Purpose: To investigate normal curvature ratios of the cervicothoracic spine and to establish radiographic thresholds for severe myelopathy and disability, within the context of shape. Methods: Adult cervical deformity (CD) patients undergoing cervical fusion were included. C2-C7 Cobb angle (CL) and thoracic kyphosis (TK), using T2-T12 Cobb angle, were used as a ratio, ranging from −1 to + 1. Pearson bivariate r and univariate analyses analyzed radiographic correlations and differences in myelopathy(mJOA > 14) or disability(NDI > 40) across ratio groups. Results: Sixty-three CD patients included. Regarding CL:TK ratio, 37 patients had a negative ratio and 26 patients had a positive ratio. A more positive CL:TK correlated with increased TS-CL(r = 0.655, p = < 0.001)and mJOA(r = 0.530, p = 0.001), but did not correlate with cSVA/SVA or NDI scores. A positive CL:TK ratio was associated with moderate disability(NDI > 40)(OR: 7.97[1.22–52.1], p = 0.030). Regression controlling for CL:TK ratio revealed cSVA > 25 mm increased the odds of moderate to severe myelopathy and cSVA > 30 mm increased the odds of significant neck disability. Lastly, TS-CL > 29 degrees increased the odds of neck disability by 4.1 × with no cutoffs for severe mJOA(p > 0.05). Conclusions: Cervical deformity patients with an increased CL:TK ratio had higher rates of moderate neck disability at baseline, while patients with a negative ratio had higher rates of moderate myelopathy clinically. Specific thresholds for cSVA and TS-CL predicted severe myelopathy or neck disability scores, regardless of baseline neck shape. A thorough evaluation of the cervical spine should include exploration of relationships with the thoracic spine and may better allow spine surgeons to characterize shapes and curves in cervical deformity patients.
- Cervical deformity
- Secondary driver
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine