Publications by authors named "Kai-Ming G Fu"

40 Publications

"July Effect" Revisited: July Surgeries at Residency Training Programs are Associated with Equivalent Long-term Clinical Outcomes Following Lumbar Spondylolisthesis Surgery.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2021 Jun;46(12):836-843

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

Study Design: Retrospective analysis of a prospective registry.

Objective: We utilized the Quality Outcomes Database (QOD) registry to investigate the "July Effect" at QOD spondylolisthesis module sites with residency trainees.

Summary Of Background Data: There is a paucity of investigation on the long-term outcomes following surgeries involving new trainees utilizing high-quality, prospectively collected data.

Methods: This was an analysis of 608 patients who underwent single-segment surgery for grade 1 degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis at 12 high-enrolling sites. Surgeries were classified as occurring in July or not in July (non-July). Outcomes collected included estimated blood loss, length of stay, operative time, discharge disposition, complications, reoperation and readmission rates, and patient-reported outcomes (Oswestry Disability Index [ODI], Numeric Rating Scale [NRS] Back Pain, NRS Leg Pain, EuroQol-5D [EQ-5D] and the North American Spine Society [NASS] Satisfaction Questionnaire). Propensity score-matched analyses were utilized to compare postoperative outcomes and complication rates between the July and non-July groups.

Results: Three hundred seventy-one surgeries occurred at centers with a residency training program with 21 (5.7%) taking place in July. In propensity score-matched analyses, July surgeries were associated with longer operative times ( average treatment effect = 22.4 minutes longer, 95% confidence interval 0.9-449.0, P = 0.041). Otherwise, July surgeries were not associated with significantly different outcomes for the remaining perioperative parameters (estimated blood loss, length of stay, discharge disposition, postoperative complications), overall reoperation rates, 3-month readmission rates, and 24-month ODI, NRS back pain, NRS leg pain, EQ-5D, and NASS satisfaction score (P > 0.05, all comparisons).

Conclusion: Although July surgeries were associated with longer operative times, there were no associations with other clinical outcomes compared to non-July surgeries following lumbar spondylolisthesis surgery. These findings may be due to the increased attending supervision and intraoperative education during the beginning of the academic year. There is no evidence that the influx of new trainees in July significantly affects long-term patient-centered outcomes.Level of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000003903DOI Listing
June 2021

Factors affecting approach selection for minimally invasive versus open surgery in the treatment of adult spinal deformity: analysis of a prospective, nonrandomized multicenter study.

J Neurosurg Spine 2020 Jun 19:1-6. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California.

Objective: Surgical decision-making and planning is a key factor in optimizing outcomes in adult spinal deformity (ASD). Minimally invasive spinal (MIS) strategies for ASD have been increasingly used as an option to decrease postoperative morbidity. This study analyzes factors involved in the selection of either a traditional open approach or a minimally invasive approach to treat ASD in a prospective, nonrandomized multicenter trial. All centers had at least 5 years of experience in minimally invasive techniques for ASD.

Methods: The study enrolled 268 patients, of whom 120 underwent open surgery and 148 underwent MIS surgery. Inclusion criteria included age ≥ 18 years, and at least one of the following criteria: coronal curve (CC) ≥ 20°, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) > 5 cm, pelvic tilt (PT) > 25°, or thoracic kyphosis (TK) > 60°. Surgical approach selection was made at the discretion of the operating surgeon. Preoperative significant differences were included in a multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine odds ratios (ORs) for approach selection.

Results: Significant preoperative differences (p < 0.05) between open and MIS groups were noted for age (61.9 vs 66.7 years), numerical rating scale (NRS) back pain score (7.8 vs 7), CC (36° vs 26.1°), PT (26.4° vs 23°), T1 pelvic angle (TPA; 25.8° vs 21.7°), and pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis (PI-LL; 19.6° vs 14.9°). No significant differences in BMI (29 vs 28.5 kg/m2), NRS leg pain score (5.2 vs 5.7), Oswestry Disability Index (48.4 vs 47.2), Scoliosis Research Society 22-item questionnaire score (2.7 vs 2.8), PI (58.3° vs 57.1°), LL (38.9° vs 42.3°), or SVA (73.8 mm vs 60.3 mm) were found. Multivariate analysis found that age (OR 1.05, p = 0.002), VAS back pain score (OR 1.21, p = 0.016), CC (OR 1.03, p < 0.001), decompression (OR 4.35, p < 0.001), and TPA (OR 1.09, p = 0.023) were significant factors in approach selection.

Conclusions: Increasing age was the primary driver for selecting MIS surgery. Conversely, increasingly severe deformities and the need for open decompression were the main factors influencing the selection of traditional open surgery. As experience with MIS surgery continues to accumulate, future longitudinal evaluation will reveal if more experience, use of specialized treatment algorithms, refinement of techniques, and technology will expand surgeon adoption of MIS techniques for adult spinal deformity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2020.4.SPINE20169DOI Listing
June 2020

Patient profiling can identify patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD) at risk for conversion from nonoperative to surgical treatment: initial steps to reduce ineffective ASD management.

Spine J 2018 02 5;18(2):234-244. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

International Spine Study Group, Arvada, CO, USA.

Background Context: Non-operative management is a common initial treatment for patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD) despite reported superiority of surgery with regard to outcomes. Ineffective medical care is a large source of resource drain on the health system. Characterization of patients with ASD likely to elect for operative treatment from non-operative management may allow for more efficient patient counseling and cost savings.

Purpose: This study aimed to identify deformity and disability characteristics of patients with ASD who ultimately convert to operative treatment compared with those who remain non-operative and those who initially choose surgery.

Study Design/setting: A retrospective review was carried out.

Patient Sample: A total of 510 patients with ASD (189 non-operative, 321 operative) with minimum 2-year follow-up comprised the patient sample.

Outcome Measures: Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Short-Form 36 Health Assessment (SF-36), Scoliosis Research Society questionnaire (SRS-22r), and spinopelvic radiographic alignment were the outcome measures.

Methods: Demographic, radiographic, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) from a cohort of patients with ASD prospectively enrolled into a multicenter database were evaluated. Patients were divided into three treatment cohorts: Non-operative (NON=initial non-operative treatment and remained non-operative), Operative (OP=initial operative treatment), and Crossover (CROSS=initial non-operative treatment with subsequent conversion to operative treatment). NON and OP groups were propensity score-matched (PSM) to CROSS for baseline demographics (age, body mass index, Charlson Comorbidity Index). Time to crossover was divided into early (<1 year) and late (>1 year). Outcome measures were compared across and within treatment groups at four time points (baseline, 6 weeks, 1 year, and 2 years).

Results: Following PSM, 118 patients were included (NON=39, OP=38, CROSS=41). Crossover rate was 21.7% (41/189). Mean time to crossover was 394 days. All groups had similar baseline sagittal alignment, but CROSS had larger pelvic incidence and lumbar lordosis (PI-LL) mismatch than NON (11.9° vs. 3.1°, p=.032). CROSS and OP had similar baseline PROM scores; however, CROSS had worse baseline ODI, PCS, SRS-22r (p<.05). At time of crossover, CROSS had worse ODI (35.7 vs. 27.8) and SRS Satisfaction (2.6 vs. 3.3) compared with NON (p<.05). Alignment remained similar for CROSS from baseline to conversion; however, PROMs (ODI, PCS, SRS Activity/Pain/Total) worsened (p<.05). Early and late crossover evaluation demonstrated CROSS-early (n=25) had worsening ODI, SRS Activity/Pain at time of crossover (p<.05). From time of crossover to 2-year follow-up, CROSS-early had less SRS Appearance/Mental improvement compared with OP. Both CROSS-early/late had worse baseline, but greater improvements, in ODI, PCS, SRS Pain/Total compared with NON (p<.05). Baseline alignment and disability parameters increased crossover odds-Non with Schwab T/L/D curves and ODI≥40 (odds ratio [OR]: 3.05, p=.031), and Non with high PI-LL modifier grades ("+"/'++') and ODI≥40 (OR: 5.57, p=.007) were at increased crossover risk.

Conclusions: High baseline and increasing disability over time drives conversion from non-operative to operative ASD care. CROSS patients had similar spinal deformity but worse PROMs than NON. CROSS achieved similar 2-year outcome scores as OP. Profiling at first visit for patients at risk of crossover may optimize physician counseling and cost savings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2017.06.044DOI Listing
February 2018

Outcomes of Operative and Nonoperative Treatment for Adult Spinal Deformity: A Prospective, Multicenter, Propensity-Matched Cohort Assessment With Minimum 2-Year Follow-up.

