The aim of this retrospective controlled study was to evaluate radiographic degeneration in the lumbar spine of patients who had undergone lumbar discectomy minimum 21 years earlier and its clinical meaning. Indeed, no previous investigation on degenerative changes occurring after lumbar discectomy with a comparable long follow-up has been published. The study participants consisted of 50 patients who had undergone discectomy for lumbar disc herniation. The mean length of follow-up was 25.3 ± 3.0 years. Patients were assessed by Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36), Oswestry Disability Index, and a study-specific questionnaire. Radiographic views of the lumbar spine were obtained from all patients and compared to those of 50 asymptomatic controls. A five-step published classification was used to assess the increasing severity of radiographic changes. CT or MRI scans were also available for 27 patients who had undergone discectomy. Moderate to severe radiographic changes were present in 45 patients (90%) and 34 controls (68%), respectively (P = 0.013). The most prevalent MRI/CT changes were loss of disc height (89%), facet joint arthritis (89%), and endplate changes (57%). Thirty-two of 33 subjects (97%) reporting pain during the last 12 months had significant degeneration on their radiographs, and the frequency of changes was higher with respect to subjects without pain (P = 0.040). In conclusion, standard lumbar discectomy frequently leads to long-term degenerative changes on imaging tests. The presence of moderate to severe degeneration is associated with self-reported pain.
Discectomy; Low back pain; Long term follow-up; Lumbar spine; Radiography; Surgery
This is a retrospective study.
We wanted to examine the clinical and radiological prognostic factors affecting the postoperative clinical outcome of patients with lumbar disc herniation and who underwent open discectomy.
Overview of Literature
Conventional open discectomy has been widely used as a treatment regimen for the management of lumbar disc herniation. Still, much controversy exists regarding the factors that affect the postoperative clinical outcomes.
The current study was conducted on 40 patients who were diagnosed with lumbar disc herniation by the senior surgeon of our department from March 2004 to June 2007. These patients were refractory to conservative treatment and they could be followed up for more than one year following their surgical treatments. Preoperatively, after postoperative year 1 and at the final follow-up, a comparison was made for the Oswestry disability index (ODI) scores and the visual analogue scale (VAS) scores that indicated low back pain and radiating pain. For identifying prognostic factors, an analysis was also performed for such factors as age, gender, the operated level, the duration of preoperative low back pain and radiating pain, a smoking history, the body mass index and whether the surgery was revision or the primary operation. A radiological analysis, based on the preoperative plain flexion-extension radiography, was performed for the presence of mild segmental instability of < 3 mm, spondylolysis and disc space narrowing. Pfirrmann's degenerative grade of the disc, the degree of herniation and whether a herniation was central or massive on the magnetic resonance imaging scans.
At the final follow-up, the ODI was significantly higher in the cases of revision as compared with the cases of primary operation. The female gender also had a tendency for a poor ODI as compared with that of the men, but this had only borderline statistical significance. There was significant correlation between the preoperative ODI and the preoperative VAS indicating radiating pain. At a final follow up, the low back pain VAS score was significantly lower in the extruded cases as compared with that of the protruded or sequestrated cases.
Following an analysis for detecting the prognostic factors of open discectomy, the final clinical outcome was found to be poor for the revision surgery cases. In regard to the type of herniation, the degree of low back pain was relatively lower at a final follow-up for the extruded cases as compared with that for the protruded or sequestrated cases. Open discectomy surgery should be performed after evaluating the patients' various prognostic factors that could affect the final clinical outcome.
Lumbar disc herniation; Open discectomy; Clinical outcome; Prognostic factor
The purpose of this study was to compare clinical and radiological outcomes of percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) and open lumbar microdiscectomy (OLM) for recurrent disc herniation.
Fifty-four patients, who underwent surgery, either PELD (25 patients) or repeated OLM (29 patients), due to recurrent disc herniation at L4-5 level, were divided into two groups according to the surgical methods. Excluded were patients with sequestrated disc, calcified disc, severe neurological deficit, or instability. Clinical outcomes were assessed using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Radiological variables were assessed using plain radiography and/or magnetic resonance imaging.
Mean operating time and hospital stay were significantly shorter in PELD group (45.8 minutes and 0.9 day, respectively) than OLM group (73.8 minutes and 3.8 days, respectively) (p < 0.001). Complications occurred in 4% in PELD group and 10.3% in OLM group in the perioperative period. At a mean follow-up duration of 34.2 months, the mean improvements of back pain, leg pain, and functional improvement were 4.0, 5.5, and 40.9% for PELD group and 2.3, 5.1, and 45.0% for OLM group, respectively. Second recurrence occurred in 4% after PELD and 10.3% after OLM. Disc height did not change after PELD, but significantly decreased after OLM (p = 0.0001). Neither sagittal rotation angle nor volume of multifidus muscle changed significantly in both groups.
