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1.  Spinal Epidural Varices, a great Mimic of Intervertebral Disc Prolapse - A Case Series 
Introduction:
Epidural venous plexus enlargement, presenting with low back pain and radiculopathy, is an uncommon cause of nerve roots impingement. This condition commonly mimics a herniated nucleus pulposus radiologically. The radiological diagnosis is often missed and the diagnosis is made during the surgery. We are hereby presenting 2 such cases of epidural varices mimicking intervertebral disc prolapse with lumbar radiculopathy.
Case Report:
Case 1: 43 yr old female presented with acute exacerbation of low back ache and significant right L5–S1 radiculopathy without neurological deficit. MRI reported as L5-S1 disc prolapse. Intra-operatively engorged dilated epidural vein seen compressing S1 nerve root. Associated Disc bulge removed and Coagulative ablation of the dilated epidural vein was performed Case 2: 45 year old male manual labourer presented with backache with left sided sciatica since 8 months, increased in severity since past 1month associated with sensory blunting in L5 and S1 dermatomes. Neurologic examination revealed normal muscle power in his lower extremities. Sensations was blunted in L5 and S1 dermatomes. MRI was reported as L5-S1 disc prolapsed compressing left S1 nerve root. Decompression of the L5–S1 intervertebral space was performed through a left –sidelaminotomy. Large, engorged serpentine epidural veins was found in the axilla of S1 nerve root, compressing it. Coagulative ablation of the dilated epidural vein was performed. Retrospectively, features of epidural varices were noted in the preoperative magnetic resonance imaging scans. Both patients had significant improvement in radiculopathy immediate postoperatively, and sensory symptoms resolved over the next 6 weeks in second case. At recent follow up, both patients had significant relief of symptoms and no recurrent radicular symptoms.
Conclusion:
An abnormal dilated epidural venous plexus that mimics a herniated lumbar disc is a rare entity. This pathology should be always kept in mind during lumbar disc surgery. Preoperative misdiagnosis is common. When faced with this Situation, microsurgical coagulation and decompression of the nerve root are adequate.
doi:10.13107/jocr.2250-0685.212
PMCID: PMC4719266  PMID: 27298989
Epidural varices; Disc prolapse; Radiculopathy; Decompression
2.  An intradural cervical chordoma mimicking schwannoma 
Abstract:
Chordoma is a relatively rare tumor originating from the embryonic remnants of the notochord. This is an aggressive, slow growing and invasive tumor. It occurs mostly at the two ends of neuroaxis which is more frequent in the sacrococcygeal region. Chordoma in vertebral column is very rare. This tumor is extradural in origin and compresses neural tissues and makes the patient symptomatic. This tumor found extremely rare in the spinal region as an intradural tumor.
The present study reports a rare case of intradural chordoma tumor as well as its clinical manifestations and treatment options.
Case:
The patient was a 50-year-old female presented with 9 months history of progressively worsening neck pain, cervical spine chordoma resembling neurinoma and right arm numbness. Physical examination showed no weakness in her limbs, but she had upward plantar reflex and mild hyperreflexia. In a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the cervical spine there was an ill-defined enhancing mass in the posterior aspect of C2-C3 body caused cord compression more severe in right side as well as foraminal scalloping. The patient underwent surgery and after midline posterior cervical incision and paravertebral muscle stripping a laminectomy was performed from C1 through C4 using a high speed drill. Needle biopsy revealed chordoma on frozen section and all of accessible parts of tumor were excised. The gross and microscopic histopathological appearance was consistent with chordoma.
Chordomas are malignant tumors that arise from remains of embryonic notochord. These ectopic rests of notochord termed “ecchordosis physaliphora “can be found in approximately 2% of autopsies. These are aggressive, slow growing, locally invasive and destructive tumors those occur in the midline of neuroaxis. They generally thought to account for 2% to 4% of all primary bone neoplasms and 1% to 4% malignant bone neoplasms. They are the most frequent primary malignant spinal tumors after plasmacytomas. The incidence has been estimated to be 0.51 cases per million. The most common location is sacrococcygeal region followed by the clivus. These two locations account for approximately 90% of chordomas. Of the tumors that do not arise in the sacrum or clivus, half occur in the cervical region, with the remainder found in the lumbar or thoracic region, in descending order of frequency. Cervical spine chordomas account for 6% of all cases. Distal metastasis most often occurs in young patients, those with sacrococcygeal or vertebral tumors, and those with atypical histological features. These tumors usually spread to contiguous anatomical structures, but they may be found in distant sites (skin, musculoskeletal system, brain, and other internal organs). Seeding of the tumor has also been reported, and the likely mechanism seems to be tumor cell of contamination during the surgical procedures. The usual radiological findings in chordomas of spine are destructive or lytic lesions with occasional sclerotic changes. They tend to lie anterolateral, rather than dorsal towards the cord, and reportedly known to invade the dura. The midline location, destructive nature, soft tissue mass formation and calcification are the radiological hallmarks of chordomas. Computed Tomography (CT) scan is the best imaging modality to delineate areas of osteolytic, osteosclerotic, or mixed areas of bone destruction.Chordoma is usually known as a hypovascular tumor which grows in a lobulated manner. Septal enhancement which reflects a lobulated growth pattern is seen in both CT and MRI and even in gross examination. Other epidural tumors include neurinoma, neurofibroma, meningioma, neuroblastoma, hemangioma, lymphoma and metastases. Their differentiation from chordoma may be difficult due to the same enhancement pattern on CT and MRI.
A dumbbell-shaped chordoma is a rare pathogenic condition. The dumbbell shape is a characteristic finding of neurinomas in spine but in spinal neurinomas extention to transverse foramina has not yet been reported. Although our case mimicked a dumbbell shaped neurogenic tumor, its midline location and destructive pattern were characteristic feature indicating a clue to the diagnosis of chordoma that was already confirmed with histopathology.
