Gravity Line–Hip Axis Offset as a Guide for Global Alignment to Prevent Recurrent Proximal Junctional Kyphosis/Failure

Operative Neurosurgery 26:268–278, 2024

Proximal junctional kyphosis/failure (PJK/F) is a potentially serious complication after adult spinal deformity (ASD) corrective surgery. Recurrent PJK/F is especially troublesome, necessitating fusion extension and occasionally resulting in irreversible neurological deficits. The gravity line (GL) offers valuable insights into global sagittal balance. This study aims to examine the postoperative GL–hip axis (GL-HA) offset as a critical risk factor for recurrent PJK/F.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed patients with ASD who had undergone revision surgery for initial PJK/F at a single academic center. Patients were categorized into 2 groups: nonrecurrent PJK/F group and recurrent PJK/F group. Demographics, surgical characteristics, preoperative and postoperative parameters of spinopelvic and global alignment, and the Scoliosis Research Society-22 scores were assessed. We examined these measures for differences and correlations with recurrent PJK/F.

RESULTS: Our study included 32 patients without recurrent PJK/F and 28 patients with recurrent PJK/F. No significant differences were observed in baseline demographics, operative characteristics, or Scoliosis Research Society-22 scores before and after surgery. Importantly, using a cutoff of À52.6 mm from logistic regression, there were considerable differences and correlations with recurrent PJK/F in the postoperative GL-HA offset, leading to an odds ratio of 7.0 (95% CI: 1.94-25.25, P = .003).

CONCLUSION: Postoperative GL-HA offset serves as a considerable risk factor for recurrent PJK/F in patients with ASD who have undergone revision surgery. Overcorrection, with GL-HA offset less than À5 cm, is associated with recurrent PJK/F. The instrumented spine tends to align the GL near the HA, even at the cost of proximal junction.