Both PELD and repeated OLM showed favorable outcomes for recurrent disc herniation, but PELD had advantages in terms of shorter operating time, hospital stay, and disc height preservation.
Reherniation; Discectomy; Lumbar spine
We retrospectively evaluated the clinical and radiological outcomes of posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) with using a unilateral single cage and a local morselized bone graft.
Fifty three patients who underwent PLIF with a unilateral single cage filled with local morselized bone graft were enrolled in this study. The average follow-up duration was 31.1 months. The clinical outcomes were evaluated with using the visual analogue scale (VAS) at the pre-operative period, at 1 year post-operation and at the last follow-up, the Oswestry Disability Index, the Prolo scale and the Kim & Kim criteria at the last follow-up; the radiological outcomes were evaluated according to the change of bone bridging, the radiolucency, the instablity and the disc height.
For the clinical evaluation, the VAS pain index, the Oswestry Disability Index, the Prolo scale and the Kim & Kim criteria showed excellent outcomes. For the the radiological evaluation, 52 cases showed complete bone union at the last follow-up. Regarding the complications, only 1 patient had cage breakage during follow-up.
PLIF using a unilateral single cage filled with a local morselized bone graft has the advantages of a shorter operation time, less blood loss and a shorter hospital stay, as compared with the PLIF using bilateral cages, for treating degenerative lumbar spine disease. This technique also provides excellent outcomes according to the clinical and radiological evaluation.
Spinal fusion; Posterior lumbar interbody fusion; Unilateral single cage; Local morselized graft
The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome of the hemilaminoplasty technique for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation (LDH). Forty-three cases of single-level LDH underwent a discectomy and hemilaminoplasty procedure. The preoperative JOA score and VAS of lower back and leg pain were 10.4±1.3, 7.8±2.1, and 8.6±1.7, respectively. The Cobb angle of lumbar sagittal alignment was 10.1±2.0. Twenty-five patients who agreed to lumbar discectomy through fenestration were enrolled as the control group. The postoperative JOA score and VAS of low back and leg pain of the hemilaminoplasty group were 19.4±1.3, 1.4±0.4, and 2.1±0.5, respectively. The Cobb angle was 29.2±1.9 degrees. There was no epidural scar observed in any of the patients. The Cobb angle of the hemilaminoplasty group was higher than that of the control group (p < 0.05), while the VAS was significantly lower (p < 0.05). Hemilaminoplasty is a useful method to improve clinical outcome, prevent epidural scar, and preserve the normal alignment of lumbar spine.
Although percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) has shown favorable outcomes in the majority of lumbar discectomy cases, there were also some failures. The most common cause of failure is the incomplete removal of disc fragments. The skin entry point for the guide-needle trajectory and the optimal placement of the working sleeve are largely blind, which might lead to the inadequate removal of disc fragments. The objective of this study was to present our early experiences with image-guided PELD using a specially designed fluoroscope with magnetic resonance imaging-equipped operative suite (XMR) for the treatment of lumbar disc herniation.
This prospective study included 89 patients who had undergone PELD via the transforaminal approach using an XMR protocol. Pre- and postoperative examinations (at 12 weeks) included a detailed clinical history, visual analogue scale (VAS), Oswestry disability index (ODI), and radiological workups. The results were categorized as excellent, good, fair, and poor according to MacNab's criteria. At the final follow-up, the minimum follow-up time for the subjects was 2 years. The need for revision surgeries and postoperative complications were noted on follow-up.
Postoperative mean ODI decreased from 67.4% to 5.61%. Mean VAS score for back and leg pain improved significantly from 4 to 2.3 and from 7.99 to 1.04, respectively. Four (4.49%) patients underwent a second-stage PELD after intraoperative XMR had shown remnant fragments after the first stage. As per MacNab's criteria, 76 patients (85.4%) showed excellent, 8 (8.89%) good, 3 (3.37%) fair, and 2 (2.25) poor results. Four (4.49%) patients had remnant disc fragments on XMR, which were removed during the same procedure. All of these patients had either highly migrated or sequestrated disc fragments preoperatively. Four (4.49%) other patients needed a second, open surgery due to symptomatic postoperative hematoma (n = 2) and recurrent disc herniation (n = 2).
This prospective analysis indicates that XMR-assisted PELD provides a precise skin entry point. It also confirms that decompression occurs intraoperatively, which negates the need for a separate surgery and thus increases the success rate of PELD, particularly in highly migrated or sequestrated discs. However, further extensive experience is required to confirm the advantages and feasibility of PELD in terms of cost effectiveness.
Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy; Incomplete disc removal; XMR-guided procedure; High success rate
Factors as age, sex, smoking, duration of leg pain, working status, type/level of disc herniation and psychosocial factors have been demonstrated to be of importance for short-term results after lumbar discectomy. There are few studies with long-term follow-up. In this prospective study of lumbar disc herniation patients undergoing surgery, the result was evaluated at 2 and 5–10 (mean 7.3) years after surgery. Predictive factors for satisfaction with treatment and objective outcome were investigated. Out of the included 171 patients undergoing lumbar discectomy, 154 (90%) patients completed the 2-year follow-up and 140 (81%) completed the long-term follow-up. Baseline data and questionnaires about leg- and back pain intensity (VAS), duration of leg pain, disability (Oswestry Disability Index), depression (Zung Depression Scale), sick leave and employment status were obtained preoperatively, at 2-year- and long-term follow-up. Primary outcome included patient satisfaction with treatment (at both time points) and assessment of an independent observer at the 2-year follow-up. Secondary outcomes at 2-year follow-up were improvement of leg and back pain, working capacity and the need for analgesics or sleeping pills. In about 70% of the patients excellent or good overall result was reported at both follow-ups, with subjective outcome measurements. The objective evaluation after 2 years was in agreement with this result. Time on sick leave was found to be a clinically important predictor of the primary outcomes, with a potential of changing the probability of a satisfactory outcome (both objective and subjective) from around 50% (sick leave >3 months) to 80% (sick leave <2 months). Time on sick leave was also an important predictor for several of the secondary outcomes; e.g. working capacity and the need for analgesics.
Disc herniation; Surgery; Long-term follow-up; Clinical outcome; Predictive factor
Disc herniation treated by discectomy results in a significant loss of nucleus material and disc height. Biological restoration through the use of autologous disc chondrocyte transplantation (ADCT) offers a potential to achieve functional integration of disc metabolism and mechanics. Nucleus regeneration using autologous cultured disc-derived chondrocytes has been demonstrated in a canine model and in clinical pilot studies. In 2002 a prospective, controlled, randomized, multicentre study comparing safety and efficacy of ADCT plus discectomy, with discectomy alone was initiated. The clinical goals were to provide long-term pain relief, maintain disc height, and prevent adjacent segment disease. Interim analysis was performed after 2 years; Oswestry (Low Back Pain/disability), Quebec Back Pain Disability Scale, as well as Prolo and VAS Score were used for the evaluation. Disc height was assessed by MRI. A clinically significant reduction of low back pain in the ADCT-treated group was shown by all three pain score systems. The median total Oswestry Score was 2 in the ADCT group compared with 6 in the control group. Decreases in the Disability index in ADCT-treated patients correlated with the reduction of low back pain. Decreases in disc height over time were only found in the control group, and of potential significance, intervertebral discs in adjacent segments appeared to retain hydration when compared to those adjacent to levels that had undergone discectomy without cell intervention.
Cell transplantation; Autologous disc chondrocyte transplantation; Discectomy; Oswestry; Disc fluid content
We studied 27 patients with post-discectomy syndrome. All patients had Lumbar Interbody Fusion with titanium cages and pedicle screw fixation either as Anterior (ALIF, n=18) or as Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF, n=9). Follow-up ranged from 24 to 94 months. The clinical and radiological data were compared. The outcome was evaluated using the Oswestry low back pain disability score and the visual analogue pain intensity scale. Outcomes were similar for all patients regardless of surgical technique and showed a significant improvement at final follow-up.
Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is a common cause of low back and radicular leg pains. This study aimed to evaluate the Persian Discectomy Successful Score (PDSS) in patients diagnosed with lumbar disc herniation undergoing discectomy. The PDSS first was developed based on the JOA score. It is a linear transformation of patients’ pre-operative JOA score that can predict the successful rate of surgery outcome in advance (PDSS= -1.036 × preoperative JOA + 23.635).
A total of 103 patients with lumbar disc herniation submitted for discectomy operation were entered into the study during two years of study. A sensitivity analysis was carried out to examine the accuracy of the PDSS. For the analysis of the results, patients’ pre- and post-operative JOA score was used as gold standard to calculate the actual difference observed (JOA pre-operation minus JOA post-operation = DJOA) and to compare this measure (difference) with estimation derived from the PDSS.
The mean age of patients was 47.4 ± 9.7 (ranging from 17 to 79) years and were followed for at least three months. The difference between pre and postoperative JOA score (15.4 ± 3.7) was statistically significant (P less than 0.0001). The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the PDSS was 93.87%, 80%, and 93.2%, respectively. The PDSS had a positive predictive value of 98.9% and a negative predictive value of 40%.
It seems that the preoperative JOA is able to predict discectomy results in patients with lumbar disc herniation. To confirm the findings of this study, a longitudinal study is recommended.
Discectomy Successful, lumbar disc herniation, Evaluation measure
Various modalities of treatment from standard discectomy, microdiscectomy, percutaneous discectomy, and transforaminal endoscopic discectomy have been in use for lumbar intervertebral disc prolapse. The access to spine is kept to a minimum without stripping paraspinal muscles minimizing muscle damage by posterior interlaminar endoscopic approach. The aim of this study was to evaluate technical problems, complications, and overall initial results of microendoscopic discectomy.
Materials and Methods:
First 100 consecutive cases aged 19-65 years operated by microendoscopic dissectomy between August 2002 – December 2005 are reported. All patients with single nerve root lesions including sequestrated or migrated and selected central disc at L4-5 and L5-S1 were included. The patients with bilateral radiculopathy were excluded. All patients had preoperative MRI and first 11 patients had postoperative MRI to check the adequacy of decompression. Diagnostic selective nerve root blocks were done in selective cases to isolate the single root lesion when MRI was inconclusive (n=7). All patients were operated by a single surgeon with the Metrx system (Medtronics). 97 were operated by 18-mm ports, and only three patients were operated by 16-mm ports. Postoperatively, all patients were mobilized as soon as the pain subsided and discharged within 24–48 h postsurgery. Patients were evaluated for technical problems, complications, and overall results by modified Macnab criteria. Patients were followed up at 2, 6, and 12 weeks.
The mean follow up was 12 months (range 3 months – 4 years). Open conversion was required in one patient with suspected root damage. Peroperatively single facet removal was done in 5 initial cases. Minor dural punctures occurred in seven cases and root damage in one case. The average surgical time was 70 min (range 25-210 min). Average blood loss was 20-30 ml. Technical difficulties encountered in initial 25 cases were insertion of guide pin, image orientation, peroperative dissection and bleeding problems, and reaching wrong levels suggestive of a definitive learning curve. Postoperative MRI (n=11) showed complete decompression. Overall 91% of patients had good-to-excellent results, with four patients having recurrence of whom three were reoperated. Four patients had postoperative discitis. One of the patients required fusion for discitis and rest were managed conservatively. One patient had root damage to L5 root that had paresthesia in L5 region even on 4 years of follow-up.
Microendoscopic discectomy is minimally invasive procedure for discectomy with early encouraging results. Once definite learning curve was over and expertise is acquired, the results of this procedure are acceptable safe and effective.
Lumbar discectomy; microendo system; endoscopic lumbar discectomy
To investigate: (1) the risk factors for radiologic cranial adjacent segment degeneration (ASD) after single-segment PLIF at the same level, and (2) the impact of the ASD on the clinical outcomes.
From October 2004 to May 2009, 109 patients who underwent PLIF for degenerative instability at L4/5 and have more than 2 years follow-up were studied retrospectively. We measured the preoperative bone mineral density (BMD), lumbar lordosis, the lumbosacral joint angle, the lumbar inclination, the height and the dynamic angulation of the intervertebral space at the fused segments and the upper adjacent segment, the sliding displacement between L3 and L4. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Patients were divided into two groups according to the progression of L3–L4 degeneration: Group A without progression of L3–L4 degeneration, Group B with progression of L3–L4 degeneration. Clinical outcomes and radiologic measurement index between the two groups were compared, and the risk factors for progression of L3–L4 degeneration were analyzed. The correlation between clinical outcomes and progression of L3–L4 degeneration were also investigated.
There were 11 patients (22%) classified into Group A. No significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of the lordosis angle at L1 and S1, the laminar inclination at L3, the pre-existing L3–L4 disk degeneration, the lordosis angle of L4–L5, the lumbosacral joint angle and preoperative BMD (P > 0.05). Significant differences were found between the two groups in age. No significant difference was found between the two groups in the ODI and the JOA score at the final follow-up (P > 0.05).
Radiologic degeneration of the cranial adjacent segment after single-segment PLIF did not significantly correlate with clinical outcomes. Age was a risk factor for radiologic degeneration, however, there was no significant correlation between degeneration and preoperative radiologic factors and bone mineral density (BMD).
