Postoperative coronal malalignment after adult spinal deformity surgery: incidence, risk factors, and impact on 2-year outcomes

Scott L. Zuckerman, Christopher S. Lai, Yong Shen, Nathan J. Lee, Mena G. Kerolus, Alex S. Ha, Ian A. Buchanan, Eric Leung, Meghan Cerpa, Ronald A. Lehman, Lawrence G. Lenke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the incidence, risk factors, and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) of adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients with postoperative coronal malalignment. Methods: A single-institution, retrospective cohort study of ASD patients undergoing ≥ 6 level fusions from 2015 to 2019 was undertaken. The primary outcome was postoperative coronal malalignment, defined as C7-coronal vertical axis (CVA) > 3 cm. Secondary outcomes included: complications, readmissions, reoperations, and 2-year PROs. Results: A total of 243 ASD patients undergoing spinal surgery had preoperative and immediate postoperative measurements, and 174 patients (72%) had 2-year follow-up. Mean age was 49.3 ± 18.3yrs and mean instrumented levels was 13.5 ± 3.9. Mean preoperative CVA was 2.9 ± 2.7 cm, and 90 (37%) had preoperative coronal malalignment. Postoperative coronal malalignment occurred in 43 (18%) patients. Significant risk factors for postoperative coronal malalignment were: preoperative CVA (OR 1.21, p = 0.001), preoperative SVA (OR 1.05, p = 0.046), pelvic obliquity (OR 1.21; p = 0.008), Qiu B vs. A (OR 4.17; p = 0.003), Qiu C vs. A (OR 7.39; p < 0.001), lumbosacral fractional (LSF) curve (OR 2.31; p = 0.021), max Cobb angle concavity opposite the CVA (OR 2.10; p = 0.033), and operative time (OR 1.16; p = 0.045). Postoperative coronal malalignment patients were more likely to sustain a major complication (31% vs. 14%; p = 0.01), yet no differences were seen in readmissions (p = 0.72) or reoperations (p = 0.98). No significant differences were seen in 2-year PROs (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Postoperative coronal malalignment occurred in 18% of ASD patients and was most associated with preoperative CVA/SVA, pelvic obliquity, Qiu B/C curves, LSF curve concavity to the same side as the CVA, and maximum Cobb angle concavity opposite side of the CVA. Postoperative coronal malalignment was significantly associated with increased complications but not readmission, reoperation, or 2-year PROs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalSpine deformity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult spine deformity
  • Coronal malalignment
  • Patient reported outcomes
  • Postoperative outcomes
  • Spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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