Influence of Spinal Deformity Construct Design on Adjacent-Segment Biomechanics

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BACKGROUND: Adjacent level degeneration is a precursor to construct failure in adult spinal deformity surgery, but whether construct design affects adjacent level degeneration risk remains unclear. Here we present a biomechanical profile of common deformity correction constructs and assess adjacent level biomechanics. METHODS: Standard nondestructive flexibility tests (7.5 Nm) were performed on 21 cadaveric specimens: 14 pedicle subtraction osteotomies (PSOs) and 7 anterior column realignment (ACR) constructs. The ranges of motion (ROM) at the adjacent free level in flexion, extension, axial rotation, and lateral bending were measured and analyzed. RESULTS: ACR constructs had a lower ROM change on flexion at the proximal adjacent free level than constructs with PSO (1.02 vs. 1.32, normalized to the intact specimen, P < 0.01). Lateral lumbar interbody fusion adjacent to PSO and 4 rods limits ROM at the free level more effectively than transforaminal interbody fusion and 2 rods in correction constructs with PSO. Use of 2 screws to anchor the ACR interbody further decreased ROM at the proximal adjacent free level on flexion, but adding 4 rods in this setting added no further limitation to adjacent segment motion. CONCLUSIONS: ACR constructs have less ROM change at the adjacent level compared to PSO constructs. Among constructs with ACR, anchoring the ACR interbody with 2 screws reduces motion at the proximal adjacent free level. When PSOs are used, lateral lumbar interbody fusion adjacent to the PSO level has a greater reduction in adjacent-segment motion than transforaminal interbody fusion, suggesting that deformity construct configuration influences proximal adjacent-segment biomechanics.


Adjacent level degeneration, Adult spinal deformity, Anterior column realignment, Lateral lumbar interbody fusion, Pedicle subtraction osteotomy, Proximal junctional kyphosis, Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Biomechanical Phenomena; Cadaver; Humans; Lumbar Vertebrae (diagnostic imaging, surgery); Range of Motion, Articular; Rotation; Spinal Fusion

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World neurosurgery





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