Changes in radiographic and clinical outcomes with primary treatment adult spinal deformity surgeries from two years to three- to five-years follow-up.


Study design

Retrospective analysis of data entered prospectively into a multicenter database-clinical and radiographic outcomes assessment.


Our hypothesis is that between the 2-year and the 3- to 5-year points surgically treated adult spinal deformity patients will show significant reduction in outcomes by Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and numerical rating scale back and leg pain scores and will show increasing thoracic kyphosis, loss of lumbar lordosis, and loss of coronal and sagittal balance.

Summary of background data

Most analyses of primary presentation adult spinal deformity surgery assess 2-year follow-up. However, it is established that in some patients unfavorable events occur between the 2-year and 5-year points.


The cohort of 113 patients entered into a multicenter database with complete preoperative, 2-year, and 3- to 5-year data. All patients who had adult spinal deformity and surgical treatment represented their first reconstruction. Diagnoses were scoliosis (82.5%), kyphosis (10%), and scoliosis and kyphosis combined (7.5%). Outcome measures and basic radiographic parameters (curve size, thoracic and lumbar sagittal plane, coronal and sagittal balance) were assessed at those 3 time intervals. Complications (pseudarthrosis/implant failure, infection, and junctional deformities) were assessed at the 2-year and the 3- to 5-year (mean, 3.76 years) points. RESULTS.: The mean major curve Cobb angle (preoperative, 57°; 2-year, 29°; 3-5 year, 26°); thoracic kyphosis T5 to T12 (30°, 31°, 32°) and lumbar lordosis T12 to sacrum (48°, 49°, 51°) did not change from the 2-year to ultimate follow-up. Likewise, coronal and sagittal balance parameters were the same at 2-year and ultimate follow-up. SRS total scores and modified ODI were similar at the 2 year and final follow-up (SRS: 3.89-3.88; ODI: 19-18). Preoperative SRS total score was 3.17. Six patients demonstrated complications at the 2-year point and additional 9 patients demonstrated complications at the 3- to 5-year point. Those 9 patients with complications at ultimate follow-up demonstrated significant deterioration in their ODI and SRS scores when compared with the patients who did not have complications at ultimate follow-up.


Contrary to our hypothesis, we could not establish deterioration in mean radiographic or clinical outcomes between the 2-year and 3- to 5-year follow-up points when analyzing the group as a whole. However, for the 9 patients who experienced complications between 3- and 5-year follow-up, their outcomes were significantly worse than for the other 104 patients.One should not anticipate an overall radiographic and clinical deterioration of the outcomes of surgically treated primary presentation adult spinal deformity patients in this studied time interval. However, close to 10% of patients will experience a new complication at the 3- to 5-year point, most commonly implant failure/nonunion and/or junctional kyphosis, which will negatively effect the patient-reported outcome.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Bridwell, Keith H, Christine Baldus, Sigurd Berven, Charles Edwards, Steven Glassman, Christopher Hamill, William Horton, Lawrence G Lenke, et al. (2010). Changes in radiographic and clinical outcomes with primary treatment adult spinal deformity surgeries from two years to three- to five-years follow-up. Spine, 35(20). pp. 1849–1854. 10.1097/brs.0b013e3181efa06a 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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