment who converted to CD after thoracolumbar surgery had varying radiographic findings based on timing of conversion. Although the highest number of patients converted within 6 weeks postoperatively, patients who converted in the late or long-term follow-up intervals had higher rates of concurrent PJK and greater radiographic progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.8.SPINE20320DOI Listing
March 2021
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