Neurosurgery 2016 Jun;78(6):851-61

*Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, Virginia; ‡Department of Orthopedic Surgery, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, New York; §Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Baylor Scoliosis Center, Plano, Texas; ¶Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York; ‖San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, California; #Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; **Department of Neurosurgery, Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois; ‡‡Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; §§Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, New York; ¶¶Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri; ‖‖Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, Colorado; ##Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California Davis, Sacramento, California; ***Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California; ‡‡‡Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon; §§§Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas; ¶¶¶Department of Neurosurgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Background: High-quality studies that compare operative and nonoperative treatment for adult spinal deformity (ASD) are needed.

Objective: To compare outcomes of operative and nonoperative treatment for ASD.

Methods: This is a multicenter, prospective analysis of consecutive ASD patients opting for operative or nonoperative care. Inclusion criteria were age >18 years and ASD. Operative and nonoperative patients were propensity matched with the baseline Oswestry Disability Index, Scoliosis Research Society-22r, thoracolumbar/lumbar Cobb angle, pelvic incidence-to-lumbar lordosis mismatch (PI-LL), and leg pain score. Analyses were confined to patients with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up.

Results: Two hundred eighty-six operative and 403 nonoperative patients met the criteria, with mean ages of 53 and 55 years, 2-year follow-up rates of 86% and 55%, and mean follow-up of 24.7 and 24.8 months, respectively. At baseline, operative patients had significantly worse health-related quality of life (HRQOL) based on all measures assessed (P < .001) and had worse deformity based on pelvic tilt, pelvic incidence-to-lumbar lordosis mismatch, and sagittal vertical axis (P ≤ .002). At the minimum 2-year follow-up, all HRQOL measures assessed significantly improved for operative patients (P < .001), but none improved significantly for nonoperative patients except for modest improvements in the Scoliosis Research Society-22r pain (P = .04) and satisfaction (P < .001) domains. On the basis of matched operative-nonoperative cohorts (97 in each group), operative patients had significantly better HRQOL at follow-up for all measures assessed (P < .001), except Short Form-36 mental component score (P = .06). At the minimum 2-year follow-up, 71.5% of operative patients had ≥1 complications.

Conclusion: Operative treatment for ASD can provide significant improvement of HRQOL at a minimum 2-year follow-up. In contrast, nonoperative treatment on average maintains presenting levels of pain and disability.

Abbreviations: ASD, adult spinal deformityHRQOL, health-related quality of lifeLL, lumbar lordosisMCID, minimal clinically important differenceNRS, numeric rating scaleODI, Oswestry Disability IndexPI, pelvic incidenceSF-36, Short Form-36SRS-22r, Scoliosis Research Society-22rSVA, sagittal vertical axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1227/NEU.0000000000001116DOI Listing
June 2016

Reliability assessment of a novel cervical spine deformity classification system.

J Neurosurg Spine 2015 Dec 14;23(6):673-83. Epub 2015 Aug 14.

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, New York;

Object: Despite the complexity of cervical spine deformity (CSD) and its significant impact on patient quality of life, there exists no comprehensive classification system. The objective of this study was to develop a novel classification system based on a modified Delphi approach and to characterize the intra- and interobserver reliability of this classification.

Methods: Based on an extensive literature review and a modified Delphi approach with an expert panel, a CSD classification system was generated. The classification system included a deformity descriptor and 5 modifiers that incorporated sagittal, regional, and global spinopelvic alignment and neurological status. The descriptors included: "C," "CT," and "T" for primary cervical kyphotic deformities with an apex in the cervical spine, cervicothoracic junction, or thoracic spine, respectively; "S" for primary coronal deformity with a coronal Cobb angle ≥ 15°; and "CVJ" for primary craniovertebral junction deformity. The modifiers included C2-7 sagittal vertical axis (SVA), horizontal gaze (chin-brow to vertical angle [CBVA]), T1 slope (TS) minus C2-7 lordosis (TS-CL), myelopathy (modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association [mJOA] scale score), and the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-Schwab classification for thoracolumbar deformity. Application of the classification system requires the following: 1) full-length standing posteroanterior (PA) and lateral spine radiographs that include the cervical spine and femoral heads; 2) standing PA and lateral cervical spine radiographs; 3) completed and scored mJOA questionnaire; and 4) a clinical photograph or radiograph that includes the skull for measurement of the CBVA. A series of 10 CSD cases, broadly representative of the classification system, were selected and sufficient radiographic and clinical history to enable classification were assembled. A panel of spinal deformity surgeons was queried to classify each case twice, with a minimum of 1 intervening week. Inter- and intrarater reliability measures were based on calculations of Fleiss k coefficient values.

Results: Twenty spinal deformity surgeons participated in this study. Interrater reliability (Fleiss k coefficients) for the deformity descriptor rounds 1 and 2 were 0.489 and 0.280, respectively, and mean intrarater reliability was 0.584. For the modifiers, including the SRS-Schwab components, the interrater (round 1/round 2) and intrarater reliabilities (Fleiss k coefficients) were: C2-7 SVA (0.338/0.412, 0.584), horizontal gaze (0.779/0.430, 0.768), TS-CL (0.721/0.567, 0.720), myelopathy (0.602/0.477, 0.746), SRS-Schwab curve type (0.590/0.433, 0.564), pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis (0.554/0.386, 0.826), pelvic tilt (0.714/0.627, 0.633), and C7-S1 SVA (0.071/0.064, 0.233), respectively. The parameter with the poorest reliability was the C7-S1 SVA, which may have resulted from differences in interpretation of positive and negative measurements.

Conclusions: The proposed classification provides a mechanism to assess CSD within the framework of global spinopelvic malalignment and clinically relevant parameters. The intra- and interobserver reliabilities suggest moderate agreement and serve as the basis for subsequent improvement and study of the proposed classification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2014.12.SPINE14780DOI Listing
December 2015

Comparison of best versus worst clinical outcomes for adult spinal deformity surgery: a retrospective review of a prospectively collected, multicenter database with 2-year follow-up.

J Neurosurg Spine 2015 Sep 5;23(3):349-59. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

Neurosurgery, University of California San Francisco, California;

Object: Although recent studies suggest that average clinical outcomes are improved following surgery for selected adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients, these outcomes span a broad range. Few studies have specifically addressed factors that may predict favorable clinical outcomes. The objective of this study was to compare patients with ASD with best versus worst clinical outcomes following surgical treatment to identify distinguishing factors that may prove useful for patient counseling and optimization of clinical outcomes.

Methods: This is a retrospective review of a prospectively collected, multicenter, database of consecutively enrolled patients with ASD who were treated operatively. Inclusion criteria were age > 18 years and ASD. For patients with a minimum of 2-year follow-up, those with best versus worst outcomes were compared separately based on Scoliosis Research Society-22 (SRS-22) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores. Only patients with a baseline SRS-22 ≤ 3.5 or ODI ≥ 30 were included to minimize ceiling/floor effects. Best and worst outcomes were defined for SRS-22 (≥ 4.5 and ≤ 2.5, respectively) and ODI (≤ 15 and ≥ 50, respectively).

Results: Of 257 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 227 (88%) had complete baseline and 2-year follow-up SRS-22 and ODI outcomes scores and radiographic imaging and were analyzed in the present study. Of these 227 patients, 187 had baseline SRS-22 scores ≤ 3.5, and 162 had baseline ODI scores ≥ 30. Forthe SRS-22, best and worst outcomes criteria were met at follow-up for 25 and 27 patients, respectively. For the ODI, best and worst outcomes criteria were met at follow-up for 43 and 51 patients, respectively. With respect to the SRS-22, compared with best outcome patients, those with worst outcomes had higher baseline SRS-22 scores (p < 0.0001), higher prevalence of baseline depression (p < 0.001), more comorbidities (p = 0.012), greater prevalence of prior surgery (p = 0.007), a higher complication rate (p = 0.012), and worse baseline deformity (sagittal vertical axis [SVA], p = 0.045; pelvic incidence [PI] and lumbar lordosis [LL] mismatch, p = 0.034). The best-fit multivariate model for SRS-22 included baseline SRS-22 (p = 0.033), baseline depression (p = 0.012), and complications (p = 0.030). With respect to the ODI, compared with best outcome patients, those with worst outcomes had greater baseline ODI scores (p < 0.001), greater baseline body mass index (BMI; p = 0.002), higher prevalence of baseline depression (p < 0.028), greater baseline SVA (p = 0.016), a higher complication rate (p = 0.02), and greater 2-year SVA (p < 0.001) and PI-LL mismatch (p = 0.042). The best-fit multivariate model for ODI included baseline ODI score (p < 0.001), 2-year SVA (p = 0.014) and baseline BMI (p = 0.037). Age did not distinguish best versus worst outcomes for SRS-22 or ODI (p > 0.1).

