We are seeing patients in-person and through Video Visits. Learn more about how we’re keeping you safe and please review our updated visitor policy. Please also consider supporting Weill Cornell Medicine’s efforts to support our front-line workers.

Spinal alignment, surgery, and outcomes in cervical deformity: A practical guide to aid the spine surgeon

You are here

Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery Oct 2019


Compared to the thoracolumbar spine, the literature on cervical spine alignment is scarce. While a consistent number of articles have been published, few analyze the ideal surgical approaches for each type of deformity and the optimal amount of correction to achieve. This paper provides a comprehensive review of current literature on cervical spinal deformities (with or without myelopathy) and their surgical management; it is our goal to create a framework on which surgical planning can be made.

A general assessment of the actually utilized parameters and correlation between the cervical and thoracolumbar spine alignment is presented. Moreover, we provide an analysis of cervical surgical approaches (anterior, posterior, or combined), techniques (laminoplasty, laminectomy and fusion, anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, corpectomy), and their indications. Finally, a complete evaluation of outcomes and postoperative health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures based on questionnaires (NDI, VAS, SF-36, mJOA) is discussed.

Cervical lordosis calculation methods on lateral x-rays. A) Cobb method. B) Harrison method. C) Jackson method.Several prospective studies would be useful in understanding how cervical alignment may be important in the assessment and treatment of cervical deformities with or without myelopathy. In particular, future works should concentrate on the correlation between cervical alignment parameters, disability scores, and myelopathy outcomes. We propose, via comprehensive literature review, a guide of practical key points on surgical techniques, cervical alignment, and symptom improvement goals surgeons should aim to achieve for each patient.

Publication Name: 
Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Tundo F, Avila MJ, Willard L, Fanous S, Curri C, Hussain I, Baaj AA.


See Article on PubMed

Download this article