Lumbar fusion; Adjacent segment degeneration; Risk factor; Clinical outcome
Degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS) has become increasingly common and is characterized by multilevel disc herniation and lumbar spondylolisthesis, which are difficult to treat. The current study aimed to evaluate the short-term clinical outcomes and value of the combined use of microendoscopic discectomy (MED) and minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) for the treatment of multilevel DLSS with spondylolisthesis, and to compare the combination with traditional posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF). A total of 26 patients with multilevel DLSS and spondylolisthesis underwent combined MED and MI-TLIF surgery using a single cage and pedicle rod-screw system. These cases were compared with 27 patients who underwent traditional PLIF surgery during the same period. Data concerning incision length, surgery time, blood loss, time of bed rest and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) score prior to and following surgery were analyzed statistically. Statistical significance was reached in terms of incision length, blood loss and the time of bed rest following surgery (P<0.05), but there was no significant difference between the surgery time and ODI scores of the two groups. The combined use of MED and MI-TLIF has the advantages of reduced blood loss, less damage to the paraspinal soft tissue, shorter length of incision, shorter bed rest time, improved outcomes and shorter recovery times and has similar short-term clinical outcomes to traditional PLIF.
microendoscopic discectomy; minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; posterior lumbar interbody fusion; lumbar spinal stenosis; lumbar spondylolisthesis
The outcome assessment in instrumented lumbosacral fusion mostly focuses on clinical criteria, complications and scores, with a high variability of imaging means, methods of fusion grading and parameters describing degenerative changes, making comparisons between studies difficult. The aim of this retrospective evaluation was to evaluate the interest of quantified radiographic analysis of lumbar spine in global outcome assessment and to highlight the key biomechanical factors involved. Clinical data and Beaujon–Lassale scores were collected for 49 patients who underwent lumbosacral arthrodesis after prior lumbar discectomy (mean follow-up: 5 years). Sagittal standing and lumbar flexion-extension X-ray films allowed quantifying vertebral, lumbar, pelvic and kinematic parameters of the lumbar spine, which were compared to reference values. Statistics were performed to assess evolution for all variables. At long-term follow-up, 90% of patients presented satisfactory clinical outcomes, associated to normal sagittal alignment; vertebral parameters objectified adjacent level degeneration in four cases (8%). Clinical outcome was correlated (r = 0.8) with fusion that was confirmed in 80% of cases, doubtful in 16% and pseudarthrosis seemed to occur in 4% (2) of cases. In addition to clinical data (outcomes comparable to the literature), quantitative analysis accurately described lumbar spine geometry and kinematics, highlighting parameters related to adjacent level’s degeneration and a significant correlation between clinical outcome and fusion. Furthermore, criteria proposed to quantitatively evaluate fusion from lumbar dynamic radiographs seem to be appropriate and in agreement with surgeon’s qualitative grading in 87% of cases.
Biomechanics; Quantitative analysis; Kinematics; Lumbosacral fusion; Outcome assessment
The aim of this study was to observe the clinical effects of bilateral decompression via vertebral lamina fenestration for lumbar interbody fusion in the treatment of lower lumbar instability. The 48 patients comprised 27 males and 21 females, aged 47–72 years. Three cases had first and second degree lumbar spondylolisthesis and all received bilateral vertebral lamina fenestration for posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) using a threaded fusion cage (TFC), which maintains the three-column spinal stability. Attention was given to ensure the correct pre-operative fenestration, complete decompression and the prevention of adhesions. After an average follow-up of 26.4 months, the one year post-operative X-ray radiographs suggested that the successful fusion rate was 88.1%, and this was 100% in the two-year post-operative radiographs. Moreover, the functional recovery rate was 97.9%. Bilateral vertebral lamina fenestration for lumbar interbody fusion is an ideal surgical method for the treatment of lower lumbar instability. The surgical method retains the spinal posterior column and middle column and results in full decompression and reliable fusion by a limited yet effective surgical approach.
vertebral lamina fenestration; threaded fusion cage; interbody fusion; lower lumbar instability
Forty-nine patients with low-back pain referred for flexion-extension radiographs due to suspicion of lumbar instability were studied to examine the relationship between the clinical presentation and the presence of radiographic instability of the lumbar spine. Patients had a mean age of 39.2 (±11.3) years, with a mean Oswestry score of 20.4% (±13.3). The median duration of symptoms was 78 days. All patients underwent both a radiographic and clinical examination. The reliability of the radiographic variables was high, while the reliability of clinical variables ranged from moderate to good. Twenty-eight patients (57%) had radiographic instability based on published norms. Clinical variables related to the presence of radiographic instability were age, lumbar flexion range of motion, total extension range of motion, the Beighton scale for general ligamentous laxity, and segmental intervertebral motion testing. The presence of at least 53° of lumbar flexion or a lack of hypomobility with intervertebral motion testing resulted in a positive likelihood ratio of 4.3 (95% CI: 1.8, 10.6), for predicting radiographic instability. The results of this study indicate that various factors from the clinical examination are useful for predicting radiographic instability. If the findings of this study can be replicated, these clinical factors could be used to inform treatment decision-making without a sole reliance on radiographic assessment.
