Survival rates and risk factors for cephalad and L5-s1 adjacent segment degeneration after L5 floating lumbar fusion : a minimum 2-year follow-up

J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2015 Feb;57(2):108-13. doi: 10.3340/jkns.2015.57.2.108. Epub 2015 Feb 26.


Objective: Although the L5-S1 has distinct structural features in comparison with other lumbar spine segments, not much is known about adjacent segment degeneration (ASD) at the L5-S1 segment. The aim of study was to compare the incidence and character of ASD of the cephalad and L5-S1 segments after L5 floating lumbar fusion.

Methods: From 2005 to 2010, 115 patients who underwent L5 floating lumber fusion were investigated. The mean follow-up period was 46.1 months. The incidence of radiological and clinical ASD of the cephalad and the L5-S1 segments was compared using survival analysis. Risk factors affecting ASD were analyzed using a log rank test and the Cox proportional hazard model.

Results: Radiological ASD of the L5-S1 segment had a statistically significant higher survival rate than that of the cephalad segment (p=0.001). However, clinical ASD of the L5-S1 segment was significantly lower survival rates than that of the cephalad segment (p=0.038). Risk factor analysis showed that disc degeneration of the cephalad segment and preoperative spinal stenosis of the L5-S1 segment were risk factors.

Conclusion: In L5 floating fusion, radiological ASD was more common in the cephalad segment and clinical ASD was more common in the L5-S1 segment. At the L5-S1 segment, the degree of spinal stenosis appears to be the most influential risk factor in ASD incidences, unlike the cephalad segment.

Keywords: Cephalad segment; Clinical adjacent segment degeneration; L5-S1 segment; Radiological adjacent segment degeneration.