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Clinical Results and Functional Outcomes of Primary and Revision Spinal Deformity Surgery in Adults
Hamid Hassanzadeh, MD1; Amit Jain, MD1; Mostafa H. El Dafrawy, MD1; Addisu Mesfin, MD1; Philip R. Neubauer, MD1; Richard L. Skolasky, ScD1; Khaled M. Kebaish, MD1
1 c/o Elaine P. Henze, BJ, ELS, Medical Editor and Director, Editorial Services, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University/Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, 4940 Eastern Avenue, #A665, Baltimore, MD 21224-2780. E-mail address: ehenze1@jhmi.edu
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Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. One or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Aug 07;95(15):1413-1419. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.00358
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Few studies have examined the postsurgical functional outcomes of adults with spinal deformities, and even fewer have focused on the functional results and complications among older adults who have undergone primary or revision surgery for spinal deformity. Our goal was to compare patient characteristics, surgical characteristics, duration of hospitalization, radiographic results, complications, and functional outcomes between adults forty years of age or older who had undergone primary surgery for spinal deformity and those who had undergone revision surgery for spinal deformity.


We retrospectively reviewed the cases of 167 consecutive patients forty years of age or older who had undergone surgery for spinal deformity performed by the senior author (K.M.K.) from January 2005 through June 2009 and who were followed for a minimum of two years. We divided the patients into two groups: primary surgery (fifty-nine patients) and revision surgery (108 patients). We compared the patient characteristics (number of levels arthrodesed, type of procedure, estimated blood loss, and total operative time), duration of hospitalization, radiographic results (preoperative, six-week postoperative, and most recent follow-up Cobb angle measurements for thoracic and lumbar curves, thoracic kyphosis, and lumbar lordosis), major and minor complications, and functional outcome scores (Scoliosis Research Society-22 Patient Questionnaire and Oswestry Disability Index).


The groups were comparable with regard to most parameters. However, the revision group had more patients with sagittal plane imbalance and more frequently required pedicle subtraction osteotomies (p < 0.01). Patients in the primary group required more correction in the coronal plane than did patients in the revision group, whereas patients in the revision group required more correction in the sagittal plane. We found no significant difference between the two groups in the rate of major complications or in the Scoliosis Research Society-22 Patient Questionnaire functional outcome scores. There were significant improvements in many functional outcome scores in both groups between the preoperative and early (six-week) postoperative periods and between the early postoperative period and the time of final follow-up.


Revision surgery for spinal deformity in adults, although technically challenging and considered to present a higher risk than primary surgery, was shown to have a complication rate and outcomes that were comparable with those of primary spinal deformity surgery in adults.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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