Osteotomies in the posterior-only treatment of complex adult spinal deformity: A comparative review

Ian G. Dorward, Lawrence G. Lenke G.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


In addressing adult spinal deformities through a posterior approach, the surgeon now may choose from among a variety of osteotomy techniques. The Ponte or Smith-Petersen osteotomy provides the least correction, but it can be used at multiple levels with minimal blood loss and a lower operative risk. Pedicle subtraction osteotomies provide nearly 3 times the per-level correction of Ponte/Smith-Petersen osteotomies but carry increased technical demands, longer operative time, and greater blood loss and associated morbidity. Vertebral column resections serve as the most powerful method, providing the most correction in the coronal and sagittal planes, but posing both the greatest technical challenge and the greatest risk to the patient in terms of possible neurological injury, operative time, and potential morbidity. The authors reviewed the literature relating to these osteotomy methods. They also provided case illustrations and suggestions for their proper application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Kyphosis correction
  • Pedicle subtraction
  • Posterior-only approach
  • Smith-Petersen Adult deformity
  • Spinal osteotomy
  • Vertebral column resection Ponte


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