Study Design: A retrospective radiologic study. Objective: The inflection point is the disc space between a lordotic and kyphotic segment of spine. To our knowledge, there has been no study evaluating changes in functional sagittal alignment determined by inflection points after cervical fusion surgery. The purpose is to identify changes in functional sagittal alignment after cervical fusion as determined by functional segments between cervicothoracic and thoracolumbar inflection points. Methods: Standing radiographs of the sagittal whole spine were taken in 62 patients who underwent cervical fusion procedures. We identified cervicothoracic and thoracolumbar inflection points in the sagittal plane and measured Cobb angles of resulting “functional” cervical, thoracic, and lumbar segments. We also measured the C2 and T1 sagittal vertical axis (SVA) distance to S1 and the anatomic cervical lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, lumbar lordosis, spinopelvic parameters, and T1 sagittal slope. We compared the pre- and post-op values. Results: The functional cervical segment and T1 sagittal slope increased postoperatively. C2 and T1 SVA distance to S1 decreased postoperatively. In patients with a single level fusion or lower instrumented vertebra (LIV) proximal or equal to C6, functional cervical segment, and anatomic cervical lordosis increased postoperatively. In those with multiple level fusion or LIV distal or equal to C7, the C2 SVA distance to S1 decreased postoperatively. Conclusions: After cervical fusion surgery, functional cervical sagittal parameters determined by the inflection point improve without changes in the anatomic sagittal parameters. Postoperative changes in functional sagittal parameters were affected by the number of fused levels and LIV.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Clinical Neurology