Is sacral extension a risk factor for early proximal junctional kyphosis in adult spinal deformity surgery?

International Spine Study Group

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Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Purpose: To investigate the role of sacral extension (SE) for the development of proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) in adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. Overview of Literature: The development of PJK is multifactorial and different risk factors have been identified. Of these, there is some evidence that SE also affects the development of PJK, but data are insufficient. Methods: Using a combined database comprising two propensity-matched groups of fusions following ASD surgery, one with fixation to S1 or S1 and the ilium (SE) and one without SE but with a lower instrumented vertebra of L5 or higher (lumbar fixation, LF), PJK and the role of further parameters were analyzed. The propensity-matched variables included age, the upper-most instrumented vertebra (UIV), preoperative sagittal alignment, and the baseline to 1 year change of the sagittal alignment. Results: Propensity matching led to two groups of 89 patients each. The UIV, pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis, sagittal vertical axis, pelvic tilt, age, and body mass index were similar in both groups (p >0.05). The incidence of PJK at postoperative 1 year was similar for SE (30.3%) and LF (22.5%) groups (p =0.207). The PJK angle was comparable (p =0.963) with a change of -8.2° (SE) and -8.3° (LF) from the preoperative measures (p =0.954). A higher rate of PJK after SE (p =0.026) was found only in the subgroup of patients with UIV levels between T9 and T12. Conclusions: Instrumentation to the sacrum with or without iliac extension did not increase the overall risk of PJK. However, an increased risk for PJK was found after SE with UIV levels between T9 and T12.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0314
JournalAsian Spine Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020



  • Kyphosis
  • Sacrum
  • Scoliosis
  • Spine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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