This unusual behavior of tumor extension can be explained by the soft and gelatinous nature of the tumor enabling the mass to extend or creep into the existing adjacent anatomical structures.
Keywords:
Cervical Chordoma, Intradural, Computed tomography
PMCID: PMC3571609
3.  Lumbar Epidural Varix Mimicking Perineural Cyst 
Asian Spine Journal  2013;7(2):136-138.
Lumbar epidural varices are rare and usually mimick lumbar disc herniations. Back pain and radiculopathy are the main symptoms of lumbar epidural varices. Perineural cysts are radiologically different lesions and should not be confused with epidural varix. A 36-year-old male patient presented to us with right leg pain. The magnetic resonance imaging revealed a cystic lesion at S1 level that was compressing the right root, and was interpreted as a perineural cyst. The patient underwent surgery via right L5 and S1 hemilaminectomy, and the lesion was coagulated and removed. The histopathological diagnosis was epidural varix. The patient was clinically improved and the follow-up magnetic resonance imaging showed the absence of the lesion. Lumbar epidural varix should be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of the cystic lesions which compress the spinal roots.
doi:10.4184/asj.2013.7.2.136
PMCID: PMC3669700  PMID: 23741553
Epidural; Varix; Perineural cyst; Surgery
4.  Endovascular coil embolization of a spinal epidural arteriovenous fistula with associated cord compression from an enlarging venous varix 
Interventional Neuroradiology  2015;21(6):738-741.
Spinal arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) completely isolated to the epidural compartment are exceedingly rare. As such, the optimal management of these lesions is poorly defined. The aim of this technical note is to describe our endovascular technique for the occlusion of a purely epidural AVF of the thoracic spine associated with cord compression from an associated enlarging venous varix. A 40-year-old male presented with severe right-sided back pain and anterior thigh numbness after a sports-related back injury six months previously. Spinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed an enhancing, extradural mass lesion at T12. Spinal angiography revealed an epidural AVF supplied by a radicular branch of the right T12 subcostal artery and draining into the paravertebral lumbar veins, as well as an adjacent 20 × 13 mm2 contrast-filling sac, compatible with a dilated venous varix. There was no evidence of intradural venous drainage. We elected to proceed with endovascular treatment of the lesion. At the time of embolization five days later, the venous varix had enlarged to 26 × 16 mm2. The T12 epidural AVF was completely occluded with two coils, without residual or recurrent AVF on follow-up angiography one month later. The patient made a full recovery, and complete resolution of the venous varix and cord compression were noted on MRI at three months follow-up. Endovascular coil embolization can be successfully employed for the treatment of appropriately selected spinal epidural AVFs. Cord compression from an enlarging venous varix can be treated concurrently with endovascular occlusion of an associated spinal epidural AVF.
doi:10.1177/1591019915609132
PMCID: PMC4757364  PMID: 26464290
Arteriovenous fistula; endovascular procedure; epidural; neurologic deficit; spinal cord; thoracic; vascular malformation; venous varix
5.  Multilevel vertebral hemangiomas: two episodes of spinal cord compression at separate levels 10 years apart 
European Spine Journal  2005;14(7):706-710.
This case report presents a 66-year-old woman with multiple vertebral hemangiomas causing spinal cord compression at different levels with a long symptom-free interval between episodes of compression. She presented with back pain and progressive weakness and numbness in her lower limbs for 3 months. Ten years earlier, she had had a symptomatic T4 vertebral hemangioma operated successfully, and had made a full recovery. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the thoracic and lumbar spine revealed multiple thoracic and lumbar vertebral hemangiomas. Extraosseous extension of a hemangioma at T9 was causing spinal cord compression. Selective embolization was performed preoperatively, and cord decompression was achieved via anterior T9 corpectomy. The patient’s neurological status improved rapidly after surgery. After a course of radiotherapy, she was neurologically intact and could walk independently. One year later, MRI showed complete resolution of the cord edema at T9, and showed regression of the high signal intensity that had been observed at unoperated levels. These findings indicated diminished vascularity and reduced aggression of the tumor.
doi:10.1007/s00586-005-0885-7
PMCID: PMC3489226  PMID: 15856339
Vertebral hemangioma; Cord compression; Embolization; Corpectomy
6.  Surgical treatment of a broken neuroplasty catheter in the epidural space: a case report 
Background
Percutaneous epidural neuroplasty with a Racz catheter is widely used to treat radicular pain caused by spinal stenosis or a herniated intervertebral disc. The breakage or shearing of an epidural catheter, particularly a percutaneous epidural neuroplasty catheter, is reported as a rare complication. There has been a controversy over whether surgical removal of a shorn epidural catheter is needed. Until now, only three cases related to sheared Racz neuroplasty catheters have been reported. We report a case of a neuroplasty catheter which completely broke when it was inserted into the epidural space, and compressed root symptoms were exacerbated by the broken catheter.
Case presentation
A 68-year-old Asian man with leg pain and lower back pain caused by lumbar vertebral body 4 to lumbar vertebral body 5 intervertebral disc herniation and stenosis underwent percutaneous epidural neuroplasty. During the procedure, the epidural neuroplasty catheter was trapped in the left foraminal portion and broke. Our patient complained of left-side leg pain and numbness. Surgery performed to remove the broken catheter led to complete resolution of his leg pain and numbness.
