Characteristics of deformity surgery in patients with severe and rigid cervical kyphosis (CK): results of the CSRS-Europe multi-centre study project.

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Introduction and purpose

Little information exists on surgical characteristics, complications and outcomes with corrective surgery for rigid cervical kyphosis (CK). To collate the experience of international experts, the CSRS-Europe initiated an international multi-centre retrospective study.


Included were patients at all ages with rigid CK. Surgical and patient specific characteristics, complications and outcomes were studied. Radiographic assessment included global and regional sagittal parameters. Cervical sagittal balance was stratified according to the CSRS-Europe classification of sagittal cervical balance (types A-D).


Eighty-eight patients with average age of 58 years were included. CK etiology was ankylosing spondlitis (n = 34), iatrogenic (n = 25), degenerative (n = 9), syndromatic (n = 6), neuromuscular (n = 4), traumatic (n = 5), and RA (n = 5). Blood loss averaged 957 ml and the osteotomy grade 4.CK-correction and blood loss increased with osteotomy grade (r = 0.4/0.6, p < .01). Patients with different preop sagittal balance types had different approaches, preop deformity parameters and postop alignment changes (e.g. C7-slope, C2-7 SVA, translation). Correction of the regional kyphosis angle (RKA) was average 34° (p < .01). CK-correction was increased in patients with osteoporosis and osteoporotic vertebrae (POV, p = .006). 22% of patients experienced a major long-term complication and 14% needed revision surgery. Patients with complications had larger preop RKA (p = .01), RKA-change (p = .005), and postop increase in distal junctional kyphosis angle (p = .02). The POV-Group more often experienced postop complications (p < .0001) and revision surgery (p = .02). Patients with revision surgery had a larger RKA-change (p = .003) and postop translation (p = .04). 21% of patients had a postop segmental motor deficit and the risk was elevated in the POV-Group (p = .001).


Preop patient specific, radiographic and surgical variables had a significant bearing on alignment changes, outcomes and complication occurrence in the treatment of rigid CK.





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Publication Info

Koller, H, C Ames, H Mehdian, R Bartels, R Ferch, V Deriven, H Toyone, C Shaffrey, et al. (2019). Characteristics of deformity surgery in patients with severe and rigid cervical kyphosis (CK): results of the CSRS-Europe multi-centre study project. European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, 28(2). pp. 324–344. 10.1007/s00586-018-5835-2 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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