Characterizing Adult Cervical Deformity and Disability Based on Existing Cervical and Adult Deformity Classification Schemes at Presentation and Following Correction.



Adult cervical deformity (ACD) classifications have not been implemented in a prospective ACD population and in conjunction with adult spinal deformity (ASD) classifications.


To characterize cervical deformity type and malalignment with 2 classifications (Ames-ACD and Schwab-ASD).


Retrospective review of a prospective multicenter ACD database. Inclusion: patients ≥18 yr with pre- and postoperative radiographs. Patients were classified with Ames-ACD and Schwab-ASD schemes. Ames-ACD descriptors (C = cervical, CT = cervicothoracic, T = thoracic, S = coronal, CVJ = craniovertebral) and alignment modifiers (cervical sagittal vertical axis [cSVA], T1 slope minus cervical lordosis [TS-CL], modified Japanese Ortphopaedic Association [mJOA] score, horizontal gaze) were assigned. Schwab-ASD curve type stratification and modifier grades were also designated. Deformity and alignment group distributions were compared with Pearson χ2/ANOVA.


Ames-ACD descriptors in 84 patients: C = 49 (58.3%), CT = 20 (23.8%), T = 9 (10.7%), S = 6 (7.1%). cSVA modifier grades differed in C, CT, and T deformities (P < .019). In C, TS-CL grade prevalence differed (P = .031). Among Ames-ACD modifiers, high (1+2) cSVA grades differed across deformities (C = 47.7%, CT = 89.5%, T = 77.8%, S = 50.0%, P = .013). Schwab-ASD curve type and presence (n = 74, T = 2, L = 6, D = 2) differed significantly in S deformities (P < .001). Higher Schwab-ASD pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis grades were less likely in Ames-ACD CT deformities (P = .027). Higher pelvic tilt grades were greater in high (1+2) cSVA (71.4% vs 36.0%, P = .015) and high (2+3) mJOA (24.0% vs 38.1%, P = .021) scores. Postoperatively, C and CT deformities had a trend toward lower cSVA grades, but only C deformities differed in TS-CL grade prevalence (0 = 31.3%, 1 = 12.2%, 2 = 56.1%, P = .007).


Cervical deformities displayed higher TS-CL grades and different cSVA grade distributions. Preoperative associations with global alignment modifiers and Ames-ACD descriptors were observed, though only cervical modifiers showed postoperative differences.





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Publication Info

Passias, Peter G, Cyrus M Jalai, Justin S Smith, Virginie Lafage, Bassel G Diebo, Themistocles Protopsaltis, Gregory Poorman, Subaraman Ramchandran, et al. (2018). Characterizing Adult Cervical Deformity and Disability Based on Existing Cervical and Adult Deformity Classification Schemes at Presentation and Following Correction. Neurosurgery, 82(2). pp. 192–201. 10.1093/neuros/nyx175 Retrieved from

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Peter Passias

Instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Christopher Ignatius Shaffrey

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I have more than 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages with spinal disorders. I have had an interest in the management of spinal disorders since starting my medical education. I performed residencies in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire range of spinal disorders. My goal has been to find innovative ways to manage the range of spinal conditions, straightforward to complex. I have a focus on managing patients with complex spinal disorders. My patient evaluation and management philosophy is to provide engaged, compassionate care that focuses on providing the simplest and least aggressive treatment option for a particular condition. In many cases, non-operative treatment options exist to improve a patient’s symptoms. I have been actively engaged in clinical research to find the best ways to manage spinal disorders in order to achieve better results with fewer complications.

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