Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is serious consequence of cervical intervertebral disk degeneration. Morbidity ranges from chronic neck pain, radicular pain, headache, myelopathy leading to weakness, and impaired fine motor coordination to quadriparesis and/or sphincter dysfunction. Surgical treatment remains the mainstay of treatment once myelopathy develops. Compared to more conventional surgical techniques for spinal cord decompression, such as anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, laminectomy, and laminoplasty, patients treated with corpectomy have better neurological recovery, less axial neck pain, and lower incidences of postoperative loss of sagittal plane alignment. The objective of this study was to analyze the outcome of corpectomy in cervical spondylotic myelopathy, to assess their improvement of symptoms, and to highlight complications of the procedure.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty-four patients underwent cervical corpectomy for cervical spondylotic myelopathy during June 1999 to July 2005.The anterior approach was used. Each patient was graded according to the Nuricks Grade (1972) and the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) Scale (1991), and the recovery rate was calculated.
Preoperative patients had a mean Nurick's grade of 3.83, which was 1.67 postoperatively. Preoperative patients had a mean mJOA score of 9.67, whereas postoperatively it was 14.50. The mean recovery rate of patients postoperatively was 62.35% at a mean follow-up of 1 year (range, 8 months to 5 years).The complications included one case (4.17%) of radiculopathy, two cases (8.33%) of graft displacement, and two cases (8.33%) of screw back out/failure.
Cervical corpectomy is a reliable and rewarding procedure for CSM, with functional improvement in most patients.
Cervical corpectomy; cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM); cervical decompression; anterior approach
The natural history of cervical spondylotic myelopathy is frequently one of slow, progressive neurological deterioration. The operative treatment for patients with moderate to severe involvement is decompression of the spinal cord. Laminectomy has been a traditional approach and laminoplasty has developed as an attractive alternative. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the outcomes of these two procedures in similar groups of patients at a five year average follow-up.
A consecutive series of twenty patients who underwent open-door laminoplasty for multi-level cervical spondylotic myelopathy or radiculopathy was compared to a similar group of 22 matched patients who underwent multi-level laminectomies. Patients were similar in age, gender, number of operative levels, and length of follow-up. At the latest examination, each patient underwent a comprehensive neurological evaluation. A modification of the Nurick classification was used to assess the degree of myelopathy. Radiographs at latest follow-up were assessed for instability, and measurements of the space-available-for-the-cord and Pavlov ratio were made at involved levels.
Myelopathy, as determined by our modified Nurick scale, improved from a preoperative average of 2.44 to 1.48 in laminoplasty patients and from an average of 3.09 to 2.50 in laminectomy patients. Pain improved 57 percent and 8 percent in laminoplasty and laminectomy groups, respectively. Subjective neck stiffness was not significantly different based on the numbers available, although laminoplasty patients demonstrated some loss of range of motion on examination. The only variable that predicted the postoperative degree of myelopathy in both groups was the preoperative degree of myelopathy.
Laminectomy and laminoplasty patients demonstrated improvements in gait, strength, sensation, pain, and degree of myelopathy. Laminoplasty was associated with fewer late complications. Based on this analysis, we believe that laminoplasty is an effective alternative to laminectomy in patients with multi-level cervical spondylotic myelopathy or radiculopathy.
Cervical spondylosis is caused by degenerative disc disease and usually produces intermittent neck pain in middle-aged and elderly patients. This pain usually responds to activity modification, neck immobilization, isometric exercises, and medication. Neurologic symptoms occur infrequently, usually in patients with congenital spinal stenosis. For these patients, magnetic resonance imaging is the preferred initial diagnostic study. Because involvement of neurologic structures on imaging studies may be asymptomatic, consultation with a neurologist is advised to rule out other neurologic diseases. In most cases of spondylotic radiculopathy, the results of conservative treatment are so favorable that surgical intervention is not considered unless pain persists or unless there is progressive neurologic deficit. If indicated, a surgical procedure may be done through the anterior or posterior cervical spine; results are gratifying, with long-term improvement in 70% to 80% of patients. Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is the most serious and disabling condition of this disease. Because many patients have nonprogressive minor impairment, neck immobilization is a reasonable treatment in patients presenting with minor neurologic findings or in whom an operation is contraindicated. This simple remedy will result in improvement in 30% to 50% of patients. Surgical intervention is indicated for patients presenting with severe or progressive neurologic deficits. Anterior cervical approaches are generally preferred, although there are still indications for laminectomy. Surgical results are modest, with good initial results expected in about 70% of patients. Functional outcome noticeably declines with long-term follow-up, which raises the question of whether, and how much, surgical treatment affects the natural course of the disease. Prospective randomized studies are needed to answer these questions.
Degenerative cervical disorders predominantly lead to anterior spinal cord compression (by bony spurs at the posterior margin of the vertebral body or by degenerated disc), which may be central and/or foraminal. In a smaller percentage of cases, there is encroachment of the canal mainly from posterior by bulging yellow ligaments or bony appositions, resulting in compression syndromes of roots or spinal cord. The aim of this work is to present a minimally invasive posterior approach avoiding detachment of muscles for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy. Thirteen patients suffering from cervical radiculopathy (four patients) or myelopathy (nine patients) were operated according to this technique. In principle, the technique secures access to the diseased spinal segment via a percutaneously placed working channel (11 mm outer diameter and 9 mm inner diameter). The cervical paraspinal muscles are not deflected, but just spread between their fibres by special dilators. All further steps are performed through this channel under control of three-dimensional vision through the operating microscope. The mean follow-up period was 17 months (one patient died 9 months postoperatively), and patients were evaluated using a modified version of the Oswestry Index, called the Neck Disability Index (NDI), and the visual analogue scale (VAS) for neck and arm pain. The mean NDI (P<0.0001) improved from 13.2 (preoperatively) to 4.8 (postoperatively). The VAS for arm pain (P<0.001) and for neck pain (P<0.001) also showed marked postoperative improvement. Complete recovery of the preoperative neurological deficit was found in four patients, while the remaining eight patients showed improvement of the neurological symptoms during the follow-up period. There were no intra-operative or postoperative complications and no re-operation. The preliminary experience with this technique, and the good clinical outcome, seem to promise that this minimally invasive technique is a valid alternative to the conventional open exposure for treatment of lateral disc prolapses, foraminal bony stenosis and central posterior ligamentous stenosis of the cervical spine.
Minimally invasive posterior approach Radiculopathy Myelopathy Foraminotomy Cervical spine
Degenerative spondylolisthesis of the cervical spine is rare. Patients show signs of progredient myelopathy, radiculopathy and pain. Treatment strategies include ventral, dorsal and combined fusion techniques with or without repositioning and decompression.
In this study, we present 16 patients with degenerative cervical spondylolisthesis. The leading symptom was severe myelopathy in 8 patients, radiculomyelopathy in 5 patients and neck pain in 3 patients. However, neck pain was the initial symptom in all the patients and decreased when neurological symptoms became more evident. Radiographic examinations included plain radiography, MRI, CT, myelography and lateral tomography.
Spondylolisthesis was located five times at level C3/4, C4/5 and C5/6. In three cases spondylolisthesis was located at level C7/T1. There were two patients with spondylolisthesis on two levels. Instability could be demonstrated by flexion/extension radiography in five cases. Patients were divided into three groups according to a newly introduced classification system. The surgical approach corresponded to this classification. In ten patients the spondylolisthesis could be corrected by extension and positioning, so discectomy and fusion on one or two levels with cage, plate and screws was sufficient. In five cases a corpectomy was necessary due to severe spondylosis. In one case a combined approach with dorsal decompression and release followed by ventral fusion was applied due to additional dorsal spinal cord compression. The follow-up period was 6–52 months. After surgery, none of the patients showed any signs of neurological deterioration. In all cases, a stable fusion was achieved with no signs of instability on flexion/extension radiographs. Neurological improvement was seen in 6 of 8 patients with myelopathy and 4 of 5 patients with radiculomyelopathy. The others showed stable disease. Pain relief was seen in all patients who complained of pain preoperatively.
The aims of treatment for cervical spondylolisthesis are spinal cord decompression (ventral, dorsal or both), correction and fusion. The used procedure should depend on the severity of the cervical deformity, degree and side of the spinal cord compression, and the possibility of correction by extension and positioning.
Spondylolisthesis; Cervical spine; Myelopathy; Degenerative instability; Fusion
There are many causes of cervical myelopathy including trauma, degenerative conditions, tumors and demyelinating disorders. However, myelopathy caused by soft disc herniation might be seen rarely than the spondylosis caused by hard disc. Here, authors retrospectively analyzed the clinical features and results of cervical myelopathy caused by soft disc herniation.
From March 2010 to December 2010, 134 patients with degenerative cervical spinal disease were treated with anterior cervical discectomy and interbody fusion. Among them, 21 patients with cervical myelopathy secondary to cervical soft disc herniation were analyzed. Their clinical features, preoperative and, postoperative clinical results were evaluated by Nurick Grade and Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale (JOA) retrospectively. Preoperative clinical features including duration of myelopathy, pain intensity and postoperative clinical results including improvement rate of myelopathy and radiculopathy were retrospectively analyzed by Nurick Grade and JOA scale. We also evaluated correlation between the duration of symptom, type of the disc herniation, pain intensity and clinical outcome.
Mean age was 49.7 and male was predominant. Gait disturbance with mild to moderate pain was most common symptom in clinical features. Severe pain was shown in only 9 cases, and the other 12 cases experienced mild to moderate pain. Mean duration of myelopathy was 1.18 month. The mean JOA scores were 11.22 before surgery and 14.2 after surgery. The mean Nurick grades were 2.78 before treatment and 1.67 after treatment. Neurologic status of mild or moderate pain group on preoperative state is worse than that of severe pain group. The patients with duration of myelopathy symptom (<1 month) showed lower clinical improvement rate than the patients with myelopathy over 1 month. Patients with median type of disc herniation showed poorer neurological status than those with paramedian type of herniation in preoperative state.
