The relationship between postoperative change of cervical lordotic alignment and restoration of thoracic kyphosis with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is still controversial. We investigated reciprocal changes in the sagittal profiles of the upper and middle-lower cervical spinal segments after posterior spinal fusion with the simultaneous double rod rotation technique (SDRRT) for AIS.
Occiput-C2 and C2-C7 sagittal profiles of patients with AIS could change significantly after surgical adequate increase of thoracic kyphosis with SDRRT.
Patients and methods:
Twenty-seven consecutive patients with AIS treated with the SDRRT were retrospectively reviewed. We investigated the following parameters preoperatively, postoperatively, and at the 2-year follow-up: the Cobb angles of main thoracic curves; C7 sagittal vertical axis; thoracic kyphosis (TK) from T5 to T12; lumbar lordosis from L1 to S1; chin-brow vertical angle; McGregor’s slope; occiput to C2 Cobb angle (O-C2angle); C2-C7 Cobb angle (C2-C7angle); T1-slope; and C2-C7 sagittal vertical axis. Additionally, the Scoliosis Research Society questionnaire was completed preoperatively and at the 2-year follow-up. Patients were categorized according to preoperative TK (T5-T12) into hypokyphotic (TK<20°) and normo-hyperkyphotic (TK≧20°) groups. To assess the effect of corrective surgery on sagittal profiles, we investigated correlations among the changes in sagittal parameters.
The mean preoperative TK was 6.1±3.7° in the Hypokyphotic group and 23.5±4.7° in the Normo-hyperkyphotic group (p<0.001), which was significantly improved postoperatively (22.3±4.4° and 26.1±2.6°, respectively; p=0.02) and at the 2-year follow-up (23.0±6.3° and 26.8±5.0°, respectively; p=0.04). The mean preoperative C2-C7angle reflected kyphosis (7.4±9.8°) in the Hypokyphotic group, and, in contrast, lordosis (-8.8±6.8°) in the Normo-hyperkyphotic group (p<0.001), which improved toward greater lordosis postoperatively (-3.7±5.8° and -14.8±5.1°, respectively; p<0.001) and at the 2-year follow-up (-5.1±4.4° and -15.3±6.4°, respectively; p<0.001). On the other hand, the mean preoperative O-C2angle was -20.5±6.5° in the Hypokyphotic group and -13.1±2.8° in the Normo-hyperkyphotic group (p=0.002), which was significantly changed postoperatively (-12.6±6.4° and -7.7±4.3°, respectively; p=0.04) and at the 2-year follow-up (-13.1±6.3° and -7.9±4.3°, respectively; p=0.04). ΔC2-C7 was negatively correlated with ΔT5-T12 (r=-0.298) and ΔO-C2angle (r=-0.332).
Lordotic reciprocal alignment changes in the C2-C7angle can occur after adequate restoration of TK. The O-C2angle compensates the C2-C7angle for a maintained horizontal gaze. O-C2 and C2-C7 sagittal profiles of patients with AIS changed significantly after corrective surgery with SDRRT.
Level of evidence:
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Reciprocal change; Simultaneous double-rod rotation technique; Upper cervical spine.