Conclusions: Few studies have specifically addressed factors that distinguish between the best versus worst clinical outcomes for ASD surgery. In this study, baseline and perioperative factors distinguishing between the best and worst outcomes for ASD surgery included several patient factors (baseline depression, BMI, comorbidities, and disability), as well as residual deformity (SVA), and occurrence of complications. These findings suggest factors that may warrant greater awareness among clinicians to achieve optimal surgical outcomes for patients with ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2014.12.SPINE14777DOI Listing
September 2015

Prospective multicenter assessment of risk factors for rod fracture following surgery for adult spinal deformity.

J Neurosurg Spine 2014 Dec 17;21(6):994-1003. Epub 2014 Oct 17.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia;

Object: Improved understanding of rod fracture (RF) following adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery could prove valuable for surgical planning, patient counseling, and implant design. The objective of this study was to prospectively assess the rates of and risk factors for RF following surgery for ASD.

Methods: This was a prospective, multicenter, consecutive series. Inclusion criteria were ASD, age > 18 years, ≥5 levels posterior instrumented fusion, baseline full-length standing spine radiographs, and either development of RF or full-length standing spine radiographs obtained at least 1 year after surgery that demonstrated lack of RF. ASD was defined as presence of at least one of the following: coronal Cobb angle ≥20°, sagittal vertical axis (SVA) ≥5 cm, pelvic tilt (PT) ≥25°, and thoracic kyphosis ≥60°.

Results: Of 287 patients who otherwise met inclusion criteria, 200 (70%) either demonstrated RF or had radiographic imaging obtained at a minimum of 1 year after surgery showing lack of RF. The patients' mean age was 54.8 ± 15.8 years; 81% were women; 10% were smokers; the mean body mass index (BMI) was 27.1 ± 6.5; the mean number of levels fused was 12.0 ± 3.8; and 50 patients (25%) had a pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO). The rod material was cobalt chromium (CC) in 53%, stainless steel (SS), in 26%, or titanium alloy (TA) in 21% of cases; the rod diameters were 5.5 mm (in 68% of cases), 6.0 mm (in 13%), or 6.35 mm (in 19%). RF occurred in 18 cases (9.0%) at a mean of 14.7 months (range 3-27 months); patients without RF had a mean follow-up of 19 months (range 12-24 months). Patients with RF were older (62.3 vs 54.1 years, p = 0.036), had greater BMI (30.6 vs 26.7, p = 0.019), had greater baseline sagittal malalignment (SVA 11.8 vs 5.0 cm, p = 0.001; PT 29.1° vs 21.9°, p = 0.016; and pelvic incidence [PI]-lumbar lordosis [LL] mismatch 29.6° vs 12.0°, p = 0.002), and had greater sagittal alignment correction following surgery (SVA reduction by 9.6 vs 2.8 cm, p < 0.001; and PI-LL mismatch reduction by 26.3° vs 10.9°, p = 0.003). RF occurred in 22.0% of patients with PSO (10 of the 11 fractures occurred adjacent to the PSO level), with rates ranging from 10.0% to 31.6% across centers. CC rods were used in 68% of PSO cases, including all with RF. Smoking, levels fused, and rod diameter did not differ significantly between patients with and without RF (p > 0.05). In cases including a PSO, the rate of RF was significantly higher with CC rods than with TA or SS rods (33% vs 0%, p = 0.010). On multivariate analysis, only PSO was associated with RF (p = 0.001, OR 5.76, 95% CI 2.01-15.8).

Conclusions: Rod fracture occurred in 9.0% of ASD patients and in 22.0% of PSO patients with a minimum of 1-year follow-up. With further follow-up these rates would likely be even higher. There was a substantial range in the rate of RF with PSO across centers, suggesting potential variations in technique that warrant future investigation. Due to higher rates of RF with PSO, alternative instrumentation strategies should be considered for these cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2014.9.SPINE131176DOI Listing
December 2014

Patients with adult spinal deformity treated operatively report greater baseline pain and disability than patients treated nonoperatively; however, deformities differ between age groups.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2014 Aug;39(17):1401-7

*Department of Neurosurgery, Cornell University School of Medicine, New York, NY †Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Presbyterian/St Luke's Medical Center, Denver, CO ‡Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA §Department of Orthopedic Surgery, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY ¶Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS ‖San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, CA **Department of Neurosurgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA ††Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY ‡‡Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland, OR §§Baylor Scoliosis Center, Plano, TX ¶¶Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA; and ‖‖Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Study Design: Multicenter, prospective analysis of consecutive patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD).

Objective: Identify age-related radiographical parameters associated with poor health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and treatment preferences for ASD.

Summary Of Background Data: Patients with ASD report discrepant severities of disability. Understanding age-associated differences for reported disability and treatment preferences may improve ASD evaluation and treatment.

Methods: Baseline demographic, radiographical, and HRQOL values were evaluated in a multicenter, prospective cohort of consecutive patients with ASD.

Inclusion Criteria: ASD, age more than 18 years, and no prior spine surgery. Patients were grouped into those treated operatively (OP) or nonoperatively (NON) and stratified into 3 age groups: G1, 50 years or less; G2, 50 to 65 years; G3, 65 years or more. HRQOL measures included Scoliosis Research Society-22r questionnaire, Oswestry Disability Index, and Short Form-36 Health Survey.

Results: Four hundred ninety-seven patients (OP = 156, NON = 341) with a mean age of 50.4 years met inclusion criteria. The OP group was older (53.3 vs. 49.0 yr), had larger scoliosis (49.3° vs. 43.3°), larger sagittal vertical axis (SVA, 33.2 vs. 13.7 mm), greater pelvic incidence-lumbar lordosis mismatch (6.6°vs. 3.1°), and worse HRQOL scores than the NON group, respectively (P < 0.05). Age stratification demonstrated worsening of SVA, spinopelvic alignment (SPA), and HRQOL scores with increasing age (P < 0.05). Age/treatment stratification demonstrated that younger OP had greater scoliosis than NON (G1OP = 49.9°vs. G1NON = 42.2°; G2OP = 56°vs. G2NON = 47.2°; P < 0.05) but similar SPA as NON. Older OP had similar scoliosis, but larger SVA than NON (G3OP = 100.6 vs. G3NON = 66.4 mm; P < 0.05). OP in all age groups reported worse HRQOL than NON (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Poor HRQOL uniformly determined operative treatment for ASD. Spinal deformities differed between age groups. Younger OP had larger scoliosis but similar SPA and SVA than NON. Older OP had similar scoliosis but worse SVA than NON. Age-associated differences for poor HRQOL must be considered when evaluating patients with ASD.

Level Of Evidence: 2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000000414DOI Listing
August 2014

Prevalence and type of cervical deformity among 470 adults with thoracolumbar deformity.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2014 Aug;39(17):E1001-9

*Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA †Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY ‡Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA §University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, San Diego, CA ¶Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, NY ‖San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, CA **Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Baylor Scoliosis Center, Plano, TX ††Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA ‡‡Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR §§Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS ¶¶Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, CO; and ‖‖Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA.

Study Design: Multicenter, prospective, consecutive case series.

Objective: To assess prevalence and type of cervical deformity among adults with thoracolumbar (TL) deformity and to assess for associations between cervical deformities and different types of TL deformities.

Summary Of Background Data: Cervical deformity can present concomitantly with TL deformity and have implications for the management of TL deformity.

Methods: Multicenter, prospective, consecutive series of adult (age >18 yr) patients with TL deformity. Parameters included pelvic tilt (PT), pelvic incidence (PI), lumbar lordosis (LL), C2-C7 sagittal vertical axis (C2-C7SVA), C7-S1SVA, and C2-C7 lordosis. Cervical deformity was defined as cervical lordosis more than 0° (cervical kyphosis [CK]) or C2-C7SVA more than 4 cm (cervical positive sagittal malalignment [CPSM]). Patients were stratified by the Scoliosis Research Society-Schwab classification of adult TL deformity, including curve type (N = sagittal deformity, T = thoracic scoliosis, L = lumbar scoliosis, and D = T + L scoliosis) and modifier grades: PT (0: <20°, +: 20°-30°, ++: >30°), C7-S1SVA (0: <4 cm, +: 4-9.5 cm, ++: >9.5 cm), and PI-LL mismatch (0: <10°, +: 10-20°, ++: >20°).

