Three-Column Osteotomy in Adult Spinal Deformity: An Analysis of Temporal Trends in Usage and Outcomes

Peter G. Passias, Oscar Krol, Lara Passfall, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Justin S. Smith, Breton Line, Shaleen Vira, Alan H. Daniels, Bassel Diebo, Andrew J. Schoenfeld, Jeffrey Gum, Khaled Kebaish, Khoi Than, Han Jo Kim, Richard Hostin, Munish Gupta, Robert Eastlack, Douglas Burton, Frank J. SchwabChristopher Shaffrey, Eric O. Klineberg, Shay Bess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:Three-column osteotomies (3COs), usually in the form of pedicle subtraction or vertebral column resection, have become common in adult spinal deformity surgery. Although a powerful tool for deformity correction, 3COs can increase the risks of perioperative morbidity.Methods:Operative patients with adult spinal deformity (Cobb angle of >20°, sagittal vertical axis [SVA] of >5 cm, pelvic tilt of >25°, and/or thoracic kyphosis of >60°) with available baseline and 2-year radiographic and health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) data were included. Patients were stratified into 2 groups by surgical year: Group I (2008 to 2013) and Group II (2014 to 2018). Patients with 3COs were then isolated for outcomes analysis. Severe sagittal deformity was defined by an SVA of >9.5 cm. Best clinical outcome (BCO) was defined as an Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) of <15 and Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-22 of >4.5. Multivariable regression analyses were used to assess differences in surgical, radiographic, and clinical parameters.Results:Seven hundred and fifty-two patients with adult spinal deformity met the inclusion criteria, and 138 patients underwent a 3CO. Controlling for baseline SVA, PI-LL (pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis), revision status, age, and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), Group II was less likely than Group I to have a 3CO (21% versus 31%; odds ratio [OR] = 0.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.4 to 0.97) and more likely to have an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF; OR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.3 to 2.3) and a lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF; OR = 3.8; 95% CI = 2.3 to 6.2). Adjusted analyses showed that Group II had a higher likelihood of supplemental rod usage (OR = 21.8; 95% CI = 7.8 to 61) and a lower likelihood of proximal junctional failure (PJF; OR = 0.23; 95% CI = 0.07 to 0.76) and overall hardware complications by 2 years (OR = 0.28; 95% CI = 0.1 to 0.8). In an adjusted analysis, Group II had a higher likelihood of titanium rod usage (OR = 2.7; 95% CI = 1.03 to 7.2). Group II had a lower 2-year ODI and higher scores on Short Form (SF)-36 components and SRS-22 total (p < 0.05 for all). Controlling for baseline ODI, Group II was more likely to reach the BCO for the ODI (OR = 2.8; 95% CI = 1.2 to 6.4) and the SRS-22 total score (OR = 4.6; 95% CI = 1.3 to 16).Conclusions:Over a 10-year period, the rates of 3CO usage declined, including in cases of severe deformity, with an increase in the usage of PJF prophylaxis. A better understanding of the utility of 3CO, along with a greater implementation of preventive measures, has led to a decrease in complications and PJF and a significant improvement in patient-reported outcome measures.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1895-1904
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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