A 73-year-old male presented with a rare dorsally sequestrated lumbar disc herniation manifesting as severe radiating pain in both leg, progressively worsening weakness in both lower extremities, and urinary incontinence, suggesting cauda equina syndrome. Magnetic resonance imaging suggested the sequestrated disc fragment located in the extradural space at the L4-L5 level had surrounded and compressed the dural sac from the lateral to dorsal sides. A bilateral decompressive laminectomy was performed under an operating microscope. A large extruded disc was found to have migrated from the ventral aspect, around the thecal sac, and into the dorsal aspect, which compressed the sac to the right. After removal of the disc fragment, his sciatica was relieved and the patient felt strength of lower extremity improved.
Lumbar disc herniation; Dorsal; Intradural; Migrated
Background and Objectives
Previous studies have concluded that transforaminal epidural steroid injections (ESIs) are more effective than interlaminar injections in the treatment of radiculopathies due to lumbar intervertebral disk herniation. There are no published studies examining the depth of epidural space using a transforaminal approach. We investigated the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the depth of the epidural space during lumbar transforaminal ESIs.
Eighty-six consecutive patients undergoing lumbar transforaminal ESI at the L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1 levels were studied. Using standard protocol, the foraminal epidural space was attained using fluoroscopic guidance. The measured distance from needle tip to skin was recorded (depth to foraminal epidural space). The differences in the needle depth and BMI were analyzed using regression analysis.
Needle depth was positively associated with BMI (regression coefficient [RC], 1.13; P < 0.001). The median depths (in centimeters) to the epidural space were 6.3, 7.5, 8.4, 10.0, 10.4, and 12.2 for underweight, normal, preobese, obese I, obese II, and obese III classifications, respectively. Sex (RC, 1.3; P = 0.02) and race (RC, 0.8; P = 0.04) were also significantly associated with needle depth; however, neither factor remained significant when BMI was accounted as a covariate in the regression model. Age, intervertebral level treated, and oblique angle had no predictive value on foraminal depth (P > 0.2).
There is a positive association between BMI and transforaminal epidural depth, but not with age, sex, race, oblique angle, or intervertebral level.
Discal cyst is a rare lesion that can result in clinical symptoms typical of disc herniation manifesting as a unilateral single nerve root lesion. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of discal cyst resulting in bilateral radiculopathy.
A 48-year-old female presented with bilateral sciatica and neurogenic claudication for 3 months. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed an extradural cystic lesion compressing the ventral aspect of the thecal sac at the level of the L3-L4 intervertebral disc. The lesion showed low and high signal intensities on T1- and T2-weighted images, respectively. Total excision of the cyst was achieved after a left hemipartial laminectomy of L3, and an obvious communication with the disc space was found. Bilateral sciatica was immediately resolved after surgery, and was sustained at the two-year follow-up. The histological diagnosis was consistent with a discal cyst.
Although a discal cyst is extremely rare, the possibility of a discal cyst should be considered in differential diagnosis of patients with radiculopathy, particularly when encountering any extradural mass lesion ventral to the thecal sac. Surgical resection is the most employed therapeutic method for symptomatic lumbar discal cysts.
Bilateral; discal cyst; lumbar spinal stenosis; radiculopathy
Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) deposition disease, also known as pseudogout, is a disease that causes inflammatory arthropathy in peripheral joints, however, symptomatic involvement of the intervertebral disc is uncommon. Herein, we describe a 59-yr-old patient who presented with cauda equina syndrome. Magnetic resonance imaging of the patient showed an epidural mass-like lesion at the disc space of L4-L5, which was compressing the thecal sac. Biopsy of the intervertebral disc and epidural mass-like lesion was determined to be CPPD deposits. We reviewed previously reported cases of pseudogout involving the lumbar intervertebral disc and discuss the pathogenesis and treatment of the disease.
Calcium Pyrophosphate Dehydrate (CPPD); Pseudogout; Lumbar Spine; Intervertebral Disc
Intervertebral intradural lumbar disc herniation (ILDH) is a quite rare pathology, and isolated intradural lumbar disc herniation is even more rare. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may not be able to reveal ILDHs, especially if MRI findings show an intact lumbar disc annulus and posterior longitudinal ligament. Here, we present an exceedingly rare case of an isolated IDLH that we initially misidentified as a spinal intradural tumor, in a 54-year-old man hospitalized with a 2-month history of back pain and right sciatica. Neurologic examination revealed a positive straight leg raise test on the right side, but he presented no other sensory, motor, or sphincter disturbances. A gadolinium-enhanced MRI revealed what we believed to be an intradural extramedullary tumor compressing the cauda equina leftward in the thecal sac, at the L2 vertebral level. The patient underwent total L2 laminectomy, and we extirpated the intradural mass under microscopic guidance. Histologic examination of the mass revealed a degenerated nucleus pulposus.
Intradural disc herniation; Spinal intradural tumor; Magnetic resonance imaging
Pure spinal epidural cavernous angiomas are extremely rare lesions, and their normal shape is that of a fusiform mass in the dorsal aspects of the spinal canal. We report a case of a lumbo-sacral epidural cavernous vascular malformation presenting with acute onset of right-sided S1 radiculopathy. Clinical aspects, imaging, intraoperative findings, and histology are demonstrated. The patient, a 27-year-old man presented with acute onset of pain, paraesthesia, and numbness within the right leg corresponding to the S1 segment. An acute lumbosacral disc herniation was suspected, but MRI revealed a cystic lesion with the shape of a balloon, a fluid level and a thickened contrast-enhancing wall. Intraoperatively, a purple-blue tumor with fibrous adhesions was located between the right S1 and S2 nerve roots. Macroscopically, no signs of epidural bleedings could be denoted. After coagulation of a reticular venous feeder network and dissection of the adhesions the rubber ball-like lesion was resected in total. Histology revealed a prominent venous vessel with a pathologically thickened, amuscular wall surrounded by smaller, hyalinized, venous vessels arranged in a back-to-back position typical for the diagnosis of a cavernous angioma. Lumina were partially occluded by thrombi. The surrounding fibrotic tissue showed signs of recurrent bleedings. There was no obvious mass hemorrhage into the surrounding tissue. In this unique case, the pathologic mechanism was not the usual rupture of the cavernous angioma with subsequent intraspinal hemorrhage, but acute mass effect by intralesional bleedings and thrombosis with subsequent increase of volume leading to nerve root compression. Thus, even without a sudden intraspinal hemorrhage a spinal cavernous malformation can cause acute symptoms identical to the clinical features of a soft disc herniation.
Cavernous malformation; Venous angioma; Spinal epidural mass; Acute radiculopathy
The purpose of this study is to describe and discuss the treatment of a cervical disk herniation using a sequential multimodal conservative management approach.
A 40-year-old man had complaints of headache and severe sharp neck pain radiating to his left shoulder down to his arm, forearm, and hand. Results of electromyography/nerve conduction studies were abnormal. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a large disk protrusion at C5-C6 with indentation of the thecal sac and a spur at the posterior margin. Moderate left neural foraminal narrowing was present at C5-C6 with narrowed intervertebral disk space at C5-C6 and C6-C7.
Intervention and Outcome
High-velocity, low-amplitude chiropractic manipulation; electrotherapy; ice; and exercise were used for treatment. The Neck Disability Index was used as a primary and electromyography/nerve conduction studies as a secondary outcome measurement. Based on the Neck Disability Index, there was an overall 89.65% symptoms improvement from the baseline.
This case study demonstrated possible beneficial effects of the multimodal treatment approach in a patient with cervical radiculopathy.
Chiropractic; Cervical vertebrae; Cryotherapy; Intervertebral disk displacement; Manipulation, spinal; Radiculopathy; Rehabilitation
Although most of sacral perineural cysts are asymptomatic, some may produce symptoms. Specific radicular pain may be due to distortion, compression, or stretching of nerve root by a space occupying cyst. We report a rare case of S1 radiculopathy caused by sacral perineural cyst accompanying disc herniation. The patient underwent a microscopic discectomy at L5-S1 level. However, the patient's symptoms did not improved. The hypesthesia persisted, as did the right leg pain. Cyst-subarachnoid shunt was set to decompress nerve root and to equalize the cerebrospinal fluid pressure between the cephalad thecal sac and cyst. Immediately after surgery, the patient had no leg pain. After 6 months, the patient still remained free of leg pain.
Sacral perineural cyst; Disc herniation
Degenerated conditions such as herniated disc or spinal stenosis are common etiologies of lumbar radiculopathy. Less common etiologies include spinal extradural cyst such as synovial cysts and ganglion cysts. Ganglion cyst of the posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) of the spine is a rare entity that can result in classical sciatica. Posterior longitudinal ligament cyst has no continuity with the facet joint and has no epithelial lining. Two young male patients presented with unilateral sciatica and were found to have intraspinal cystic lesions causing lumbar radiculopathy. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated rounded, cystic lesions (i.e., hypointense on T1- but hyperintense on T2-weighted images) adjacent to minimally dehydrated, nonherniated disc spaces in both cases. These patients underwent posterior decompression and cysts were excised, and their sciatic symptoms were completely resolved. Histological examination showed typical features of ganglion cysts in these cases.
