Cervical sagittal deformity develops after PJK in adult thoracolumbar deformity correction: radiographic analysis utilizing a novel global sagittal angular parameter, the CTPA.



To describe reciprocal changes in cervical alignment after adult spinal deformity (ASD) correction and subsequent development of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK). This study also investigated these changes using two novel global sagittal angular parameters, cervical-thoracic pelvic angle (CTPA) and the T1 pelvic angle (TPA).


Multicenter, retrospective consecutive case series of ASD patients undergoing thoracolumbar three-column osteotomy (3CO) with fusion to the pelvis. Radiographs were analyzed at baseline and 1 year post-operatively. Patients were substratified into upper thoracic (UT; UIV T6 and above) and lower thoracic (LT; UIV below T6). PJK was defined by >10° angle between UIV and UIV + 2 and >10° change in the angle from baseline to post-op.


PJK developed in 29 % (78 of 267) of patients. CTPA was linearly correlated with cervical plumbline (CPL) as a measure of cervical sagittal alignment (R = 0.826, p < 0.001). PJK patients had significantly greater post-operative CTPA and SVA than patients without PJK (NPJK) (p = 0.042; p = 0.021). For UT (n = 141) but not LT (n = 136), PJK patients at 1 year had larger CTPA (4.9° vs. 3.7°, p = 0.015) and CPL (5.1 vs. 3.8 cm, p = 0.022) than NPJK patients, despite similar corrections in PT and PI-LL.


The prevalence of PJK was 29 % at 1 year follow-up. CTPA, which correlates with CPL as a global analog of cervical sagittal balance, and TPA describe relative proportions of cervical and thoracolumbar deformities. Patients who develop PJK in the upper thoracic spine after thoracolumbar 3CO also develop concomitant cervical sagittal deformity, with increases in CPL and CTPA.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Protopsaltis, Themistocles, Nicolas Bronsard, Alex Soroceanu, Jensen K Henry, Renaud Lafage, Justin Smith, Eric Klineberg, Gregory Mundis, et al. (2017). Cervical sagittal deformity develops after PJK in adult thoracolumbar deformity correction: radiographic analysis utilizing a novel global sagittal angular parameter, the CTPA. 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, 26(4). pp. 1111–1120. 10.1007/s00586-016-4653-7 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28390.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



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.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.