Radiographic benefit of incorporating the inflection between the cervical and thoracic curves in fusion constructs for surgical cervical deformity patients


Journal Article

© 2020 Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow. Purpose: The aim is to assess the relationship between cervicothoracic inflection point and baseline disability, as well as the relationship between clinical outcomes and pre- to postoperative changes in inflection point. Methods: Cervical deformity (CD) patients with baseline and 3-month (3M) postoperative radiographic, clinical, and inflection data were grouped by region of inflection point: C6 or above, C6-C7 to C7-T1, T1, or below. Inflection was defined as: Distal-most level where cervical lordosis (CL) changes to thoracic kyphosis (TK). Differences in alignment and patient factors across pre- and postoperative inflection point groups were assessed, as were outcomes by the inclusion of inflection in the CD-corrective fusion construct. Results: A total of 108 patients were included. Preoperative inflection breakdown: C6 or above (42%), C6-C7 to C7-T1 (44%), T1 or below (15%). Surgery was associated with a caudal migration of inflection by 3M: C6 or above (8%), C6-C7 to C7-T1 (58%), T1 or below (33%). For patients with preoperative inflection T1 or below, the inclusion of inflection in the fusion construct was associated with improvements in horizontal gaze (McGregor's Slope included: -11.3° vs. not included: 1.6°, P = 0.038). The inclusion of preoperative inflection in fusion was associated with the superior cervical sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) changes for C6-C7 to C7-T1 patients (-5.2 mm vs. 3.2 mm, P = 0.018). The location of postoperative inflection was associated with variation in 3M alignment: Inflection C6 or above was associated with less Pelvic Tilt (PT), PT and a trend of larger cSVA. Location of inflection or inclusion in fusion was not associated with reoperation or distal junctional kyphosis. Conclusions: Incorporating the inflection point between CL and TK in the fusion construct was associated with superior restoration of cervical alignment and horizontal gaze for surgical CD patients.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bortz, C; Passias, PG; Pierce, KE; Alas, H; Brown, A; Naessig, S; Ahmad, W; Lafage, R; Ames, CP; Diebo, BG; Line, BG; Klineberg, EO; Burton, DC; Eastlack, RK; Kim, HJ; Sciubba, DM; Soroceanu, A; Bess, S; Shaffrey, CI; Schwab, FJ; Smith, JS; Lafage, V

Published Date

  • April 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 131 - 138

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 0976-9285

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0974-8237

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_57_20

Citation Source

  • Scopus