Results: A total of 470 patients met criteria (mean age = 52 yr). Mean cervical lordosis and C2-C7SVA were -8° and 3.2 cm, respectively. CK and CPSM prevalence were 31% and 29%, respectively, and prevalence of CK and/or CPSM was 53%. CK prevalence differed by curve type (N = 15%, L = 27%, D = 37%, T = 49%; P < 0.001); CPSM prevalence did not differ by curve type (P = 0.19). Higher PT grades had lower CK prevalence (0 = 40%, += 27%, ++= 15%; P < 0.001) but greater CPSM prevalence (0 = 23%, += 28%, ++= 45%; P = 0.001). Similarly, higher SVA grades had lower CK prevalence (0 = 40%, += 23%, ++= 11%; P < 0.001) but greater CPSM prevalence (0 = 24%, += 24%, ++= 48%; P < 0.001). Higher PI-LL grades had lower CK prevalence (0 = 35%, += 31%, ++= 22%; P = 0.034) but no CPSM association (P = 0.46).

Conclusion: Cervical deformity is highly prevalent (53%) in adult TL deformity. C7-S1SVA, PT, and PI-LL modifiers are associated with cervical deformity prevalence. These findings suggest that TL deformity evaluation should include assessment for concomitant cervical deformity and that further study is warranted to define their potential clinical impact.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0000000000000432DOI Listing
August 2014

The minimally invasive spinal deformity surgery algorithm: a reproducible rational framework for decision making in minimally invasive spinal deformity surgery.

Neurosurg Focus 2014 May;36(5):E6

Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, San Francisco, California;

Object: Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is an alternative to open deformity surgery for the treatment of patients with adult spinal deformity. However, at this time MIS techniques are not as versatile as open deformity techniques, and MIS techniques have been reported to result in suboptimal sagittal plane correction or pseudarthrosis when used for severe deformities. The minimally invasive spinal deformity surgery (MISDEF) algorithm was created to provide a framework for rational decision making for surgeons who are considering MIS versus open spine surgery.

Methods: A team of experienced spinal deformity surgeons developed the MISDEF algorithm that incorporates a patient's preoperative radiographic parameters and leads to one of 3 general plans ranging from MIS direct or indirect decompression to open deformity surgery with osteotomies. The authors surveyed fellowship-trained spine surgeons experienced with spinal deformity surgery to validate the algorithm using a set of 20 cases to establish interobserver reliability. They then resurveyed the same surgeons 2 months later with the same cases presented in a different sequence to establish intraobserver reliability. Responses were collected and tabulated. Fleiss' analysis was performed using MATLAB software.

Results: Over a 3-month period, 11 surgeons completed the surveys. Responses for MISDEF algorithm case review demonstrated an interobserver kappa of 0.58 for the first round of surveys and an interobserver kappa of 0.69 for the second round of surveys, consistent with substantial agreement. In at least 10 cases there was perfect agreement between the reviewing surgeons. The mean intraobserver kappa for the 2 surveys was 0.86 ± 0.15 (± SD) and ranged from 0.62 to 1.

Conclusions: The use of the MISDEF algorithm provides consistent and straightforward guidance for surgeons who are considering either an MIS or an open approach for the treatment of patients with adult spinal deformity. The MISDEF algorithm was found to have substantial inter- and intraobserver agreement. Although further studies are needed, the application of this algorithm could provide a platform for surgeons to achieve the desired goals of surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2014.3.FOCUS1413DOI Listing
May 2014

Complications in adult spinal deformity surgery: an analysis of minimally invasive, hybrid, and open surgical techniques.

Neurosurg Focus 2014 May;36(5):E15

Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, University of South Florida, Tampa;

Object: It is hypothesized that minimally invasive surgical techniques lead to fewer complications than open surgery for adult spinal deformity (ASD). The goal of this study was to analyze matched patient cohorts in an attempt to isolate the impact of approach on adverse events.

Methods: Two multicenter databases queried for patients with ASD treated via surgery and at least 1 year of follow-up revealed 280 patients who had undergone minimally invasive surgery (MIS) or a hybrid procedure (HYB; n = 85) or open surgery (OPEN; n = 195). These patients were divided into 3 separate groups based on the approach performed and were propensity matched for age, preoperative sagittal vertebral axis (SVA), number of levels fused posteriorly, and lumbar coronal Cobb angle (CCA) in an attempt to neutralize these patient variables and to make conclusions based on approach only. Inclusion criteria for both databases were similar, and inclusion criteria specific to this study consisted of an age > 45 years, CCA > 20°, 3 or more levels of fusion, and minimum of 1 year of follow-up. Patients in the OPEN group with a thoracic CCA > 75° were excluded to further ensure a more homogeneous patient population.

Results: In all, 60 matched patients were available for analysis (MIS = 20, HYB = 20, OPEN = 20). Blood loss was less in the MIS group than in the HYB and OPEN groups, but a significant difference was only found between the MIS and the OPEN group (669 vs 2322 ml, p = 0.001). The MIS and HYB groups had more fused interbody levels (4.5 and 4.1, respectively) than the OPEN group (1.6, p < 0.001). The OPEN group had less operative time than either the MIS or HYB group, but it was only statistically different from the HYB group (367 vs 665 minutes, p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the duration of hospital stay among the groups. In patients with complete data, the overall complication rate was 45.5% (25 of 55). There was no significant difference in the total complication rate among the MIS, HYB, and OPEN groups (30%, 47%, and 63%, respectively; p = 0.147). No intraoperative complications were reported for the MIS group, 5.3% for the HYB group, and 25% for the OPEN group (p < 0.03). At least one postoperative complication occurred in 30%, 47%, and 50% (p = 0.40) of the MIS, HYB, and OPEN groups, respectively. One major complication occurred in 30%, 47%, and 63% (p = 0.147) of the MIS, HYB, and OPEN groups, respectively. All patients had significant improvement in both the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog scale scores after surgery (p < 0.001), although the MIS group did not have significant improvement in leg pain. The occurrence of complications had no impact on the ODI.

Conclusions: Results in this study suggest that the surgical approach may impact complications. The MIS group had significantly fewer intraoperative complications than did either the HYB or OPEN groups. If the goals of ASD surgery can be achieved, consideration should be given to less invasive techniques.
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May 2014

Less invasive surgery for treating adult spinal deformities: ceiling effects for deformity correction with 3 different techniques.

Neurosurg Focus 2014 May;36(5):E12

University of Miami, Neurosurgery, Miami, Florida.

Object: Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) options for the treatment of adult spinal deformity (ASD) have advanced significantly over the past decade. However, a wide array of options have been described as being MIS or less invasive. In this study the authors investigated a multiinstitutional cohort of patients with ASD who were treated with less invasive methods to determine the extent of deformity correction achieved.

Methods: This study was a retrospective review of multicenter prospectively collected data in 85 consecutive patients with ASD undergoing MIS surgery. Inclusion criteria were as follows: age older than 45 years; minimum 20° coronal lumbar Cobb angle; and 1 year of follow-up. Procedures were classified as follows: 1) stand-alone (n = 7); 2) circumferential MIS (n = 43); or 3) hybrid (n = 35).

Results: An average of 4.2 discs (range 3-7) were fused, with a mean follow-up duration of 26.1 months in this study. For the stand-alone group the preoperative Cobb range was 22°-51°, with 57% greater than 30° and 28.6% greater than 50°. The mean Cobb angle improved from 35.7° to 30°. A ceiling effect of 23° for curve correction was observed, regardless of preoperative curve severity. For the circumferential MIS group the preoperative Cobb range was 19°-62°, with 44% greater than 30° and 5% greater than 50°. The mean Cobb angle improved from 32° to 12°. A ceiling effect of 34° for curve correction was observed. For the hybrid group the preoperative Cobb range was 23°-82°, with 74% greater than 30° and 23% greater than 50°. The mean Cobb angle improved from 43° to 15°. A ceiling effect of 55° for curve correction was observed.

Conclusions: Specific procedures for treating ASD have particular limitations for scoliotic curve correction. Less invasive techniques were associated with a reduced ability to straighten the spine, particularly with advanced curves. These data can guide preoperative technique selection when treating patients with ASD.
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May 2014

Does recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 use in adult spinal deformity increase complications and are complications associated with location of rhBMP-2 use? A prospective, multicenter study of 279 consecutive patients.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2014 Feb;39(3):233-42

*Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, CO †Rocky Mountain Scoliosis & Spine, Denver, CO ‡Department of Orthopedic Surgery, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY §Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA ¶Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center; Portland, OR ‖Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY **San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, CA ††University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA ‡‡Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, KS §§Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA ¶¶Department of Neurosurgery, Cornell University School of Medicine, New York, NY ‖‖Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California Davis, Davis, CA ***Baylor Scoliosis Center, Plano, TX; and †††Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD [LATIN CROSS]Deceased.

Study Design: Multicenter, prospective analysis of consecutive patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD).

Objective: Evaluate complications associated with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) use in ASD.

Summary Of Background Data: Off-label rhBMP-2 use is common; however, underreporting of rhBMP-2 associated complications has been recently scrutinized.

