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Can fusion to S1 maintain favorable surgical outcomes following one-level pedicle subtraction osteotomy in patients with thoracolumbar kyphosis secondary to ankylosing spondylitis?

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To compare the surgical outcomes between ankylosing spondylitis (AS)-related thoracolumbar kyphosis patients with the lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV) at S1 or above following one-level pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO).


One hundred and two AS patients undergoing one-level PSO with a minimum of 2-year follow-up were included. Twenty-two patients were in group S1 (LIV at S1), and eighty were in group non-S1 (LIV above S1). Radiographic parameters including lumbar lordosis (LL), sacral slope (SS), pelvic incidence (PI), and sagittal vertical axis (SVA) were measured. Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog scale (VAS) were applied for clinical assessment.


In both S1 and non-S1 groups, the radiographic parameters and clinical outcomes were significantly improved after surgery (P  < 0.05). Patients undergoing distal fusion to S1 had significantly larger preoperative PI–LL mismatch, SVA, and smaller preoperative LL and SS compared to those in group non-S1 (P  < 0.05). No significant difference was found between the two groups regarding preoperative and final follow-up ODI and VAS (P  > 0.05), as well as the improvement in ODI and VAS (P  > 0.05). The incidence of overall complications and each type of complication including the implant failure was similar between group S1 and non-S1 (P  > 0.05).


Selecting S1 as the LIV without pelvic fixation following one-level PSO in thoracolumbar kyphosis caused by AS could achieve satisfactory surgical outcomes and might not increase the complications. Patients with relatively severe sagittal imbalance, loss of LL, PI–LL mismatch, and small SS might be the potential candidates for distal fusion to S1 following one-level PSO.

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Bang-ping Qian has received funding from Jiangsu Provincial Medical Talent Program (ZDRCA2016068). Yong Qiu has received funding from the Jiangsu Provincial Key Medical Center (YXZXA2016009). This study was approved by the University Institutional Review Board.

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Huang, Jc., Diao, Wy., Qian, Bp. et al. Can fusion to S1 maintain favorable surgical outcomes following one-level pedicle subtraction osteotomy in patients with thoracolumbar kyphosis secondary to ankylosing spondylitis?. Eur Spine J 29, 3028–3037 (2020).

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