Lateral Thoracolumbar Listhesis as an Independent Predictor of Disability in Adult Scoliosis Patients: Multivariable Assessment Before and After Surgical Realignment.

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washington; seattle; swedish neuroscience


Background: Lateral (ie, coronal) vertebral listhesis may contribute to disability in adult scoliosis patients.

Objective: To assess for a correlation between lateral listhesis and disability among patients with adult scoliosis.

Methods: This was a retrospective multi-center analysis of prospectively collected data. Patients eligible for a minimum of 2-yr follow-up and with coronal plane deformity (defined as maximum Cobb angle ≥20º) were included (n = 724). Outcome measures were Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and leg pain numeric scale rating. Lateral thoracolumbar listhesis was measured as the maximum vertebral listhesis as a percent of the superior endplate across T1-L5 levels. Linear and logistic regression was utilized, as appropriate. Multivariable analyses adjusted for demographics, comorbidities, surgical invasiveness, maximum Cobb angle, and T1-PA. Minimally clinically important difference (MCID) in ODI was defined as 12.8.

Results: In total, 724 adult patients were assessed. The mean baseline maximum lateral thoracolumbar listhesis was 18.3% (standard deviation 9.7%). The optimal statistical grouping for lateral listhesis was empirically determined to be none/mild (<6.7%), moderate (6.7-15.4%), and severe (≥15.4%). In multivariable analysis, listhesis of moderate and severe vs none/mild was associated with worse baseline ODI (none/mild = 33.7; moderate = 41.6; severe = 43.9; P < .001 for both comparisons) and leg pain NSR (none/mild = 2.9, moderate = 4.0, severe = 5.1, P < .05). Resolution of severe lateral listhesis to none/mild was independently associated with increased likelihood of reaching MCID in ODI at 2 yr postoperatively (odds ratio 2.1 95% confidence interval 1.2-3.7, P = .0097).

Conclusion: Lateral thoracolumbar listhesis is associated with worse baseline disability among adult scoliosis patients. Resolution of severe lateral listhesis following deformity correction was independently associated with increased likelihood of reaching MCID in ODI at 2-yr follow-up.

Keywords: Adult spinal deformity; HRQOL; Lateral thoracolumbar listhesis; ODI.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine