Thanks to a UPF study with Hospital del Mar and Vall d’Hebron University Hospital it is now possibile to better predict the risk of a spine operation in advance.
When spinal deformity corrective surgery is performed, a critical point arises: the border between the instrumented area of the spine and the area that remains free. This border is the area where one of patients’ major complications occurs.
A research team led by UPF has managed to improve the accuracy of predicting the risk of the onset of this affectation, which may contribute to improving spinal surgeries. The research has enjoyed the collaboration of Hospital del Mar, the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute, the Galeazzi Orthopaedic Institute in Milan and the Shulthess Klinik in Zurich (Switzerland).
Surgical interventions to correct adult spinal deformities (ASD) consist of the rigid fixation of multiple intervertebral joints and involve a high risk of mechanical complications. One of the most common affects the proximal junction between vertebral segments (both those treated and those not treated by the operation), which worsens the curvature that the spine should have in relation to the pelvis to maintain a balanced body posture. Proximal junction failure generates more pain and disability and requires a second operation in more than 20% of cases. Hence, a research group, led by UPF, has investigated how to improve the accuracy of clinical indices to measure the risk of the occurrence of proximal junction failureafter spine surgery. The research saw the collaboration of Hospital del Mar, the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), the Galeazzi Orthopaedic Institute in Milan (IRCCS Galeazzi), and the Shulthess Klinik in Zurich (Switzerland).
The research has managed to raise the accuracy level of these indices to above 95%, essentially based on the incorporation of new biomechanical descriptors, referring to the mechanical conditions of the patients’ musculoskeletal apparatus. Until now, these indices only took into account geometric descriptors of vertebral alignment. The results of this research may contribute to improving surgical techniques to operate on adult spine deformities, various abnormalities that can cause chronic pain or decreased mobility among patients.
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