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The Relationship between the Occipitocervical Junction and Thoracic Kyphosis in Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Retrospective Cohort Study of 86 Cervical Fractures in Surgically Treated Patients
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Gunma Spine Center, Harunaso Hospital, Takasaki, Japan.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital Universitari Dexeus, Barcelona, Spain.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences.
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2019 (English)In: Asian Spine Journal, ISSN 1976-1902, E-ISSN 1976-7846, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 103-110Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Study Design: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data.

Purpose: To describe the radiological characteristics of the occipitocervical area in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) using the novel measure X-angle and to describe the correlation between the ankylosed occipitoatlantoaxial (OAA) joint and thoracic kyphosis (TK).

Overview of Literature: AS affects the axial skeleton, leading to progressive ankylosis of all vertebral segments. The effect of ankylosis on the upper cervical area of these patients is not well documented.

Methods: All patients with complete ankylosis of the spinal column between C3 and T1, treated for cervical spinal fracture between 2007 and 2014, were eligible for inclusion in this study. The level of cervical fracture was identified. The T1-12 and T5-12 angles were measured using preoperative lateral radiography. The progressive degeneration of the C0-C1-C2 joints was evaluated via the new indicator X-angle, through the measurement of the angle of the C0-C1-C2 articulations in the coronal plane using computed tomography.

Results: We included 86 consecutive patients with AS (67 males) aged 69±12 years. The patients were divided into two groups according to the degenerative change in the C0-C1 joint (62 patients with a mobile joint and 24 patients with an ankylosed joint). There was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of age (p =0.094) and level of fracture (p =0.949). The most commonly affected level was C6. There was no requirement for revision due to non-union in any of the patients. There was a statistically significant difference observed in the T1-12, T5-12, and X-angles (p =0.004, 0.001, and <0.001, respectively). TK was greater in the ankylosed joint group than in the mobile joint group. The X-angle was also greater in the ankylosed joint group because of the vertical destruction of the OAA joint.

Conclusions: Thoracic hyperkyphosis resulted in degenerative changes in the C0-C1-C2 joint in patients with AS. The X-angle is a reliable method for measuring the integrity of the C0-C1-C2 joint in such patients.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 13, no 1, p. 103-110
Keywords [en]
Ankylosing spondylitis, Atlanto-occipital joint, Kyphosis, Spinal fracture
National Category
Orthopaedics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-372006DOI: 10.31616/asj.2018.0010ISI: 000457550900014PubMedID: 30326690OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-372006DiVA, id: diva2:1275112
Available from: 2019-01-04 Created: 2019-01-04 Last updated: 2019-03-08Bibliographically approved

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Olerud, ClaesRobinson, Yohan

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