Purpose: How the lumbar neural foramina are affected by segmental deformities in patients in whom degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS) is unknown. Here, we used multidetector-row computed tomography (MDCT) to measure the morphology of the foramina in three dimensions, which allowed us to elucidate the relationships between foraminal morphology and segmental deformities in DLS. Methods: In 77 DLS patients (mean age, 69.4) and 19 controls (mean age, 69), the foraminal height (FH), foraminal width (FW), posterior disc height (PDH), interval between the pedicle and superior articular process (P-SAP), and cross-sectional foraminal area (FA) were measured on reconstructed MDCT data, using image-editing software, at the entrance, minimum-area point, and exit of each foramen. The parameters of segmental deformity included the intervertebral wedging angle and anteroposterior and lateral translation rate, measured on radiographs, and the vertebral rotation angle, measured using reconstructed MDCT images. Results: The FH, PDH, P-SAP, and FA were smaller at lower lumbar levels and on the concave side of intervertebral wedging (p < 0.05). In the DLS patients, the FH, P-SAP, and FA were significantly smaller than for the control group at all three foraminal locations and every lumbar level (p < 0.05). Intervertebral wedging strongly decreased the FA of the concave side (p < 0.05). Anteroposterior translation caused the greatest reduction in P-SAP (p < 0.05). Vertebral rotation decreased the P-SAP and FA at the minimum-area point on the same side as the rotation (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The new analysis method proposed here is useful for understanding the pathomechanisms of foraminal stenosis in DLS patients.
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