Ganglion cyst; Intervertebral disc; Posterior longitudinal ligament
Posterior epidural migration of thoracic disc herniation is extremely rare but may occur in the same manner as in the lumbar spine.
A 53-year-old Japanese man experienced sudden onset of incomplete paraplegia after lifting a heavy object. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a posterior epidural mass compressing the spinal cord at the T9-T10 level. The patient underwent emergency surgery consisting of laminectomy at T9-T10 with right medial facetectomy, removal of the mass lesion, and posterior instrumented fusion. Histological examination of the mass lesion yielded findings consistent with sequestered disc material. His symptoms resolved, and he was able to resume walking without a cane 4 weeks after surgery.
Pre-operative diagnosis of posterior epidural migration of herniated thoracic disc based on magnetic resonance imaging alone may be overlooked, given the rarity of this pathology. However, this entity should be considered among the differential diagnoses for an enhancing posterior thoracic extradural mass.
Intervertebral disc herniation; Posterior migration; Thoracic spine
A 61-year-old female patient presented with diffuse pain in the dorsal region of the back of 3 months duration. The magnetic resonance imaging showed an extramedullary, extradural space occupative lesion on the right side of the spinal canal from D5 to D7 vertebral levels. The mass was well marginated and there was no bone involvement. Compression of the adjacent thecal sac was observed, with displacement to the left side. Radiological differential diagnosis included nerve sheath tumor and meningioma. The patient underwent D6 hemilaminectomy under general anesthesia. Intraoperatively, the tumor was purely extradural in location with mild extension into the right foramina. No attachment to the nerves or dura was found. Total excision of the extradural compressing mass was possible as there were preserved planes all around. Histopathology revealed cavernous hemangioma. As illustrated in our case, purely epidural hemangiomas, although uncommon, ought to be considered in the differential diagnosis of spinal epidural soft tissue masses. Findings that may help to differentiate this lesion from the ubiquitous disk prolapse, more common meningiomas and nerve sheath tumors are its ovoid shape, uniform T2 hyperintense signal and lack of anatomic connection with the neighboring intervertebral disk or the exiting nerve root. Entirely extradural lesions with no bone involvement are rare and represent about 12% of all intraspinal hemangiomas.
Epidural; hemangioma; spinal
Ganglion cysts usually arise from the tendon sheaths and tissues around the joints. It is usually associated with degenerative arthritic changes in older people. Ganglion cyst in the spine is rare and there is no previous report on case that located in the intervertebral foramen and compressed dorsal root ganglion associated severe radiculopathy. A 29-year-old woman presented with severe left thigh pain and dysesthesia for a month. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a dumbbell like mass in the intervertebral foramen between second and third lumbar vertebrae on the left side. The lesion was removed after exposure of the L2-L3 intervertebral foramen. The histological examination showed fragmented cystic wall-like structure composed of fibromyxoid tissue but there was no lining epithelium. A ganglion cyst may compromise lumbar dorsal root ganglion when it located in the intervertebral foramen. Although it is very rare location, ganglion cyst should be included in the differential diagnosis for intervertebral foraminal mass lesions.
Ganglion cyst; Radiculopathy; Lumbar vertebra; Posterior longitudinal ligament
Study design: A case report.
Objective: To report a rare case of acute spinal subdural hematoma (SSH) complicating lumbar spine surgery, its characteristic presenting symptoms, diagnostic imaging, possible cause, and pitfall in management.
Methods: A 59-year-old woman with lumbar spinal instability and stenosis underwent laminectomy and decompression at L3–L5 with instrumentation and fusion from L3–S1.
Results: Immediately following surgery, the patient presented with incapacitating pain of both lower extremities from the mid-thigh downward, which was not relieved by narcotic analgesia and was disproportional to surgical trauma. Left ankle and great toes weakness was detected at postoperative day 2 and deteriorated on day 6. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed urgently and revealed a characteristic SSH with thecal sac compression at the level of L2, proximal to the laminectomy. Emergency decompression and evacuation of the hematoma was performed. The patient had partial recovery 6 weeks postoperatively.
