Risk Factor Analysis for Proximal Junctional Kyphosis After Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: A New Simple Scoring System to Identify High-Risk Patients.


Study design

Retrospective cohort study.


Develop a simple scoring system to estimate proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) risk.


A total of 417 adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients (80% females, 57.8 years) with 2-year follow-up were included. PJK was defined as a >10° kyphotic angle between the upper-most instrumented vertebra (UIV) and the vertebrae 2 levels above the UIV (UIV+2). Based on a previous literature review, the following point score was attributed to parameters likely to impact PJK development: age >55 years (1 point), fusion to S1/ilium (1 point), UIV in the upper thoracic spine (UIV-UT: 1 point), UIV in the lower thoracic region (UIV-LT: 2 points), flattening of the thoracic kyphosis (TK) relative to the lumbar lordosis (LL; ie, ▵LL - ▵TK) greater than 10° (1 point).


At 2 years, the overall PJK rate was 43%. The odds ratios for each risk factor were the following: age >55 years (2.52), fusion to S1/ilium (5.17), UIV-UT (6.63), UIV-LT (8.24), and ▵LL - ▵TK >10° (1.59). Analysis by risk factor revealed a significant impact on PJK (no PJK vs PJK): age >55 years (28% vs 51%, P < .001), LIV S1/ilium (16.3% vs 51.4%, P < .001), UIV in lower thoracic spine (12.0% vs 38.7% vs 52.9%, P < .001), and a >10° surgical reduction in TK relative to LL increase (40.0% vs 51.5%, P < .001). The PJK rate by point score was as follows: 1 = 17%, 2 = 29%, 3 = 40%, 4 = 53%, and 5 = 69%.


A pragmatic scoring system was developed that is tied to the increasing risk of PJK. These findings are helpful for surgical planning and preoperative counseling.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Lafage, Renaud, George Beyer, Frank Schwab, Eric Klineberg, Douglas Burton, Shay Bess, Han Jo Kim, Justin Smith, et al. (2020). Risk Factor Analysis for Proximal Junctional Kyphosis After Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: A New Simple Scoring System to Identify High-Risk Patients. Global spine journal, 10(7). pp. 863–870. 10.1177/2192568219882350 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28132.

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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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