Surgical versus Nonsurgical Treatment for Adult Spinal Deformity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

World Neurosurg. (2022) 159:1-11

OBJECTIVE: To systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of surgical and nonsurgical methods for the treatment of adult spinal deformity (ASD).

METHODS: The PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for relevant controlled studies of surgical and nonsurgical approaches for the treatment of ASD; all studies reported from database creation to October 2021 were eligible for inclusion. Stata 11.0 software was used for the metaanalysis. Publication bias was assessed using a Begg test. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 test, and fixed-effects or random-effects models were used, as appropriate. Meta-regression was used to determine the cause of heterogeneity. Subgroup analyses were performed to assess the effects of age on the outcomes. –

RESULTS: Eleven articles comprising 1880 participants met the inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis showed that surgical treatment was associated with a better improvement in function than was nonsurgical treatment (Scoliosis Research Society 22 questionnaire score change value: weighted mean difference [ 0.696; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.686e0.705; P < 0.0001; Oswestry Dysfunction Index change value: WMD [ 11.222; 95% CI, 10.801e11.642; P < 0.0001). Surgical treatment was more effective in relieving pain and correcting the deformity (numeric rating scale pain score: WMD[3.341; 95% CI, 2.832e3.85; P < 0.0001; Cobb angle change value: WMD [ 15.036 ; 95% CI, 13.325e16.747; P < 0.0001). The complication rate in the surgical group was 17.6%e80.3%.

CONCLUSIONS: Surgical treatment is better than nonsurgical methods for improving the function of patients with ASD and achieving good pain improvement and deformity correction. Elderly patients with ASD can also obtain good symptomatic improvement through surgery