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Adv Orthop. 2011;2011:415946. doi: 10.4061/2011/415946. Epub 2011 Oct 4.

Acute reciprocal changes distant from the site of spinal osteotomies affect global postoperative alignment.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California-Davis, 3301 C Street, Suite 1500, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


Introduction. Three-column vertebral resections are frequently applied to correct sagittal malalignment; their effects on distant unfused levels need to be understood. Methods. 134 consecutive adult PSO patients were included (29 thoracic, 105 lumbar). Radiographic analysis included pre- and postoperative regional curvatures and pelvic parameters, with paired independent t-tests to evaluate changes. Results. A thoracic osteotomy with limited fusion leads to a correction of the kyphosis and to a spontaneous decrease of the unfused lumbar lordosis (-8°). When the fusion was extended, the lumbar lordosis increased (+8°). A lumbar osteotomy with limited fusion leads to a correction of the lumbar lordosis and to a spontaneous increase of the unfused thoracic kyphosis (+13°). When the fusion was extended, the thoracic kyphosis increased by 6°. Conclusion. Data from this study suggest that lumbar and thoracic resection leads to reciprocal changes in unfused segments and requires consideration beyond focal corrections.

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