Postoperative spinal deformity after treatment of intracanal spine lesions

Andrei F. Joaquim*, Ivan Cheng, Alpesh A. Patel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background context: Surgical treatment of intracanal (both intramedullary and extramedullary) spine lesions requires posterior decompressive techniques in nearly all instances. Postoperative spinal deformities, most notably sagittal and coronal decompensation, are of significant concern for both the patient and the spinal surgeon. Purpose: To review and define principles and features of spinal deformities after posterior spinal decompression for intracanal spinal lesions, and to define patients who may benefit from the concomitant spinal fusion. Methods: A systematic review of MEDLINE was conducted, including articles published between 1980 and 2011. Articles related to spinal deformities after posterior decompression for the treatment of intracanal spine lesions were identified. Results: Ten articles met all inclusion and exclusion criteria. All were case series with limited evidence (Level IV). Many risk factors to deformity were implied but with limited evidence. Young age was the most commonly identified risk in these articles. Conclusions: Spinal deformity after posterior decompression is a common complication, most notably in children and young adults, after the removal of intramedullary tumors. Many risk factors have been implied to increase the postoperative development of spinal deformity, including young age, laminectomy extension, preoperative deformity, and extensive facet resection, among others. However, there is a lack of high-quality evidence to propose an algorithm for treatment or preventive measures. New studies with larger series of patients and standardized clinical outcomes are necessary to establish optimal treatment protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1074
Number of pages8
JournalSpine Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Intracanal
  • Intramedullary
  • Kyphosis
  • Postlaminectomy
  • Spinal deformity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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