Osteotomies in ankylosing spondylitis: where, how many, and how much?

Eur Spine J. 2018 Feb;27(Suppl 1):70-100. doi: 10.1007/s00586-017-5421-z. Epub 2017 Dec 30.


Introduction: This article presents the current concepts of correction of spinal deformity in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients. Untreated AS can be a debilitating disease. In a few patients, disease progression results in severe spinal deformity affecting not only the thoracolumbar, but also the cervical spine. Surgery for correction in AS patients has a long history. With the advent of modern instrumentation, standardization of surgical and anesthesiologic techniques, surgical safety and corrective results could be improved and experiences from lumbar osteotomies could be transferred to the cervical spine.

Methods: This article presents the current concepts of correction of spinal deformity in AS patients. In particular, questions regarding the localization and number of osteotomies, the optimal surgical target angle as well as planning and prediction of postoperative alignment are discussed.

Results: Insight into recent technical developments, current challenges with correction and geometric analysis of center of rotation (COR) in cervical 3-column osteotomies (3CO) will be presented.

Conclusion: The article should encourage readers to improve surgical correction efficacy and provide a better understanding of correction geometry in 3CO for thoracolumbar and cervical spinal deformities.

Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis; Correction geometry; Osteotomy; Planning correction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae / surgery
  • Humans
  • Osteotomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing* / epidemiology
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing* / surgery