Radiographic outcomes of adult spinal deformity correction: A critical analysis of variability and failures across deformity patterns

Bertrand Moal, Frank Schwab, Christopher P. Ames, Justin S. Smith, Devon Ryan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Gregory M. Mundis, Jamie S. Terran, Eric Klineberg, Robert A. Hart, Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Wafa Skalli, Virginie Lafage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Study Design Multicenter, prospective, consecutive, surgical case series from the International Spine Study Group. Objectives To evaluate the effectiveness of surgical treatment in restoring spinopelvic (SP) alignment. Summary of Background Data Pain and disability in the setting of adult spinal deformity have been correlated with global coronal alignment (GCA), sagittal vertical axis (SVA), pelvic incidence/lumbar lordosis mismatch (PI-LL), and pelvic tilt (PT). One of the main goals of surgery for adult spinal deformity is to correct these parameters to restore harmonious SP alignment. Methods Inclusion criteria were operative patients (age greater than 18 years) with baseline (BL) and 1-year full-length X-rays. Thoracic and thoracolumbar Cobb angle and previous mentioned parameters were calculated. Each parameter at BL and 1 year was categorized as either pathological or normal. Pathologic limits were: Cobb greater than 30°, GCA greater than 40 mm, SVA greater than 40 mm, PI-LL greater than 10°, and PT greater than 20°. According to thresholds, corrected or worsened alignment groups of patients were identified and overall radiographic effectiveness of procedure was evaluated by combining the results from the coronal and sagittal planes. Results A total of 161 patients (age, 55 ± 15 years) were included. At BL, 80% of patients had a Cobb angle greater than 30°, 25% had a GCA greater than 40 mm, and 42% to 58% had a pathological sagittal parameter of PI-LL, SVA, and/or PT. Sagittal deformity was corrected in about 50% of cases for patients with pathological SVA or PI-LL, whereas PT was most commonly worsened (24%) and least often corrected (24%). Only 23% of patients experienced complete radiographic correction of the deformity. Conclusions The frequency of inadequate SP correction was high. Pelvic tilt was the parameter least likely to be well corrected. The high rate of SP alignment failure emphasizes the need for better preoperative planning and intraoperative imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalSpine Deformity
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult spinal deformity
  • Radiographic effectiveness
  • SRS-Schwab classification
  • Surgical treatment
  • spinopelvic alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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