Assessment of Patient Outcomes and Proximal Junctional Failure Rate of Adult Spinal Deformity Patients Undergoing Caudal Extension of Previous Spinal Fusion.


OBJECT:This case series examined patients undergoing caudal extension of prior fusion without alteration of the prior UIV to assess patient outcomes and rates of PJK/PJF. METHODS:Patients eligible for 2-year minimum follow-up undergoing caudal extension of prior fusion with unchanged UIVs were identified. These patients were evaluated for PJK/PJF, and patient reported outcomes were recorded. RESULTS:In total, 40 patients were included. Mean follow-up duration was 2.2 years (SD 0.3). Patients in this cohort had poor preoperative sagittal alignment (PI-LL 26.7°, TPA 29.0°, SVA 93.4mm) and achieved substantial sagittal correction (ΔSVA -62.2mm, ΔPI-LL -19.8°, ΔTPA -11.1°) following caudal extension surgery. At final follow-up, there was a 0% rate of PJF among patients undergoing caudal extension of previous fusion without creation of a new UIV, but 27.5% of patients experienced PJK. Patients experienced significant improvement in both ODI and SRS-22r total score at 2-years post-operatively (p<0.05). In total, 7.5% (n=3) of patients underwent further revision, at an average of 1.1 years (SD 0.54) after the surgery with unaltered UIV. All three of these patients underwent revision for rod fracture with no revisions for PJK/PJF. CONCLUSIONS:Patients undergoing caudal extension of previous fusions for sagittal alignment correction have high rates of clinical success, low revision surgery rates, and very low rates of PJF. Minimizing repetitive tissue trauma at the UIV may result in decreased PJF risk, as the PJF rate in this cohort of unaltered UIV patients is below historical PJF rates of patients undergoing sagittal balance correction.





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Publication Info

Daniels, Alan H, Daniel BC Reid, Wesley M Durand, Breton Line, Peter Passias, Han Jo Kim, Themistocles Protopsaltis, Virginie LaFage, et al. (2020). Assessment of Patient Outcomes and Proximal Junctional Failure Rate of Adult Spinal Deformity Patients Undergoing Caudal Extension of Previous Spinal Fusion. World neurosurgery. 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.04.024 Retrieved from

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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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