Conclusion: Acute SSH is a rare complication of lumbar spine surgery. This diagnosis must be considered when severe leg pain, unresolved with analgesia and disproportional to surgical trauma, with neurological deterioration occurring after lumbar spine surgery. Magnetic resonance imaging is the imaging modality of choice to assist in the differential diagnosis of an SSH. Early surgical decompression is necessary for optimal neurological recovery.
The lumbar intraspinal epidural ganglion cyst has been a rare cause of the low back pain or leg pain. Ganglion cysts and synovial cysts compose the juxtafacet cysts. Extensive studies have been performed about the synovial cysts, however, very little has been known about the ganglion cyst. Current report is about two ganglion cysts associated with implicative findings in young male patients. We discuss about the underlying pathology of the ganglion cyst based on intraoperative evidences, associated disc herniation at the same location or severe degeneration of the ligament flavum that the cyst originated from in young patients.
Ganglion cyst; Synovial cyst
Lumbar diskectomy is the most common surgical procedure performed for back and leg symptoms in US patients, but the efficacy of the procedure relative to nonoperative care remains controversial.
To assess the efficacy of surgery for lumbar intervertebral disk herniation.
Design, Setting, and Patients
The Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial, a randomized clinical trial enrolling patients between March 2000 and November 2004 from 13 multidisciplinary spine clinics in 11 US states. Patients were 501 surgical candidates (mean age, 42 years; 42% women) with imaging-confirmed lumbar intervertebral disk herniation and persistent signs and symptoms of radiculopathy for at least 6 weeks.
Standard open diskectomy vs nonoperative treatment individualized to the patient.
Main Outcome Measures
Primary outcomes were changes from baseline for the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey bodily pain and physical function scales and the modified Oswestry Disability Index (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons MODEMS version) at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 and 2 years from enrollment. Secondary outcomes included sciatica severity as measured by the Sciatica Bothersomeness Index, satisfaction with symptoms, self-reported improvement, and employment status.
Adherence to assigned treatment was limited: 50% of patients assigned to surgery received surgery within 3 months of enrollment, while 30% of those assigned to nonoperative treatment received surgery in the same period. Intent-to-treat analyses demonstrated substantial improvements for all primary and secondary outcomes in both treatment groups. Between-group differences in improvements were consistently in favor of surgery for all periods but were small and not statistically significant for the primary outcomes.
Patients in both the surgery and the nonoperative treatment groups improved substantially over a 2-year period. Because of the large numbers of patients who crossed over in both directions, conclusions about the superiority or equivalence of the treatments are not warranted based on the intent-to-treat analysis.
clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00000410
Spinal epidural hematoma is a well known complication of spinal surgery. Clinically insignificant small epidural hematomas develop in most spinal surgeries following laminectomy. However, the incidence of clinically significant postoperative spinal epidural hematomas that result in neurological deficits is extremely rare. In this report, we present a 33-year-old female patient whose spinal surgery resulted in postoperative spinal epidural hematoma. She was diagnosed with lumbar disc disease and underwent hemipartial lumbar laminectomy and discectomy. After twelve hours postoperation, her neurologic status deteriorated and cauda equina syndrome with acute spinal epidural hematoma was identified. She was immediately treated with surgical decompression and evacuation of the hematoma. The incidence of epidural hematoma after spinal surgery is rare, but very serious complication. Spinal epidural hematomas can cause significant spinal cord and cauda equina compression, requiring surgical intervention. Once diagnosed, the patient should immediately undergo emergency surgical exploration and evacuation of the hematoma.
Neurological deficits following epidural or spinal anesthesia are extremely rare. Transient paraplegia following epidural anesthesia in a patient with thoracic disc herniation has been presented. A 44-year-old woman developed paraplegia during the operation for vascular surgery of her legs under epidural anesthesia. Epidural hematoma or spinal cord ischemia was ruled out by magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic and lumbar spine in which protruded disc at T11-12 level compressing the spinal cord has been verified. Patient responded well to steroid treatment and rehabilitation interventions. Physicians should be aware of preceding disc protrusions, which may have detrimental effects on spinal cord perfusion, as a cause of persistent or transient paraplegia before epidural anesthesia procedure. MRI is a valuable imaging option to rule out epidural anesthesia complications and coexisting pathologies like disc herniations.
