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1.  Complications in patients undergoing combined transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion and posterior instrumentation with deformity correction for degenerative scoliosis and spinal stenosis 
Background:
Utilization of the transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) approach for scoliosis offers the patients deformity correction and interbody fusion without the additional morbidity associated with more invasive reconstructive techniques. Published reports on complications associated with these surgical procedures are limited. The purpose of this study was to quantify the intra- and postoperative complications associated with the TLIF surgical approach in patients undergoing surgery for spinal stenosis and degenerative scoliosis correction.
Methods:
This study included patients undergoing TLIF for degenerative scoliosis with neurogenic claudication and painful lumbar degenerative disc disease. The TLIF technique was performed along with posterior pedicle screw instrumentation. The average follow-up time was 30 months (range, 15–47).
Results:
A total of 29 patients with an average age of 65.9 years (range, 49–83) were evaluated. TLIFs were performed at 2.2 levels on average (range, 1–4) in addition to 6.0 (range, 4–9) levels of posterolateral instrumented fusion. The preoperative mean lumbar lordosis was 37.6° (range, 16°–55°) compared to 40.5° (range, 26°–59.2°) postoperatively. The preoperative mean coronal Cobb angle was 32.3° (range, 15°–55°) compared to 15.4° (range, 1°–49°) postoperatively. The mean operative time was 528 min (range, 276–906), estimated blood loss was 1091.7 mL (range, 150–2500), and hospitalization time was 8.0 days (range, 3–28). A baseline mean Visual Analog Scale (VAS) score of 7.6 (range, 4–10) decreased to 3.6 (range, 0–8) postoperatively. There were a total of 14 (49%) hardware and/or surgical technique related complications, and 8 (28%) patients required additional surgeries. Five (17%) patients developed pseudoarthrosis. The systemic complications (31%) included death (1), cardiopulmonary arrest with resuscitation (1), myocardial infarction (1), pneumonia (5), and pulmonary embolism (1).
Conclusion:
This study suggests that although the TLIF approach is a feasible and effective method to treat degenerative adult scoliosis, it is associated with a high rate of intra- and postoperative complications and a long recovery process.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.92933
PMCID: PMC3307239  PMID: 22439116
Adult scoliosis; complications; degenerative spine; lumbar stenosis; transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion
2.  Is Circumferential Minimally Invasive Surgery Effective in the Treatment of Moderate Adult Idiopathic Scoliosis? 
Background
Outcomes for minimally invasive scoliosis correction surgery have been reported for mild adult scoliosis. Larger curves historically have been treated with open surgical procedures including facet resections or posterior column osteotomies, which have been associated with high-volume blood loss. Further, minimally invasive techniques have been largely reported in the setting of degenerative scoliosis.
Questions/purposes
We describe the effects of circumferential minimally invasive surgery (cMIS) for moderate to severe scoliosis in terms of (1) operative time and blood loss, (2) overall health and disease-specific patient-reported outcomes, (3) deformity correction and fusion rate, and (4) frequency and types of complications.
Methods
Between January 2007 and January 2012, we performed 50 cMIS adult idiopathic scoliosis corrections in patients with a Cobb angle of greater than 30° but less than 75° who did not have prior thoracolumbar fusion surgery; this series represented all patients we treated surgically during that time meeting those indications. Our general indications for this approach during that period were increasing back pain unresponsive to nonoperative therapy with cosmetic and radiographic worsening of curves. Surgical times and estimated blood loss were recorded. Functional clinical outcomes including VAS pain score, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and SF-36 were recorded preoperatively and postoperatively. Patients’ deformity correction was assessed on pre- and postoperative 36-inch (91-cm) standing films and fusion was assessed on CT scan. Minimum followup was 24 months (mean, 48 months; range, 24–77 months).
Results
Mean blood loss was 613 mL for one-stage surgery and 763 mL for two-stage surgery. Mean operative time was 351 minutes for one-stage surgery and 482 minutes for two-stage surgery. At last followup, mean VAS and ODI scores decreased from 5.7 and 44 preoperatively to 2.9 and 22 (p < 0.001 and 0.03, respectively) and mean SF-36 score increased from 48 preoperatively to 74 (p = 0.026). Mean Cobb angle and sagittal vertical axis decreased from 42° and 51 mm preoperatively to 16° and 27 mm postoperatively (both p < 0.001). An 88% fusion rate was confirmed on CT scan. Perioperative complications occurred in 11 of the 50 patients (22%), with delayed complications needing further surgery in 10 more patients at last followup.
Conclusions
cMIS provides for good clinical and radiographic outcomes for moderate (30°–75°) adult idiopathic scoliosis. Patients undergoing cMIS should be carefully selected to avoid fixed, rigid deformities and a preoperative sagittal vertical axis of greater than 10 cm; surgeons should consider alternative techniques in those patients.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, therapeutic study. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
doi:10.1007/s11999-014-3565-2
PMCID: PMC4016423  PMID: 24658900
3.  Natural history of the aging spine 
European Spine Journal  2003;12(Suppl 2):S86-S89.
The unrelenting changes associated with aging progressively affects all structures of the spinal units. The degenerative process starts early during the first decade of life at the disc level. Discal degeneration is associated with biochemical changes followed by macroscopic alterations including tears and fissures, which may lead to discal herniation, the main cause of radiculopathy in the young adult. Moreover, nociceptive nerve fibers have been demonstrated in degenerated discs. They may be a source of nociception and of pure low-back pain. Facet joint changes are usually secondary to discal degeneration. They include subluxation, cartilage alteration and osteophytosis. Facet hypertrophy and laxity, associated with discal degeneration, and enlargement of the ligamentum flavum progressively create narrowing of the spinal canal as well as degenerative instabilities such as spondylolisthesis and scoliosis, which are the main causes of neurogenic claudication and radiculopathy in old persons. Vertebral bodies are the static elements of the spinal unit. With advancing age, osteoporosis weakens the bony structures and facilitates bone remodeling and rotatory deformities. Finally, aging of bone, discs, facets, ligaments, and muscles may ultimately lead to rotatory scoliosis, destabilization, and rupture of equilibrium.
doi:10.1007/s00586-003-0593-0
PMCID: PMC3591827  PMID: 12961079
Lumbar disc degeneration; Age-related intervertebral changes; Disc herniation; Stenosis; Low-back pain
4.  Surgical Treatment of Adult Degenerative Scoliosis 
Asian Spine Journal  2014;8(3):371-381.
The rapid increase of elderly population has resulted in increased prevalence of adult scoliosis. Adult scoliosis is divided into adult idiopathic scoliosis and adult degenerative scoliosis. These two types of scoliosis vary in patient age, curve pattern and clinical symptoms, which necessitate different surgical indications and options. Back pain and deformity are major indications for surgery in adult idiopathic scoliosis, whereas radiating pain to the legs due to foraminal stenosis is what often requires surgery in adult degenerative scoliosis. When selecting a surgical method, major symptoms and underlying medical diseases should be carefully evaluated, not only to relieve symptoms but also to minimize postoperative complications. Surgical options for adult degenerative scoliosis include: decompression alone; decompression and limited short fusion; and decompression coupled with long fusion and correction of deformity. Decompression and limited short fusion can be applied to patients with a small Cobb's angle and normal sagittal imbalance. For those with a large Cobb's angle and positive sagittal imbalance, long fusion with correction of deformity is required. When long fusion is applied, a careful decision regarding the extent of fusion level should be made when selecting L5 or S1 as the distal fusion level and T10 or the thoracolumbar junction as the proximal fusion level. For the fusion extending to the sacrum, restoration of sagittal balance and rigid fixation with additional iliac screws should be considered. Any surgical procedures for adult degenerative scoliosis are known to have relatively high occurrences of complications; therefore, risks and benefits should be meticulously considered before selecting a surgical procedure.
doi:10.4184/asj.2014.8.3.371
PMCID: PMC4068860  PMID: 24967054
Osteoarthritis spine; Scoliosis; Lumbar vertebrae; Instrumentation; Postoperative complications
5.  Surgical treatment of scoliosis in Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome type 2: a case report 
Introduction
Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder resulting in congenital craniofacial deformities, and divided into types 1 and 2. Scoliosis has not been reported as one of the extra-cranial manifestations of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome type 2.
Case presentation
We present a 14-year-old British Caucasian girl with Rubinstein-Taybi type 2 syndrome who developed a severe double thoracic scoliosis measuring 39° and 68° respectively. Her scoliosis was associated with thoracic hypokyphosis, causing a marked reduction in the anteroposterior diameter of her chest and consequent severe restrictive lung disease. The deformity was noted by her local pediatrician as part of a chest infection assessment when she was aged 13 years, and gradually progressed as the result of spinal growth. Our patient underwent a posterior spinal arthrodesis using a single concave pedicle hook and screw rod construct and locally harvested autologous graft supplemented by allograft bone. This spinal fixation technique was selected because of our patient’s low body weight to avoid prominence of the instrumentation causing skin healing problems and pain. Her scoliosis was corrected to 18° and 30° and we achieved a balanced spine in the coronal and sagittal planes. An underarm spinal jacket was provided for six months after surgery. During her latest follow-up at skeletal maturity, our patient had an excellent cosmetic outcome with no loss of deformity correction or detected pseudoarthrosis and a normal level of activities.
Conclusion
Scoliosis can develop in young children with Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome type 2, with the deformity deteriorating around the pubertal growth spurt. Surgical treatment can correct the deformity, balance the spine and prevent mechanical back pain. It can also stabilize the chest area and avoid respiratory complications developing as the scoliosis progresses, which can result in severe restrictive pulmonary disease. The use of single concave instrumentation is indicated in very slim patients with poor muscle bulk; in our patient, this produced satisfactory deformity correction and a favorable outcome at completion of growth. Peri-operative care in this group of patients can be very challenging because of associated co-morbidities as well as the presence of severe behavioral issues that result in poor patient compliance.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-9-10
PMCID: PMC4334754  PMID: 25596810
Posterior spinal fusion; Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome; Scoliosis; Surgical treatment
6.  Surgical treatment of scoliosis in Treacher Collins syndrome: a case report 
Introduction
Treacher Collins syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder resulting in congenital craniofacial deformities. Scoliosis has not been previously reported as one of the extracranial manifestations of this syndromic condition.
Case presentation
We present a 15-year-old British Caucasian girl with Treacher Collins syndrome who developed a severe double thoracic scoliosis measuring 102° and 63° respectively. The deformity was noted at age 14 years by the local general practitioner and gradually progressed until she was referred to our service and subsequently was scheduled for surgical correction. There were no congenital vertebral anomalies. As part of the condition, she had bilateral conductive hearing impairment. She also had reduced respiratory reserves and a restrictive lung disease. Both curves were rigid on supine maximum traction radiographs. She underwent a single-stage anterior and posterior spinal arthrodesis with pedicle hook/sublaminar wire/screw and rod instrumentation and autologous rib graft, supplemented by allograft bone and made a good postoperative recovery. Her scoliosis was corrected to 25° and 24° and a balanced spine in the coronal and sagittal planes was achieved. At latest follow-up beyond skeletal maturity (3 years post-surgery) she had an excellent cosmetic outcome with no loss of deformity correction, no detected pseudarthrosis and a normal level of activities.
Conclusions
Scoliosis can occur in patients with Treacher Collins syndrome with the deformity demonstrating significant deterioration around the adolescent growth spurt. A high index of awareness will allow for an early diagnosis and scoliosis correction at a stage when this can be safer and performed through a single-stage posterior procedure. If the deformity is detected at a later age and stage of growth as occurred in our patient, more complex surgery is required and this increases the risk for major morbidity and potential mortality. Surgical treatment can correct the deformity, balance the spine and restore cosmesis, as well as prevent mechanical back pain and respiratory complications if the scoliosis progressed to cause severe thoracic distortion. A thorough preoperative assessment can diagnose associated comorbidities and reduce the risk for postoperative complications.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-8-446
PMCID: PMC4320598  PMID: 25524572
Posterior spinal fusion; Scoliosis; Surgical treatment; Treacher Collins syndrome
7.  Cotrel–Dubousset instrumentation in neuromuscular scoliosis 
European Spine Journal  2011;20(Suppl 1):75-84.
The study design is retrospective. The aim is to describe our experience about the treatment of patients with neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS) using Cotrel–Dubousset instrumentation. Neuromuscular scoliosis are difficult deformities to treat. A careful assessment and an understanding of the primary disease and its prognosis are essential for planning treatment which is aimed at maximizing function. These patients may have pelvic obliquity, dislocation of the hip, limited balance or ability to sit, back pain, and, in some cases, a serious decrease in pulmonary function. Spinal deformity is difficult to control with a brace, and it may progress even after skeletal maturity has been reached. Surgery is the main stay of treatment for selected patients. The goals of surgery are to correct the deformity producing a balanced spine with a level pelvis and a solid spinal fusion to prevent or delay secondary respiratory complications. The instrumented spinal fusion (ISF) with second-generation instrumentation (e.g., Luque–Galveston and unit rod constructs), are until 1990s considered the gold standard surgical technique for neuromuscular scoliosis (NMS). Still in 2008 Tsirikos et al. said that “the Unit rod instrumentation is a common standard technique and the primary instrumentation system for the treatment of pediatric patients with cerebral palsy and neuromuscular scoliosis because it is simple to use, it is considerably less expensive than most other systems, and can achieve good deformity correction with a low loss of correction, as well as a low prevalence of associated complications and a low reoperation rate.” In spite of the Cotrel–Dubousset (CD) surgical technique, used since the beginning of the mid 1980s, being already considered the highest level achieved in correction of scoliosis by a posterior approach, Teli et al., in 2006, said that reports are lacking on the results of third-generation instrumentation for the treatment of NMS. Patients with neuromuscular disease and spinal deformity treated between 1984 and 2008 consecutively by the senior author (G.D.G.) with Cotrel–Dubousset instrumentation and minimum 36 months follow-up were reviewed, evaluating correction of coronal deformity, sagittal balance and pelvic obliquity, and rate of complications. 24 patients (Friedreich’s ataxia, 1; cerebral palsy, 14; muscular dystrophy, 2; polio, 2; syringomyelia, 3; spinal atrophy, 2) were included. According the evidence that the study period is too long (1984–2008) and that in more than 20 years many things changed in surgical strategy and techniques, all patients were divided in two groups: only hooks (8 patients) or hybrid construct (16 patients). Mean age was 18.1 years at surgery (range 11 years 7 months–max 31 years; in 17 cases the age at surgery time was between 10 and 20 years old; in 6 cases it was between 20 and 30 and only in 1 case was over 30 years old). Mean follow-up was 142 months (range 36–279). The most frequent patterns of scoliosis were thoracic (10 cases) and thoracolumbar (9 cases). In 8 cases we had hypokyphosis, in 6 normal kyphosis and in 9 hyperkyphosis. In 8 cases we had a normal lordosis, in 11 a hypolordosis and in 4 a hyperlordosis. In 1 case we had global T4–L4 kyphosis. In 8 cases there were also a thoracolumbar kyphosis (mean value 24°, min 20°–max 35°). The mean fusion area included 13 vertebrae (range 6–19); in 17 cases the upper end vertebra was over T4 and in 11 cases the lower end vertebra was over L4 or L5. In 7 cases the lower end vertebra was S1 to correct the pelvic obliquity. In 5 cases the severity of the deformity (mean Cobb’s angle 84.2°) imposed a preoperative halo traction treatment. There were 5 anteroposterior and 19 posterior-only procedures. In 10 cases, with low bone quality, the arthrodesis was performed using iliac grafting technique while in the other (14 cases) using autologous bone graft obtained in situ from vertebral arches and spinous processes (in all 7 cases with fusion extended until S1, it was augmented with calcium phosphate). The mean correction of coronal deformity and pelvic obliquity averaged, respectively, 57.2% (min 31.8%; max 84.8%) and 58.9% (mean value preoperative, 18.43°; mean value postoperative, 7.57°; mean value at last follow-up, 7.57°). The sagittal balance was always restored, reducing hypo or hyperkyphosis and hypo or hyperlordosis. Also in presence of a global kyphosis, we observed a very good restoration (preoperatory, 65°; postoperatory, 18° kyphosis and 30° lordosis, unmodified at last f.u.). The thoracolumbar kyphosis, when present (33.3% of our group) was always corrected to physiological values (mean 2°, min 0°–max 5°). The mean intraoperative blood lost were 2,100 cc (min 1,400, max 5,350). Major complications affected 8.3% of patients, and included 1 postoperative death and 1 deep infection. Minor complications affected none of patients. CD technique provides lasting correction of spinal deformity in patients with neuromuscular scoliosis, with a lower complications rate compared to reports on second-generation instrumented spinal fusion.
doi:10.1007/s00586-011-1758-x
PMCID: PMC3087033  PMID: 21404030
Neuromuscular scoliosis; Cotrel–Dubousset; Spinal fusion
8.  Endoscopic Foraminal Decompression for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome under local Anesthesia 
Background
The most common causes of failed back surgery are residual or recurrent herniation, foraminal fibrosis and foraminal stenosis that is ignored, untreated, or undertreated. Residual back ache may also be from facetal causes or denervation and scarring of the paraspinal muscles.1–6 The original surgeon may advise his patient that nothing more can be done on the basis of his opinion that the nerve was visually decompressed by the original surgery, supported by improved post-op imaging and follow-up studies such as EMG and conduction velocity studies. Post-op imaging or electrophysiological assessment may be inadequate to explain all the reasons for residual or recurrent symptoms. Treatment of Failed back surgery by repeat traditional open revision surgery usually incorporates more extensive decompression causing increased instability and back pain, therefore necessitating fusion. The authors, having limited their practice to endoscopic MIS surgery over the last 15-20 years, report on their experience gained during that period to relieve pain by endoscopically visualizing and treating unrecognized causative patho-anatomy in FBSS.7
Methods
Thirty consecutive patients with FBSS presenting with back and leg pain that had supporting imaging diagnosis of lateral stenosis and /or residual / recurrent disc herniation, or whose pain complaint was supported by relief from diagnostic and therapeutic injections (Figure 1), were offered percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy and foraminoplasty over a repeat open procedure. Each patient sought consultation following a transient successful, partially successful or unsuccessful open translaminar surgical treatment for disc herniation or spinal stenosis. Endoscopic foraminoplasty was also performed to either decompress the bony foramen for foraminal stenosis, or foraminoplasty to allow for endoscopic visual examination of the affected traversing and exiting nerve roots in the axilla, also known as the “hidden zone” of Macnab (Figure 2).8, 9 The average follow up time was, average 40 months, minimum 12 months. Outcome data at each visit included Macnab, VAS and ODI.
A diagnostic and therapeutic epidural gram may help identify unrecognized lateral recess stenosis underestimated by MRI. An excellent result from a therapeutic block lends excellent prognosis for a more lasting and “permanent” result from transforaminal endoscopic lateral recess decompression.
Kambin's Triangle provides access to the “hidden zone” of Macnab by foraminoplasty. The foramen and lateral recess is decompressed by removing the ventral aspect and tip of the superior articular process to gain access to the axilla between the traversing and exiting nerve. FBSS contains patho-anatomy in the axilla between the traversing and exiting nerve that hides the pain generators of FBSS.
Results
The average pre-operative VAS improved from 7.2 to 4.0, and ODI 48% to 31%. While temporary dysesthesia occurred in 4 patients in the early post-operative period, all were happy, as all received additional relief of their pre-op symptoms. They were also relieved to be able to avoid “open” decompression or fusion surgery.
Conclusions / Level of Evidence 3
The transforaminal endoscopic approach is effective for FBSS due to residual/recurrent HNP and lateral stenosis. Failed initial index surgery may involve failure to recognize patho-anatomy in the axilla of the foramen housing the traversing and the exiting nerve, including the DRG, which is located cephalad and near the tip of SAP.10 The transforaminal endoscopic approach effectively decompresses the foramen and does not further destabilize the spine needing stabilization.11 It also avoids going through the previous surgical site.
Clinical Relevance
Disc narrowing as a consequence of translaminar discectomy and progressive degenerative narrowing and spondylolisthesis (Figure 3) as a natural history of degenerative disc disease can lead to central and lateral stenosis. The MRI may underestimate the degree of stenosis from a bulging or a foraminal disc protrusion and residual lateral recess stenosis. Pain can be diagnosed and confirmed by evocative discography and by clinical response to transforaminal diagnostic and therapeutic steroid injections.12 Foraminal endoscopic decompression of the lateral recess is a MIS technique that does not “burn bridges” for a more conventional approach and it adds to the surgical armamentarium of FBSS.
Cadaver Illustration of Foraminal Stenosis (courtesy of Wolfgang Rauschning). As the disc narrows, the superior articular process impinges on the exiting nerve and DRG, creating lateral recess stenosis, lumbar spondylosis, and facet arthrosis.
doi:10.14444/1022
PMCID: PMC4325507
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome(FBSS); Hidden zone; Foraminal decompression; Recurrent herniation; Lateral stenosis; Foraminal osteophyte
9.  Lumbar degenerative spinal deformity: Surgical options of PLIF, TLIF and MI-TLIF 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2010;44(2):159-162.
Degenerative disease of the lumbar spine is common in ageing populations. It causes disturbing back pain, radicular symptoms and lowers the quality of life. We will focus our discussion on the surgical options of posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) for lumbar degenerative spinal deformities, which include symptomatic spondylolisthesis and degenerative scoliosis. Through a description of each procedure, we hope to illustrate the potential benefits of TLIF over PLIF. In a retrospective study of 53 ALIF/PLIF patients and 111 TLIF patients we found reduced risk of vessel and nerve injury in TLIF patients due to less exposure of these structures, shortened operative time and reduced intra-operative bleeding. These advantages could be translated to shortened hospital stay, faster recovery period and earlier return to work. The disadvantages of TLIF such as incomplete intervertebral disc and vertebral end-plate removal and potential occult injury to exiting nerve root when under experienced hands are rare. Hence TLIF remains the mainstay of treatment in degenerative deformities of the lumbar spine. However, TLIF being a unilateral transforaminal approach, is unable to decompress the opposite nerve root. This may require contralateral laminotomy, which is a fairly simple procedure. The use of minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) to treat degenerative lumbar spinal deformity is still in its early stages. Although the initial results appear promising, it remains a difficult operative procedure to master with a steep learning curve. In a recent study comparing 29 MI-TLIF patients and 29 open TLIF, MI-TLIF was associated with longer operative time, less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, with no difference in SF-36 scores at six months and two years. Whether it can replace traditional TLIF as the surgery of choice for degenerative lumbar deformity remains unknown and more studies are required to validate the safety and efficiency.
doi:10.4103/0019-5413.62066
PMCID: PMC2856390  PMID: 20419002
Degenerative spine; lumbar spine fusion; minimally invasive transforaminal fusion
10.  Current concepts and controversies on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: Part I 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2013;47(2):117-128.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common spinal deformity encountered by General Orthopaedic Surgeons. Etiology remains unclear and current research focuses on genetic factors that may influence scoliosis development and risk of progression. Delayed diagnosis can result in severe deformities which affect the coronal and sagittal planes, as well as the rib cage, waistline symmetry, and shoulder balance. Patient's dissatisfaction in terms of physical appearance and mechanical back pain, as well as the risk for curve deterioration are usually the reasons for treatment. Conservative management involves mainly bracing with the aim to stop or slow down scoliosis progression during growth and if possible prevent the need for surgical treatment. This is mainly indicated in young compliant patients with a large amount of remaining growth and progressive curvatures. Scoliosis correction is indicated for severe or progressive curves which produce significant cosmetic deformity, muscular pain, and patient discontent. Posterior spinal arthrodesis with Harrington instrumentation and bone grafting was the first attempt to correct the coronal deformity and replace in situ fusion. This was associated with high pseudarthrosis rates, need for postoperative immobilization, and flattening of sagittal spinal contour. Segmental correction techniques were introduced along with the Luque rods, Harri-Luque, and Wisconsin systems. Correction in both coronal and sagittal planes was not satisfactory and high rates of nonunion persisted until Cotrel and Dubousset introduced the concept of global spinal derotation. Development of pedicle screws provided a powerful tool to correct three-dimensional vertebral deformity and opened a new era in the treatment of scoliosis.
doi:10.4103/0019-5413.108875
PMCID: PMC3654460  PMID: 23682172
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; natural history; clinical examination; radiological assessment; treatment
11.  Evaluation of operation outcomes in patients with degenerative lumbar scoliosis 
Journal of Injury and Violence Research  2012;4(3 Suppl 1): Paper No. 7.
Abstract:
Background:
Due to the increase of life expectancy, the prevalence of degenerative spine diseases such as adult degenerative lumbar scoliosis (ADLS) has been increasingly more than before which is required appropriate control and management. Therefore, the present study was aimed to survey the result of surgery in ADLS patients in Shiraz (Iran).
Methods:
This is a preliminary report of 30 patients with ADLS who underwent pedicular screw fixation, posterolateral fusion, posterior decompression and correction of coronal plane deformity operation according to surgical indications in the Chamran and Kowsar hospitals during 2009-2011. The patients were followed up at 1, 6 and 12 months post operation. Radiologic changes were evaluated and the Oswestry low back pain disability (OLBP) scale and visual analogue scale (VAS) were used to evaluate functional and pain improvement, respectively. Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 15. We used Wilcoxon signed-rank test to compare the parameters of pain and LBP scale.
Results:
Primary analysis showed that 42.9% of operated patients were in 50-60 years age group. 71% of the patients were female and 29% were male. Prevalence of LBP from radicular pain among the patients was 95.2%. There was a significant difference between pre-operation and post-operation VAS and Oswestry LBP scale (P less than 0.001).
Conclusions:
Our findings showed that posterior decompression combined with pedicular fixation, posterolateral fusion and correction of coronal plane deformity seems to be a suitable method for the relief of pain and improvement of function in ADLS patients. Only decompression can relieve low back pain but for the relief of radicular pain and correction of deformity, fixation and fusion are recommended.
Keywords:
Scoliosis, Degenerative, Low back pain, Adult lumbar, Radicular pain
PMCID: PMC3571533
12.  High failure rate of the interspinous distraction device (X-Stop) for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis caused by degenerative spondylolisthesis 
European Spine Journal  2007;17(2):188-192.
The X-Stop interspinous distraction device has shown to be an attractive alternative to conventional surgical procedures in the treatment of symptomatic degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. However, the effectiveness of the X-Stop in symptomatic degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis caused by degenerative spondylolisthesis is not known. A cohort of 12 consecutive patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis caused by degenerative spondylolisthesis were treated with the X-Stop interspinous distraction device. All patients had low back pain, neurogenic claudication and radiculopathy. Pre-operative radiographs revealed an average slip of 19.6%. MRI of the lumbosacral spine showed a severe stenosis. In ten patients, the X-Stop was placed at the L4–5 level, whereas two patients were treated at both, L3–4 and L4–5 level. The mean follow-up was 30.3 months. In eight patients a complete relief of symptoms was observed post-operatively, whereas the remaining 4 patients experienced no relief of symptoms. Recurrence of pain, neurogenic claudication, and worsening of neurological symptoms was observed in three patients within 24 months. Post-operative radiographs and MRI did not show any changes in the percentage of slip or spinal dimensions. Finally, secondary surgical treatment by decompression with posterolateral fusion was performed in seven patients (58%) within 24 months. In conclusion, the X-Stop interspinous distraction device showed an extremely high failure rate, defined as surgical re-intervention, after short term follow-up in patients with spinal stenosis caused by degenerative spondylolisthesis. We do not recommend the X-Stop for the treatment of spinal stenosis complicating degenerative spondylolisthesis.
doi:10.1007/s00586-007-0492-x
PMCID: PMC2226191  PMID: 17846801
Lumbar spinal stenosis; X-Stop; Degenerative spondylolisthesis
13.  High failure rate of the interspinous distraction device (X-Stop) for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis caused by degenerative spondylolisthesis 
European Spine Journal  2007;17(2):188-192.
