How common is spinal malalignment after lumbar fusions? 4 key insights from new study

Written by Rachel Popa | July 11, 2018 | Print  |

A new study published in Spine outlines the prevalence of spinopelvic malalignments, and how using NuVasive's multicenter integrated Global Alignment platform can help physicians assess spinal alignment.

The study evaluated patients who had undergone one or two level lumbar fusions for degenerative indications for preoperative and postoperative spinopelvic malalignment. Using the NuVasive iGA platform, researchers measured lateral preoperative and postoperative lumbar radiographs of one or two level lumbar fusion patients across 18 institutions.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Results showed 30 percent of patients undergoing one or two level lumbar fusions showed malalignment, and 28 percent were malaligned postoperatively.

2. The high rates of pre- and postoperative malalignment demonstrate alignment should be measured in all cases, even in degenerative cases.

3. "We have partnered with some of the largest academic institutions in the country to lead the research efforts and build the scientific evidence to advance the understanding of spinal alignment and the importance it plays in surgical decision-making — further transforming spine and how surgeons approach treatment,” said Matt Link, NuVasive's executive vice president of strategy, technology and corporate development.

4. The authors concluded the study by saying alignment preservation and restoration should be considered in all lumbar spinal fusions.

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