Cervicothoracic Versus Proximal Thoracic Lower Instrumented Vertebra Have Comparable Radiographic and Clinical Outcomes in Adult Cervical Deformity.


Study design

Comparative cohort study.


Factors that influence the lower instrumented vertebra (LIV) selection in adult cervical deformity (ACD) are less reported, and outcomes in the cervicothoracic junction (CTJ) and proximal thoracic (PT) spine are unclear.


A prospective ACD database was analyzed using the following inclusion criteria: LIV between C7 and T5, upper instrumented vertebra at C2, and at least a 1-year follow-up. Patients were divided into CTJ (LIV C7-T2) and PT groups (LIV T3-T5) based on LIV levels. Demographics, operative details, radiographic parameters, and the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores were compared.


Forty-six patients were included (mean age, 62 years), with 22 and 24 patients in the CTJ and PT groups, respectively. Demographics and surgical parameters were comparable between the groups. The PT group had a significantly higher preoperative C2-C7 sagittal vertical axis (cSVA) (46.9 mm vs 32.6 mm, P = 0.002) and T1 slope minus cervical lordosis (45.9° vs 36.0°, P = 0.042) than the CTJ group and was more likely treated with pedicle-subtraction osteotomy (33.3% vs 0%, P = 0.004). The PT group had a larger correction of cSVA (-7.7 vs 0.7 mm, P = 0.037) and reciprocal change of increased T4-T12 kyphosis (8.6° vs 0.0°, P = 0.001). Complications and reoperations were comparable. The HRQOL scores were not different preoperatively and at 1-year follow-up.


The selection of PT LIV in cervical deformities was more common in patients with larger baseline deformities, who were more likely to undergo pedicle-subtraction osteotomy. Despite this, the complications and HRQOL outcomes were comparable at 1-year follow-up.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Kim, Han Jo, Yu-Cheng Yao, Mathieu Bannwarth, Justin S Smith, Eric O Klineberg, Gregory M Mundis, Themistocles S Protopsaltis, Jonathan Charles-Elysee, et al. (2023). Cervicothoracic Versus Proximal Thoracic Lower Instrumented Vertebra Have Comparable Radiographic and Clinical Outcomes in Adult Cervical Deformity. Global spine journal, 13(4). pp. 1056–1063. 10.1177/21925682211017478 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27936.

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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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