Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Orthopedics. 2014 Aug;37(8):547-55. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20140728-08.

Adjacent segment disease.

Abstract

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES As a result of reading this article, physicians should be able to: 1. Understand the forces that predispose adjacent cervical segments to degeneration. 2. Understand the challenges of radiographic evaluation in the diagnosis of cervical and lumbar adjacent segment disease. 3. Describe the changes in biomechanical forces applied to adjacent segments of lumbar vertebrae with fusion. 4. Know the risk factors for adjacent segment disease in spinal fusion. Adjacent segment disease (ASD) is a broad term encompassing many complications of spinal fusion, including listhesis, instability, herniated nucleus pulposus, stenosis, hypertrophic facet arthritis, scoliosis, and vertebral compression fracture. The area of the cervical spine where most fusions occur (C3-C7) is adjacent to a highly mobile upper cervical region, and this contributes to the biomechanical stress put on the adjacent cervical segments postfusion. Studies have shown that after fusion surgery, there is increased load on adjacent segments. Definitive treatment of ASD is a topic of continuing research, but in general, treatment choices are dictated by patient age and degree of debilitation. Investigators have also studied the risk factors associated with spinal fusion that may predispose certain patients to ASD postfusion, and these data are invaluable for properly counseling patients considering spinal fusion surgery. Biomechanical studies have confirmed the added stress on adjacent segments in the cervical and lumbar spine. The diagnosis of cervical ASD is complicated given the imprecise correlation of radiographic and clinical findings. Although radiological and clinical diagnoses do not always correlate, radiographs and clinical examination dictate how a patient with prolonged pain is treated. Options for both cervical and lumbar spine ASD include fusion and/or decompression. Current studies are encouraging regarding the adoption of arthroplasty in spinal surgery, but more long-term data are required for full adoption of arthroplasty as the standard of care for prevention of ASD.

PMID:
25102498
DOI:
10.3928/01477447-20140728-08
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for SLACK Incorporated.
Loading ...
Support Center