Surgical treatment of spinal disorders in Parkinson’s disease

Fabio Galbusera, Tito Bassani, Elena Stucovitz, Carlotta Martini, Maryem Fama Ismael Aguirre, Pedro L. Berjano, C. Lamartina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: Most patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD) exhibit alterations in the posture, which can in several cases give rise to spine deformities, both in the sagittal and the coronal plane. In addition, degenerative disorders of the spine frequently associated to PD, such as spinal stenosis and sagittal instability, can further impact the quality of life of the patient. In recent years, spine surgery has been increasingly performed, with mixed results. The aim of this narrative review is to analyze the spinal disorders associated to PD, and the current evidence about their surgical treatment. Methods: Narrative review. Results: Camptocormia, i.e., a pronounced flexible forward bending of the trunk with 7% prevalence, is the most reported sagittal disorder of the spine. Pisa syndrome and scoliosis are both common and frequently associated. Disorders to the spinopelvic alignment were not widely investigated, but a tendency toward a lower ability of PD patients to compensate the sagittal malalignment with respect to non-PD elderly subjects with imbalance seems to emerge. Spine surgery in PD patients showed high rates of complications and re-operations. Conclusions: Disorders of the posture and spinal alignment, both in the sagittal and in the coronal planes, are common in PD patients, and have a major impact on the quality of life. Outcomes of spine surgery are generally not satisfactory, likely mostly due to muscle dystonia and poor bone quality. Knowledge in this field needs to be consolidated by further clinical and basic science studies. Graphical abstract: These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Camptocormia
  • Degenerative
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Scoliosis
  • Spine deformities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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