Low-back pain; Instability; Diagnosis; Radiographic assessment
To analyze the clinical and radiographic results following the use of integrated intervertebral implant in patients with cervical spine degenerative disease.
Though excellent results have been reported following anterior cervical discectomy and fusion using iliac crest autograft/allograft with plating, the morbidity associated with autograft harvest and small chances of complications with plating always exists. Recently, there has been development of a cervical stand-alone cage with integrated fixation for cervical fusion and stabilization with a possible low morbidity and optimal clinical outcome.
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective study of 16 patients who underwent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion using the integrated intervertebral device was performed. Intra-operative parameters, clinical features [Neck Disability Index (NDI), visual analog scale (VAS) score for neck/arm pain], and presence or absence of dysphagia was recorded. Radiographs were evaluated for assessment of implant failure and fusion.
Mean age of patients was 54 years (range: 38-84 years) with male: female ratio of 1:3. Follow-up ranged from 6 to 12 months (mean: 10 months). In the early postoperative period, 2 of the 15 patients (13%) patients had mild dysphagia that resolved during follow-up with no patient having complaints of dysphagia at 3-month follow-up. One of the patients with diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) and severe preoperative dysphagia had significant improvement in swallowing function at 3-month follow-up that was stable at 1-year follow-up. There was no evidence of implant failure, with fusion occurring in 95% (19/20) of operated levels. Analysis of follow-up VAS and NDI scores showed significant reduction in VAS score for neck pain (P < 0.019), radicular arm pain (P < 0.003), and NDI score (P < 0.007) in 77, 92, and 77% of patients, respectively, at a mean follow-up of 10 months (6-12 months).
Our preliminary results with the use of this cervical stand-alone anterior fusion device with integrated screw fixation show its efficacy in anterior cervical decompression and fusion with stabilization with optimal clinical and radiographic outcome. Lower chances of dysphagia with no device-related complications are appealing, which needs to be verified in larger studies.
Cervical; degenerative; integrated; interbody cage; stand-alone; zero profile
Concurrent prospective randomized and observational cohort study.
To assess the 4-year outcomes of surgery vs. non-operative care.
Although randomized trials have demonstrated small short-term differences in favor of surgery, long-term outcomes comparing surgical to non-operative treatment remain controversial.
Surgical candidates with imaging-confirmed lumbar intervertebral disc herniation meeting SPORT eligibility criteria enrolled into prospective randomized (501 participants) and observational cohorts (743 participants) at 13 spine clinics in 11 US states. Interventions were standard open discectomy versus usual non-operative care. Main outcome measures were changes from baseline in the SF-36 Bodily Pain (BP) and Physical Function (PF) scales and the modified Oswestry Disability Index (ODI - AAOS/Modems version) assessed at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months, and annually thereafter.
Non-adherence to treatment assignment caused the intent-to-treat analyses to underestimate the treatment effects. In the 4-year combined as-treated analysis, those receiving surgery demonstrated significantly greater improvement in all the primary outcome measures (mean change Surgery vs. Non-operative; treatment effect; 95% CI): BP (45.6 vs. 30.7; 15.0; 11.8 to 18.1), PF (44.6 vs. 29.7; 14.9; 12.0 to 17.8) and ODI (−38.1 vs. −24.9; −13.2; −15.6 to −10.9). The percent working was similar between the surgery and non-operative groups, 84.4% vs. 78.4% respectively.
In a combined as-treated analysis at 4 years, patients who underwent surgery for a lumbar disc herniation achieved greater improvement than non-operatively treated patients in all primary and secondary outcomes except work status.
Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial (SPORT): Intervertebral Disc Herniation; #NCT00000410; http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00000410?order=2
SPORT; intervertebral disc herniation; surgery; non-operative care; outcomes
The purposes of the present study are to evaluate the subsidence and nonunion that occurred after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion using a stand-alone intervertebral cage and to analyze the risk factors for the complications.