Methods: Patients with ASD consecutively enrolled into a prospective, multicenter database were evaluated for type and timing of acute perioperative complications.

Inclusion Criteria: age 18 years and older, ASD, spinal arthrodesis of more than 4 levels, and 3 or more months of follow-up. Patients were divided into those receiving rhBMP-2 (BMP) or no rhBMP-2 (NOBMP). BMP divided into location of use: posterior (PBMP), interbody (IBMP), and interbody + posterior spine (I + PBMP). Correlations between acute perioperative complications and rhBMP-2 use including total dose, dose/level, and location of use were evaluated.

Results: A total of 279 patients (mean age: 57 yr; mean spinal levels fused: 12.0; and mean follow-up: 28.8 mo) met inclusion criteria. BMP (n = 172; average posterior dose = 2.5 mg/level, average interbody dose = 5 mg/level) had similar age, smoking history, previous spine surgery, total spinal levels fused, estimated blood loss, and duration of hospital stay as NOBMP (n = 107; P > 0.05). BMP had greater Charlson Comorbidity Index (1.9 vs. 1.2), greater scoliosis (43° vs. 38°), longer operative time (488.2 vs. 414.6 min), more osteotomies per patient (4.0 vs. 1.6), and greater percentage of anteroposterior fusion (APSF; 20.9% vs. 8.4%) than NOBMP, respectively (P < 0.05). BMP had more total complications per patient (1.4 vs. 0.6) and more minor complications per patient (0.9 vs. 0.2) than NOBMP, respectively (P < 0.05). NOBMP had more complications requiring surgery per patient than BMP (0.3 vs. 0.2; P < 0.05). Major, neurological, wound, and infectious complications were similar for NOBMP, BMP, PBMP, IBMP, and I + PBMP (P > 0.05). Multivariate analysis demonstrated small to nonexistent correlations between rhBMP-2 use and complications.

Conclusion: RhBMP-2 use and location of rhBMP-2 use in ASD surgery, at reported doses, do not increase acute major, neurological, or wound complications. Research is needed for higher rhBMP-2 dosing and long-term follow-up.

Level Of Evidence: 2.
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February 2014

Failure of lumbopelvic fixation after long construct fusions in patients with adult spinal deformity: clinical and radiographic risk factors: clinical article.

J Neurosurg Spine 2013 Oct 2;19(4):445-53. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York;

Object: Lumbopelvic fixation provides biomechanical support to the base of the long constructs used for adult spinal deformity. However, the failure rate of the lumbopelvic fixation and its risk factors are not well known. The authors' objective was to report the failure rate and risk factors for lumbopelvic fixation in long instrumented spinal fusion constructs performed for adult spinal deformity.

Methods: This retrospective review included 190 patients with adult spinal deformity who had long construct instrumentation (> 6 levels) with iliac screws. Patients' clinical and radiographic data were analyzed. The patients were divided into 2 groups: a failure group and a nonfailure group. A minimum 2-year follow-up was required for inclusion in the nonfailure group. In the failure group, all patients were included in the study regardless of whether the failure occurred before or after 2 years. In both groups, the patients who needed a revision for causes other than lumbopelvic fixation (for example, proximal junctional kyphosis) were also excluded. Failures were defined as major and minor. Major failures included rod breakage between L-4 and S-1, failure of S-1 screws (breakage, halo formation, or pullout), and prominent iliac screws requiring removal. Minor failures included rod breakage between S-1 and iliac screws and failure of iliac screws. Minor failures did not require revision surgery. Multiple clinical and radiographic values were compared between major failures and nonfailures.

Results: Of 190 patients, 67 patients met inclusion criteria and were enrolled in the study. The overall failure rate was 34.3%; 8 patients had major failure (11.9%) and 15 had minor failure (22.4%). Major failure occurred at a statistically significant greater rate in patients who had undergone previous lumbar surgery, had greater pelvic incidence, and had poor restoration of lumbar lordosis and/or sagittal balance (that is, undercorrection). Patients with a greater number of comorbidities and preoperative coronal imbalance showed trends toward an increase in major failures, although these trends did not reach statistical significance. Age, sex, body mass index, smoking history, number of fusion segments, fusion grade, and several other radiographic values were not shown to be associated with an increased risk of major failure. Seventy percent of patients in the major failure group had anterior column support (anterior lumbar interbody fusion or transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) while 80% of the nonfailure group had anterior column support.

Conclusions: The incidence of overall failure was 34.3%, and the incidence of clinically significant major failure of lumbopelvic fixation after long construct fusion for adult spinal deformity was 11.9%. Risk factors for major failures are a large pelvic incidence, revision surgery, and failure to restore lumbar lordosis and sagittal balance. Surgeons treating adult spinal deformity who use lumbopelvic fixation should pay special attention to restoring optimal sagittal alignment to prevent lumbopelvic fixation failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2013.6.SPINE121129DOI Listing
October 2013

Change in classification grade by the SRS-Schwab Adult Spinal Deformity Classification predicts impact on health-related quality of life measures: prospective analysis of operative and nonoperative treatment.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2013 Sep;38(19):1663-71

*Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA †Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California Davis, Sacramento, CA ‡Department of Orthopedic Surgery, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY §Department of Neurosurgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA ¶Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Baylor Scoliosis Center, Plano, TX ‖Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY **Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS ††Department of Orthopedic Surgery, San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, CA ‡‡Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR; and §§Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, CO.

Study Design: Multicenter, prospective, consecutive series.

Objective: To evaluate responsiveness of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-Schwab adult spinal deformity (ASD) classification to changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) after treatment for ASD.

Summary Of Background Data: Ideally, a classification system should describe and be responsive to changes in a disease state. We hypothesized that the SRS-Schwab classification is responsive to changes in HRQOL measures after treatment for ASD.

Methods: A multicenter, prospective, consecutive series from the International Spine Study Group.

Inclusion Criteria: ASD, age more than 18, operative or nonoperative treatment, baseline and 1-year radiographs, and HRQOL measures (Oswestry Disability Index [ODI], SRS-22, Short Form [SF]-36). The SRS-Schwab classification includes a curve descriptor and 3 sagittal spinopelvic modifiers (sagittal vertical axis [SVA], pelvic tilt, pelvic incidence/lumbar lordosis [PI-LL] mismatch). Changes in modifiers at 1 year were assessed for impact on HRQOL from pretreatment values based on minimal clinically important differences.

Results: Three hundred forty-one patients met criteria (mean age = 54; 85% females; 177 operative and 164 nonoperative). Change in pelvic tilt modifier at 1-year follow-up was associated with changes in ODI and SRS-22 (total and appearance scores) (P ≤ 0.034). Change in SVA modifier at 1 year was associated with changes in ODI, SF-36 physical component score, and SRS-22 (total, activity, and appearance scores) (P ≤ 0.037). Change in PI-LL modifier at 1 year was associated with changes in SF-36 physical component score and SRS-22 (total, activity, and appearance scores) (P ≤ 0.03). Patients with improvement of pelvic tilt, SVA, or PI-LL modifiers were significantly more likely to achieve minimal clinically important difference for ODI, SF-36 physical component score (SVA and PI-LL only), SRS activity, and SRS pain (PI-LL only).

Conclusion: The SRS-Schwab classification provides a validated system to evaluate ASD, and the classification components correlate with HRQOL measures. This study demonstrates that the classification modifiers are responsive to changes in disease state and reflect significant changes in patient-reported outcomes.

Level Of Evidence: 3.
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September 2013

The SRS-Schwab adult spinal deformity classification: assessment and clinical correlations based on a prospective operative and nonoperative cohort.

Neurosurgery 2013 Oct;73(4):559-68

*Department of Orthopedic Surgery, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, New York; ‡Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, Virginia; §Department of Neurosurgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California; ¶Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York; ‖Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas; #Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Baylor Scoliosis Center, Plano, Texas; **Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of California Davis, Sacramento, California; ‡‡Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California; §§Department of Orthopedic Surgery, San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, California; ¶¶Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon; ‖‖Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, Colorado.

Background: The SRS-Schwab classification of adult spinal deformity (ASD) is a validated system that provides a common language for the complex pathology of ASD. Classification reliability has been reported; however, correlation with treatment has not been assessed.

Objective: To assess the clinical relevance of the SRS-Schwab classification based on correlations with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures and the decision to pursue operative vs nonoperative treatment.

Methods: Prospective analysis of consecutive ASD patients (18 years of age and older) collected through a multicenter group. The SRS-Schwab classification includes a curve type descriptor and 3 sagittal spinopelvic modifiers (sagittal vertical axis, pelvic tilt, pelvic incidence/lumbar lordosis mismatch). Differences in demographics, HRQOL (Oswestry Disability Index, SRS-22, Short Form-36), and classification between operative and nonoperative patients were evaluated.

