Revision Strategy for Proximal Junctional Failure: Combined Effect of Proximal Extension and Focal Correction.


Study design

Retrospective review of a prospectively-collected multicenter database.


The objective of this study was to determine optimal strategies in terms of focal angular correction and length of proximal extension during revision for PJF.


134 patients requiring proximal extension for PJF were analyzed in this study. The correlation between amount of proximal junctional angle (PJA) reduction and recurrence of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) and/or PJF was investigated. Following stratification by the degree of PJK correction and the numbers of levels extended proximally, rates of radiographic PJK (PJA >28° & ΔPJA >22°), and recurrent surgery for PJF were reported.


Before revision, mean PJA was 27.6° ± 14.6°. Mean number of levels extended was 6.0 ± 3.3. Average PJA reduction was 18.8° ± 18.9°. A correlation between the degree of PJA reduction and rate of recurrent PJK was observed (r = -.222). Recurrent radiographic PJK (0%) and clinical PJF (4.5%) were rare in patients undergoing extension ≥8 levels, regardless of angular correction. Patients with small reductions (<5°) and small extensions (<4 levels) experienced moderate rates of recurrent PJK (19.1%) and PJF (9.5%). Patients with large reductions (>30°) and extensions <8 levels had the highest rate of recurrent PJK (31.8%) and PJF (16.0%).


While the degree of focal PJK correction must be determined by the treating surgeon based upon clinical goals, recurrent PJK may be minimized by limiting reduction to <30°. If larger PJA correction is required, more extensive proximal fusion constructs may mitigate recurrent PJK/PJF rates.






Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Lafage, Renaud, Han-Jo Kim, Robert K Eastlack, Alan H Daniels, Bassel G Diebo, Greg Mundis, Marc Khalifé, Justin S Smith, et al. (2024). Revision Strategy for Proximal Junctional Failure: Combined Effect of Proximal Extension and Focal Correction. Global spine journal. p. 21925682241254805. 10.1177/21925682241254805 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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