Mehmet Erkilinc, Melanie Coathup, Michael Grant Liska, John Lovevoy

September 2023, Volume 32, Issue 9, pp 3113 - 3117 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-023-07803-4

First Online: 07 June 2023


Proximal junctional kyphosis is a commonly encountered clinical and radiographic phenomenon after pediatric and adolescent spinal deformity surgery that may lead to postoperative deformity, pain, and dissatisfaction. The purpose of the study was to identify whether the placement of transverse process hooks is an effective way to prevent PJK.


Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients who underwent posterior spinal fusion between November 2015 and May 2019 were retrospectively analyzed. A minimum 2-year follow-up was required. Demographic and surgical data included UIV level type of instrumentation (hook vs screw) were reported. Radiologic parameters included main curve Cobb angle, thoracic kyphosis (TK), lumbar lordosis (LL), pelvic incidence (PI), and proximal junctional angle (PJA) were assessed. Patients were divided into two groups based on the type of instrumentation at the UIV level whether placement of hook versus pedicle screw.


Three hundred and thirty-seven patients were included with the mean age 14.2 ± 1.9 years. Thirty patients (8.9%) were diagnosed with proximal junctional kyphosis radiographically. PJK incidence was found 3.2% (5/154) in the hook group and 13.3% (23/172) in the screw group and the difference found statistically significant. In the PJK group, preoperative thoracic kyphosis and the degree of kyphosis correction were also significantly higher than non-PJK patients.


Placement of transverse process hooks at the UIV level in posterior spinal fusion surgery for AIS patients was associated with decreased risk of PJK. A larger preoperative kyphosis and greater degree of kyphosis correction correlated with PJK.

Read Full Article