We report a series of epidural hematomas which cause neurologic deterioration after spinal surgery, and have taken risk factors and prognostic factors into consideration. We retrospectively reviewed the database of 3720 cases of spine operation in a single institute over 7 years (1998 April-2005 July). Nine patients who demonstrated neurologic deterioration after surgery and required surgical decompression were identified. Factors postulated to increase the postoperative epidural hematoma and to improve neurologic outcome were investigated. The incidence of postoperative epidural hematoma was 0.24%. Operation sites were cervical 3 cases, thoracic 2 cases, and lumbar 4 cases. Their original diagnoses were tumor 3 cases, cervical stenosis 2 cases, lumbar stenosis 3 cases and herniated lumbar disc 1case. The symptoms of epidural hematomas were neurologic deterioration and pain. After decompression, clinical outcome revealed complete recovery in 3 cases (33.3%), incomplete recovery in 5 cases (55.6%) and no change in 1 case (11.1%). Factors increasing the risk of postoperative epidural hematoma were coagulopathy from medical illness or anticoagulation therapy (4 cases, 44.4%) and highly vascularized tumor (3 cases, 33.3%). The time interval to evacuation of complete recovery group (29.3 hours) was shorter than incomplete recovery group (66.3 hours). Patients with coagulopathy and highly vascularized tumor were more vulnerable to spinal epidural hematoma. The postoperative outcome was related to the preoperative neurological deficit and the time interval to the decompression.
Clinical outcome; risk factor; postoperative; spinal epidural hematoma; spine surgery
We describe a case of acute lumbar epidural hematoma at the L2-3 level complicated by paraplegia, which occurred after coagulation disorder because of massive bleeding intraoperatively in cesarean section. The preoperative coagulation laboratory finding was in normal range and so we tried combined spinal epidural anesthesia. Uterine atony occurred in the operation, and there was persistant bleeding during and after the operation. After the operation, she complained of paresthesia on her both legs and was diagnosed with epidural hematoma (EDH) by radiologic examination. Emergency laminectomy on lumbar spine was carried out for hematoma evacuation and decompression of the epidural space at once. In our experience, massive bleeding during surgery may potentially increase the risk of EDH postoperatively.
Blood coagulation disorder; Cesarean section; Epidural anesthesia; Epidural hematoma; Postpartum hemorrhage; Spinal anesthesia
Chronic low back pain can be a manifestation of lumbar degenerative disease, herniation of intervertebral discs, arthritis, or lumbar stenosis. When nerve roots are compromised, low back pain, with or without lower extremity involvement, may occur. Local inflammatory processes play an important role in patients with acute lumbosciatic pain. The purpose of this study was to assess the value of erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) measurements in patients with chronic low back pain or radiculopathy.
ESR and hsCRP were measured in 273 blood samples from male and female subjects with low back pain and/or radiculopathy due to herniated lumbar disc, spinal stenosis, facet syndrome, and other diseases. The hsCRP and ESR were measured prior to lumbar epidural steroid injection.
The mean ESR was 18.8 mm/h and mean hsCRP was 1.1 mg/L. ESR had a correlation with age.
A significant systemic inflammatory reaction did not appear to arise in patients with chronic low back pain.
ESR; hsCRP; low back pain
Herniated intervertebral disc causes in a great number of cases of lumbar nerve root compression, especially in the segment L5/S1. Other reasons responsible for stress to the lumbar spinal root are the spinal canal stenosis and the postdiscotomy syndrome. For patients without neurological deficiencies, the conservative treatment includes different epidural injection techniques. Steroids are often applied. A specific injection technique needing only a small drug amount is the epidural perineural approach using a special two-needle technique. The anatomical spaces of the nerve roots have received little attention in therapy. We have determined the anterolateral epidural space nerve volume of the nerve root L5/S1, and compared the data collected in an anatomical study with operative measurements during discectomy. The volume determination in the human cadavers was performed with liquid silicone filling the anterolateral space after dissection. The in vivo measurements were performed during surgery at the site of the anterolateral space after discectomy. The anatomical studies showed us a mean value volume of 1.1 ml. The surgical volume determinations result in a mean volume of 0.9 ml. A better understanding of the anterolateral epidural space may allow a reduction of the injection volume in the conservative nerve root compression treatment, especially using the epidural perineural technique, avoiding the risk of side effects of high doses of steroids.