Authors reviewed the clinical features and surgical outcome of the cervical myelopathy secondary to cervical soft disc herniation. We presumed that patients of more than one month of symptom duration, mild to moderate initial symptom would be related with better postoperative improvement rate.
Myelopathy; Cervical herniated disc; soft disc; Surgical outcome
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.
This study is intended to define patients' characteristics and outcomes of ACDA by a single surgeon in Iran.
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.
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.
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.
Cervical degenerative disc disease, Artificial cervical disc arthroplasty, Safety, Efficacy
Indications and timing ¶of surgical treatment for cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy, and the long-term results for the conditions, were reviewed. Advances in spinal imaging and accumulation of clinical experience have provided some clues as to indications and timing of surgery for cervical myelopathy. Duration of myelopathy prior to surgery and the transverse area of the spinal cord at the maximum compression level were the most significant prognostic parameters for surgical outcome. Thus, when myelopathy is caused by etiological factors that are either unchangeable by nature, such as developmental canal stenosis, or progressive, such as ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, surgical treatment should be considered. When an etiology of myelopathy is remissible, such as soft disc herniation and listhesis, surgery may be reserved until the effects of conservative treatment are confirmed. When surgery is properly carried out, long-term surgical results are expected to be good and stable, and the natural course of myelopathy secondary to cervical spondylosis may be modified. However, little attention has been paid to the questions “When and what can surgery contribute to treatment of cervical radiculopathy?”. A well-controlled clinical study including natural history should be done to provide some answers.
Key words Review; Cervical spondylosis; Treatment outcome; Spinal cord; Spinal nerve root
We report on a very rare case of a cervical ligamentum flavum cyst, which presented with progressive myelopathy and radiculopathy. The cyst was radically extirpated and our patient showed significant recovery. A review of the relevant literature yielded seven cases.
An 82-year-old Greek woman presented with progressive bilateral weakness of her upper extremities and causalgia, cervical pain, episodes of upper extremity numbness and significant walking difficulties. Her neurological examination showed diffusely decreased motor strength in both her upper and lower extremities. Magnetic resonance imaging of her cervical spine demonstrated a large, well-demarcated cystic lesion on the dorsal aspect of her spinal cord at the C3 to C4 level, significantly compressing the spinal cord at this level, in close proximity to the yellow ligament and the C3 left lamina. The largest diameter of this lesion was 1.4 cm, and there was no lesion enhancement after the intravenous administration of a paramagnetic contrast. The lesion was surgically removed after a bilateral C3 laminectomy. The thick cystic wall was yellow and fibro-elastic in consistency, while its content was gelatinous and yellow-brownish. A postoperative cervical-spine magnetic resonance image was obtained before her discharge, demonstrating decompression of her spinal cord and dural expansion. Her six-month follow-up evaluation revealed complete resolution of her walking difficulties, improvement in the muscle strength of her arms (4+/5 in all the affected muscle groups), no causalgia and a significant decrease in her preoperative upper extremity numbness.
Cervical ligamentum flavum cysts are rare benign lesions, which should be included in the list of differential diagnosis of spinal cystic lesions. They can be differentiated from other intracanalicular lesions by their hypointense appearance on T1-weighted and hyperintense appearance on T2-weighted magnetic resonance images, with contrast enhancement of the cystic wall. Surgical extirpation of the cyst is required for symptom alleviation and decompression of the spinal cord. The outcome of these cysts is excellent with no risk of recurrence.
The purpose of this case report is to describe combined treatment utilizing Cox distraction manipulation and guided rehabilitation for a patient with spine pain and post-surgical C6-7 fusion with spondylotic myelopathy and L5-S1 radiculopathy.
A 38-year-old man presented to a chiropractic clinic with neck pain and a history of an anterior cervical spine plate fusion at C6-7 after a work related accident 4 years earlier. He had signs and symptoms of spondolytic myelopathy and right lower back, right posterior thigh pain and numbness.
Intervention and outcome
The patient was treated with Cox technique and rehabilitation. The patient experienced a reduction of pain on a numeric pain scale from 8/10 to 3/10. The patient was seen a total of 12 visits over 3 months. No adverse effects were reported.
A patient with a prior C6-7 fusion with spondylotic myelopathy and concurrent L5-S1 radiculopathy improved after a course of rehabilitation and Cox distraction manipulation. Further research is needed to establish its efficiency.
Manipulation; Chiropractic; Spinal fusion; Myleopathy; Rehabilitation; Back pain
•The fragility of soft and hard articulation structures in AR cervical spine can play a role in destabilizing the construct.•During myorelaxation and in supine position, the telescopic hardware can fix the neck in light hyperextension without the surgeon is aware of this and when the patient stands up and slightly flexes the neck on the chest, even in the presence of the collar, a failure of the construct can occur.•A minimal asymmetry of the screws due to incorrect plate positioning can produce a “locus minoris resistentiae” (as probably in our case).•The pull out of the expandable screws fatally produce the severe vertebral body damage we have experienced, leading the surgeon to more invasive procedures as the circumferential huge instrumentation and fusion.•Sometimes, minimally invasive hardware with expandable screws (aimed to avoiding bicortical grip), with one piece plate and mesh with telescopic dynamics (aimed to spare time and to provide better stability of the construct) can produce undesired complications leading to much more invasive procedures.
Multilevel cervical myelopathy without surgical treatment is generally poor in the neurological deficit without surgical decompression. The two main surgical strategies used for the treatment of multilevel cervical myelopathy are anterior decompression via anterior corpectomy or posterior decompression via laminctomy/laminoplasty.
Presentation of case
We present the case of a 62 year-old lady, harboring rheumatoid artritis (RA) with gait disturbances, pain, and weakness in both arms. A C5 and C6 somatectomy, C4–C7 discectomy and, instrumentation and fusion with telescopic distractor “piston like”, anterior plate and expandable screws were performed. Two days later the patient complained dysfagia, and a cervical X-ray showed hardware dislocation. So a C4 somatectomy, telescopic extension of the construct up to C3 with expandible screws was performed. After one week the patient complained again soft dysfagia. New cervical X-ray showed the pull out of the cranial screws (C3). So the third surgery “one stage combined” an anterior decompression with fusion along with posterior instrumentation, and fusion was performed.
There is a considerable controversy over which surgical approach will receive the best clinical outcome for the minimum cost in the compressive cervical myelopathy. However, the most important factors in patient selection for a particular procedure are the clinical symptoms and the radiographic alignment of the spine. the goals of surgery for cervical multilevel stenosis include the restoration of height, alignment, and stability.
We stress the importance of a careful patients selection, and invocated still the importance for 360° cervical fixation.
Cervical fusion; Cervical myelopathy; Anterior cervical decompression; Posterior cervical decompression
Posterior cervical foraminotomy is an attractive therapeutic option in selected cases of cervical radiculopathy that maintains cervical range of motion and minimize adjacent-segment degeneration. The focus of this procedure is to preserve as much of the facet as possible with decompression. Posterior cervical inclinatory foraminotomy (PCIF) is a new technique developed to offer excellent results by inclinatory decompression with minimal facet resection. The highlight of our PCIF technique is the use of inclinatory drilling out for preserving more of facet joint. The operative indications are radiculopathy from cervical foraminal stenosis (single or multilevel) with persistent or recurrent root symptoms. The PCIFs were performed between April 2007 and December 2009 on 26 male and 8 female patients with a total of 55 spinal levels. Complete and partial improvement in radiculopathic pain were seen in 26 patients (76%), and 8 patients (24%), respectively, with preserving more of facet joint. We believe that PCIF allows for preserving more of the facet joint and capsule when decompressing cervical foraminal stenosis due to spondylosis. We suggest that our PCIF technique can be an effective alternative surgical approach in the management of cervical spondylotic radiculopathy.
Cervical; Posterior; Inclinatory; Foraminotomy; Cervical Spondylosis; Radiculopathy
Spondylotic cervical cord compression detected by imaging methods is a prerequisite for the clinical diagnosis of spondylotic cervical myelopathy (SCM). Little is known about the spontaneous course and prognosis of clinically “silent” presymptomatic spondylotic cervical cord compression (P-SCCC). The aim of the present study was to update a previously published model predictive for the development of clinically symptomatic SCM, and to assess the early and late risks of this event in a larger cohort of P-SCCC subjects. A group of 199 patients (94 women, 105 men, median age 51 years) with magnetic resonance signs of spondylotic cervical cord compression, but without clear clinical signs of myelopathy, was followed prospectively for at least 2 years (range 2–12 years). Various demographic, clinical, imaging, and electrophysiological parameters were correlated with the time for the development of symptomatic SCM. Clinical evidence of the first signs and symptoms of SCM within the follow-up period was found in 45 patients (22.6%). The 25th percentile time to clinically manifested myelopathy was 48.4 months, and symptomatic SCM developed within 12 months in 16 patients (35.5%). The presence of symptomatic cervical radiculopathy and electrophysiological abnormalities of cervical cord dysfunction detected by somatosensory or motor-evoked potentials were associated with time-to-SCM development and early development (≤12 months) of SCM, while MRI hyperintensity predicted later (>12 months) progression to symptomatic SCM. The multivariate predictive model based on these variables correctly predicted early progression into SCM in 81.4% of the cases. In conclusion, electrophysiological abnormalities of cervical cord dysfunction together with clinical signs of cervical radiculopathy and MRI hyperintensity are useful predictors of early progression into symptomatic SCM in patients with P-SCCC. Electrophysiological evaluation of cervical cord dysfunction in patients with cervical radiculopathy or back pain is valuable. Meticulous follow-up is justified in high-risk P-SCCC cases.
Spondylotic cervical cord compression; Evoked potentials; Electromyography; Cervical spondylotic myelopathy
To evaluate the clinical characteristics and surgical outcomes of the patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy associated with athetoid cerebral palsy.
