This study investigated the incidence and risk factors of rod fracture (RF) after multiple-rod constructs (MRCs) for adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.
A single-center, single-surgeon consecutive series of adult patients who underwent posterior thoracolumbar fusion at 4 or more levels using MRCs after osteotomy with at least 1 year of follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. Patient characteristics, radiological parameters, operative data, and clinical outcomes (on the Scoliosis Research Society-22r questionnaire) were analyzed at baseline and follow-up.
Seventy-six patients were enrolled in this study. RF occurred in 9 patients (11.8%), with all cases involving partial rod breakage. Seven patients (9.2%) underwent revision surgery. There were no significant differences in baseline demographic characteristics, radiological parameters, and surgical factors between the RF and non-RF groups. Multivariable analysis revealed that interbody fusion at the L5-S1 and L4-S1 levels could significantly reduce the occurrence of RF after MRCs for ASD (adjusted odds ratios 0.070 and 0.035, respectively). The RF group had significantly worse function score (mean 2.9 ± 0.8 vs 3.5 ± 0.7) and pain score (mean 2.8 ± 1.0 vs 3.5 ± 0.8) compared with the non-RF group at last visit.
RF occurred in 11.8% of patients with MRCs after ASD surgery. Most RFs occurred at the lumbosacral junction or adjacent level (77%). Interbody fusion at the lumbosacral junction (L5-S1 or L4-S1 level) could significantly prevent the occurrence of RF after MRCs for ASD.