Conclusions
We report a rare case of catheter breakage occurring during epidural neuroplasty. We suggest surgical removal because the implanted catheter can aggravate a patient’s symptoms and lead to the development of neurologic deficits due to infection, fibrosis, or mechanical neural irritation.
doi:10.1186/s13256-016-1064-7
PMCID: PMC5052922  PMID: 27716451
Lumbar spine; Lower back pain; Intervertebral disc herniation; Epidural catheter; Neuroplasty; Catheter breakage; Complications; Surgery
7.  Lumbar Epidural Varix Mimicking Disc Herniation 
Lumbar radiculopathy is generally caused by such well-recognized entity as lumbar disc herniation in neurosurgical practice; however rare pathologies such as thrombosed epidural varix may mimic them by causing radicular symptoms. In this case report, we present a 26-year-old man with the complaint of back and right leg pain who was operated for right L4–5 disc herniation. The lesion interpreted as an extruded disc herniation preoperatively was found to be a thrombosed epidural varix compressing the nerve root preoperatively. The nerve root was decompressed by shrinking the lesion with bipolar thermocoagulation and excision. The patient's complaints disappeared in the postoperative period. Thrombosed lumbar epidural varices may mimic lumbar disc herniations both radiologically and clinically. Therefore, must be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of lumbar disc herniations. Microsurgical techniques are mandatory for the treatment of these pathologies and decompression with thermocoagulation and excision is an efficient method.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2016.59.4.410
PMCID: PMC4954892  PMID: 27446525
Epidural; Lumbar; Radiculopathy; Varix; Venous plexus
8.  Intralesional hemorrhage and thrombosis without rupture in a pure spinal epidural cavernous angioma: a rare cause of acute lumbal radiculopathy 
European Spine Journal  2010;19(Suppl 2):193-196.
Pure spinal epidural cavernous angiomas are extremely rare lesions, and their normal shape is that of a fusiform mass in the dorsal aspects of the spinal canal. We report a case of a lumbo-sacral epidural cavernous vascular malformation presenting with acute onset of right-sided S1 radiculopathy. Clinical aspects, imaging, intraoperative findings, and histology are demonstrated. The patient, a 27-year-old man presented with acute onset of pain, paraesthesia, and numbness within the right leg corresponding to the S1 segment. An acute lumbosacral disc herniation was suspected, but MRI revealed a cystic lesion with the shape of a balloon, a fluid level and a thickened contrast-enhancing wall. Intraoperatively, a purple-blue tumor with fibrous adhesions was located between the right S1 and S2 nerve roots. Macroscopically, no signs of epidural bleedings could be denoted. After coagulation of a reticular venous feeder network and dissection of the adhesions the rubber ball-like lesion was resected in total. Histology revealed a prominent venous vessel with a pathologically thickened, amuscular wall surrounded by smaller, hyalinized, venous vessels arranged in a back-to-back position typical for the diagnosis of a cavernous angioma. Lumina were partially occluded by thrombi. The surrounding fibrotic tissue showed signs of recurrent bleedings. There was no obvious mass hemorrhage into the surrounding tissue. In this unique case, the pathologic mechanism was not the usual rupture of the cavernous angioma with subsequent intraspinal hemorrhage, but acute mass effect by intralesional bleedings and thrombosis with subsequent increase of volume leading to nerve root compression. Thus, even without a sudden intraspinal hemorrhage a spinal cavernous malformation can cause acute symptoms identical to the clinical features of a soft disc herniation.
doi:10.1007/s00586-010-1345-6
PMCID: PMC2899646  PMID: 20213297
Cavernous malformation; Venous angioma; Spinal epidural mass; Acute radiculopathy
9.  The Evolution and Advancement of Endoscopic Foraminal Surgery: One Surgeon's Experience Incorporating Adjunctive Techologies 
SAS Journal  2007;1(3):108-117.
Background
Endoscopic spine surgery has evolved gradually through improvements in endoscope design, instrumentation, and surgical techniques. The ability to visualize and treat painful pathology endoscopically through the foramen has opened the door for the diagnosis and treatment of degenerative conditions of the lumbar spine (from T10 to S1). Other endoscopic techniques for treating a painful disc have been focused on a posterior approach and has been compared with micro–lumbar discectomy. These procedures have not been more effective than open microdiscectomy but are less invasive, have less surgical morbidity, and allow for more rapid surgical recovery. Spinal decompression and fusion was the fallback procedure when nonsurgical treatment or discectomy failed to relieve sciatica and back pain. Foraminal endoscopic surgery, however, provides a truly minimally invasive alternative approach to the pathoanatomy of the lumbar spine because it preserves the multifidus muscle, maintains motion, and eliminates or, at worst, delays the need for fusion.
Methods
The following developments helped facilitate the evolution of a transforaminal endoscopic surgery procedure for disc herniations from a foraminal disc decompression, also known as percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy, to a more complete foraminal surgical technique that can address spinal stenosis and spinal instability. This expanded capability gives foraminal endoscopic surgery distinct advantages and flexibility for certain painful degenerative conditions compared with open surgery. Advancement of the technique occurred when needle trajectory and placement was refined to better target each type of herniation with precise needle and cannula positioning directed at the herniation. New instrumentation and inclusion of a biportal technique also facilitated removal of extruded, migrated, and sequestered disc herniations. The further development of foraminoscopes with larger working channels and high speed burrs to remove bone more efficiently, along with recognition of foraminal pathoanatomy in the foramen, led to the identification and treatment of other painful degenerative conditions of the lumbar spine such as failed back surgery syndrome, recurrent disc herniations, lateral foraminal stenosis, degenerative spondylolisthesis, and isthmic spondylolisthesis.
A summary of the endoscopic techniques currently used and trademarked by the author as the YESS technique include: (1) a published protocol for optimal needle and instrument placement calculated by lines drawn on the skin from the C-arm image; (2) evocative chromodiscography by the operating surgeon with nonionic radiologic contrast and indigo carmine dye to confirm concordant pain production and to stain tissue in contact with the injectate; (3) selective endoscopic discectomy, which targets the removal of loose degenerative nucleus stained differentially by indigo carmine dye; (4) thermal annuloplasty, a visualized radiofrequency thermal modulation of disc and annular defects guided by vital tissue staining; (5) endoscopic foraminoplasty, a decompression of the lateral and subarticular recess, including disc and foraminal degenerative and isthmic spondylolisthesis; (6) visually and radiologically guided exploration of the epidural space; (7) probing the hidden zone of MacNab for normal nerves (and branches of spinal nerves known as furcal nerves) versus anomalous autonomic nerves in the foramen; and (8) a uniportal and biportal technique for inside-out removal of extruded and sequestered nucleus pulposus.
Results
Endoscopic foraminal surgical procedures are not limited to disc decompression. The approaches and techniques allow access to the lumbar spine for treatment of conditions ranging from discogenic pain to failed back surgery syndrome (most commonly caused by residual or recurrent disc herniation and lateral recess stenosis). More than 3000 patients have undergone endoscopic posterolateral surgical exploration and decompression by the author since 1991. The first 80 patients reported formed the basis for expansion of techniques as new instruments and adjunctive therapy methods were added to selective endoscopic discectomy and thermal annuloplasty. New anatomic and pathoanatomic conditions were reported as they were encountered.
Conclusions
New skills will become desirable and necessary for the spine surgeon to keep up with endoscopic technology in spine care. The emphasis is on visualization of painful pathoanatomy and preservation of mobility. A new focus is on nucleus replacement, annular repair, annular reinforcement, biologics, and even transforaminal interbody fusion as the procedure of last resort. The transforaminal surgical approach to the lumbar spine can allow for minimally invasive access without negatively affecting and destabilizing the multifidus muscle.
doi:10.1016/SASJ-2006-0014-RR
PMCID: PMC4365579  PMID: 25802587
Chymopapain; arthroscopic microdiscectomy; laser disc decompression; evocative chromodiscography; selective endoscopic discectomy; endoscopic thermal annuloplasty; endoscopic foraminoplasty
10.  Dorsal spinal epidural cavernous hemangioma 
A 61-year-old female patient presented with diffuse pain in the dorsal region of the back of 3 months duration. The magnetic resonance imaging showed an extramedullary, extradural space occupative lesion on the right side of the spinal canal from D5 to D7 vertebral levels. The mass was well marginated and there was no bone involvement. Compression of the adjacent thecal sac was observed, with displacement to the left side. Radiological differential diagnosis included nerve sheath tumor and meningioma. The patient underwent D6 hemilaminectomy under general anesthesia. Intraoperatively, the tumor was purely extradural in location with mild extension into the right foramina. No attachment to the nerves or dura was found. Total excision of the extradural compressing mass was possible as there were preserved planes all around. Histopathology revealed cavernous hemangioma. As illustrated in our case, purely epidural hemangiomas, although uncommon, ought to be considered in the differential diagnosis of spinal epidural soft tissue masses. Findings that may help to differentiate this lesion from the ubiquitous disk prolapse, more common meningiomas and nerve sheath tumors are its ovoid shape, uniform T2 hyperintense signal and lack of anatomic connection with the neighboring intervertebral disk or the exiting nerve root. Entirely extradural lesions with no bone involvement are rare and represent about 12% of all intraspinal hemangiomas.
doi:10.4103/0974-8237.77677
PMCID: PMC3075829  PMID: 21572634
Epidural; hemangioma; spinal
11.  Herniated lumbar disc 
BMJ Clinical Evidence  2009;2009:1118.
Introduction
Herniated lumbar disc is a displacement of disc material (nucleus pulposus or annulus fibrosis) beyond the intervertebral disc space. The highest prevalence is among people aged 30-50 years, with a male to female ratio of 2:1. There is little evidence to suggest that drug treatments are effective in treating herniated disc.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of drug treatments, non-drug treatments, and surgery for herniated lumbar disc? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to July 2008 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 49 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acupuncture, advice to stay active, analgesics, antidepressants, bed rest, corticosteroids (epidural injections), cytokine inhibitors (infliximab), discectomy (automated percutaneous, laser, microdisectomy, standard), exercise therapy, heat, ice, massage, muscle relaxants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), percutaneous disc decompression, spinal manipulation, and traction.
Key Points
Herniated lumbar disc is a displacement of disc material (nucleus pulposus or annulus fibrosis) beyond the intervertebral disc space. The highest prevalence is among people aged 30-50 years, with a male to female ratio of 2:1.
There is little evidence to suggest that drug treatments are effective in treating herniated disc. NSAIDs and cytokine inhibitors don’t seem to improve symptoms of sciatica caused by disc herniation.We found no evidence examining the effectiveness of analgesics, antidepressants, or muscle relaxants in people with herniated disc.We found no evidence of sufficient quality to judge the effectiveness of epidural injections of corticosteroids.
With regard to non-drug treatments, spinal manipulation seems to be more effective at relieving local or radiating pain in people with acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion compared with sham manipulation, although concerns exist regarding possible further herniation from spinal manipulation in people who are surgical candidates. Neither bed rest nor traction seem effective in treating people with sciatica caused by disc herniation.We found insufficient evidence about advice to stay active, acupuncture, massage, exercise, heat, or ice to judge their efficacy in treating people with herniated disc.
About 10% of people have sufficient pain after 6 weeks for surgery to become a consideration. Both standard discectomy and microdiscectomy seem to increase self-reported improvement to a similar extent.We found insufficient evidence judging the effectiveness of automated percutaneous discectomy, laser discectomy, or percutaneous disc decompression.
PMCID: PMC2907819  PMID: 19445754
12.  Herniated lumbar disc 
BMJ Clinical Evidence  2011;2011:1118.
