Less invasive surgery for treating adult spinal deformities: ceiling effects for deformity correction with 3 different techniques

Neurosurg Focus. 2014 May;36(5):E12. doi: 10.3171/2014.3.FOCUS1423.


Object: Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) options for the treatment of adult spinal deformity (ASD) have advanced significantly over the past decade. However, a wide array of options have been described as being MIS or less invasive. In this study the authors investigated a multiinstitutional cohort of patients with ASD who were treated with less invasive methods to determine the extent of deformity correction achieved.

Methods: This study was a retrospective review of multicenter prospectively collected data in 85 consecutive patients with ASD undergoing MIS surgery. Inclusion criteria were as follows: age older than 45 years; minimum 20° coronal lumbar Cobb angle; and 1 year of follow-up. Procedures were classified as follows: 1) stand-alone (n = 7); 2) circumferential MIS (n = 43); or 3) hybrid (n = 35).

Results: An average of 4.2 discs (range 3-7) were fused, with a mean follow-up duration of 26.1 months in this study. For the stand-alone group the preoperative Cobb range was 22°-51°, with 57% greater than 30° and 28.6% greater than 50°. The mean Cobb angle improved from 35.7° to 30°. A ceiling effect of 23° for curve correction was observed, regardless of preoperative curve severity. For the circumferential MIS group the preoperative Cobb range was 19°-62°, with 44% greater than 30° and 5% greater than 50°. The mean Cobb angle improved from 32° to 12°. A ceiling effect of 34° for curve correction was observed. For the hybrid group the preoperative Cobb range was 23°-82°, with 74% greater than 30° and 23% greater than 50°. The mean Cobb angle improved from 43° to 15°. A ceiling effect of 55° for curve correction was observed.

Conclusions: Specific procedures for treating ASD have particular limitations for scoliotic curve correction. Less invasive techniques were associated with a reduced ability to straighten the spine, particularly with advanced curves. These data can guide preoperative technique selection when treating patients with ASD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Screws*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Fusion* / methods
  • Spine / pathology
  • Spine / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome