The impact of lumbar alignment targets on mechanical complications after adult lumbar scoliosis surgery

Brian L. Dial, Jeffrey M. Hills, Justin S. Smith, Juan Pablo Sardi, Bruno Lazaro, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Shay Bess, Frank J. Schwab, Virginie Lafage, Renaud Lafage, Michael P. Kelly, Keith H. Bridwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the discriminatory ability of age-adjusted alignment offset and the global alignment and proportion (GAP) score parameters to predict postoperative mechanical complications. Methods: Surgical patients from the Adult Symptomatic Lumbar Scoliosis cohort were reviewed at 2 year follow up. Age-adjusted alignment offsets and GAP parameters were calculated for each patient. A series of nonlinear logistic regression models were fit, and the odds of mechanical complications were calculated. The discriminatory ability of the GAP score, GAP score parameters, and age-adjusted alignment offsets were determined plotting receiver operative characteristic (ROC) with the C statistic (AUC). Results: A total of 165 patients were included. A total of 49 mechanical complications occurred in 41 patients (21 proximal junctional kyphosis and 28 pseudoarthrosis). The GAP score had no discriminatory ability in this cohort. Relative lumbar lordosis 15 degrees greater than ideal lumbar lordosis was associated with greater mechanical complications. A lumbar distribution index of 90% was associated with fewer mechanical complications compared to a lumbar distribution index of 65%. Age-adjusted offset alignment targets had no discriminatory ability to predict mechanical complications. Conclusion: Radiographic alignment targets using either age-adjusted alignment target offset or GAP score parameters had minimal ability to predict mechanical complications in isolation. Mechanical complications following adult spinal deformity surgery are complex, and patient factors play a critical role. Clinical trial registeration This study was registered at (number NCT00854828) in March 2009.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1573-1582
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult spinal deformity
  • Age-adjusted
  • Global alignment and proportion
  • Spinal alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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