Adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery gives good clinical outcomes but has a high rate of mechanical complications (MC). In 2016, Lafage described the age-adjusted alignment thresholds (AAAT) to adapt the correction in relation to patient’s age proposing less aggressive corrections for the elderly population. The aim of this review was to clarify the effectiveness of AAAT to achieve good health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and their relationship with post-operative MC.
Materials and methods
We performed a review of the literature, including articles reporting data on post-operative HRQoL and MC rates in relation to the AAAT. Data were stratified according to whether they matched the AAAT, dividing the population in undercorrected (U), matched (M) and overcorrected (O). The quality of the included studies was assessed using the GRADE and MINORS systems.
Six articles reporting data from 1,825 patients were included. The different categories (U, M and O) had homogeneous pre-operative sagittal parameters (p > 0.05) that became statistically different after surgeries (p < 0.05). Proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) was more frequent in the O group compared to U (p = 0.05). Post-operative HRQoL parameters were similar in the 3 groups (p > 0.05). The quality of the included studies was generally low with a high bias risk.
The results extrapolated from this review are interesting, as for the same HRQoL the U group had a lower MC rate. Unfortunately, the results are inconsistent, mainly because of the low quality of the included studies and the lack of reporting of some important patient- and surgery-related factors.