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
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
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
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
We present a rare case of delayed onset of epidural hematoma after lumbar surgery whose only presenting symptom was vesicorectal disturbance. A 68-year-old man with degenerative spinal stenosis underwent lumbar decompression and instrumented posterolateral spine fusion. The day after his discharge following an unremarkable postoperative course, he presented to the emergency room complaining of difficulty in urination. An MRI revealed an epidural fluid collection causing compression of the thecal sac. The fluid was evacuated, revealing a postoperative hematoma. After removal of the hematoma, his symptoms disappeared immediately, and his urinary function completely recovered. Most reports have characterized postoperative epidural hematoma as occurring early after operation and accompanied with neurological deficits. But it can happen even two weeks after spinal surgery with no pain. Surgeons thus may need to follow up patients for at least a few weeks because some complications, such as epidural hematomas, could take that long to manifest themselves.
Epiduroscopic laser discectomy and neural decompression (ELND) is known as an effective treatment for intractable lumbar pain and radiating pain which develop after lumbar surgery, as well as for herniation of the intervertebral disk and spinal stenosis. However, various complications occur due to the invasiveness of this procedure and epidural adhesion, and rarely, cranial nerve damage can occur due to increased intracranial pressure. Here, the authors report case in which double vision occurred after epiduroscopic laser discectomy and neural decompression in a patient with failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS).
epiduroscopic laser discectomy; failed back surgery syndrome; trochlear nerve palsy
A retrospective case report of a 24-year-old man with recurrent lumbar disk herniation and epidural fibrosis is presented. Recurrent lumbar disk herniation and epidural fibrosis are common complications following lumbar diskectomy.
A 24-year-old patient had a history of lumbar diskectomy and new onset of low back pain and radiculopathy. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed recurrent herniation at L5/S1, left nerve root displacement, and epidural fibrosis.
Intervention and Outcomes
The patient received a course of chiropractic care including lumbar spinal manipulation and rehabilitation exercises with documented subjective and objective functional and symptomatic improvement.
This case report describes chiropractic management including spinal manipulative therapy and rehabilitation exercises and subsequent objective and subjective functional and symptomatic improvement.
Low back pain; Recurrent; Disk displacement; Intervertebral; Chiropractic manipulation; Diskectomy
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
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
Lumbar epidural varices are rare and usually mimick lumbar disc herniations. Back pain and radiculopathy are the main symptoms of lumbar epidural varices. Perineural cysts are radiologically different lesions and should not be confused with epidural varix. A 36-year-old male patient presented to us with right leg pain. The magnetic resonance imaging revealed a cystic lesion at S1 level that was compressing the right root, and was interpreted as a perineural cyst. The patient underwent surgery via right L5 and S1 hemilaminectomy, and the lesion was coagulated and removed. The histopathological diagnosis was epidural varix. The patient was clinically improved and the follow-up magnetic resonance imaging showed the absence of the lesion. Lumbar epidural varix should be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of the cystic lesions which compress the spinal roots.
Epidural; Varix; Perineural cyst; Surgery
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).
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
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
Spontaneously occurring spinal epidural hematomas are uncommon clinical findings, and the chronic form is the rarest and its most frequent location is the lumbar spine. Pure radicular involvement is far less frequent than myelopathy. We report a case of progressive radiculopathy in a 52-year-old man with spontaneously occurring cervical epidural hematoma (SCEH). The patient had left hand weakness and numbness for 4 months. MRI scan showed small space-occupying lesion around left 8th cervical nerve root. After surgery we confirmed chronic organizing epidural hematoma. To the best of our knowledge, this is the second reported case in the worldwide literature of pure radiculopathy in a patient with chronic SCEH.
Spontaneous epidural hematoma; Radiculopathy; Chronic
Lumbar intradural disk herniation (IDH) is a rare but serious complication of spinal disk protrusions. Although the pathogenesis of lumbar IDH is still vague, it is believed to be associated with the adhesion of the posterior longitudinal ligament with the ventral wall of the dura. Diagnosis is still difficult despite current neuroradiologic imaging techniques.
Two women, ages 63 and 69 years, presented with recent exacerbation of back pain. In each case, imaging studies revealed a ventral herniated disk at L1–L2. Both patients underwent surgery and in both cases a hard mass was palpated through the dura. Both patients experienced immediate postoperative relief of back pain following surgery. One patient required fusion and postoperative rehabilitation; her neurologic deficit returned to baseline.
Prompt surgical intervention is indicated for IDH; disk removal allows for symptomatic relief and minimization of neurologic deficit.
Herniated disk; Intradural; Lumbar vertebrae; Diskectomy; Neurologic deficits; Spinal surgery
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.
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
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
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
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
A herniated intervertebral disc is the most common type of soft tissue mass lesion within the lumbar spinal canal. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a useful tool for the assessment of patients with lower back pain and radiating pain, especially intervertebral disc herniation. MRI findings of intervertebral disc herniation are typical. However, from time to time, despite an apparently classic history and typical MRI findings suggestive of disc herniation, surgical exploration fails to reveal any lesion of an intervertebral disc. Our patient underwent lumbar disc surgery with the preoperative diagnosis of lumbar disc herniation; however, nothing could be found during the surgical procedure, except a swollen nerve root.
herniated intervertebral disc; magnetic resonance imaging; nerve root