The authors reviewed the clinical and neurodiagnostic findings, surgical managements and outcomes in six consecutive patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy associated with athetoid cerebral palsy who had been treated with surgical decompression and fusion procedures between January 1999 and December 2005. The mean age of the 6 patients (four women and two men) at the time of surgery was 42.8 years (range, 31-55 years). The mean follow-up period was 56.5 months (range, 17-112 months). The neurological outcome was evaluated before and after operations (immediately, 6 months after and final follow-up) using grading systems of the walking ability, brachialgia and deltoid power.
At immediate postoperative period, after 6 months, and at final follow-up, all patients showed apparent clinical improvements in walking ability, upper extremity pain and deltoid muscle strength. Late neurological deterioration was not seen during follow-up periods. There were no serious complications related to surgery.
Surgical decompression and stabilization in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy associated with athetoid cerebral palsy have been challenging procedure up to now. Our results indicate that early diagnosis and appropriate surgical procedure can effectively improve the clinical symptoms and neurological function in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy and athetoid cerebral palsy, even in those with severe involuntary movements.
Cerebral Palsy; Spinal Cord Compression; Decompression; Instrumentation
Synovial cysts of the cervical spine, although they occur infrequently, may cause acute radiculopathy or myelopathy. Here, we report a case of a cervical synovial cyst presenting as acute myelopathy after manual stretching. A 68-year-old man presented with gait disturbance, decreased touch senses, and increased sensitivity to pain below T12 level. These symptoms developed after manual stretching 3 days prior. Computed tomography scanning and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a 1-cm, small multilocular cystic lesion in the spinal canal with cord compression at the C7-T1 level. We performed a left partial laminectomy of C7 and T1 using a posterior approach and completely removed the cystic mass. Histological examination of the resected mass revealed fibrous tissue fragments with amorphous materials and granulation tissue compatible with a synovial cyst. The patient's symptoms resolved after surgery. We describe a case of acute myelopathy caused by a cervical synovial cyst that was treated by surgical excision. Although cervical synovial cysts are often associated with degenerative facet joints, clinicians should be aware of the possibility that these cysts can cause acute neurologic symptoms.
Cervical spine; Synovial cyst; Myelopathy; Radiculopathy; Paralysis
Some patients with fibromyalgia also exhibit the neurological signs of cervical myelopathy. We sought to determine if treatment of cervical myelopathy in patients with fibromyalgia improves the symptoms of fibromyalgia and the patients’ quality of life. A non-randomized, prospective, case control study comparing the outcome of surgical (n = 40) versus non-surgical (n = 31) treatment of cervical myelopathy in patients with fibromyalgia was conducted. Outcomes were compared using SF-36, screening test for somatization, HADS, MMPI-2 scale 1 (Hypochondriasis), and self reported severity of symptoms 1 year after treatment. There was no significant difference in initial clinical presentation or demographic characteristics between the patients treated by surgical decompression and those treated by non-surgical means. There was a striking and statistically significant improvement in all symptoms attributed to the fibromyalgia syndrome in the surgical patients but not in the non-surgical patients at 1 year following the treatment of cervical myelopathy (P ≤ 0.018–0.001, Chi-square or Fisher’s exact test). At the 1 year follow-up, there was a statistically significant improvement in both physical and mental quality of life as measured by the SF-36 score for the surgical group as compared to the non-surgical group (Repeated Measures ANOVA P < 0.01). There was a statistically significant improvement in the scores from Scale 1 of the MMPI-2 and the screening test for somatization disorder, and the anxiety and depression scores exclusively in the surgical patients (Wilcoxon signed rank, P < 0.001). The surgical treatment of cervical myelopathy due to spinal cord or caudal brainstem compression in patients carrying the diagnosis of fibromyalgia can result in a significant improvement in a wide array of symptoms usually attributed to fibromyalgia with attendant measurable improvements in the quality of life. We recommend detailed neurological and neuroradiological evaluation of patients with fibromyalgia in order to exclude compressive cervical myelopathy, a potentially treatable condition.
Cervical myelopathy; Fibromyalgia; Surgery; Treatment outcome; Case control study
Pain from cervical spondylosis (CS) may result from degenerative spinal canal stenosis (cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM)) or lateral recesses compromise, leading to nerve root compression (cervical spondylotic radiculopathy (CSR)). Pregabalin was shown to be effective in randomized, placebo-controlled trials for post-herpetic neuralgia and diabetic neuropathy. We evaluate its efficacy in CS with underlying CSR or CSM in a prospective study comprising Asian patients for the first time.
Patients with CS and CSR or CSM (clinical, MRI, or electrophysiological evidence) presenting with neuropathic pain were recruited. We excluded patients with diabetes, underlying neurological disease or who were previously on antiepileptics. Pregabalin 75 mg bd was administered for 4 weeks, after which dosage was increased to 150 mg bd for another 4 weeks if the visual analog scale (VAS) was not reduced by 50%. In addition, we monitored the short form McGill pain questionnaire (SFMPQ) at baseline, 4 weeks and 8 weeks. Mood changes were monitored using the hospital anxiety and depression score (HADS) with an identical timeline.
We recruited 50 patients, of which 23 completed the trial. Of the 27 who withdrew, 12 (44%) were for somnolence. Thirteen patients’ (54%) dosages remained at 75 mg and 11 patients’ (46%) dosages were escalated to 150 mg bd. There were significantly reducing trends from baseline for VAS (ANOVA, F(1, 21) = 25.4, P < 0.0005), SFMPQ (sensory) (F(1, 22) = 11.2, P = 0.003), and SFMPQ (affective) (F(1, 21) = 10.9, P = 0.008). For VAS, there was significant reduction at 4 weeks (P = 0.001) and 8 weeks (P < 0.0005) compared to baseline. For SFMPQ (sensory), there was significant reduction at 4 weeks (P = 0.01) and 8 weeks (P = 0.006) in scores compared to baselines. For SFMPQ (affective), there was significant reduction at 4 weeks (P = 0.04) and 8 weeks (P = 0.008) in scores compared to baseline. No significant anxiety (F(1, 4) = 1.3, P = 0.32) or depression (F(1, 4) = 0.06, P = 0.82) changes were observed in the HADS.
Pregabalin is efficacious in alleviation of pain symptoms related to CSR as a first-line single agent, evaluated by quantitative severity and other experiential scales. No significant mood changes reported in other studies were demonstrated. Somnolence was commonest adverse effect leading to high dropout rates, occurring early even at the lowest dose. The findings suggest the need for further studies of efficacy at lower dosages, particularly in the Asian population.
Cervical spondylosis; Cervical radiculopathy; Cervical myelopathy; Pregabalin; Trial; Asian
Although the usage of combined motor and sensory intraoperative monitoring has been shown to improve the surgical outcome of patients with cervical myelopathy, the role of transcranial electric motor evoked potentials (tceMEP) used in conjunction with somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) in patients presenting with radiculopathy but without myelopathy has been less clear.
We retrospectively reviewed all patients (n = 57) with radiculopathy but without myelopathy, undergoing anterior cervical decompression and fusion at a single institution over the past 3 years, who had intraoperative monitoring with both tceMEPs and SSEPs.
Fifty-seven (100%) patients presented with radiculopathy, 53 (93.0%) with mechanical neck pain, 35 (61.4%) with motor dysfunction, and 29 (50.9%) with sensory deficits. Intraoperatively, 3 (5.3%) patients experienced decreases in SSEP signal amplitudes and 4 (6.9%) had tceMEP signal changes. There were three instances where a change in neuromonitoring signal required intraoperative alteration of the surgical procedure: these were deemed clinically significant events/true positives. SSEP monitoring showed two false positives and two false negatives, whereas tceMEP monitoring only had one false positive and no false negatives. Thus, tceMEP monitoring exhibited higher sensitivity (33.3% vs. 100%), specificity (95.6% vs. 98.1%), positive predictive value (33.3% vs. 75.0%), negative predictive value (97.7% vs. 100%), and efficiency (91.7% vs. 98.2%) compared to SSEP monitoring alone.
Here, we present a retrospective series of 57 patients where tceMEP/SSEP monitoring likely prevented irreversible neurologic damage. Though further prospective studies are needed, there may be a role for combined tceMEP/SSEP monitoring for patients undergoing anterior cervical decompression without myelopathy.
Anterior cervical discectomy fusion; motor evoked potentials; radiculopathy; somatosensory evoked potentials
The choice of surgical approach to the cervical spine may have an influence on patient outcome, particularly with respect to future neck pain and disability. Some surgeons suggest that patients with myelopathy or radiculopathy and significant axial pain should be treated with an anterior interbody fusion because a posterior decompression alone may exacerbate the patients’ neck pain. To date, the effect of a minimally invasive posterior cervical decompression approach (miPCD) on neck pain has not been compared with that of an anterior cervical diskectomy or corpectomy with interbody fusion (ACF).
A retrospective review was undertaken of 63 patients undergoing either an miPCD (n = 35) or ACF (n = 28) for treatment of myelopathy or radiculopathy who had achieved a minimum of 6 months’ follow-up. Clinical outcomes were assessed by a patient-derived neck visual analog scale (VAS) score and the neck disability index (NDI). Outcomes were analyzed by use of (1) a threshold in which outcomes were classified as success (NDI < 40, VAS score < 4.0) or failure (NDI > 40, VAS score > 4.0) and (2) perioperative change in which outcomes were classified as success (ΔNDI ≥ – 15, ΔVAS score ≥ – 2.0) or failure (ΔNDI < – 15, ΔVAS score < –2.0). Groups were compared by use of χ2 tests with significance taken at P < .05.
At last follow-up, the percentages of patients classified as successful using the perioperative change criteria were as follows: 42% for miPCD group versus 63% for ACF group based on neck VAS score (P = not significant [NS]) and 33% for miPCD group versus 50% for ACF group based on NDI (P < .05). At last follow-up, the percentages of patients classified as successful using the threshold criteria were as follows: 71% for miPCD group versus 82% for ACF group based on neck VAS score (P = NS) and 69% for miPCD group versus 68% for ACF group based on NDI (P = NS).
