Lumbar epidural varices are rare and usually mimick lumbar disc herniations. Back pain and radiculopathy are the main symptoms of lumbar epidural varices. Perineural cysts are radiologically different lesions and should not be confused with epidural varix. A 36-year-old male patient presented to us with right leg pain. The magnetic resonance imaging revealed a cystic lesion at S1 level that was compressing the right root, and was interpreted as a perineural cyst. The patient underwent surgery via right L5 and S1 hemilaminectomy, and the lesion was coagulated and removed. The histopathological diagnosis was epidural varix. The patient was clinically improved and the follow-up magnetic resonance imaging showed the absence of the lesion. Lumbar epidural varix should be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of the cystic lesions which compress the spinal roots.
Epidural; Varix; Perineural cyst; Surgery
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.
Vertebral hemangioma; Cord compression; Embolization; Corpectomy
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.
Cavernous hemangioma; Spinal; Epidural
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.
A 61-year-old female patient presented with diffuse pain in the dorsal region of the back of 3 months duration. The magnetic resonance imaging showed an extramedullary, extradural space occupative lesion on the right side of the spinal canal from D5 to D7 vertebral levels. The mass was well marginated and there was no bone involvement. Compression of the adjacent thecal sac was observed, with displacement to the left side. Radiological differential diagnosis included nerve sheath tumor and meningioma. The patient underwent D6 hemilaminectomy under general anesthesia. Intraoperatively, the tumor was purely extradural in location with mild extension into the right foramina. No attachment to the nerves or dura was found. Total excision of the extradural compressing mass was possible as there were preserved planes all around. Histopathology revealed cavernous hemangioma. As illustrated in our case, purely epidural hemangiomas, although uncommon, ought to be considered in the differential diagnosis of spinal epidural soft tissue masses. Findings that may help to differentiate this lesion from the ubiquitous disk prolapse, more common meningiomas and nerve sheath tumors are its ovoid shape, uniform T2 hyperintense signal and lack of anatomic connection with the neighboring intervertebral disk or the exiting nerve root. Entirely extradural lesions with no bone involvement are rare and represent about 12% of all intraspinal hemangiomas.
Epidural; hemangioma; spinal
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.
Intervertebral disc herniation; Intradural disc herniation; Intraspinal tumor; L5
Spinal epidural hematoma is a well known complication of spinal surgery. Clinically insignificant small epidural hematomas develop in most spinal surgeries following laminectomy. However, the incidence of clinically significant postoperative spinal epidural hematomas that result in neurological deficits is extremely rare. In this report, we present a 33-year-old female patient whose spinal surgery resulted in postoperative spinal epidural hematoma. She was diagnosed with lumbar disc disease and underwent hemipartial lumbar laminectomy and discectomy. After twelve hours postoperation, her neurologic status deteriorated and cauda equina syndrome with acute spinal epidural hematoma was identified. She was immediately treated with surgical decompression and evacuation of the hematoma. The incidence of epidural hematoma after spinal surgery is rare, but very serious complication. Spinal epidural hematomas can cause significant spinal cord and cauda equina compression, requiring surgical intervention. Once diagnosed, the patient should immediately undergo emergency surgical exploration and evacuation of the hematoma.
We present the only case in English medical literature of a spinal neurofibroma misdiagnosed as a herniated disc using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This case presented with typical symptoms and radiological findings of a herniated disc. Intraoperatively, an abnormality was noted at the S1 nerve root sleeve. Further exploration revealed a spinal neurofibroma which was completely resected, resulting in an improvement in the patient’s symptoms. Currently, there is heavy reliance on MRI as a highly sensitive and specific tool used in the diagnosis of herniated lumbar discs. Although there have been occasional reports of misdiagnoses using MRI, there are no reported cases of a spinal neurofibroma being misdiagnosed as a herniated lumbar disc. Despite great advances in radiological diagnostic imaging, surgical surprises do still occur. Ultimately, instinct is still essential in intraoperative surgical decisions.
