Improvement in some Ames-ISSG cervical deformity classification modifier grades may correlate with clinical improvement

Samantha R. Horn, Peter G. Passias, Lara Passfall, Renaud Lafage, Justin S. Smith, Gregory W. Poorman, Leah M. Steinmetz, Cole A. Bortz, Frank A. Segreto, Bassel Diebo, Robert Hart, Douglas Burton, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Daniel M. Sciubba, Eric O. Klineberg, Themistocles S. Protopsaltis, Frank J. Schwab, Shay Bess, Virginie Lafage, Christopher Ames

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This retrospective cohort study describes adult cervical deformity(ACD) patients with Ames-ACD classification at baseline(BL) and 1-year post-operatively and assesses the relationship of improvement in Ames modifiers with clinical outcomes. Patients ≥ 18yrs with BL and post-op(1-year) radiographs were included. Patients were categorized with Ames classification by primary deformity descriptors (C = cervical; CT = cervicothoracic junction; T = thoracic; S = coronal) and alignment/myelopathy modifiers(C2-C7 Sagittal Vertical Axis[cSVA], T1 Slope-Cervical Lordosis[TS-CL], Horizontal Gaze[Horiz], mJOA). Univariate analysis evaluated demographics, clinical intervention, and Ames deformity descriptor. Patients were evaluated for radiographic improvement by Ames classification and reaching Minimal Clinically Important Differences(MCID) for mJOA, Neck Disability Index(NDI), and EuroQuol-5D(EQ5D). A total of 73 patients were categorized: C = 41(56.2%), CT = 18(24.7%), T = 9(12.3%), S = 5(6.8%). By Ames modifier 1-year improvement, 13(17.8%) improved in mJOA, 26(35.6%) in cSVA grade, 19(26.0%) in Horiz, and 15(20.5%) in TS-CL. The overall proportion of patients without severe Ames modifier grades at 1-year was as follows: 100% cSVA, 27.4% TS-CL, 67.1% Horiz, 69.9% mJOA. 1-year post-operatively, severe myelopathy(mJOA = 3) prevalence differed between Ames-ACD descriptors (C = 26.3%, CT = 15.4%, T = 0.0%, S = 0.0%, p = 0.033). Improvement in mJOA modifier correlated with reaching 1-year NDI MCID in the overall cohort (r = 0.354,p = 0.002). For C descriptors, cSVA improvement correlated with reaching 1-year NDI MCID (r = 0.387,p = 0.016). Improvement in more than one radiographic Ames modifier correlated with reaching 1-year mJOA MCID (r = 0.344,p = 0.003) and with reaching more than one MCID for mJOA, NDI, and EQ-5D (r = 0.272,p = 0.020). In conclusion, improvements in radiographic Ames modifier grades correlated with improvement in 1-year postoperative clinical outcomes. Although limited in scope, this analysis suggests the Ames-ACD classification may describe cervical deformity patients’ alignment and outcomes at 1-year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Adult Cervical Deformity
  • Ames Cervical Deformity Classification
  • Correction
  • Outcomes
  • SRS-Schwab Adult Spinal Deformity Classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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