In this small retrospective analysis, miPCD was associated with similar neck pain and disability to ACF. Given the avoidance of cervical instrumentation and interbody fusion in the miPCD group, these results suggest that further comparative effectiveness study is warranted.
Cervical spine; Fusion; Minimally invasive; Neck pain; Outcome; Spine
Destructive spondyloarthropathy may occur in long-term hemodialysis patients, but focal amyloid deposits in the spine are rare. We present a case of upper cervical extradural amyloidoma with a history of long-term hemodialysis presenting with progressive and intractable radiculopathy.
We describe a 51-year-old female with a long-term history of hemodialysis treatment. She suffered progressive and intolerable right occipital headache. Neurological examination revealed right C2 radiculopathy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cervical spine showed a solid focal extradural mass lesion at the C2 level. She underwent subtotal resection of the extradural mass lesion and decompression of the right C2 nerve root by a posterior approach. Histological examination revealed amyloid deposits. The occipital headache immediately disappeared after surgery. Follow-up MRI 10 months after surgery demonstrated no recurrence of the extradural amyloidoma.
Development of an upper cervical extradural amyloidoma after long-term hemodialysis is extremely rare. Prompt evaluation of long-term hemodialysis patients suffering from progressive cervical pain should be recommended, and treatment is required if there are signs or symptoms of compression of a nerve root or the spinal cord.
Amyloidoma; Cervical; Extradural; Hemodialysis; Radiculopathy
Neck pain is a common symptom in most patients suffering from cervical radiculopathy. However, some conservative treatments are limited by their modest effectiveness. On the other hand, surgical intervention for cervical disc disorders is indicated when symptoms are refractory to conservative treatments and neurological symptoms are progressive. Many patients use complementary and alternative medicine, including traditional Chinese medicine, to address their symptoms. The purpose of the present study is to examine the efficacy and safety of Qishe Pill, a compound traditional Chinese herbal medicine, for neck pain in patients with cervical radiculopathy.
A multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the Qishe Pill is proposed. The study will include 240 patients from five sites across China and diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy, according to the following inclusion criteria: age 18 to 65 with pain or stiffness in the neck for at least 2 weeks (neck disability index score 25 or more) and accompanying arm pain that radiates distally from the elbow. Qualified participants will be randomly allocated into two groups: Qishe Pill group and placebo group. The prescription of the trial medications (Qishe Pill/placebo) are 3.75 g each twice a day for 28 consecutive days. The primary outcome is pain severity. Secondary outcomes are functional status, patient satisfaction, and adverse events as reported in the trial.
Qishe Pill is composed of processed Radix Astragali, Muscone, Szechuan Lovage Rhizome, Radix Stephaniae Tetrandrae, Ovientvine, and Calculus Bovis Artifactus. According to modern research and preparation standards, Qishe Pill is developed to improve on the various symptoms of cervical radiculopathy, especially for neck pain. As it has a potential benefit in treating patients with neck pain, we designed a double-blind, prospective, randomized-controlled trial and would like to publish the results and conclusions later. If Qishe Pill can alleviate neck pain without adverse effects, it may be a unique strategy for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy.
This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01274936
Cervical radiculopathy; Neck pain; Qishe pill; Traditional Chinese medicine
Cervical radiculopathy caused by spondylotic foraminal stenosis may require surgical treatment. Surgical options include anterior cervical foraminotomy and fusion or posterior cervical foraminotomy. Controversy remains regarding the preferable surgical approach. Pertinent clinical evidence is limited to low-quality observational reports. Therefore, treatment decisions are predominantly based on the individual surgeon’s preference and skill. The study objective is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of posterior foraminotomy in comparison to anterior foraminotomy with fusion for the treatment of spondylotic foraminal stenosis.
This is a multicenter randomized, controlled, parallel group superiority trial. A total of 88 adult patients are allocated in a ratio of 1:1. Sample size and power calculations were performed to detect the minimal clinically important difference of 14 points, with an expected standard deviation of 20 in the primary outcome parameter, Neck Disability Index, with a power of 80%, based on an assumed maximal dropout rate of 20%. Secondary outcome parameters include the Core Outcome Measures Index, which investigates pain, back-specific function, work disability, social disability and patient satisfaction. Changes in physical and mental health are evaluated using the Short Form-12 (SF-12) questionnaire. Moreover, radiological and health economic outcomes are evaluated. Follow-up is performed 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48 and 60 months after surgery. Major inclusion criteria are cervical spondylotic foraminal stenosis causing radiculopathy of C5, C6 or C7 and requiring decompression of one or two neuroforaminae. Study data generation (study sites) and data storage, processing and statistical analysis (Department of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Health Economics) are clearly separated. Data will be analyzed according to the intention-to-treat principle.
