Surgical Strategy for the Management of Cervical Deformity Is Based on Type of Cervical Deformity.


Cervical deformity morphotypes based on type and location of deformity have previously been described. This study aimed to examine the surgical strategies implemented to treat these deformity types and identify if differences in treatment strategies impact surgical outcomes. Our hypothesis was that surgical strategies will differ based on different morphologies of cervical deformity. Adult patients enrolled in a prospective cervical deformity database were classified into four deformity types (Flatneck (FN), Focal kyphosis (FK), Cervicothoracic kyphosis (CTK) and Coronal (C)), as previously described. We analyzed group differences in demographics, preoperative symptoms, health-related quality of life scores (HRQOLs), and surgical strategies were evaluated, and postop radiographic and HROQLs at 1+ year follow up were compared. 90/109 eligible patients (mean age 63.3 ± 9.2, 64% female, CCI 1.01 ± 1.36) were evaluated. Group distributions included FN = 33%, FK = 29%, CTK = 29%, and C = 9%. Significant differences were noted in the surgical approaches for the four types of deformities, with FN and FK having a high number of anterior/posterior (APSF) approaches, while CTK and C had more posterior only (PSF) approaches. For FN and FK, PSF was utilized more in cases with prior anterior surgery (70% vs. 25%). For FN group, PSF resulted in inferior neck disability index compared to those receiving APSF suggesting APSF is superior for FN types. CTK types had more three-column osteotomies (3CO) (p < 0.01) and longer fusions with the LIV below T7 (p < 0.01). There were no differences in the UIV between all deformity types (p = 0.19). All four types of deformities had significant improvement in NRS neck pain post-op (p < 0.05) with their respective surgical strategies. The four types of cervical deformities had different surgical strategies to achieve improvements in HRQOLs. FN and FK types were more often treated with APSF surgery, while types CTK and C were more likely to undergo PSF. CTK deformities had the highest number of 3COs. This information may provide guidelines for the successful management of cervical deformities.





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Publication Info

Kim, Han Jo, Sohrab Virk, Jonathan Elysee, Christopher Ames, Peter Passias, Christopher Shaffrey, Gregory Mundis, Themistocles Protopsaltis, et al. (2021). Surgical Strategy for the Management of Cervical Deformity Is Based on Type of Cervical Deformity. Journal of clinical medicine, 10(21). p. 4826. 10.3390/jcm10214826 Retrieved from

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Peter Passias

Instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

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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