Herniated disc; Misdiagnosis; MRI scan; Neurofibroma; Case report; USA
Pure spinal epidural cavernous angiomas are extremely rare lesions, and their normal shape is that of a fusiform mass in the dorsal aspects of the spinal canal. We report a case of a lumbo-sacral epidural cavernous vascular malformation presenting with acute onset of right-sided S1 radiculopathy. Clinical aspects, imaging, intraoperative findings, and histology are demonstrated. The patient, a 27-year-old man presented with acute onset of pain, paraesthesia, and numbness within the right leg corresponding to the S1 segment. An acute lumbosacral disc herniation was suspected, but MRI revealed a cystic lesion with the shape of a balloon, a fluid level and a thickened contrast-enhancing wall. Intraoperatively, a purple-blue tumor with fibrous adhesions was located between the right S1 and S2 nerve roots. Macroscopically, no signs of epidural bleedings could be denoted. After coagulation of a reticular venous feeder network and dissection of the adhesions the rubber ball-like lesion was resected in total. Histology revealed a prominent venous vessel with a pathologically thickened, amuscular wall surrounded by smaller, hyalinized, venous vessels arranged in a back-to-back position typical for the diagnosis of a cavernous angioma. Lumina were partially occluded by thrombi. The surrounding fibrotic tissue showed signs of recurrent bleedings. There was no obvious mass hemorrhage into the surrounding tissue. In this unique case, the pathologic mechanism was not the usual rupture of the cavernous angioma with subsequent intraspinal hemorrhage, but acute mass effect by intralesional bleedings and thrombosis with subsequent increase of volume leading to nerve root compression. Thus, even without a sudden intraspinal hemorrhage a spinal cavernous malformation can cause acute symptoms identical to the clinical features of a soft disc herniation.
Cavernous malformation; Venous angioma; Spinal epidural mass; Acute radiculopathy
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.
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.
Injection of local anesthetics relieved the patient’s symptoms. At 1-month follow-up, he remained pain-free.
In patients with lower back and leg pain, physicians should consider non-spinal conditions that can cause signs and symptoms mimicking lumbar radiculopathy.
Muscle injury; Quadriceps muscle; Radiculopathy; Spinal stenosis
Low Back Pain (LBP) and radicular leg pain (RLP) after lumbar disc surgery are great challenges that prevent patients and neurosurgeons in making a surgical decision. By spinal anesthesia, LBP and RLP diminish up to 2 to 3 hours postoperatively. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of impregnated epidural adipose tissue (EAT) with bupivacaine or methylprednisolone acetate on reduction of late postoperative pain after spinal anesthesia.
This study was performed on lumbar disc herniation surgery under spinal anesthesia. Sixty six patients entered our study who were divided into three groups, EAT impregnated with bupivacaine (group 1), methylprednisolone acetate (group2) and normal saline (control group). The LBP and RLP were evaluated during the first 24 hours postoperatively and 14 days later by visual analogue scale (VAS).
Of 66 patients, 53% were female and 47% male. The average (SE) LBP in the first 6 hours after surgery based on VAS were 1.59 ± 0.90 in group one, 2.36 ± 2.38 in group 2 and 3.09 ± 1.41 in control group but the VAS for RLP in this period were 1.95 ± 1.13, 1.31 ± 1.39 and 2.40 ± 1.09, respectively. The average LBP and RLP did not show any differences after 14 days postoperatively.
According to our data bupivacaine was effective on LBP relief and steroid was effective on RLP relief during the first 12 hours after surgery.
Intervertebral Disc Degeneration; Bupivacaine; Prednisolone Acetate; Adipose Tissue
Posterior epidural migration of thoracic disc herniation is extremely rare but may occur in the same manner as in the lumbar spine.
A 53-year-old Japanese man experienced sudden onset of incomplete paraplegia after lifting a heavy object. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a posterior epidural mass compressing the spinal cord at the T9-T10 level. The patient underwent emergency surgery consisting of laminectomy at T9-T10 with right medial facetectomy, removal of the mass lesion, and posterior instrumented fusion. Histological examination of the mass lesion yielded findings consistent with sequestered disc material. His symptoms resolved, and he was able to resume walking without a cane 4 weeks after surgery.
Pre-operative diagnosis of posterior epidural migration of herniated thoracic disc based on magnetic resonance imaging alone may be overlooked, given the rarity of this pathology. However, this entity should be considered among the differential diagnoses for an enhancing posterior thoracic extradural mass.
Intervertebral disc herniation; Posterior migration; Thoracic spine
We herein describe the case of a focal spontaneous spinal epidural abscess who was initially diagnosed to have a free fragment of a lumbar disc. A 71-year-old woman presented with history of low back and right leg pain. Magnetic resonance imaging suggested a peripherally enhancing free fragment extending down from S1 nerve root axilla. Preoperative laboratory investigation showed elevation of c-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) levels. She was taken for surgery and a fluctuating mass at the axilla of S1 nerve was found. When the mass was probed with a dissector, a dark yellow, thick pus drained out. Pus cultures were negative. Patients who present with extreme low back plus leg pain and increased leucocyte count, ESR and CRP levels should raise the suspicion of an infection of a vertebral body or spinal epidural space.
Abscess; Disc; Periradicular; Spinal
Intracranial hemorrhage is a serious but rare complication of spinal surgery, which can occur in the intracerebral, cerebellar, epidural, or subdural compartment.
To describe patients with intracranial hemorrhage after lumbar spinal surgery and present clinical and diagnostic imaging findings.