The results of the ForaC study will provide surgical treatment recommendations for spondylotic foraminal stenosis and will contribute to the understanding of its short- and long-term clinical and radiological postoperative course. This will hopefully translate into improvements in surgical treatment and thus, clinical practice for spondylotic foraminal stenosis.
Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN82578069.
anterior cervical discectomy; anterior foraminotomy; cervical fusion; cervical spine; posterior foraminotomy; spinal surgery; spondylotic foraminal stenosis; randomized controlled trial
Retrospective study on the results of microendoscopic decompression surgery for the treatment of cervical myelopathy. The purpose of this study was to describe the microendoscopic laminoplasty (MEL) technique as the surgical method in the treatment of cervical myelopathy, and to document the clinical outcomes for MEL surgery. Endoscopic surgery poses several challenges for the aspiring endoscopic surgeons, the most critical of which is mastering hand–eye coordination. With training in live animal and cadaver surgery, the technical progress has reduced the problem of morbidity following surgery. The authors have performed microendoscopic decompression surgery on more than 2,000 patients for lumbar spinal canal stenosis. Fifty-one patients underwent the posterior decompression surgery using microendoscopy for cervical myelopathy at authors’ institute. The average age was 62.9 years. The criteria for exclusion were cervical myelopathy with tumor, trauma, severe ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament, rheumatoid arthritis, pyogenic spondylitises, destructive spondylo-arthropathies, and other combined spinal lesions. The items evaluated were neurological evaluation, recovery rates; these were calculated following examination using the Hirabayashi’s method with the criteria proposed by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association scoring system (JOA score). The mean follow-up period was 20.3 months. The average of JOA score was 10.1 points at the initial examination and 13.6 points at the final follow-up. The average recovery rate was 52.5%. The recovery rate according to surgical levels was, respectively, 56.5% in one level, 46.3% in two levels and 54.1% in more than three levels. The complications were as follows: one patient sustained a pin-hole-like dura mater injury inflicted by a high-speed air-drill during surgery, one patient developed an epidural hematoma 3 days after surgery, and two patients had the C5 nerve root palsy after surgery. The epidural hematoma was removed by the microendoscopy. All two C5 palsy improved with conservative therapy, such as a neck collar. These four patients on complications have returned to work at the final follow-up. This observation suggests that the clinical outcomes of microendoscopic surgery for cervical myelopathy were excellent or showed good results. This minimally invasive technique would be helpful in choosing a surgical method for cervical myelopathy.
Cervical spine; Clinical outcome; Endoscopic surgery; Laminoplasty; Myelopathy
In cervical spondylotic myelopathy, extended anterior spinal cord decompression necessitates subsequent stable vertebral reconstruction. Reconstruction with an iliac crest graft and screw-plate fixation gives satisfactory clinical and radiological results, but they are often compromised by morbidity involving the bone harvest. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the contribution to cervical reconstruction of a biocompatible, radiolucent cage combined with screw-plate fixation, making use of bone harvested in situ. This prospective study was performed between July 2000 and March 2001 in eight women and nine men (mean age, 55 years) operated for cervical spondylotic myelopathy. Situated between levels C3 and C6, the cage was inserted after one corporectomy in ten patients, two corporectomies in five patients, and three corporectomies in two patients. The cage consisted of a polyester mesh impregnated with poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) conferring temporary rigidity to the cage during bony fusion. Clinical and radiological follow-up (plain films, computed tomographic reconstruction in three cases) was performed at 2 months, 6 months, 12 months, 24 months and 36 months, postoperatively, with a mean followup of 30 months. Functional results were evaluated according to the Japanese Orthopaedic Association’s scoring system. An independent surgeon assessed the radiological evidence of anterior cervical fusion using the grades proposed by Bridwell . Every patient experienced neurological recovery. At last follow-up, radiological findings were consistent with grade I (complete fusion) in five cases, grade II (probable fusion) in ten cases, grade III (radiolucent halo in favor of non fusion) in one case, and grade IV (graft lysis) in one case with persistent neck pain. In three cases there was screw breakage (two grade II, one grade IV). None of these cases required surgical revision at latest follow-up. In extensive spinal cord decompression through an anterior approach, cervical reconstruction using the present type of cage can achieve clinical results comparable to conventional techniques. The rigidity of the cage meets biomechanical imperatives. Its radiolucency permits one to monitor the course of consolidation, contrary to metal cages. The cases of probable non-fusion and screw breakage were not accompanied by signs of instability on the flexion extension films. This cage meets the biologic and biomechanical imperatives of cervical reconstruction. It obviates complications involving bone harvest.
Cervical myelopathy; Cervical reconstruction; Mesh cage; Corporectomy; Fusion
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy can result from degenerative cervical spondylosis, herniated disk material, osteophytes, redundant ligamentum flavum, or ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. Surgical intervention for multi-level myelopathy aims to decompress the spinal cord and maintain stability of the cervical spine. Laminoplasty was major surgical advancement as laminectomy resulted in kyphosis and unsatisfactory outcomes. Hirabayashi popularised the expansive open door laminoplasty which was later modified several surgeons. Laminoplasty has changed the way surgeons approach multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy.