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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 310-315

Junctional kyphosis and junctional failure after multi-segmental posterior cervicothoracic fusion – A retrospective analysis of 64 patients

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Hofstra School of Medicine, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, NY, USA
2 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
3 Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Alexander Spiessberger
Department of Neurosurgery, Hofstra School of Medicine, North Shore University Hospital, 300 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_177_20

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Introduction: Junctional kyphosis (JK) and junctional failure (JF) are known complications after thoracolumbar spinal deformity surgery. This study aims to define the incidence and possible risk factors for JK/JF following multi-segmental cervicothoracic fusion. Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of 64 consecutive patients undergoing cervicothoracic fusion surgery, including at least five segments. Clinical and radiographic outcome measures were analyzed. A univariate analysis was performed to determine the effect of the level of upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) and lower instrumented vertebra (LIV), fusion status, C2 sagittal vertical axis (SVA), C2–C7 lordotic angle and T1 slope angle on the occurrence of JK/JF. Results: A total of 46 patients were followed up for a median of 1.1 years (range 0.3–4) with a median age of 65.5 years (range 42.2–84.5). Indication for surgery was spinal stenosis in 87%, trauma in 7%, and tumor in 6% of cases. The median number of levels fused was 7; the most frequent UIV was C2, and the most frequent LIV was T2. Solid fusion was achieved in 78% at the last follow-up. Postoperatively, the median C2 SVA was 32 mm (range − 7–75), median T1 slope angle was 33° (range 2°–57°), C2–C7 sagittal cobb angle was 4° (−29°–12°). JK developed in 4% of cases, no case of JF was observed. No statistically significant impact of bone density, level of UIV, level of LIV or postoperative sagittal parameters on the occurrence of JK/JF was observed, even though fusion status and pathologic T1 slope angle showed a trend toward significance. Conclusion: In this cohort of patients with mildly pathologic sagittal balance, JK was a rare event after multi-segmental fusion, observed in only 4% of cases. Neither level of UIV nor LIV had an influence on its occurrence; however, nonunion and pathologic sagittal alignment showed a nonsignificant trend.

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