2020 Volume 4 Issue 1 Pages 50-56
Introduction: Despite preserving lumbar disc mobility, spinal sagittal, and/or coronal alignment might ultimately impede surgical success. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the effects of spinal alignment on lumbar disc degeneration after 5 or more years in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients who underwent spinal fusion.
Methods: Subjects were 49 AIS patients who underwent posterior spinal fusion without lumbar curve fusion. The inclusion criteria were the following: 1) Lenke type 1A, 1B, 2A or 2B, 2) age 10 to 19 years at the time of operation, and 3) minimum 5-year follow-up. The exclusion criteria were the following: 1) diagnosed as other than AIS, 2) history of lumbar disc herniation and spondylolysis, 3) subsequent surgery, and 4) history of surgery before AIS surgery. Nineteen patients agreed to participate in this research. X-rays, lumbar MRI, and questionnaires were evaluated. Disc degeneration in non-fused segments was defined as Pfirrmann grade 3 or higher. Patients with disc degenerations at the final observation (DD[+] group) were compared to those without disc degenerations (DD[−] group).
Results: There were no significant differences in the preoperative or postoperative 1-week X-ray parameters between both groups. The lumbar curve was significantly larger in the DD[+] group compared with the DD[−] group at the final observation (DD[+]: 16.8 degrees, DD[−]: 10.4 degrees, p = 0.035). The sagittal vertical axis (SVA) was significantly larger in the DD[+] group compared with the DD[−] group at the final observation (DD[+]: −4.4 mm, DD[−]: −34.3 mm, p = 0.006). SRS-22 function, self-image, and satisfaction scores were lower in the DD [+] group compared with the DD[−] group at the final observation.
Conclusions: The patients with DD had significantly larger lumbar curve and SVA with lower SRS-22 function, self-image, and satisfaction scores at the final observation. Even though the non-fused segments were preserved, spinal alignments of non-fused lumbar curve affect the DDs.