Introduction and purpose: Little information exists on surgical characteristics, complications and outcomes with corrective surgery for rigid cervical kyphosis (CK). To collate the experience of international experts, the CSRS-Europe initiated an international multi-centre retrospective study.
Methods: Included were patients at all ages with rigid CK. Surgical and patient specific characteristics, complications and outcomes were studied. Radiographic assessment included global and regional sagittal parameters. Cervical sagittal balance was stratified according to the CSRS-Europe classification of sagittal cervical balance (types A-D).
Results: Eighty-eight patients with average age of 58 years were included. CK etiology was ankylosing spondlitis (n = 34), iatrogenic (n = 25), degenerative (n = 9), syndromatic (n = 6), neuromuscular (n = 4), traumatic (n = 5), and RA (n = 5). Blood loss averaged 957 ml and the osteotomy grade 4.CK-correction and blood loss increased with osteotomy grade (r = 0.4/0.6, p < .01). Patients with different preop sagittal balance types had different approaches, preop deformity parameters and postop alignment changes (e.g. C7-slope, C2-7 SVA, translation). Correction of the regional kyphosis angle (RKA) was average 34° (p < .01). CK-correction was increased in patients with osteoporosis and osteoporotic vertebrae (POV, p = .006). 22% of patients experienced a major long-term complication and 14% needed revision surgery. Patients with complications had larger preop RKA (p = .01), RKA-change (p = .005), and postop increase in distal junctional kyphosis angle (p = .02). The POV-Group more often experienced postop complications (p < .0001) and revision surgery (p = .02). Patients with revision surgery had a larger RKA-change (p = .003) and postop translation (p = .04). 21% of patients had a postop segmental motor deficit and the risk was elevated in the POV-Group (p = .001).
Conclusions: Preop patient specific, radiographic and surgical variables had a significant bearing on alignment changes, outcomes and complication occurrence in the treatment of rigid CK.
Keywords: Cervical osteotomy; Cervical spine; Kyphosis; Rigid deformity.