Adult cervical spine deformity: a state-of-the-art review.


Adult cervical deformity is a structural malalignment of the cervical spine that may present with variety of significant symptomatology for patients. There are clear and substantial negative impacts of cervical spine deformity, including the increased burden of pain, limited mobility and functionality, and interference with patients' ability to work and perform everyday tasks. Primary cervical deformities develop as the result of a multitude of different etiologies, changing the normal mechanics and structure of the cervical region. In particular, degeneration of the cervical spine, inflammatory arthritides and neuromuscular changes are significant players in the development of disease. Additionally, cervical deformities, sometimes iatrogenically, may present secondary to malalignment or correction of the thoracic, lumbar or sacropelvic spine. Previously, classification systems were developed to help quantify disease burden and influence management of thoracic and lumbar spine deformities. Following up on these works and based on the relationship between the cervical and distal spine, Ames-ISSG developed a framework for a standardized tool for characterizing and quantifying cervical spine deformities. When surgical intervention is required to correct a cervical deformity, there are advantages and disadvantages to both anterior and posterior approaches. A stepwise approach may minimize the drawbacks of either an anterior or posterior approach alone, and patients should have a surgical plan tailored specifically to their cervical deformity based upon symptomatic and radiographic indications. This state-of-the-art review is based upon a comprehensive overview of literature seeking to highlight the normal cervical spine, etiologies of cervical deformity, current classification systems, and key surgical techniques.





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Publication Info

Jackson-Fowl, Brendan, Aaron Hockley, Sara Naessig, Waleed Ahmad, Katherine Pierce, Justin S Smith, Christopher Ames, Christopher Shaffrey, et al. (2023). Adult cervical spine deformity: a state-of-the-art review. Spine Deform. 10.1007/s43390-023-00735-5 Retrieved from

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