How to determine the optimal proximal fusion level for Scheuermann kyphosis

Ning Yuan, Guangxun Hu, Keith H. Bridwell, Linda A. Koester, Lawrence G. Lenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine optimal proximal fusion levels for instrumented spinal fusion for Scheuermann kyphosis. Methods: We reviewed 86 patients (33 women) who underwent corrective instrumented spinal fusion for Scheuermann kyphosis. All patients had long-cassette upright lateral radiographs taken preoperatively, postoperatively, and at 2 years and the last follow-up. Demographic, radiographic, and surgical parameters were compared between patients with and without PJK. Results: PJK occurred in 28 patients (32%). The mean maximum Cobb angle was 85.8° ± 11.7° preoperatively, 54.8° ± 14.2° postoperatively, and 59.7° ± 16.8° at the last follow-up. Age and sex did not differ between the PJK and non-PJK groups (P > 0.05). The preoperative curve characteristics, fusion levels, and corrective ratio were similar in both groups (P > 0.05). The maximal Cobb angle at 2 years and the last follow-up significantly differed between the 2 groups (P < 0.05). The proportion of patients with the uppermost instrumented vertebra (UIV) at or above the proximal end vertebra (PEV) was similar in both groups (P > 0.05). The proportion of patients with UIV at or above T2 was significantly greater in the non-PJK group (P < 0.05). PJK was significantly associated with a C7 plumb line (C7PL)-sacrum distance ≥ 50 mm (P < 0.05). Conclusion: PJK is the main cause of postoperative correction loss. Proper fusion-level selection can reduce PJK occurrence. We recommend having the UIV at T2 or above, especially when the C7PL-sacrum distance ≥ 50 mm.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Fusion level
  • Postoperative complications
  • Proximal junctional kyphosis
  • Scheuermann kyphosis
  • Surgical treatment

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