Background: Despite reports showing positive long-term functional outcomes following adult spinal deformity (ASD)-corrective surgery, it is unclear which factors affect the durability of these outcomes.
Objective: To assess durability of functional gains following ASD-corrective surgery; determine predictors for postoperative loss of functionality.
Methods: Surgical ASD patients > 18 yr with 3-yr Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) follow-up, and 1-yr postoperative (1Y) ODI scores reaching substantial clinical benefit (SCB) threshold (SCB < 31.3 points). Patients were grouped: those sustaining ODI at SCB threshold beyond 1Y (sustained functionality) and those not (functional decline). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis determined postoperative durability of functionality. Multivariate Cox regression assessed the relationship between patient/surgical factors and functional decline, accounting for age, sex, and levels fused.
Results: All 166 included patients showed baseline to 1Y functional improvement (mean ODI: 35.3 ± 16.5-13.6 ± 9.2, P < .001). Durability of satisfactory functional outcomes following the 1Y postoperative interval was 88.6% at 2-yr postoperative, and 71.1% at 3-yr postoperative (3Y). Those sustaining functionality after 1Y had lower baseline C2-S1 sagittal vertical axis (SVA) and T1 slope (both P < .05), and lower 1Y thoracic kyphosis (P = .035). From 1Y to 3Y, patients who sustained functionality showed smaller changes in alignment: pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis, SVA, T1 slope minus cervical lordosis, and C2-C7 SVA (all P < .05). Those sustaining functionality beyond 1Y were also younger, less frail at 1Y, and had lower rates of baseline osteoporosis, hypertension, and lung disease (all P < .05). Lung disease (Hazard Ratio:4.8 [1.4-16.4]), 1Y frailty (HR:1.4 [1.1-1.9]), and posterior approach (HR:2.6 [1.2-5.8]) were associated with more rapid decline.
Conclusion: Seventy-one percent of ASD patients maintained satisfactory functional outcomes by 3Y. Of those who failed to sustain functionality, the largest functional decline occurred 3-yr postoperatively. Frailty, preoperative comorbidities, and surgical approach affected durability of functional gains following surgery.
Keywords: Adult spinal deformity; Disability; Functionality; Outcomes; Surgical correction.
Copyright © 2019 by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.