Results: A total of 527 patients (mean age, 52.9 years; range, 18.4-85.1 years) met inclusion criteria. Significant differences in HRQOL were identified based on SRS-Schwab curve type, with thoracolumbar and primary sagittal deformities associated with greater disability and poorer health status than thoracic or double curve deformities. Operative patients had significantly poorer grades for each of the sagittal spinopelvic modifiers, and progressively higher grades were associated with significantly poorer HRQOL (P < .05). Patients with worse sagittal spinopelvic modifier grades were significantly more likely to require major osteotomies, iliac fixation, and decompression (P ≤ .009).

Conclusion: The SRS-Schwab classification provides a validated language to describe and categorize ASD. This study demonstrates that the SRS-Schwab classification reflects severity of disease state based on multiple measures of HRQOL and significantly correlates with the important decision of whether to pursue operative or nonoperative treatment.
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October 2013

Coronal realignment and reduction techniques and complication avoidance.

Neurosurg Clin N Am 2013 Apr 21;24(2):195-202. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Scoliosis is a broad term encompassing multiple pathologies with different etiologies. Patients may range from the infant with congenital deformity, to the adolescent with idiopathic scoliosis, to the elderly patient with severe degenerative scoliosis. Treatment must be tailored to individual circumstances and the pathoanatomy of each deformity. Various coronal reduction techniques have been described and will be discussed within this article. While scoliosis is generally considered a deformity in the coronal plane, often deformity is present in the sagittal and axial planes also. Treatment of these deformities can require osteotomies or vertebral column resections, techniques further discussed in accompanying articles.
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April 2013

Clinical and radiographic evaluation of the adult spinal deformity patient.

Neurosurg Clin N Am 2013 Apr 21;24(2):143-56. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

Among the prevalent forms of adult spinal deformity are residual adolescent idiopathic and degenerative scoliosis, kyphotic deformity, and spondylolisthesis. Clinical evaluation should include a thorough history, discussion of concerns, and a review of comorbidities. Physical examination should include assessment of the deformity and a neurologic examination. Imaging studies should include full-length standing posteroanterior and lateral spine radiographs, and measurement of pelvic parameters. Advanced imaging studies are frequently indicated to assess for neurologic compromise and for surgical planning. This article focuses on clinical and radiographic evaluation of spinal deformity in the adult population, particularly scoliosis and kyphotic deformities.
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April 2013

Revision extension to the pelvis versus primary spinopelvic instrumentation in adult deformity: comparison of clinical outcomes and complications.

World Neurosurg 2014 Sep-Oct;82(3-4):e547-52. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Orthopaedic Surgery, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Objective: To evaluate the outcomes and complications of patients with adult spinal deformity treated in a primary versus revision fashion with long fusions to the sacropelvis.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed of a multicenter consecutive series of patients with adult spinal deformity requiring fusion to the sacropelvis, either primarily or as revision, with minimum 2-year follow-up. Clinical (Scoliosis Research Society [SRS] 22 questionnaire) and radiographic parameters (including sagittal vertical axis [SVA], coronal Cobb angle, lumbar lordosis, and thoracic kyphosis) were compared between the groups.

Results: There were 63 patients who met inclusion criteria; mean patient age was 51.9 years, and mean follow-up was 43 months. Patients requiring primary fusion were older (58.0 years vs. 49.5 years, P=0.01) and at baseline had a lower SVA (2.1 cm vs. 6.8 cm, P=0.01) and greater thoracolumbar Cobb angle (51.2 degrees vs. 36.5 degrees, P=0.003). At last follow-up, patients undergoing primary fusion and patients undergoing revision treatment had similar SVA (2.9 cm vs. 1.8 cm, P=0.32) and lumbar lordosis (-42.3 degrees vs. -43.4 degrees, P=0.82); patients undergoing revision treatment had more favorable SRS 22 scores (3.65 vs. 3.14, P=0.005). There was no statistical difference in complication rates between the groups (44.4% vs. 35%, P=0.68).

Conclusions: Patients requiring revision extension of instrumentation to the pelvis can be treated with the same expectation of radiographic and clinical success as patients treated primarily with fusion to the sacropelvis. The complication rate for the revision procedure is not insignificant and may be similar to a primary procedure that includes pelvic fixation.
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March 2015

Clinical and radiographic parameters that distinguish between the best and worst outcomes of scoliosis surgery for adults.

Eur Spine J 2013 Feb 18;22(2):402-10. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, PO Box 800212, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

Purpose: Predictors of marked improvement versus failure to improve following surgery for adult scoliosis have not been identified. Our objective was to identify factors that distinguish between patients with the best and worst outcomes following surgery for adult scoliosis.

Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a prospective, multicenter spinal deformity database. Inclusion criteria included: age 18-85, scoliosis (Cobb ≥ 30°), and 2-year follow-up. Based on the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the SRS-22 at 2-year follow-up, patients with the best and worst outcomes were identified for younger (18-45) and older (46-85) adults with scoliosis. Clinical and radiographic factors were compared between patients with the best and worst outcomes.

Results: 276 patients met inclusion criteria (89 younger and 187 older patients). Among younger patients, predictors of poor outcome included: depression/anxiety, smoking, narcotic medication use, older age, greater body mass index (BMI) and greater severity of pain prior to surgery. Among older patients, predictors of poor outcome included: depression/anxiety, narcotic medication use, greater BMI and greater severity of pain prior to surgery. None of the other baseline or peri-operative factors assessed distinguished the best and worst outcomes for younger or older patients, including severity of deformity, operative parameters, or the occurrence of complications.

Conclusions: Not all patients achieve favorable outcomes following surgery for adult scoliosis. Baseline and peri-operative factors distinguishing between patients with the best and worst outcomes were predominantly patient factors, including BMI, depression/anxiety, smoking, and pain severity; not comorbidities, severity of deformity, operative parameters, or complications.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3555616PMC
February 2013

Assessment of symptomatic rod fracture after posterior instrumented fusion for adult spinal deformity.

Neurosurgery 2012 Oct;71(4):862-7

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia, Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.

Background: Improved understanding of rod fracture (RF) in adult spinal deformity could be valuable for implant design, surgical planning, and patient counseling.

Objective: To evaluate symptomatic RF after posterior instrumented fusion for adult spinal deformity.

Methods: A multicenter, retrospective review of RF in adult spinal deformity was performed. Inclusion criteria were spinal deformity, age older than 18 years, and more than 5 levels posterior instrumented fusion. Rod failures were divided into early (≤12 months) and late (>12 months).

Results: Of 442 patients, 6.8% had symptomatic RF. RF rates were 8.6% for titanium alloy, 7.4% for stainless steel, and 2.7% for cobalt chromium. RF incidence after pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) was 15.8%. Among patients with a PSO and RF, 89% had RF at or adjacent to the PSO. Mean time to early RF (63%) was 6.4 months (range, 2-12 months). Mean time to late RF (37%) was 31.8 months (range, 14-73 months). The majority of RFs after PSO (71%) were early (mean, 10 months). Among RF cases, mean sagittal vertical axis improved from preoperative (163 mm) to postoperative (76.9 mm) measures (P<.001); however, 16 had postoperative malalignment (sagittal vertical axis>50 mm; mean, 109 mm).

Conclusion: Symptomatic RF occurred in 6.8% of adult spinal deformity cases and in 15.8% of PSO patients. The rate of RF was lower with cobalt chromium than with titanium alloy or stainless steel. Early failure was most common after PSO and favored the PSO site, suggesting that RF may be caused by stress at the PSO site. Postoperative sagittal malalignment may increase the risk of RF.
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October 2012

Multiple-day drainage when using bone morphogenic protein for long-segment thoracolumbar fusions is associated with low rates of wound complications.

World Neurosurg 2013 Jul-Aug;80(1-2):204-7. Epub 2012 Aug 25.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Background: Concerns over increased wound complication rates have been raised when bone morphogenic protein (BMP) is used as an adjunct for fusion in spinal surgery. This study evaluated 87 consecutive patients undergoing long-segment thoracolumbar spinal fusions with BMP to assess drain output and the rates of reoperation for infection or seroma.

Methods: Inclusion criteria included patients undergoing 4 or more levels of posterior instrumented thoracolumbar fusion, use of BMP, age >18 years, and a perioperative follow-up of ≥60 days. Drain output, length of time of drainage, and need for reoperation for wound seroma or infection were reviewed.

