What is included in the long-term monitoring of kyphosis?

Updated: May 04, 2020
  • Author: R Carter Cassidy, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey A Goldstein, MD  more...
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Standing posteroanterior (PA) and lateral full-length radiographs of the spine should be obtained as soon as possible after surgery and serially for follow-up. Full-length scoliosis films obtained yearly allow evaluation of the patient's curve over time.

Comparison of the postoperative and follow-up images with the preoperative images helps in defining the amount of correction achieved and in determining if correction is being lost over time. Loss of correction should prompt a careful evaluation for implant pull-out or breakage, for subsidence of an anterior implant (if any), or for lack of adequate fusion mass. [76]

A large review of adult spine deformity patients at least 2 years after surgery identified implant-related complications, such a implant pull-out or rod breakage at 32%, and over half of those required an additional operation.  These complications negatively affected patient function, as reflected on patient-reported outcome measures. [77]

Postoperative measurements of the C7 plumb line should be at or within a few centimeters of S1.

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