Anterior Column Realignment: Analysis of Neurological Risk and Radiographic Outcomes

Neurosurgery DOI:10.1093/neuros/nyaa064

Anterior column realignment (ACR) is a less invasive alternative to 3-column osteotomy for the correction of sagittal imbalance. We hypothesized that ACR would correct sagittal imbalance with an acceptable neurological risk. OBJECTIVE: To assess long-term neurological and radiographic outcomes after ACR.

METHODS: Patients ≥18 yr who underwent ACR from 2005 to 2013 were eligible. Standing scoliosis radiographs were studied at preoperation, postoperation (≤6 wk), and at minimum 2 yr of follow-up. Clinical/radiographic data were collected through a retrospective chart review, with thoracic 1 spino-pelvic inclination (T1SPi) used as the angular surrogate for sagittal vertical axis.

RESULTS: A total of 26 patients had complete data, with a mean follow-up of 2.8 yr (1.8- 7.4). Preoperative, sagittal parameters were lumbar lordosis (LL) of −16.1◦, pelvic incidence (PI)-LL of 41.7◦, T1SPi of 3.6◦, and pelvis tilt (PT) of 32.4◦. LL improved by 30.6◦ (P < .001) postoperation.Mean changes in PT (−8.3), sacral slope (8.9), T1SPi (−4.9), and PI-LL (−33.5) were all significant. The motion segment angle improved by 26.6◦, from 5.2◦ to −21.4◦ (P < .001). Neurological complications occurred in 32% patients postoperation (n = 8; 1 patient with both sensory and motor). New thigh numbness/paresthesia developed in 3 (13%) patients postoperation; only 1 (4%) persisted at latest follow-up. A total of 6 (24%) patients developed a new lower extremity motor deficit postoperation,with 4 (8%) having persistent new weakness at last follow-up. Out of 8 patients with preoperative motor deficit, half saw improvement postoperation and 75% improved by last follow-up.

CONCLUSION: There was net motor improvement, with 24% of patients improving and 16% having persistent new weakness at latest follow-up; 60% were unchanged. Radiographic results demonstrate that ACR is a useful tool to treat severe sagittal plane deformity.