Multifidus Sarcopenia Is Associated With Worse Patient-reported Outcomes Following Posterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion

Zachariah W. Pinter, Harold I. Salmons, Sarah Townsley, Adan Omar, Brett A. Freedman, Bradford L. Currier, Benjamin D. Elder, Ahmad N. Nassr, Mohamad Bydon, Scott C. Wagner, Arjun S. Sebastian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Study Design. Retrospective cohort study. Objective. The present study is the first to assess the impact of paraspinal sarcopenia on patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) following posterior cervical decompression and fusion (PCDF). Summary of Background Data. While the impact of sarcopenia on PROMs following lumbar spine surgery is well-established, the impact of sarcopenia on PROMs following PCDF has not been investigated. Materials and Methods. We performed a retrospective review of patients undergoing PCDF from C2 to T2 at a single institution between the years 2017 and 2020. Two independent reviewers who were blinded to the clinical outcome scores utilized axial cuts of T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging sequences to assess fatty infiltration of the bilateral multifidus muscles at the C5-C6 level and classify patients according to the Fuchs Modification of the Goutalier grading system. PROMs were then compared between subgroups. Results. We identified 99 patients for inclusion in this study, including 28 patients with mild sarcopenia, 45 patients with moderate sarcopenia, and 26 patients with severe sarcopenia. There was no difference in any preoperative PROM between the subgroups. Mean postoperative Neck Disability Index scores were lower in the mild and moderate sarcopenia subgroups (12.8 and 13.4, respectively) than in the severe sarcopenia subgroup (21.0, P<0.001). A higher percentage of patients with severe multifidus sarcopenia reported postoperative worsening of their Neck Disability Index (10 patients, 38.5%; P=0.003), Visual Analog Scale Neck scores (7 patients, 26.9%; P=0.02), Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System Physical Component Scores (10 patients, 38.5%; P=0.02), and Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System Mental Component Scores (14 patients, 53.8%; P=0.02). Conclusion. Patients with more severe paraspinal sarcopenia demonstrate less improvement in neck disability and physical function postoperatively and are substantially more likely to report worsening PROMs postoperatively. Level of Evidence. 3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1426-1434
Number of pages9
JournalSpine
Volume47
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2022

Keywords

  • cervical
  • Goutalier grade
  • Neck Disability Index
  • neck pain
  • paraspinal muscles
  • patient-reported outcome measures
  • posterior cervical decompression and fusion
  • sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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