Results: A total of 87 patients met inclusion criteria and had a mean age of 58.5 years (SD 16, range 20 to 81). The average number of levels instrumented and arthrodesed with BMP was 9.2 (SD 3.7; range 4 to 18), and the average dose of BMP used was 31.2 mg (SD 9.6, range 12 to 48) or 2.6 large sponges. Patients required drainage for a mean of 4.9 days (SD 1.3, range 3 to 9). The average total output was 1923 mL (SD 865, range 530 to 4310 mL). The wound infection rate was 2.3% (2 cases of deep wound infection that required reoperation). There was one (1.1%) hematoma, and one (1.1%) sterile seroma, both requiring evacuation. No other wound complications were noted.

Conclusions: Use of BMP for long-segment posterior thoracolumbar fusions may be associated with significant drain output, requiring multiple days of drainage. However, when drained adequately, infections and seromas occur infrequently.
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November 2013

Outcomes and complications of extension of previous long fusion to the sacro-pelvis: is an anterior approach necessary?

World Neurosurg 2013 Jan 18;79(1):177-81. Epub 2012 Jun 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, USA.

Background: Patients with previous multilevel spinal fusion may require extension of the fusion to the sacro-pelvis. Our objective was to evaluate the outcomes and complications of these patients, stratified based on whether the revision was performed using a posterior-only spinal fusion (PSF) or combined anterior-posterior spinal fusion (APSF).

Methods: A retrospective, multicenter evaluation of adults (>18 years old) with a history of prior spinal fusion for scoliosis (≥4 levels) terminating in the distal lumbar spine requiring extension of fusion to the sacro-pelvis (including iliac fixation in all cases), with minimum 2-year follow-up, was performed. Patients were stratified based on approach (APSF vs. PSF) and inclusion of pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO). The PSF group included patients treated with an anterior interbody fusion done through a posterior approach, whereas patients in the APSF group all had both anterior and posterior surgical approaches. Clinical outcomes were based on the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS-22) questionnaire.

Results: Between 1995 and 2006, 45 patients (mean age = 49 years) met inclusion criteria, with a mean follow-up of 41.9 months (range 24 to 135 months). Demographic, preoperative, operative, and postoperative radiographic, SRS-22, and follow-up results were similar between APSF (n=30) and PSF (n=15) groups. The APSF group had more complications (13 of 30 vs. 3 of 15) and a greater number of pseudarthrosis (4 of 30 vs. 0 of 15) than the PSF group; however, these differences did not reach statistical significance. Patients treated with a PSO (n=13) had greater sagittal vertical axis correction (7.7 cm vs. 2.2 cm; P=.04) compared with patients not treated with a PSO (n=32). There were no differences in complication rates or follow-up SRS-22 scores based on whether a PSO was performed (P>.05).

Conclusions: Among adults with previously treated scoliosis requiring extension to the sacro-pelvis, PSF produced radiographic fusion and clinical outcomes equivalent to APSF, whereas complication rates may be lower. PSO resulted in greater sagittal plane correction, without an increase in overall complication rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2012.06.016DOI Listing
January 2013

Does prior short-segment surgery for adult scoliosis impact perioperative complication rates and clinical outcome among patients undergoing scoliosis correction?

J Neurosurg Spine 2012 Aug 8;17(2):128-33. Epub 2012 Jun 8.

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Object: In many adults with scoliosis, symptoms can be principally referable to focal pathology and can be addressed with short-segment procedures, such as decompression with or without fusion. A number of patients subsequently require more extensive scoliosis correction. However, there is a paucity of data on the impact of prior short-segment surgeries on the outcome of subsequent major scoliosis correction, which could be useful in preoperative counseling and surgical decision making. The authors' objective was to assess whether prior focal decompression or short-segment fusion of a limited portion of a larger spinal deformity impacts surgical parameters and clinical outcomes in patients who subsequently require more extensive scoliosis correction surgery.

Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective cohort analysis with propensity scoring, based on a prospective multicenter deformity database. Study inclusion criteria included a patient age ≥ 21 years, a primary diagnosis of untreated adult idiopathic or degenerative scoliosis with a Cobb angle ≥ 20°, and available clinical outcome measures at a minimum of 2 years after scoliosis surgery. Patients with prior short-segment surgery (< 5 levels) were propensity matched to patients with no prior surgery based on patient age, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Cobb angle, and sagittal vertical axis.

Results: Thirty matched pairs were identified. Among those patients who had undergone previous spine surgery, 30% received instrumentation, 40% underwent arthrodesis, and the mean number of operated levels was 2.4 ± 0.9 (mean ± SD). As compared with patients with no history of spine surgery, those who did have a history of prior spine surgery trended toward greater blood loss and an increased number of instrumented levels and did not differ significantly in terms of complication rates, duration of surgery, or clinical outcome based on the ODI, Scoliosis Research Society-22r, or 12-Item Short Form Health Survey Physical Component Score (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Patients with adult scoliosis and a history of short-segment spine surgery who later undergo more extensive scoliosis correction do not appear to have significantly different complication rates or clinical improvements as compared with patients who have not had prior short-segment surgical procedures. These findings should serve as a basis for future prospective study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2012.4.SPINE12130DOI Listing
August 2012

Does bone morphogenetic protein increase the incidence of perioperative complications in spinal fusion? A comparison of 55,862 cases of spinal fusion with and without bone morphogenetic protein.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2011 Sep;36(20):1685-91

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of a multi-institutional, multisurgeon database.

Objective: Assess for associations between bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) use and rate of complications in spinal fusion.

Summary Of Background Data: BMP is commonly used in spinal surgery to augment fusion; however, there is limited evidence demonstrating its associated complications.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of all fusion cases submitted by members of the Scoliosis Research Society from 2004 to 2007. We stratified on the basis of the use of BMP and evaluated for complications and associated characteristics.

Results: A total of 55,862 cases of spinal fusion were identified with BMP used in 21% (11,933) of the cases. Excluding anterior cervical fusions, there were no significant differences between fusions with and without BMP with regard to overall complications (8.4% vs. 8.5%; P = 0.5), wound infections (2.4% vs. 2.4%; P = 0.8), or epidural hematomas/seromas (0.2% vs. 0.2%; P = 0.3). Anterior cervical fusions with BMP were associated with more overall complications (5.8% vs. 2.4%; P < 0.001) and more wound infections (2.1% vs. 0.4%; P < 0.001) than fusions without BMP. On multivariate analysis for thoracolumbar and posterior cervical fusions, BMP use was not a significant predictor of complications (P = 0.334; odds ratio = 1.039; 95% confidence interval = 0.961-1.124; covariates were BMP use, patient age, revision vs. primary surgery). Multivariate analysis for anterior cervical spinal fusion demonstrated that BMP use remained a significant predictor of complications (P < 0.001, odds ratio = 1.6; 95% confidence interval = 1.516-1.721), after adjusting for the effects of patient age and whether the surgery was a revision procedure.

Conclusion: BMP use with anterior cervical fusion was associated with an increased incidence of complications. Use of BMP was not associated with more complications in thoracolumbar and posterior cervical fusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0b013e318216d825DOI Listing
September 2011

Prevalence, severity, and impact of foraminal and canal stenosis among adults with degenerative scoliosis.

Neurosurgery 2011 Dec;69(6):1181-7

Department of Neurosurgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, USA.

Background: Management approaches for adult scoliosis are primarily based on adults with idiopathic scoliosis and extrapolated to adults with degenerative scoliosis. However, the often substantially, but poorly defined, greater degenerative changes present in degenerative scoliosis impact the management of these patients.

Objective: To assess the prevalence, severity, and impact of canal and foraminal stenosis in adults with degenerative scoliosis seeking operative treatment.

Methods: A prospectively collected database of adult patients with deformity was reviewed for consecutive patients with degenerative scoliosis seeking surgical treatment, without prior corrective surgery. Patients completed the Oswestry Disability Index, SF-12, Scoliosis Research Society 22 questionnaire, and a pain numeric rating scale (0-10). Based on MRI or CT myelogram, the central canal and foraminae from T6 to S1 were graded for stenosis (normal or minimal/mild/moderate/severe).

Results: Thirty-six patients were included (mean age, 68.9 years; range, 51-85). The mean leg pain numeric rating scale was 6.5, and the mean Oswestry Disability Index score was 53.2. At least 1 level of severe foraminal stenosis was identified in 97% of patients; 83% had maximum foraminal stenosis in the curve concavity. All but 1 patient reported significant radicular pain, including 78% with discrete and 19% with multiple radiculopathies. Of those with discrete radiculopathies, 76% had pain corresponding to areas of the most severe foraminal stenosis, and 24% had pain corresponding to areas of moderate stenosis.

