Radiographical spinopelvic parameters and disability in the setting of adult spinal deformity: a prospective multicenter analysis.


Study design

Prospective multicenter study evaluating operative (OP) versus nonoperative (NONOP) treatment for adult spinal deformity (ASD).


Evaluate correlations between spinopelvic parameters and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) scores in patients with ASD.

Summary of background data

Sagittal spinal deformity is commonly defined by an increased sagittal vertical axis (SVA); however, SVA alone may underestimate the severity of the deformity. Spinopelvic parameters provide a more complete assessment of the sagittal plane but only limited data are available that correlate spinopelvic parameters with disability. METHODS.: Baseline demographic, radiographical, and HRQOL data were obtained for all patients enrolled in a multicenter consecutive database. Inclusion criteria were: age more than 18 years and radiographical diagnosis of ASD. Radiographical evaluation was conducted on the frontal and lateral planes and HRQOL questionnaires (Oswestry Disability Index [ODI], Scoliosis Research Society-22r and Short Form [SF]-12) were completed. Radiographical parameters demonstrating highest correlation with HRQOL values were evaluated to determine thresholds predictive of ODI more than 40.


Four hundred ninety-two consecutive patients with ASD (mean age, 51.9 yr) were enrolled. Patients from the OP group (n = 178) were older (55 vs. 50.1 yr, P < 0.05), had greater SVA (5.5 vs. 1.7 cm, P < 0.05), greater pelvic tilt (PT; 22° vs. 11°, P < 0.05), and greater pelvic incidence/lumbar lordosis PI/LL mismatch (PI-LL; 12.2 vs. 4.3; P < 0.05) than NONOP group (n = 314). OP group demonstrated greater disability on all HRQOL measures compared with NONOP group (ODI = 41.4 vs. 23.9, P < 0.05; Scoliosis Research Society score total = 2.9 vs. 3.5, P < 0.05). Pearson analysis demonstrated that among all parameters, PT, SVA, and PI-LL correlated most strongly with disability for both OP and NONOP groups (P < 0.001). Linear regression models demonstrated threshold radiographical spinopelvic parameters for ODI more than 40 to be: PT 22° or more (r = 0.38), SVA 47 mm or more (r = 0.47), PI - LL 11° or more (r = 0.45).


ASD is a disabling condition. Prospective analysis of consecutively enrolled patients with ASD demonstrated that PT and PI-LL combined with SVA can predict patient disability and provide a guide for patient assessment for appropriate therapeutic decision making. Threshold values for severe disability (ODI > 40) included: PT 22° or more, SVA 47 mm or more, and PI - LL 11° or more.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Schwab, Frank J, Benjamin Blondel, Shay Bess, Richard Hostin, Christopher I Shaffrey, Justin S Smith, Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, Douglas C Burton, et al. (2013). Radiographical spinopelvic parameters and disability in the setting of adult spinal deformity: a prospective multicenter analysis. Spine, 38(13). pp. E803–E812. 10.1097/brs.0b013e318292b7b9 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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