Stronger association of objective physical metrics with baseline patient-reported outcome measures than preoperative standing sagittal parameters for adult spinal deformity patients.

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Journal of neurosurgery. Spine


washington; swedish


OBJECTIVE: Sagittal alignment measured on standing radiography remains a fundamental component of surgical planning for adult spinal deformity (ASD). However, the relationship between classic sagittal alignment parameters and objective metrics, such as walking time (WT) and grip strength (GS), remains unknown. The objective of this work was to determine if ASD patients with worse baseline sagittal malalignment have worse objective physical metrics and if those metrics have a stronger relationship to patient-reported outcome metrics (PROMs) than standing alignment.

METHODS: The authors conducted a retrospective review of a multicenter ASD cohort. ASD patients underwent baseline testing with the timed up-and-go 6-m walk test (seconds) and for GS (pounds). Baseline PROMs were surveyed, including Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS), Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-22r, and Veterans RAND 12 (VR-12) scores. Standard spinopelvic measurements were obtained (sagittal vertical axis [SVA], pelvic tilt [PT], and mismatch between pelvic incidence and lumbar lordosis [PI-LL], and SRS-Schwab ASD classification). Univariate and multivariable linear regression modeling was performed to interrogate associations between objective physical metrics, sagittal parameters, and PROMs.

RESULTS: In total, 494 patients were included, with mean ± SD age 61 ± 14 years, and 68% were female. Average WT was 11.2 ± 6.1 seconds and average GS was 56.6 ± 24.9 lbs. With increasing PT, PI-LL, and SVA quartiles, WT significantly increased (p < 0.05). SRS-Schwab type N patients demonstrated a significantly longer average WT (12.5 ± 6.2 seconds), and type T patients had a significantly shorter WT time (7.9 ± 2.7 seconds, p = 0.03). With increasing PT quartiles, GS significantly decreased (p < 0.05). SRS-Schwab type T patients had a significantly higher average GS (68.8 ± 27.8 lbs), and type L patients had a significantly lower average GS (51.6 ± 20.4 lbs, p = 0.03). In the frailty-adjusted multivariable linear regression analyses, WT was more strongly associated with PROMs than sagittal parameters. GS was more strongly associated with ODI and PROMIS Physical Function scores.

CONCLUSIONS: The authors observed that increasing baseline sagittal malalignment is associated with slower WT, and possibly weaker GS, in ASD patients. WT has a stronger relationship to PROMs than standing alignment parameters. Objective physical metrics likely offer added value to standard spinopelvic measurements in ASD evaluation and surgical planning.

Clinical Institute

Neurosciences (Brain & Spine)