The X-Stop interspinous distraction device has shown to be an attractive alternative to conventional surgical procedures in the treatment of symptomatic degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. However, the effectiveness of the X-Stop in symptomatic degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis caused by degenerative spondylolisthesis is not known. A cohort of 12 consecutive patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis caused by degenerative spondylolisthesis were treated with the X-Stop interspinous distraction device. All patients had low back pain, neurogenic claudication and radiculopathy. Pre-operative radiographs revealed an average slip of 19.6%. MRI of the lumbosacral spine showed a severe stenosis. In ten patients, the X-Stop was placed at the L4–5 level, whereas two patients were treated at both, L3–4 and L4–5 level. The mean follow-up was 30.3 months. In eight patients a complete relief of symptoms was observed post-operatively, whereas the remaining 4 patients experienced no relief of symptoms. Recurrence of pain, neurogenic claudication, and worsening of neurological symptoms was observed in three patients within 24 months. Post-operative radiographs and MRI did not show any changes in the percentage of slip or spinal dimensions. Finally, secondary surgical treatment by decompression with posterolateral fusion was performed in seven patients (58%) within 24 months. In conclusion, the X-Stop interspinous distraction device showed an extremely high failure rate, defined as surgical re-intervention, after short term follow-up in patients with spinal stenosis caused by degenerative spondylolisthesis. We do not recommend the X-Stop for the treatment of spinal stenosis complicating degenerative spondylolisthesis.
doi:10.1007/s00586-007-0492-x
PMCID: PMC2226191  PMID: 17846801
Lumbar spinal stenosis; X-Stop; Degenerative spondylolisthesis
14.  Artificial Cervical Disc Arthroplasty (ACDA): tips and tricks 
Journal of Injury and Violence Research  2012;4(3 Suppl 1): Paper No. 36.
Abstract:
Background:
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is currently treatment of choice for managing medical therapy refractory cervical degenerative disc disease. Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of ACDF; patients generally experience rapid recoveries, and dramatic improvement in their pain and quality of life. However, as several studies reported symptomatic adjacent segment disease attributed to fusions’ altered kinematics, cervical disc arthroplasty emerged as a new motion-sparing alternative to fusion. Fusion at one level increases motion at adjacent levels along with increased intradiscal pressures. This phenomenon can result in symptomatic adjacent level degeneration, which can necessitate reoperation at these levels. The era of cervical arthroplasty began in Europe in the late 1990s. In recent years, artificial cervical disc arthroplasty (ACDA) has been increasingly used by spine surgeons for degenerative cervical disc disease. There have been several reports of safety, efficacy and indications of ACDA.
Cervical arthroplasty offers several theoretical advantages over anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in the treatment of selected patients with medically refractory cervical radiculopathy. Preserving motion at the operated level, cervical TDR has the potential to decrease the occurrence of adjacent segment degeneration.
There are a few studies on the efficacy and effectiveness of ACDA compared to cervical fusion. However, the true scenery of cervical arthroplasty yet to be identified.
Objective:
This study is intended to define patients' characteristics and outcomes of ACDA by a single surgeon in Iran.
Methods:
This retrospective study was performed in two general Hospitals in Tehran, Iran from 2005 To 2010. All patients were operated by one senior neurospine surgeon. One hundred fifty three patients were operated in this period. All patients signed the informed consent form prior to surgery. All patients presented with cervical discopathy who had myelopathy or radiculopathy and failed conservative management, undergoing cervical disc arthroplasty by ACDA were included, consecutively. Patients were followed for at least 2 years.
Exclusion criteria was age greater than 60 years, non compliance with the study protocol, osteoporosis, infection, congenital or post traumatic deformity, malignancy metabolic bone disease, and narrow cervical canal (less than 12 mm). Heterotopic ossification and adjacent segment degenerative changes were assessed at 2 years follow up by means of neutral and dynamic xrays and CT/MRI if clinically indicated. Neck and upper extremity pain were assessed before the procedure and in the first post-operative visit and 3 months later by means of visual analogue scale.
A standard approach was performed to the anterior cervical spine. Patients were positioned supine while holding neck in neutral position. A combination of sharp and blunt dissection was performed to expose longus coli musculature and anterior cervical vertebrae. Trachea and esophagus were retracted medially and carotid artery and jugular vein laterally. After a thorough discectomy, the intersomatic space is distracted in a parallel way by a vertebral distracter. Followed by Caspar distractor is applied to provide a working channel into posterior disc space. In this stage, any remnant disc materials as well as osteophytes are removed and foraminal decompression is done. Posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) opening and removal, although discouraged by some, is done next. In order to define the size of the prosthesis, multiple trials are tested. It is important not to exceed the height of the healthy adjacent disc to avoid facet joint overdistraction. An specific insertor is applied to plant the prosthesis in disc space. Control X-rays are advised to check the precise positioning of the implant.
Results:
one hundred-fifty three patients including 87 females and 66 males were included. The mean age was 41 for females and 42 for males. Affected level was C5-C6 in 81 cases, C6-C7 in 72 cases and C4-C5 in 10 cases. The most common applied ACDA was DiscoCerv which was inserted in 127 cases followed by prodisc-c in three patients and Baguera in thirty three psatients.Ten cases had two levels involvement. Both neck and upper extremity pain improved significantly in early and late post op assessments compared to pre-op. There was only one operative complication of quadriparesis which might be attributed to the iatrogenic cervical spinal trauma.
Conclusions:
Cervical disc arthroplasty has been advocated to address drawbacks of fusion including loss of motion segment and adjacent level degeneration; our study along with several other reports provide considerable evidence in this regard. Cervical disc arthroplasty is a safe and effective alternative for fusion in cervical degenerative disc disease.
Keywords:
Cervical degenerative disc disease, Artificial cervical disc arthroplasty, Safety, Efficacy
PMCID: PMC3571562
15.  Radiographic Progression of Degenerative Lumbar Scoliosis after Short Segment Decompression and Fusion 
Asian Spine Journal  2009;3(2):58-65.
Study Design
A retrospective study.
Purpose
To assess the radiographic progression of degenerative lumbar scoliosis after short segment decompression and fusion without deformity correction.
Overview of Literature
The aims of surgery in degenerative lumbar scoliosis are the relief of low back and leg pain along with a correction of the deformity. Short segment decompression and fusion can be performed to decrease the level of low back and leg pain provided the patient is not indicated for a deformity correction due to medical problems. In such circumstance, the patients and surgeon should be concerned with whether the scoliotic angle increases postoperatively.
Methods
Forty-seven patients who had undergone short segment decompression and fusion were evaluated. The average follow-up period was more than 3 years. The preoperative scoliotic angle and number of fusion segments was 13.6±3.9° and 2.3±0.5, respectively. The preoperative, postoperative and last follow-up scoliotic angles were compared and the time of progression of scoliotic angle was determined.
Results
The postoperative and last follow-up scoliotic angle was 10.4±2.3° and 12.1±3.6°, respectively. In eight patients, conversion to long segment fusion was required due to the rapid progression of the scoliotic angle that accelerated from 6 to 9 months after the primary surgery. The postoperative scoliosis aggravated rapidly when the preoperative scoliotic angle was larger and the fusion was extended to the apical vertebra.
Conclusions
The scoliotic angle after short segment decompression and fusion was not deteriorated seriously in degenerative lumbar scoliosis. A larger scoliotic angle and fusion to the apical vertebra are significant risk factors for the acceleration of degenerative lumbar scoliosis.
doi:10.4184/asj.2009.3.2.58
PMCID: PMC2852080  PMID: 20404949
Degenerative lumbar scoliosis; Short segment fusion; Radiographic progression
16.  Spinaplasty following lumbar laminectomy for multilevel lumbar spinal stenosis to prevent iatrogenic instability 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2011;45(5):396-403.
Background:
Iatrogenic instability following laminectomy occurs in patients with degenerative lumbar canal stenosis. Long segment fusions to obviate postoperative instability result in loss of motion of lumbar spine and predisposes to adjacent level degeneration. The best alternative would be an adequate decompressive laminectomy with a nonfusion technique of preserving the posterior ligament complex integrity. We report a retrospective analysis of multilevel lumbar canal stenosis that were operated for posterior decompression and underwent spinaplasty to preserve posterior ligament complex integrity for outcome of decompression and iatrogenic instability.
Materials and Methods:
610 patients of degenerative lumbar canal stenosis (n=520) and development spinal canal stenosis (n=90), with a mean age 58 years (33–85 years), underwent multilevel laminectomies and spinaplasty procedure. At followup, changes in the posture while walking, increase in the walking distance, improvement in the dysesthesia in lower limb, the motor power, capability to negotiate stairs and sphincter function were assessed. Forward excursion of vertebrae more than 4 mm in flexion–extension lateral X-ray of the spine as compared to the preoperative movements was considered as the iatrogenic instability. Clinical assessment was done in standing posture regarding active flexion–extension movement, lateral bending and rotations
Results:
All patients were followed up from 3 to 10 years. None of the patients had neurological deterioration or pain or catch while movement. Walking distance improved by 5–10 times, with marked relief (70–90%) in neurogenic claudication and preoperative stooping posture, with improvement in sensation and motor power. There was no significant difference in the sagittal alignment as well as anterior translation. Two patients with concomitant scoliosis and one with cauda equine syndrome had incomplete recovery. Two patients who developed disc protrusion, underwent a second operation for a symptomatic disc prolapse.
Conclusion:
Spinaplasty following posterior decompression for multilevel lumbar canal stenosis is a simple operation, without any serious complications, retaining median structures, maintaining the tension band and the strength with least disturbance of kinematics, mobility, stability and lordosis of the lumbar spine.
doi:10.4103/0019-5413.83140
PMCID: PMC3162674  PMID: 21886919
Decompression; laminectomies; lumbar canal stenosis; multilevel; posterior ligamentous complex; spinaplasty
17.  Pain and disability correlated with disc degeneration via magnetic resonance imaging in scoliosis patients 
European Spine Journal  2007;17(2):240-249.
Prior imaging studies of scoliosis patients attempted to demonstrate a relationship between plain radiographic curve patterns and curve progression and pain, or used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to focus on spinal cord abnormalities. Pain in scoliosis patients may differ from nondeformity patients, yet may still be discogenic. The purpose of this study was to assess the possible relationship of degenerative disc findings on MRI to scoliosis patients’ pain. This prospective study enrolled scoliosis and control patients, all of whom had assessment for back pain (visual analog scale) and disability (Oswestry Index) and spinal MRI to identify prevalence and distribution of degenerative disc findings. Specifically, we assessed 60 consecutive pediatric and adult idiopathic scoliosis patients who had progressed to surgical treatment, 60 age- and gender-matched asymptomatic controls, and 172 nondeformity symptomatic degenerative disc disease patients who had progressed to surgical treatment. All subjects had independent analysis of their preoperative MRI for disc degeneration, disc herniation, Schmorl’s nodes, and inflammatory end plate changes. Imaging findings of the scoliosis patients were compared to those from asymptomatic and symptomatic control groups. Our results found that both pediatric and adult scoliosis patients had significantly more pain and disability than did asymptomatic controls (P < 0.001). The adult idiopathic scoliosis patients had pain and disability similar to those of surgical degenerative disc disease control groups. Disc degeneration and herniation (contained) were not related to pain. However, in the pediatric scoliosis patients, those with Schmorl’s nodes often had greater pain than those without (P = 0.01). Adults with painful scoliosis, typically occurring at the apex of the scoliosis or at the lumbosacral junction, had a significantly higher frequency of inflammatory end plate changes on MRI than did controls (P < 0.001). Prior studies have demonstrated a correlation of inflammatory end plate changes to lumbar discogenic pain. In conclusions, scoliosis patients who have progressed to surgical intervention, pediatric patients have varying degrees of pain, and those with Schmorl’s nodes may be at greater risk for pain. Adult scoliosis patients have multifactorial pain of which one component may be related to degeneration of the lower lumbar discs similar to that in nondeformity patients. Additionally, adult scoliosis patients may have MRI findings consistent with discogenic pain at the apex of their curvature, most commonly at the proximal lumbar levels.
doi:10.1007/s00586-007-0530-8
PMCID: PMC2365557  PMID: 17973128
Disc degeneration; Endplate changes; Modic; MRI; Schmorl’s nodes; Scoliosis
18.  Short fusion versus long fusion for degenerative lumbar scoliosis 
European Spine Journal  2008;17(5):650-656.
The extent of fusion for degenerative lumbar scoliosis has not yet been determined. The purpose of this study was to compare the results of short fusion versus long fusion for degenerative lumbar scoliosis. Fifty patients (mean age 65.5 ± 5.1 years) undergoing decompression and fusion with pedicle screw instrumentation were evaluated. Short fusion was defined as fusion within the deformity, not exceeding the end vertebra. Long fusion was defined as fusion extended above the upper end vertebra. The lower end vertebra was included in the fusion in all the patients. The short fusion group included 28 patients and the long fusion group included 22 patients. Patients’ age and number of medical co-morbidities were similar in both the groups. The number of levels fused was 3.1 ± 0.9 segments in the short fusion group and 6.5 ± 1.5 in the long fusion group. Before surgery, the average Cobb angle was 16.3° (range 11–28°) in the short fusion group and 21.7° (range 12–33°) in the long fusion group. The correction of the Cobb angle averaged 39% in the short fusion group and 72% in the long fusion group with a statistical difference (P = 0.001). Coronal imbalance improved significantly in the long fusion group more than in the short fusion group (P = 0.03). The correction of lateral listhesis was better in the long fusion group (P = 0.02). However, there was no difference in the correction of lumbar lordosis and sagittal imbalance between the two groups. Ten of the 50 patients had additional posterolateral lumbar interbody fusion at L4-5 or L5-S1. The interbody fusion had a positive influence in improving lumbar lordosis, but was ineffective at restoring sagittal imbalance. Early perioperative complications were likely to develop in the long fusion group. Late complications included adjacent segment disease, loosening of screws, and pseudarthrosis. Adjacent segment disease developed in ten patients in the short fusion group, and in five patients in the long fusion group. In the short fusion group, adjacent segment disease occurred proximally in all of the ten patients. Loosening of distal screws developed in three patients, and pseudarthrosis at L5-S1 in one patient in the long fusion group. Reoperation was performed in four patients in the long fusion group and three patients in the short fusion group. In conclusion, short fusion is sufficient for patients with small Cobb angle and good spinal balance. For patients with severe Cobb angle and rotatory subluxation, long fusion should be carried out to minimize adjacent segment disease. For patients who have severe sagittal imbalance, spinal osteotomy is an alternative technique to be considered. As long fusion is likely to increase early perioperative complications, great care should be taken for high-risk patients to avoid complications.
doi:10.1007/s00586-008-0615-z
PMCID: PMC2367413  PMID: 18270753
Degenerative lumbar scoliosis; Short fusion; Long fusion
19.  Scoliosis: Review of diagnosis and treatment 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2007;12(9):771-776.
Scoliosis is a spinal deformity consisting of lateral curvature and rotation of the vertebrae. The causes of scoliosis vary and are classified broadly as congenital, neuromuscular, syndrome-related, idiopathic and spinal curvature due to secondary reasons. The majority of scoliosis cases encountered by the general practitioner will be idiopathic. The natural history relates to the etiology and age at presentation, and usually dictates the treatment. However, it is the patient’s history, physical examination and radiographs that are critical in the initial evaluation of scoliosis, and in determining which patients need additional considerations. Scoliosis with a primary diagnosis (nonidiopathic) must be recognized by the physician to identify the causes, which may require intervention. Patients with congenital scoliosis must be evaluated for cardiac and renal abnormalities. School screening for scoliosis is controversial and is falling out of favour. The treatment for idiopathic scoliosis is based on age, curve magnitude and risk of progression, and includes observation, orthotic management and surgical correction with fusion. A child should be referred to a specialist if the curve is greater than 10° in a patient younger than 10 years of age, is greater than 20° in a patient 10 years of age or older, has atypical features or is associated with back pain or neurological abnormalities.
PMCID: PMC2532872  PMID: 19030463
Back pain in scoliosis; Idiopathic scoliosis; Nonidiopathic scoliosis; Scoliosis screening
20.  Operative treatment for spinal deformities in cerebral palsy 
The higher the functional impairment, the more likely patients with cerebral palsy (cP) are to develop a scoliotic deformity. This is usually long-sweeping, C-shaped, and progressive in nature, since the causes of the deformity, such as muscular weakness, imbalance, and osteoporosis, persist through adulthood. In contrast to idiopathic scoliosis, not only is the spine deformed, the patient is also sick. This multimorbidity warrants a multidisciplinary approach with close involvement of the caregivers from the beginning. Brace treatment is usually ineffective or intolerable in light of the mostly stiff and severe deformities and the poor nutritional status. The pros and cons of surgical correction need to weighed up when pelvic obliquity, subsequent loss of sitting balance, pressure sores, and pain due to impingement of the rib cage on the ileum become issues. General risks of, for example, pulmonary or urogenital infections, pulmonary failure, the need for a tracheostoma, permanent home ventilation, and death add to the particular surgery-related hazards, such as excessive bleeding, surgical site infections, pseudarthrosis, implant failure, and dural tears with leakage of cerebrospinal fluid. The overall complication rate averages around 25 %. From an orthopedic perspective, stiffness, marked deformities including sagittal profile disturbances and pelvic obliquity, as well as osteoporosis are the main challenges. In nonambulatory patients, long fusions from T2/T3 with forces distributed over all segments, low-profile anchors in areas of poor soft tissue coverage (sublaminar bands, wires), and strong lumbosacropelvic modern screw fixation in combination with meticulous fusion techniques (facetectomies, laminar decortication, use of local autologous bone) and hemostasis can be employed to keep the rate of surgical and implant-related complications at an acceptably low level. Excessive posterior release techniques, osteotomies, or even vertebrectomies in cases of very severe short-angled deformity mostly prevent anterior one- or two-stage releases. Despite improved operative techniques and implants with predictable and satisfactory deformity corrections, the comorbidities and quality-of-life related issues demand a thorough preoperative, multidisciplinary decision-making process that takes ethical and economic aspects into consideration.
doi:10.1007/s11832-013-0517-4
PMCID: PMC3838513  PMID: 24432105
Scoliosis; Neuromuscular; Sitting balance; Pelvic obliquity; Cerebral palsy
21.  Percutaneous Vertebroplasty in Adult Degenerative Scoliosis for Spine Support: Study for Pain Evaluation and Mobility Improvement 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:626502.
We evaluate the efficacy-safety of percutaneous vertebroplasty (PV) as primary treatment in adult degenerative scoliosis. During the last 4 years, PV was performed in 18 adult patients (68 vertebral bodies) with back pain due to degenerative scoliotic spine. Under anaesthesia and fluoroscopy, direct access to most deformed vertebral bodies was obtained by 13G needles, and PMMA for vertebroplasty was injected. Scoliosis' inner arch was supported. Clinical evaluation included immediate and delayed studies of patient's general condition and neurological status. An NVS scale helped assessing pain relief, life quality, and mobility improvement. Comparing patients' scores prior to (mean value 8.06 ± 1.3 NVS units), the morning after (mean value 3.11 ± 1.2 NVS units), at 12 (mean value 1.67 ± 1.5 NVS units), and 24 months after vertebroplasty (mean value 1.67 ± 1.5 NVS units) treatment, patients presented a mean decrease of 6.39 ± 1.6 NVS units on terms of life quality improvement and pain relief (P = 0.000). Overall mobility improved in 18/18 (100%) patients. No complications were observed. During follow-up period (mean value 17.66 months), all patients underwent a mean of 1.3 sessions for facet joint and nerve root infiltrations. Percutaneous vertebroplasty in the inner arch seems to be an effective technique for supporting adult degenerative scoliotic spine.
doi:10.1155/2013/626502
PMCID: PMC3821888  PMID: 24260742
22.  The Clinical Effect of Gait Load Test in Two Level Lumbar Spinal Stenosis 
Asian Spine Journal  2009;3(2):96-100.
Study Design
This study is a prospective, clinical study assessing the efficacy of selective decompression of the level responsible in a two-level stenosis in accordance with the neurological findings defined by the gait load test with a treadmill.
Purpose
To clarify the clinical features of multilevel lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) regarding the neurological level responsible for the symptoms, neurogenic claudication, and outcomes of selective decompression.
Overview of Literature
Most spine surgeons have reported that multilevel compression of the cauda equina induces a more severe impairment of the nerve function than a single-level compression. However, the clinical effects of multilevel LSS on the cauda equine and nerve roots are unknown.
Methods
A total of 21 patients with lumbar spinal canal stenosis due to spondylosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis were selected. The level responsible for the symptoms in the two-level stenosis was determined from the neurological findings on the gait load test and functional diagnosis based on a selective nerve root block. All patients underwent a prospective, selective decompression at the level neurologically responsible only. The average follow-up period was 2.6 years (range, 1 to 6 years). The postsurgical outcome was defined using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) at the post-gait load test, 2 weeks after surgery, 3 months after surgery and at the last follow up.
Results
Before surgery, the mean threshold distance and mean walking tolerance was 34.3 m and 113 m, respectively. All patients had neurogenic claudication and 19 of the patients had cauda equina syndrome, including hypesthesia in 11 cases, muscle weakness in 5 cases and radicular pain in 7 cases. Selective nerve blocks to determine the level responsible for the lumbosacral symptoms in 2 cases revealed a mean VAS score of 7.1, 2.61, 3.04, and 3.47 at the post-gait load test, 2 weeks after surgery, 3 months after surgery and at the last follow up, respectively. All subjects underwent surgery. After the operation, neurogenic claudication with or without cauda equna syndrome subsided in all patients.
Conclusions
The gait load test allows an objective and quantitative evaluation of the gait characteristics of patients with lumbar canal stenosis and is useful for determining the appropriate level for surgical treatment.
doi:10.4184/asj.2009.3.2.96
PMCID: PMC2852081  PMID: 20404954
Gait load test; Neurogenic claudication; Lumbar canal stenosis
23.  The Felix-trial. Double-blind randomization of interspinous implant or bony decompression for treatment of spinal stenosis related intermittent neurogenic claudication 
Background
Decompressive laminotomy is the standard surgical procedure in the treatment of patients with canal stenosis related intermittent neurogenic claudication. New techniques, such as interspinous process implants, claim a shorter hospital stay, less post-operative pain and equal long-term functional outcome. A comparative (cost-) effectiveness study has not been performed yet. This protocol describes the design of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) on (cost-) effectiveness of the use of interspinous process implants versus conventional decompression surgery in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis.
Methods/Design
Patients (age 40-85) presenting with intermittent neurogenic claudication due to lumbar spinal stenosis lasting more than 3 months refractory to conservative treatment, are included. Randomization into interspinous implant surgery versus bony decompression surgery will take place in the operating room after induction of anesthesia. The primary outcome measure is the functional assessment of the patient measured by the Zurich Claudication Questionnaire (ZCQ), at 8 weeks and 1 year after surgery. Other outcome parameters include perceived recovery, leg and back pain, incidence of re-operations, complications, quality of life, medical consumption, absenteeism and costs. The study is a randomized multi-institutional trial, in which two surgical techniques are compared in a parallel group design. Patients and research nurses are kept blinded of the allocated treatment during the follow-up period of 1 year.
Discussion
Currently decompressive laminotomy is the golden standard in the surgical treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. Whether surgery with interspinous implants is a reasonable alternative can be determined by this trial.
Trial register
Dutch Trial register number: NTR1307
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-100
PMCID: PMC2885320  PMID: 20507568
24.  Development and treatment of spinal deformity in patients with cerebral palsy 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2010;44(2):148-158.
Scoliosis is a common deformity in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy. This is usually associated with pelvic obliquity due to extension of the curve to the sacrum. Sagittal plane deformity is less common and often develops along with scoliosis. Spinal deformity in patients with severe neurological handicaps can affect their ability to sit and cause significant back pain or pain due to rib impingement against the elevated side of the pelvis on the concavity of the curvature. Surgical correction followed by spinal arthrodesis is indicated in patients with progressive deformities which interfere with their level of function and quality of life. Spinal deformity correction is a major task in children with multiple medical co-morbidities and can be associated with a high risk of complications including death. A well-coordinated multidisciplinary approach is required in the assessment and treatment of this group of patients with the aim to minimize the complication rate and secure a satisfactory surgical outcome. Good knowledge of the surgical and instrumentation techniques, as well as the principles of management is needed to achieve optimum correction of the deformity and balancing of the spine and pelvis. Spinal fusion has a well-documented positive impact even in children with quadriplegia or total body involvement and is the only surgical procedure which has such a high satisfaction rate among parents and caregivers.
doi:10.4103/0019-5413.62052
PMCID: PMC2856389  PMID: 20419001
Scoliosis; cerebral palsy; surgery; spinal fusion; outcome
25.  Lumbar microdiscectomy and lumbar decompression improve functional outcomes and depression scores 
Study design: Retrospective review.
Introduction: Lumbar radiculopathy and claudicant leg pain are common degenerative spinal conditions often treated by elective microdiscectomy or decompression. Published outcome data for these procedures have focused on improvement in pain scores, and not on grounded functional outcome or depression scores.1,2,3 Moreover, depression is considered by many surgeons to be a red flag for poor outcome for surgical treatment. We asked what effect lumbar microdiscectomy and laminectomy procedures had on functional outcome and depression scores in our clinical population.
Methods: Beginning in January 2010, the following outcome data were prospectively gathered before and after surgery from all patients at the Cleveland Clinic undergoing either lumbar microdiscectomy or lumbar decompression: EQ-5D (EuroQOL, quality-of-life measure), PHQ-9 (measure of depressive symptoms), PDQ (pain disability questionnaire), and Rankin scores (disability or dependence in daily activities).
Results: The mean EuroQOL scores improved by 35% (from 0.4–0.75 of a maximum of 1.0) for both microdiscectomy and lumbar laminectomies. The mean PHQ-9 scores (measure of depressive symptoms) significantly improved for most patients undergoing either procedure. In line with previously published reports, we also found improvement in Rankin scores and Pain Disability Questionnaire scores.
Conclusions: Our outcome data indicate that microdiscectomy and lumbar decompression not only reduce disability and pain but also improve depressive symptoms and overall quality of life for patients. These findings support operative treatment of lumbar radiculopathy and neurogenic claudication including treatment performed in the depressed population.
doi:10.1055/s-0032-1328146
PMCID: PMC3592778  PMID: 23526915

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