Introduction
Herniated lumbar disc is a displacement of disc material (nucleus pulposus or annulus fibrosis) beyond the intervertebral disc space. The highest prevalence is among people aged 30 to 50 years, with a male to female ratio of 2:1. There is little evidence to suggest that drug treatments are effective in treating herniated disc.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of drug treatments, non-drug treatments, and surgery for herniated lumbar disc? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to June 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 37 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acupuncture, advice to stay active, analgesics, antidepressants, bed rest, corticosteroids (epidural injections), cytokine inhibitors (infliximab), discectomy (automated percutaneous, laser, microdiscectomy, standard), exercise therapy, heat, ice, massage, muscle relaxants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), percutaneous disc decompression, spinal manipulation, and traction.
Key Points
Herniated lumbar disc is a displacement of disc material (nucleus pulposus or annulus fibrosis) beyond the intervertebral disc space. The highest prevalence is among people aged 30 to 50 years, with a male to female ratio of 2:1.
There is little high-quality evidence to suggest that drug treatments are effective in treating herniated disc. NSAIDs and cytokine inhibitors do not seem to improve symptoms of sciatica caused by disc herniation.We found no RCT evidence examining the effects of analgesics, antidepressants, or muscle relaxants in people with herniated disc. We found several RCTs that assessed a range of different measures of symptom improvement and found inconsistent results, so we are unable to draw conclusions on effects of epidural injections of corticosteroids.
With regard to non-drug treatments, spinal manipulation seems more effective at relieving local or radiating pain in people with acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion compared with sham manipulation, although concerns exist regarding possible further herniation from spinal manipulation in people who are surgical candidates. Neither bed rest nor traction seem effective in treating people with sciatica caused by disc herniation.We found insufficient RCT evidence about advice to stay active, acupuncture, massage, exercise, heat, or ice to judge their efficacy in treating people with herniated disc.
About 10% of people have sufficient pain after 6 weeks for surgery to become a consideration. Standard discectomy and microdiscectomy seem to increase self-reported improvement to a similar extent.We found insufficient evidence judging the effects of automated percutaneous discectomy, laser discectomy, or percutaneous disc decompression.
PMCID: PMC3275148  PMID: 21711958
13.  Lumbar vertebral hemangioma mimicking lateral spinal canal stenosis: Case report and review of literature 
Context
Hemangiomas are the commonest benign tumors of the spine. Most occur in the thoracolumbar spine and the majority are asymptomatic. Rarely, hemangiomas cause symptoms through epidural expansion of the involved vertebra, resulting in spinal canal stenosis, spontaneous epidural hemorrhage, and pathological burst fracture.
Findings
We report a rare case of a 73-year-old woman, who had been treated for two months for degenerative neurogenic claudication. On admission, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomographic scans revealed a hemangioma of the third lumbar vertebra protruding to the epidural space producing lateral spinal stenosis and ipsilateral nerve root compression. The patient underwent successful right hemilaminectomy for decompression of the nerve root, balloon kyphoplasty with poly-methyl methacrylate (PMMA) and pedicle screw segmental stabilization. Postoperative course was uneventful.
Conclusion
In the elderly, this rare presentation of spinal stenosis due to hemangiomas may be encountered. Decompression and vertebral augmentation by means balloon kyphoplasty with PMMA plus segmental pedicle screw fixation is recommended.
doi:10.1179/2045772313Y.0000000135
PMCID: PMC4066434  PMID: 24090267
Vertebra hemangioma; Spinal canal stenosis; Root compression; Balloon Kyphoplasty
14.  Idiopathic Hypertrophic Spinal Pachymeningitis : Report of Two Cases and Review of the Literature 
Idiopathic hypertrophic spinal pachymeningitis (IHSP) is a rare inflammatory disease characterized by hypertrophic inflammation of the dura mater and various clinical courses that are from myelopathy. Although many associated diseases have been suggested, the etiology of IHSP is not well understood. The ideal treatment is controversial. In the first case, a 55-year-old woman presented back pain, progressive paraparesis, both leg numbness, and voiding difficulty. Initial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated an anterior epidural mass lesion involving from C6 to mid-thoracic spine area with low signal intensity on T1 and T2 weighted images. We performed decompressive laminectomy and lesional biopsy. After operation, she was subsequently treated with steroid and could walk unaided. In the second case, a 45-year-old woman presented with fever and quadriplegia after a spine fusion operation due to lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative herniated lumbar disc. Initial MRI showed anterior and posterior epidural mass lesion from foramen magnum to C4 level. She underwent decompressive laminectomy and durotomy followed by steroid therapy. However, her conditions deteriorated gradually and medical complications occurred. In our cases, etiology was not found despite through investigations. Initial MRI showed dural thickening with mixed signal intensity on T1- and T2-weighted images. Pathologic examination revealed chronic nonspecific inflammation in both patients. Although one patient developed several complications, the other showed slow improvement of neurological symptoms with decompressive surgery and steroid therapy. In case of chronic compressive myelopathy due to the dural hypertrophic change, decompressive surgery such as laminectomy or laminoplasty may be helpful as well as postoperative steroid therapy.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2011.50.4.392
PMCID: PMC3243847  PMID: 22200026
Idiopathic hypertrophic spinal pachymeningitis; Spinal cord compression; Chronic nonspecific inflammation; Dural thickening
15.  A Pure Epidural Spinal Cavernous Hemangioma — With an Innocuous Face But A Perilous Behaviour!! 
Cavernous hemangiomas occur frequently in the intracranial structures but they are rare in the spine, with an incidence of 0.22 cases/million/year, which account for 5 – 12% of the spinal vascular lesions, 51% of which are extradural. Most of the epidural hemangiomas are secondary extensions from the vertebral lesions. The spinal cavernous hemangiomas which do not involve the vertebrae are referred to as “pure” types. The pure epidural hemangiomas are rare, which account for only 4% of all the epidural lesions.
A case of a Pure spinal epidural cavernous hemangioma in a 50 year old male, with the clinical picture of a slowly progressive compressive myelopathy, has been presented here.
The imaging studies showed a well-defined, enhancing epidural lesion at the T7 – T8 level, with dorsal cordedema and myelomalacic changes. A radiological diagnosis of a meningioma was considered. Histopathologically, the lesion was diagnosed as a hemangioma. The patient improved dramatically after the excision of the lesion.
doi:10.7860/JCDR/2013/6030.3159
PMCID: PMC3749654  PMID: 23998084
Cavernous hemangioma; Spinal; Epidural
16.  Lumbar spinal epidural arteriovenous fistula with perimedullary venous drainage after endoscopic lumbar surgery 
Interventional Neuroradiology  2015;21(2):249-254.
Spinal epidural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) with perimedullary venous drainage are rare. This report describes a case of lumbar epidural AVF in a patient with a history of endoscopic lumbar discectomy at the same level 8 years prior to presenting with progressive myelopathy secondary to retrograde venous reflux into the perimedullary vein. A 69-year-old man presented with progressive lower extremity weakness and sensory disturbance and loss of sphincter control 8 years after endoscopic lumbar discectomy for a disc herniation at L4–5 level. Magnetic resonance imaging showed spinal cord edema and dilated intradural perimedullary vessels. Spinal angiography revealed an epidural AVF at the site of the previous endoscopic lumbar surgery with intradural perimedullary venous drainage. The fistula was successfully occluded via endovascular transarterial embolization, and the patient had stabilization of his neurological deficits. Lumbar spinal epidural AVFs, especially those associated with iatrogenic trauma, are rare. Endoscopic surgical procedure can occlude the epidural venous plexus and disturb venous drainage, thereby inducing local venous hypertension and leading to epidural AVF with perimedullary venous drainage. This type of pathology should be considered within the differential diagnosis of delayed neurological deterioration after spinal surgery.
doi:10.1177/1591019915583212
PMCID: PMC4757241  PMID: 25948114
Endoscopic lumbar surgery; epidural arteriovenous fistula; perimedullary venous drainage; transarterial embolization
17.  Thoracic disc herniation causing transient paraplegia coincident with epidural anesthesia: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:6228.
Neurological deficits following epidural or spinal anesthesia are extremely rare. Transient paraplegia following epidural anesthesia in a patient with thoracic disc herniation has been presented. A 44-year-old woman developed paraplegia during the operation for vascular surgery of her legs under epidural anesthesia. Epidural hematoma or spinal cord ischemia was ruled out by magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic and lumbar spine in which protruded disc at T11-12 level compressing the spinal cord has been verified. Patient responded well to steroid treatment and rehabilitation interventions. Physicians should be aware of preceding disc protrusions, which may have detrimental effects on spinal cord perfusion, as a cause of persistent or transient paraplegia before epidural anesthesia procedure. MRI is a valuable imaging option to rule out epidural anesthesia complications and coexisting pathologies like disc herniations.
doi:10.4076/1757-1626-2-6228
PMCID: PMC2769273  PMID: 19918563
18.  Intradural disc herniation at L5 level mimicking an intradural spinal tumor 
European Spine Journal  2011;20(Suppl 2):326-329.
Intradural lumbar disc herniation is a rare complication of disc disease. The reason for the tearing of the dura matter by a herniated disc is not clearly known. Intradural disc herniations usually occur at the disc levels and are often seen at L4–L5 level but have also been reported at other intervertebral disc levels. However, intradural disc herniation at mid-vertebral levels is rare in the literature and mimics an intradural extramedullary spinal tumor lesion in radiological evaluation. Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with gadolinium is useful in the diagnosis of this condition, preoperative correct diagnosis is usually difficult and the definitive diagnosis must be made during surgery. We describe here a 50-year-old female patient who presented with pain in the lower back for 6 months and a sudden exacerbation of the pain that spread to the left leg as well as numbness in both legs for 2 weeks. MRI demonstrated an intradural mass at the level of L5. Laminectomy was performed, and subsequently durotomy was also performed. An intradural disc fragment was found and completely removed. The patient recovered fully in 3 months. Intradural lumbar disc herniation must be considered in the differential diagnosis of mass lesions in the spinal canal.
doi:10.1007/s00586-011-1772-z
PMCID: PMC3111494  PMID: 21424915
Intervertebral disc herniation; Intradural disc herniation; Intraspinal tumor; L5
19.  Endoscopic discectomy of L5-S1 disc herniation via an interlaminar approach: Prospective controlled study under local and general anesthesia 
Background:
Open discectomy remains the standard method for treatment of lumbar disc herniation, but can traumatize spinal structure and leaves symptomatic epidural scarring in more than 10% of cases. The usual transforaminal approach may be associated with difficulty reaching the epidural space due to anatomical peculiarities at the L5–S1 level. The endoscopic interlaminar approach can provide a direct pathway for decompression of disc herniation at the L5–S1 level. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical results of endoscopic interlaminar lumbar discectomy at the L5–S1 level and compare the technique feasibility, safety, and efficacy under local and general anesthesia (LA and GA, respectively).
Methods:
One hundred twenty-three patients with L5–S1 disc herniation underwent endoscopic interlaminar lumbar discectomy from October 2006 to June 2009 by two spine surgeons using different anesthesia preferences in two medical centers. Visual analog scale (VAS) scores for back pain and leg pain and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) sores were recorded preoperatively, and at 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. Results were compared to evaluate the technique feasibility, safety, and efficacy under LA and GA.
Results:
VAS scores for back pain and leg pain and ODI revealed statistically significant improvement when they were compared with preoperative values. Mean hospital stay was statistically shorter in the LA group. Complications included one case of dural tear with rootlet injury and three cases of recurrence within 1 month who subsequently required open surgery or endoscopic interlaminar lumbar discectomy. There were no medical or infectious complications in either group.