Thirty-eight patients (47 segments) who underwent anterior cervical fusion using a stand-alone polyetheretherketone (PEEK) cage and an autologous cancellous iliac bone graft from June 2003 to August 2008 were enrolled in this study. The anterior and posterior segmental heights and the distance from the anterior edge of the upper vertebra to the anterior margin of the cage were measured on the plain radiographs. Subsidence was defined as ≥ a 2 mm (minor) or 3 mm (major) decrease of the segmental height at the final follow-up compared to that measured at the immediate postoperative period. Nonunion was evaluated according to the instability being ≥ 2 mm in the interspinous distance on the flexion-extension lateral radiographs.
The anterior and posterior segmental heights decreased from the immediate postoperative period to the final follow-up at 1.33 ± 1.46 mm and 0.81 ± 1.27 mm, respectively. Subsidence ≥ 2 mm and 3 mm were observed in 12 segments (25.5%) and 7 segments (14.9%), respectively. Among the expected risk factors for subsidence, a smaller anteroposterior (AP) diameter (14 mm vs. 12 mm) of cages (p = 0.034; odds ratio [OR], 0.017) and larger intraoperative distraction (p = 0.041; OR, 3.988) had a significantly higher risk of subsidence. Intervertebral nonunion was observed in 7 segments (7/47, 14.9%). Compared with the union group, the nonunion group had a significantly higher ratio of two-level fusion to one-level fusions (p = 0.001).
Anterior cervical fusion using a stand-alone cage with a large AP diameter while preventing anterior intraoperative over-distraction will be helpful to prevent the subsidence of cages. Two-level cervical fusion might require more careful attention for avoiding nonunion.
Anterior cervical fusion; PEEK cage; Subsidence; Nonunion
Background and purpose
Several studies have investigated outcomes after disc surgery. However, the occurrence of kinesiophobia has not been investigated previously in patients after disc herniation surgery. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated kinesiophobia in patients who had been treated surgically for lumbar disc herniation, and we related the results to established outcome measures.
Patients and methods
10–34 months after surgery, questionnaires were sent to 97 patients who had undergone standardized open discectomy. Outcome measures included Tampa scale for kinesiophobia (TSK); Oswestry disability index (ODI); European quality of life in 5 dimensions (EQ-5D); visual analog scale (VAS) for leg and back pain, work disability, and patient satisfaction; Zung self-rating depression scale (ZDS); pain catastrophizing scale (PCS); and a self-efficacy scale (SES).
36 of 80 patients reported having kinesiophobia. There were statistically significant differences in ODI, EQ-5D, VAS leg and back pain, ZDS, PCS, and SES between patients with and without kinesiophobia.
Half of the patients suffered from kinesiophobia 10–34 months after surgery for disc herniation. These patients were more disabled, had more pain, more catastrophizing thoughts, more symptoms of depression, lower self-efficacy, and poorer health-related quality of life than patients without kinesiophobia.
The purpose of the study was to compare segmental motion in the early postoperative phase after lumbar discectomy to the outcome 5 years postoperatively. The study population had radiologically verified symptomatic L4–L5 or L5–S1 lumbar disc herniation and was referred with an indication for lumbar discectomy. Radiostereometry was performed in the supine and standing positions. The L4–L5 and L5–S1 segments were analysed separately. L4–L5 segments adjacent to the operated L5–S1 segment constituted a reference segment for the operated L4–L5 and vice versa. Twenty-one patients were available for the follow-up at 5 years. Outcome was classified as functionally good or poor. Repeated or planned repeat surgery at the same level during follow-up was considered as poor outcome. The L4–L5 segments in the poor group showed different direction of sagittal rotation (anterior versus posterior) of L4 on L5 compared with the good group (p<0.01). On the L5–S1 segment, patients with poor outcome displayed an increased anterior translation of about 1 mm (p<0.01) compared with the reference segments. Our study suggests that increased inducible vertebral displacement in the early postoperative phase after discectomy is associated with a poor clinical outcome.
This study sought to determine the outcomes of posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), via a unilateral approach, in selected patients who presented with unilateral leg pain and segmental instability of the lumbar spine. Patients with a single level of a herniated disc disease in the lumbar spine, unilateral leg pain, chronic disabling lower back pain (LBP), and a failed conservative treatment, were considered for the procedure. A total of 41 patients underwent a single-level PLIF using two PEEK™ (Poly-Ether-Ether-Ketone) cages filled with iliac bone, via a unilateral approach. The patients comprised 21 women and 20 men with a mean age of 41 years (range: 22 to 63 years). Two cages were inserted using a unilateral medial facetectomy and a partial hemilaminectomy. At follow-up, the outcomes were assessed using the Prolo Scale. The success of the fusion was determined by dynamic lumbar radiography and/or computerized tomography scanning. All the patients safely underwent surgery without severe complications. During a mean follow-up period of 26 months, 1 patient underwent percutaneous pedicle screw fixation due to persistent LBP. A posterior displacement of the cage was found in one patient. At the last follow up, 90% of the patients demonstrated satisfactory results. An osseous fusion was present in 85% of the patients. A PLIF, via a unilateral approach, enables a solid union with satisfactory clinical results. This preserves part of the posterior elements of the lumbar spine in selected patients with single level instability and unilateral leg pain.
Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF); unilateral approach; instability
This is a retrospective study that was done according to clinical and radiological evaluation.
We analyzed the clinical and radiological outcomes of minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody single level fusion.
Overview of Literature
Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is effective surgical method for treating degenerative lumbar disease.
The study was conducted on 56 patients who were available for longer than 2 years (range, 24 to 45 months) follow-up after undergoing minimally invasive transforminal lumbar interbody single level fusion. Clinical evaluation was performed by the analysis of the visual analogue scale (VAS) score and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the Kirkaldy-Willis score. For the radiological evaluation, the disc space height, the segmental lumbar lordotic angle and the whole lumbar lordotic angle were analyzed. At the final follow-up after operation, the fusion rate was analyzed according to Bridwell's anterior fusion grade.
For the evaluation of clinical outcomes, the VAS score was reduced from an average of 6.7 prior to surgery to an average of 1.8 at the final follow-up. The ODI was decreased from an average of 36.5 prior to surgery to an average of 12.8 at the final follow-up. In regard to the clinical outcomes evaluated by the Kirkaldy-Willis score, better than good results were obtained in 52 cases (92.9%). For the radiological evaluation, the disc space height (p = 0.002), and the whole lumbar lordotic angle (p = 0.001) were increased at the final follow-up. At the final follow-up, regarding the interbody fusion, radiological union was obtained in 54 cases (95.4%).
We think that if surgeons become familiar with the surgical techniques, this is a useful method for minimally invasive spinal surgery.
Minimally invasive; Transformainal; Lumbar interbody; Single level fusion
The timing of surgery in cauda equina syndrome due to prolapsed intervertebral disc remains controversial. Assessment of these patients requires magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is of limited availability outside normal working hours in the UK.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
We reviewed radiological results in all patients undergoing emergency MRI within our unit for suspected cauda equina syndrome over a 2-year period, and all subjects undergoing emergency lumbar discectomy for cauda equina syndrome within the same period. Outcome measures were: proportion of positive findings in symptomatic patients and proportion of patients referred with diagnostic MRI scans undergoing emergency surgery. We also assessed outcomes of patients having surgery for cauda equina syndrome in terms of improvement of pain, sensory and sphincter disturbance.
A total of 76 patients were transferred for assessment and ‘on-call’ MRI; 27 were subsequently operated upon. Only 5 proceeded to emergency discectomy that night (prior to next scheduled list). This may be due to delays in timing – from referral to acceptance, to arrival in the department, to diagnostic scan and to theatre. With the second group of patients, 43 had emergency discectomy for cauda equina syndrome during the study period. Of these, 6 patients had an out-of-hours MRI at our hospital for assessment (one patient living locally). Most surgically treated patients experienced improvement in their pain syndrome, with approximately two-thirds experiencing improvement in sensory and sphincter disturbance.
These data support a policy of advising MRI scan for cauda equina syndrome at the earliest opportunity within the next 24 h in the referring hospital, rather than emergency transfer for diagnostic imaging which has a relatively low yield in terms of patients operated on as an emergency.
MRI scan; Cauda equina syndrome; Discectomy; Back pain
Percutaneous techniques may be helpful to reduce approach-related morbidity of conventional open surgery. The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of mini-open posterior lumbar interbody fusion for instabilities and degenerative disc diseases. From May 2005 until October 2008, 20 patients affected by monosegmental instability and disc herniation underwent mini-open lumbar interbody fusion combined with percutaneous pedicle screw fixation of the lumbar spine. Clinical outcome was assessed using the Visual Analog Scale, Oswestry Disability Index, and Short Form Health Survey-36. The mean follow-up was 24 months. The mean estimated blood loss was 126 ml; the mean length of stay was 5.3 days; the mean operative time was 171 min. At 24-month follow-up, the mean VAS score was 2.1, mean ODI was 27.1%, and mean SF-36 was 85.2%. 80 screws were implanted in 20 patients. 74 screws showed very good position, 5 screws acceptable, and 1 screw unacceptable. A solid fusion was achieved in 17 patients (85%). In our opinion, mini-open TLIF is a valid and safe treatment of lumbar instability and degenerative disc diseases in order to obtain faster return to daily activities.
Percutaneous pedicle screw; Minimally invasive fusion; Disc herniation