Lumbar nerve root compression; Anatomical volume determination; Epidural–perineural injection technique
Candida is a relatively rare cause of spinal infections that commonly affects immunocompromised patients. A 70-year-old woman, who underwent a lumbar discectomy on L5-S1 two months earlier, was admitted to our department complaining of persistent back and leg pain. Magnetic resonance imaging showed irregular enhancing mass lesion in L5-S1 intervertebral space, suggest of pyogenic discitis with epidural abscess. The surgery was performed via retroperitoneal approach and the infected material at L5-S1 intervertebral space was removed. The histological examination of the specimen revealed chronic inflammation involving the bone and soft tissue, and a culture of the excised material was positive for Candida parapsilosis. The patient received intravenous fluconazole for 4 weeks after surgery and oral fluconazole 400 mg/day for 3 months after surgery. The patient made a full recovery with no symptoms 6 months after surgery. We present a rare case of spondylodiscitis after a lumbar discectomy due to Candida parapsilosis and discuss treatment option with a review of the literatures.
Spondylodiscitis; Candida; Fungal infection; Vertebra; Osteomyelitis
Satisfactory results have been seen with epidural steroid injections (ESI) in patients with herniated disks (HD), but the role in lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) has been less investigated. We compared long-term effects of ESI in HD and LSS patients.
In a prospective, single-blind uncontrolled study, 60 patients with radicular pain due to HD (n = 32) or LSS (n = 28) were enrolled over a 9-month period. Methylprednisolone acetate 80 mg plus 0.5% bupivacaine 10 mg were diluted in normal saline up to a total volume of 10 mL, and injected into the epidural space. The amount of pain based on numeric pain score, level of activity, and subjective improvement were reported by patients after 2 and 6 months by telephone. Demographic data were analyzed with the chi-square test. The differences in numeric pain scale scores between the two groups at different times were analyzed with the t-test.
There were no differences between HD and LSS patients regarding age, sex, and average duration of pain prior to ESI. The degree of pain was significantly higher in LSS patients in comparison with HD patients in the pre-injection period. The amount of pain was significantly reduced in both groups 2 months after injection. This pain reduction period lasted for 6 months in the HD group, but to a lesser extent in LSS patients (P < 0.05).
Epidural methylprednisolone injection has less analgesic effect in LSS, with less permanent effect in comparison with HD.
methylprednisolone acetate; lumbar spinal stenosis; herniated disk
Although the most common aetiology of cauda equina lesions is lumbar intervertebral disc herniation, iatrogenic lesions may also be the cause. The aim of this study was to identify and present patients in whom cauda equina lesions occurred after spinal surgery. From the author’s series of patients with cauda equina lesions, those with the appearance of sacral symptoms after spinal surgery were identified. To demonstrate lesions more objectively, electrodiagnostic studies were performed in addition to history and clinical examination. Imaging studies were also reviewed. Of 69 patients from the series, 11 patients in whom a cauda equina lesion developed after spinal surgery were identified. The aetiology comprised surgery for herniated intervertebral disc in 5 (4 performed by a single surgeon), spinal stenosis surgery in 4, and postoperative lumbar epidural haematoma in 2 patients (each performed by a different surgeon). Proportion of spinal surgeries with this complication varied from 0 to 6.6‰ in different centres. Patients with iatrogenic cauda equina lesion were significantly older (p < 0.001), and reported more severe urinary, but similar bowel and sexual symptoms compared to other patients in the series. In conclusion the study identified spinal surgery as the cause of approximately 15% of cauda equina lesions. More than a third of lesions developed after procedures performed by a single surgeon. Most of the remaining lesions could probably be avoided by better surgical technique (e.g. the use of a high-speed drill instead of a Kerrison rongeur in patients with severe spinal stenosis), or prevented by closer postoperative monitoring (e.g. in patients with postoperative lumbar epidural haematoma).
Cauda equina; Disc herniation; Spinal stenosis; Spinal surgery; Sacral
The objective of the study was to determine the effect of the dispersed or nondispersed form of the extruded disk material (EDM) on the neurological status and surgical outcomes in Hansen thoracolumbar intervertebral disk disease Type I (IVDD-I). Medical records of 40 dogs with IVDD-I were reviewed, including neurologic status on admission, findings on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), intraoperative findings, and surgical outcomes. In MRI evaluations, EDM was on the right in 16, on the left in 18, and centrally in 6 cases; in all cases, findings were confirmed by surgery. Extruded disk material was localized and classified as dispersed disk (DD) or nondispersed disk (NDD) according to its dispersion in the epidural space on MRI. Twenty-five dogs had DD and 15 had NDD on both MRI and surgery. There was no significant difference between DD and NDD in preoperative neurological status and surgical outcomes (P > 0.05).