Conclusion:
Disc herniation at the L5–S1 level can be adequately treated endoscopically with an interlaminar approach. GA and LA are both effective for this procedure. However, LA is better than GA in our opinion.
doi:10.4103/2152-7806.82570
PMCID: PMC3130490  PMID: 21748045
General anesthesia; interlaminar approach; local anesthesia; lumbar disc herniation; percutaneous endoscopic discectomy
20.  A Symptomatic Spinal Extradural Arachnoid Cyst with Lumbar Disc Herniation 
Case Reports in Orthopedics  2015;2015:250710.
Spinal epidural arachnoid cyst (EAC) is a rare, usually asymptomatic condition of unknown origin, which typically involves the lower thoracic spine. We report a case of posttraumatic symptomatic EAC with lumbar disc herniation. A 22-year-old man experienced back pain and sciatica after a traffic accident. Neurological examination revealed a right L5 radiculopathy. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a cystic lesion at the L3 to L5 level and an L4-5 disc herniation; computed tomography myelography showed that the right L5 root was sandwiched between the cyst and the herniation. A dural defect was identified during surgery. The cyst was excised completely and the defect was repaired. A herniation was excised beside the dural sac. Histology showed that the cyst wall consisted of collagen and meningothelial cells. Postoperatively the symptoms resolved. Lumbar spinal EACs are rare; such cysts may arise from a congenital dural crack and grow gradually. The 6 cases of symptomatic lumbar EAC reported in the literature were not associated with disc herniation or trauma. In this case, the comorbid disc herniation was involved in symptom progression. Although many EACs are asymptomatic, comorbid spinal disorders such as disc herniation or trauma can result in symptom progression.
doi:10.1155/2015/250710
PMCID: PMC4377437  PMID: 25861499
21.  Clinical Features and Treatments of Upper Lumbar Disc Herniations 
Objective
Disc herniations at the L1-L2 and L2-L3 levels are different from those at lower levels of the lumbar spine with regard to clinical characteristics and surgical outcome. Spinal canals are narrower than those of lower levels, which may compromise multiple spinal nerve roots or conus medullaris. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical features and surgical outcomes of upper lumbar disc herniations.
Methods
We retrospectively reviewed the clinical features of 41 patients who had undergone surgery for single disc herniations at the L1-L2 and L2-3 levels from 1998 to 2007. The affected levels were L1-L2 in 14 patients and L2-L3 in 27 patients. Presenting symptoms and signs, patient characteristics, radiologic findings, operative methods, and surgical outcomes were investigated.
Results
The mean age of patients with upper lumbar disc was 55.5 years (ranged 31 to 78). The mean follow-up period was 16.6 months. Most patients complained of back and buttock pain (38 patients, 92%), and radiating pain in areas such as the anterior or anterolateral aspect of the thigh (32 patients, 78%). Weakness of lower extremities was observed in 16 patients (39%) and sensory disturbance was presented in 19 patients (46%). Only 6 patients (14%) had undergone previous lumbar disc surgery. Discectomy was performed using three methods : unilateral laminectomy in 27 cases, bilateral laminectomy in 3 cases, and the transdural approach in 11 cases, which were performed through total laminectomy in 10 cases and unilateral laminectomy in 1 case. With regard to surgical outcomes, preoperative symptoms improved significantly in 33 patients (80.5%), partially in 7 patients (17%), and were aggravated in 1 patient (2.5%).
Conclusion
Clinical features of disc herniations at the L1-L2 and L2-L3 levels were variable, and localized sensory change or pain was rarely demonstrated. In most cases, the discectomy was performed successfully by conventional posterior laminectomy. On the other hand, in large central broad based disc herniation, when the neural elements are severely compromised, the posterior transdural approach could be an alternative.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2010.48.2.119
PMCID: PMC2941853  PMID: 20856659
Clinical feature; Disc herniation; Transdural; Upper lumbar
22.  Quadriceps muscle rupture mimicking lumbar radiculopathy 
European Spine Journal  2012;21(Suppl 4):545-548.
Study design
Case report.
Objective
To report an unusual case of vastus lateralis muscle rupture not accompanied by any history of major trauma or the presence of a risk factor in a patient with spinal stenosis.
Summary of background data
Isolated vastus lateralis muscle rupture without an obvious cause is very rare. Localized pain and claudication are the most common symptoms and can be misdiagnosed as lumbar radiculopathy.
Methods
A 70-year-old patient presented with right lower extremity and back pain, diagnosed as spinal stenosis. He was initially treated with caudal epidural block and transforaminal epidural block, which resulted in nearly complete relief of his symptoms. However, he subsequently experienced a pain that was no longer responsive to treatment. The ultrasonographic exam revealed a partial tear of the right vastus lateralis muscle.
Result
Injection of local anesthetics relieved the patient’s symptoms. At 1-month follow-up, he remained pain-free.
Conclusions
In patients with lower back and leg pain, physicians should consider non-spinal conditions that can cause signs and symptoms mimicking lumbar radiculopathy.
doi:10.1007/s00586-012-2191-5
PMCID: PMC3369064  PMID: 22349970
Muscle injury; Quadriceps muscle; Radiculopathy; Spinal stenosis
23.  Contrast mimicking a subarachnoid hemorrhage after lumbar percutaneous epidural neuroplasty: a case report 
Introduction
Subarachnoid hemorrhage is one of the most feared acute neurologic events. Accurate diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage is essential, and computed tomography of the brain is the first diagnostic imaging study. However, in rare circumstances, a similar appearance may occur in the absence of blood in the subarachnoid space. The contrast enhancement of subarachnoid space is a rare complication after lumbar percutaneous epidural neuroplasty, with, to the best of our knowledge, no previous report in the literature.
