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01.02.2013 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2013

European Spine Journal 2/2013

Selection of proximal fusion level for adult degenerative lumbar scoliosis

Zeitschrift:
European Spine Journal > Ausgabe 2/2013
Autoren:
Kyu-Jung Cho, Se-Il Suk, Seung-Rim Park, Jin-Hyok Kim, Jae-Hoon Jung

Abstract

Introduction

There is controversy regarding the appropriate proximal fusion level for adult degenerative scoliosis. Ideally, the horizontal vertebra is chosen for the upper instrumented vertebra to create a balanced spine. Fusion to T10 is recommended to prevent junctional problems at the proximal adjacent segment. The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine the optimal proximal fusion level for adult degenerative lumbar scoliosis.

Materials and Methods

Fifty-one patients with adult degenerative lumbar scoliosis (mean age 64.6 years) who underwent posterior instrumentation were analyzed after a minimum 2-year follow-up. The average number of levels fused was 5.9 segments (range 3–9) with distal fusion at L5 in 30 patients and S1 in 21 patients. The upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) ranged from T9 to L2. According to the relationship between UIV, horizontal vertebra (HV) and upper end vertebra (UEV), the patients were divided into three groups in the coronal plane: Group HV (UIV = HV or above); Group HV–UEV (UIV = between HV and UEV); and Group UEV (UIV = UEV or below). In the sagittal plane; the patients were divided into Group T9–10 (UIV = T9–10), Group T11–12 and Group L1–2.

Results

Proximal adjacent segment disease (ASD) was identified in 13 (25 %) out of 51 patients, including junctional kyphosis (n = 5), compression fractures (n = 4), progression of disc wedging (n = 2) and spinal stenosis (n = 2). Group UEV had more ASD (9 of 16 patients) compared to Group HV (2 of 21 patients) and Group HV–UEV (2 of 14 patients). It appeared that neutral vertebra could be a criterion for the selection of UIV in the coronal plane. Among the groups divided in the sagittal plane, proximal ASD was found in 47 % of 19 patients in Group L1–2, which was notably higher than 9 % in Group T9–10 and 20 % in Group T11–12.

Conclusions

Proximal adjacent segment disease developed more commonly when the proximal fusion stopped at the UEV or below in adult degenerative lumbar scoliosis. UIV must be above UEV in the coronal plane. Fusion to T11 or T12 was acceptable when UIV was above UEV, since there was no significant difference in the rate of proximal adjacent segment between fusion to T10 and fusion to T11 or T12.

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