Effect of Obesity on Radiographic Alignment and Short-Term Complications After Surgical Treatment of Adult Cervical Deformity.



We investigated the 30-day complication incidence and 1-year radiographic correction in obese patients undergoing surgical treatment of cervical deformity.


The patients were stratified according to World Health Organization's definition for obesity: obese, patients with a body mass index of ≥30 kg/m2; and nonobese, patients with a body mass index of <30 kg/m2. The patients had undergone surgery for the treatment of cervical deformity. The patient baseline demographic, comorbidity, and radiographic data were compared between the 2 groups at baseline and 1 year postoperatively. The 30-day complication incidence was stratified according to complication severity (any, major, or minor), and type (cardiopulmonary, dysphagia, infection, neurological, and operative). Binary logistic regression models were used to assess the effect of obesity on developing those complications, with adjustment for patient age and levels fused.


A total of 124 patients were included, 53 obese and 71 nonobese patients. The 2 groups had a similar T1 slope minus cervical lordosis (obese, 37.2° vs. nonobese, 36.9°; P = 0.932) and a similar C2-C7 (-5.9° vs. -7.3°; P = 0.718) and C2-C7 (50.1 mm vs. 44.1 mm; P = 0.184) sagittal vertical axis. At the 1-year follow-up examination, the T1 pelvic angle (1.0° vs. -3.1°; P = 0.021) and C2-S1 sagittal vertical axis (-5.9 mm vs. -35.0 mm; P = 0.036) were different, and the T1 spinopelvic inclination (-1.0° vs. -2.9°; P = 0.123) was similar. The obese patients had a greater risk of overall short-term complications (odds ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-6.1) and infectious complications (odds ratio, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-25.6).


Obese patients had a 5 times greater odds of developing infections after surgery for adult cervical deformity. Obese patients also showed significantly greater pelvic anteversion after cervical correction.





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Publication Info

Passias, Peter G, Gregory W Poorman, Samantha R Horn, Cyrus M Jalai, Cole Bortz, Frank Segreto, Bassel M Diebo, Alan Daniels, et al. (2019). Effect of Obesity on Radiographic Alignment and Short-Term Complications After Surgical Treatment of Adult Cervical Deformity. World neurosurgery, 125. pp. e1082–e1088. 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.01.248 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/28212.

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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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