Case presentation
A 42-year-old Korean male patient, who underwent a spinal operation five years previously at the level of L4 to S1, visited our clinic with persistent and aggravating low back pain. An imaging study revealed the focal and diffuse disc protrusion at the level of L4/5 and L5/S1. The clinician decided to perform a lumbar percutaneous epidural neuroplasty. During the procedure, dural adhesion was suspected at the previously operated level, and the neuroplasty catheter was malpositioned into the intradural space on the first attempt. After the catheter was repositioned, the scheduled epidural neuroplasty was completed. Our patient had no definite abnormal neurological signs. But, after a day, our patient complained of severe headache with sustained high blood pressure without neurological disorientation. Computed tomography of his brain showed a subarachnoid hemorrhage-like appearance with intracranial air. Sequential angiography, subtractional magnetic resonance imaging and examination of the cerebrospinal fluid revealed no abnormalities. Follow-up computed tomography after one day revealed no definite intracranial hemorrhage, and our patient was discharged with improved low back pain without neurological deficit.
Conclusion
We report a rare case of contrast mimicking a subarachnoid hemorrhage after lumbar percutaneous epidural neuroplasty. The physician should keep in mind a rare case like this, and the supine position with head elevation is necessary to avoid a similar complication after lumbar percutaneous epidural neuroplasty.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-7-88
PMCID: PMC3637364  PMID: 23548107
24.  Does nuclear tissue infected with bacteria following disc herniations lead to Modic changes in the adjacent vertebrae? 
European Spine Journal  2013;22(4):690-696.
Purpose
To investigate the prevalence of infected herniated nucleus material in lumbar disc herniations and to determine if patients with an anaerobic infected disc are more likely to develop Modic change (MC) (bone oedema) in the adjacent vertebrae after the disc herniation. MCs (bone oedema) in vertebrae are observed in 6 % of the general population and in 35–40 % of people with low back pain. These changes are strongly associated with low back pain. There are probably a mechanical cause and an infective cause that causes MC. Several studies on nuclear tissue from herniated discs have demonstrated the presence of low virulent anaerobic microorganisms, predominantly Propionibacterium acnes, in 7–53 % of patients. At the time of a herniation these low virulent anaerobic bacteria may enter the disc and give rise to an insidious infection. Local inflammation in the adjacent bone may be a secondary effect due to cytokine and propionic acid production.
Methods
Patients undergoing primary surgery at a single spinal level for lumbar disc herniation with an MRI-confirmed lumbar disc herniation, where the annular fibres were penetrated by visible nuclear tissue, had the nucleus material removed. Stringent antiseptic sterile protocols were followed.
Results
Sixty-one patients were included, mean age 46.4 years (SD 9.7), 27 % female. All patients were immunocompetent. No patient had received a previous epidural steroid injection or undergone previous back surgery. In total, microbiological cultures were positive in 28 (46 %) patients. Anaerobic cultures were positive in 26 (43 %) patients, and of these 4 (7 %) had dual microbial infections, containing both one aerobic and one anaerobic culture. No tissue specimens had more than two types of bacteria identified. Two (3 %) cultures only had aerobic bacteria isolated.
In the discs with a nucleus with anaerobic bacteria, 80 % developed new MC in the vertebrae adjacent to the previous disc herniation. In contrast, none of those with aerobic bacteria and only 44 % of patients with negative cultures developed new MC. The association between an anaerobic culture and new MCs is highly statistically significant (P = 0.0038), with an odds ratio of 5.60 (95 % CI 1.51–21.95).
Conclusion
These findings support the theory that the occurrence of MCs Type 1 in the vertebrae adjacent to a previously herniated disc may be due to oedema surrounding an infected disc. The discs infected with anaerobic bacteria were more likely (P < 0.0038) to develop MCs in the adjacent vertebrae than those in which no bacteria were found or those in which aerobic bacteria were found.
doi:10.1007/s00586-013-2674-z
PMCID: PMC3631023  PMID: 23397187
Bacterial infection; Modic changes; Endplate changes; Propionibacterium acnes; Lumbar disc herniation
25.  Suspected total spinal in patient having emergent Caesarean section, a case report and literature review 
Highlights
•Emergent Caesarean section should be classified in accordance to the treat of mother and child, e.g. with the Lucas grading score.•Anaesthetic technique for emergent Caesarean section is not well defined.•Category 1 emergent Caesarean section should preferentially be formed with general anaesthesia to ascertain shortest decision-to-delivery interval.•Anaesthetic technique for category 2/3 emergent Caesarean section should be based on an individual assessment, top-up epidural and convert spinal are both feasible option.•When convert spinal is used the dose should possibly reduced considering the risk for too high block caused by cephalic spread.
Introduction
Epidural analgesia is commonly used for management of pain during childbirth. Need for emergent Caesarean section e.g. because of signs of foetal distress or lack of progress is however not an uncommon event. In females having an established epidural; general anaesthesia, top-up of the epidural or putting a spinal are all possible options. Dosing of the spinal anaesthesia in females having epidural is a matter of discussion.
Presentation of case
We describe a healthy 32 years, 0 para mother in gestation week 36 having labour epidural analgesia but due to foetal distress scheduled for an emergent Caesarean section category 2 that developed upper extremity weakness and respiratory depression after administration of standard dose high density bupivacaine/morphine/fentanyl intrathecal anaesthesia. She was emergent intubated and resumed motor function after 15–20 min.
Discussion
A too extensive cephalic spread was the most plausible explanation to the event. Whether or not reducing the dose for a spinal anaesthesia in mothers having an established labour epidural analgesia is a matter of discussion. It is of course of importance to achieve a rapid and effective surgical anaesthesia but also avoiding overdosing with the risk for a too high cephalic spread.
Concluiosn
To perform spinal anaesthesia for emergent Caesarean in patients having an epidural for labour pain is a feasible option and should be considered in category 2–3 section. The dose for a convert spinal block should be assessed on an individual basis and reasonably reduced.
doi:10.1016/j.ijscr.2016.09.018
PMCID: PMC5061118  PMID: 27718435
Caesarean section; Epidural analgesia; Spinal anaesthesia; Total spinal

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