Conclusion: Significant foraminal stenosis was prevalent in patients with degenerative scoliosis, and the distribution of leg pain corresponded to levels of moderate or severe foraminal stenosis. Failure to address symptomatic foraminal stenosis when surgically treating adult degenerative scoliosis may negatively impact clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1227/NEU.0b013e31822a9aebDOI Listing
December 2011

Correlation of higher preoperative American Society of Anesthesiology grade and increased morbidity and mortality rates in patients undergoing spine surgery.

J Neurosurg Spine 2011 Apr 4;14(4):470-4. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.

Object: Patients with varied medical comorbidities often present with spinal pathology for which operative intervention is potentially indicated, but few studies have examined risk stratification in determining morbidity and mortality rates associated with the operative treatment of spinal disorders. This study provides an analysis of morbidity and mortality data associated with 22,857 cases reported in the multicenter, multisurgeon Scoliosis Research Society Morbidity and Mortality database stratified by American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status classification, a commonly used system to describe preoperative physical status and to predict operative morbidity.

Methods: The Scoliosis Research Society Morbidity and Mortality database was queried for the year 2007, the year in which ASA data were collected. Inclusion criterion was a reported ASA grade. Cases were categorized by operation type and disease process. Details on the surgical approach and type of instrumentation were recorded. Major perioperative complications and deaths were evaluated. Two large subgroups--patients with adult degenerative lumbar disease and patients with major deformity--were also analyzed separately. Statistical analyses were performed with the chi-square test.

Results: The population studied comprised 22,857 patients. Spinal disease included degenerative disease (9409 cases), scoliosis (6782 cases), spondylolisthesis (2144 cases), trauma (1314 cases), kyphosis (831 cases), and other (2377 cases). The overall complication rate was 8.4%. Complication rates for ASA Grades 1 through 5 were 5.4%, 9.0%, 14.4%, 20.3%, and 50.0%, respectively (p = 0.001). In patients undergoing surgery for degenerative lumbar diseases and major adult deformity, similarly increasing rates of morbidity were found in higher-grade patients. The mortality rate was also higher in higher-grade patients. The incidence of major complications, including wound infections, hematomas, respiratory problems, and thromboembolic events, was also greater in patients with higher ASA grades.

Conclusions: Patients with higher ASA grades undergoing spinal surgery had significantly higher rates of morbidity than those with lower ASA grades. Given the common application of the ASA system to surgical patients, this grade may prove helpful for surgical decision making and preoperative counseling with regard to risks of morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2010.12.SPINE10486DOI Listing
April 2011

Morbidity and mortality associated with spinal surgery in children: a review of the Scoliosis Research Society morbidity and mortality database.

J Neurosurg Pediatr 2011 Jan;7(1):37-41

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

Object: Currently, few studies regarding morbidity and mortality associated with operative treatment of spinal disorders in children are available to guide the surgeon. This study provides more detailed morbidity and mortality data with an analysis of 23,918 pediatric cases reported in the multicenter, multisurgeon Scoliosis Research Society morbidity and mortality database.

Methods: The Scoliosis Research Society morbidity and mortality database was queried for the years from 2004 to 2007. The inclusion criterion was age 18 years or younger. Cases were categorized by operation type and diagnosis. Details on the surgical approach, use of neurophysiological monitoring, and type of instrumentation were recorded. Major perioperative complications and deaths were evaluated. Statistical analysis was performed with chi-square testing, with a p value < 0.05 considered significant.

Results: A total of 23,918 patients were included. The mean age was 13 ± 3.6 years (± SD). Spinal pathology included the following: scoliosis (in 19,642 patients), kyphosis (in 1455), spondylolisthesis (in 748), trauma (in 478), and other (in 1595 patients). The overall complication rate was 8.5%. Major complications included wound infections (2.7%), new neurological deficits (1.4%), implant-related complications (1.6%), and hematomas (0.4%). The most common medical complications were respiratory related (0.9%). Morbidity rates differed based on pathology, with patients undergoing treatment for kyphosis and spondylolisthesis having higher overall rates of morbidity (14.7% and 9.6%, respectively). Patients undergoing revision procedures (2034) or corrective osteotomies (2787) were more likely to suffer a complication or new neurological deficit. The majority of these deficits improved at least partially. Thirty-one deaths were reported for an overall rate of 1.3 per 1000. Respiratory complications were the most common cause of mortality (13 cases). Twenty-six of the deaths occurred in children undergoing scoliosis correction.

Conclusions: Spinal surgery in children is associated with a range of complications depending on the type of operation. Mortality rates for all indications and operations were low. Patients undergoing more aggressive corrective procedures for deformity are more likely to suffer complications and new neurological deficits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3171/2010.10.PEDS10212DOI Listing
January 2011

Rates of infection after spine surgery based on 108,419 procedures: a report from the Scoliosis Research Society Morbidity and Mortality Committee.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2011 Apr;36(7):556-63

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of a prospectively collected database.

Objective: Our objective was to assess the rates of postoperative wound infection associated with spine surgery.

Summary Of Background Data: Although wound infection after spine surgery remains a common source of morbidity, estimates of its rates of occurrence remain relatively limited. The Scoliosis Research Society prospectively collects morbidity and mortality data from its members, including the occurrence of wound infection.

Methods: The Scoliosis Research Society morbidity and mortality database was queried for all reported spine surgery cases from 2004 to 2007. Cases were stratified based on factors including diagnosis, adult (≥ 21 years) versus pediatric (<21 years), primary versus revision, use of implants, and whether a minimally invasive approach was used. Superficial, deep, and total infection rates were calculated. RESULTS.: In total, 108,419 cases were identified, with an overall total infection rate of 2.1% (superficial = 0.8%, deep = 1.3%). Based on primary diagnosis, total postoperative wound infection rate for adults ranged from 1.4% for degenerative disease to 4.2% for kyphosis. Postoperative wound infection rates for pediatric patients ranged from 0.9% for degenerative disease to 5.4% for kyphosis. Rate of infection was further stratified based on subtype of degenerative disease, type of scoliosis, and type of kyphosis for both adult and pediatric patients. Factors associated with increased rate of infection included revision surgery (P < 0.001), performance of spinal fusion (P < 0.001), and use of implants (P < 0.001). Compared with a traditional open approach, use of a minimally invasive approach was associated with a lower rate of infection for lumbar discectomy (0.4% vs. 1.1%; P < 0.001) and for transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (1.3% vs. 2.9%; P = 0.005).

Conclusion: Our data suggest that postsurgical infection, even among skilled spine surgeons, is an inherent potential complication. These data provide general benchmarks of infection rates as a basis for ongoing efforts to improve safety of care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181eadd41DOI Listing
April 2011

Complications in the surgical treatment of 19,360 cases of pediatric scoliosis: a review of the Scoliosis Research Society Morbidity and Mortality database.

Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2011 Aug;36(18):1484-91

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Study Design: Retrospective review of a multicenter database.

Objective: To determine the complication rates associated with surgical treatment of pediatric scoliosis and to assess variables associated with increased complication rates.

Summary Of Background Data: Wide variability is reported for complications associated with the operative treatment of pediatric scoliosis. Limited number of patients, surgeons, and diagnoses occur in most reports. The Scoliosis Research Society Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) database aggregates deidentified data, permitting determination of complication rates from large numbers of patients and surgeons.

Methods: Cases of pediatric scoliosis (age ≤18 years), entered into the Scoliosis Research Society M&M database between 2004 and 2007, were analyzed. Age, scoliosis type, type of instrumentation used, and complications were assessed.

Results: A total of 19,360 cases fulfilled inclusion criteria. Of these, complications occurred in 1971 (10.2%) cases. Overall complication rates differed significantly among idiopathic, congenital, and neuromuscular cases (P < 0.001). Neuromuscular scoliosis had the highest rate of complications (17.9%), followed by congenital scoliosis (10.6%) and idiopathic scoliosis (6.3%). Rates of neurologic deficit also differed significantly based on the etiology of scoliosis (P < 0.001), with the highest rate among congenital cases (2.0%), followed by neuromuscular types (1.1%) and idiopathic scoliosis (0.8%). Neur-omuscular scoliosis and congenital scoliosis had the highest rates of mortality (0.3% each), followed by idiopathic scoliosis (0.02%). Higher rates of new neurologic deficits were associated with revision procedures (P < 0.001) and with the use of corrective osteotomies (P < 0.001). The rates of new neurologic deficit were significantly higher for procedures using anterior screw-only constructs (2.0%) or wire-only constructs (1.7%), compared with pedicle screw-only constructs (0.7%) (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: In this review of a large multicenter database of surgically treated pediatric scoliosis, neuromuscular scoliosis had the highest morbidity, but relatively high complication rates occurred in all groups. These data may be useful for preoperative counseling and surgical decision-making in the treatment of pediatric scoliosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181f3a326DOI Listing
August 2011
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