Risk-benefit assessment of major versus minor osteotomies for flexible and rigid cervical deformity correction.



Osteotomies are commonly performed to correct sagittal malalignment in cervical deformity (CD). However, the risks and benefits of performing a major osteotomy for cervical deformity correction have been understudied. The objective of this retrospective cohort study was to investigate the risks and benefits of performing a major osteotomy for CD correction.


Patients stratified based on major osteotomy (MAJ) or minor (MIN). Independent t-tests and Chi-squared tests were used to assess differences between MAJ and MIN. A sub-analysis compared patients with flexible versus rigid CL.


137 CD patients were included (62 years, 65% F). 19.0% CD patients underwent a MAJ osteotomy. After propensity score matching for cSVA, 52 patients were included. About 19.0% CD patients underwent a MAJ osteotomy. MAJ patients had more minor complications (P = 0.045), despite similar surgical outcomes as MIN. At 3M, MAJ and MIN patients had similar NDI, mJOA, and EQ5D scores, however by 1 year, MAJ patients reached MCID for NDI less than MIN patients (P = 0.003). MAJ patients with rigid deformities had higher rates of complications (79% vs. 29%, P = 0.056) and were less likely to show improvement in NDI at 1 year (0.95 vs. 0.54, P = 0.027). Both groups had similar sagittal realignment at 1 year (all P > 0.05).


Cervical deformity patients who underwent a major osteotomy had similar clinical outcomes at 3-months but worse outcomes at 1-year as compared to minor osteotomies, likely due to differences in baseline deformity. Patients with rigid deformities who underwent a major osteotomy had higher complication rates and worse clinical improvement despite similar realignment at 1 year.





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Publication Info

Passias, Peter Gust, Lara Passfall, Samantha R Horn, Katherine E Pierce, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Justin S Smith, Breton G Line, et al. (2021). Risk-benefit assessment of major versus minor osteotomies for flexible and rigid cervical deformity correction. Journal of craniovertebral junction & spine, 12(3). pp. 263–268. 10.4103/jcvjs.jcvjs_35_21 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28088.

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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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