Vertebral Osteotomies in Ankylosing Spondylitis—Comparison of Outcomes Following Closing Wedge Osteotomy versus Opening Wedge Osteotomy: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Study Design

Systematic review.

Study Rationale

To seek out and assess the best quality evidence available comparing opening wedge osteotomy (OWO) and closing wedge osteotomy (CWO) in patients with ankylosing spondylitis to determine whether their results differ with regard to several different subjective and objective outcome measures.

Objective

The aim of this study is to determine whether there is a difference in subjective and objective outcomes when comparing CWO and OWO in patients with ankylosing spondylitis suffering from clinically significant thoracolumbar kyphosis with respect to quality-of-life assessments, complication risks, and the amount of correction of the spine achieved at follow-up.

Methods

A systematic review was undertaken of articles published up to July 2012. Electronic databases and reference lists of key articles were searched to identify studies comparing effectiveness and safety outcomes between adult patients with ankylosing spondylitis who received closing wedge versus opening wedge osteotomies. Studies that included pediatric patients, polysegmental osteotomies, or revision procedures were excluded. Two independent reviewers assessed the strength of evidence using the GRADE criteria and disagreements were resolved by consensus.

Results

From a total of 67 possible citations, 4 retrospective cohorts (class of evidence III) met our inclusion criteria and form the basis for this report. No differences in Oswestry Disability Index, visual analog scale for pain, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS)-24 score, SRS-22 score, and patient satisfaction were reported between the closing and opening wedge groups across two studies. Regarding radiological outcomes following closing versus opening osteotomies, mean change in sagittal vertical axis ranged from 8.9 to 10.8 cm and 8.0 to 10.9 cm, respectively, across three studies; mean change in lumbar lordosis ranged from 36 to 47 degrees and 19 to 41 degrees across four studies; and mean change in global kyphosis ranged from 38 to 40 degrees and 28 to 35 degrees across two studies. Across all studies, overall complication risks ranged from 0 to 16.7% following CWO and from 0 to 23.6% following OWO.

Conclusion

No statistically significant differences were seen in patient-reported or radiographic outcomes between CWO and OWO in any study. The risks of dural tear, neurological injury, and reoperation were similar between groups. Blood loss was greater in the closing wedge compared with the opening wedge group, while the risk of paralytic ileus was less. The overall strength of evidence for the conclusions is low.

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