AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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Location of Spinal Correction Influences Risk of PJK Development

The surgical correction of adult spinal deformities often involves realigning the lower portion of the spine, or the ‘lumbar’ spine. Yet despite significant advances in spinal surgery, modifying the curvature of the lower spine through surgical fusion increases the risk of abnormal spinal curvature above the level of the operation, a condition called proximal junctional kyphosis – or PJK. A new study reports for the first time that PJK risk following lumbar spinal fusion depends on the level of the spine fused. Specifically, the authors – who include members of the International Spine Study Group (ISSG) from multiple academic centers – found that fusing the lower portion of the lumbar spine results in a decreased risk of PJK.

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