In this retrospective study, medical records of 1,077 patients who underwent lumbar spinal surgery in our tertiary referral neurosurgery center between January 2003 and September 2010 were studied. The original presentations of the patients before the surgical intervention were herniated lumbar disc, spinal canal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, lumbar spinal trauma, and lumbar spine and epidural tumor. The operations performed consisted of discectomy, multiple level laminectomy, stabilization and fusion, lumbar instrumentation, and lumbar spinal and epidural tumor resection.
Four cases developed intracranial hemorrhage including acute subdural hematoma (one case), epidural hematoma (one case), and remote cerebellar hemorrhage (two cases). The clinical and diagnostic imaging characteristics along with treatments performed and outcomes of these four patients are described and the pertinent literature regarding post-lumbar spinal surgery intracranial hemorrhages is reviewed.
Though rare, intracranial hemorrhage can occur following lumbar spinal surgery. This complication may be asymptomatic or manifest with intense headache at early stages any time during the first week after surgery. Dural tear, bloody CSF leakage, focal neurologic symptoms, and headache are indicators of potential intracranial hemorrhage, which should be considered during or following surgery and necessitate diagnostic imaging.
Intracranial hemorrhage; Lumbar spine surgery; Remote cerebellar hemorrhage; Subdural hematoma; Epidural hematoma
To present a case of a patient with spinal infection (SI) and highlight the chiropractor’s role in the prevention or minimization of devastating complications of SI.
Recent literature trends suggest an increasing prevalence of SI. Patients with SI most commonly present with unremitting progressive back pain and may or may not have fever or neurological signs. To avoid negative post-infection sequelae, establishing an early diagnosis and treatment is crucial.
A 29-year-old female diagnosed with L5-S1 disc herniation with impingement of the right S1 nerve root opted for surgical management. Iatrogenic bowel perforation during her spinal surgery resulted in contamination of the spinal surgical site, and findings in keeping with disco-osteomyelitis with epidural and paraspinal phlegmon formation were visualized on contrast enhanced MRI.
Recent trends of increased spinal infection urge a heightened awareness by the chiropractor. The chiropractor can provide early diagnosis and supportive multidisciplinary care for such patients.
spinal infection; disk space infection; discitis/diskitis; vertebral osteomyelitis; pyogenic; outcome; infection de la moelle épinière; infection de l’espace intervertébral; discite; ostéomyélite vertébrale; pyogène; résultat
We describe a case of acute lumbar epidural hematoma at the L2-3 level complicated by paraplegia, which occurred after coagulation disorder because of massive bleeding intraoperatively in cesarean section. The preoperative coagulation laboratory finding was in normal range and so we tried combined spinal epidural anesthesia. Uterine atony occurred in the operation, and there was persistant bleeding during and after the operation. After the operation, she complained of paresthesia on her both legs and was diagnosed with epidural hematoma (EDH) by radiologic examination. Emergency laminectomy on lumbar spine was carried out for hematoma evacuation and decompression of the epidural space at once. In our experience, massive bleeding during surgery may potentially increase the risk of EDH postoperatively.
Blood coagulation disorder; Cesarean section; Epidural anesthesia; Epidural hematoma; Postpartum hemorrhage; Spinal anesthesia
Chronic low back pain can be a manifestation of lumbar degenerative disease, herniation of intervertebral discs, arthritis, or lumbar stenosis. When nerve roots are compromised, low back pain, with or without lower extremity involvement, may occur. Local inflammatory processes play an important role in patients with acute lumbosciatic pain. The purpose of this study was to assess the value of erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) measurements in patients with chronic low back pain or radiculopathy.
ESR and hsCRP were measured in 273 blood samples from male and female subjects with low back pain and/or radiculopathy due to herniated lumbar disc, spinal stenosis, facet syndrome, and other diseases. The hsCRP and ESR were measured prior to lumbar epidural steroid injection.
The mean ESR was 18.8 mm/h and mean hsCRP was 1.1 mg/L. ESR had a correlation with age.
A significant systemic inflammatory reaction did not appear to arise in patients with chronic low back pain.
ESR; hsCRP; low back pain
Spontaneous intracranial hypotension is often idiopathic. We report on a patient presenting with symptomatic intracranial hypotension and pain radiating to the right leg caused by a transdural lumbar disc herniation. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the brain revealed classic signs of intracranial hypotension, and an additional spinal MR confirmed a lumbar transdural herniated disc as the cause. The patient was treated with a partial hemilaminectomy and discectomy. We were able to find the source of cerebrospinal fluid leak, and packed it with epidural glue and gelfoam. Postoperatively, the patient's headache and log radiating pain resolved and there was no neurological deficit. Thus, in this case, lumbar disc herniation may have been a cause of spontaneous intracranial hypotension.
Spontaneous intracranial hypotension; Orthostatic headache; Lumbar disc herniation
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).
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.
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.
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.
General anesthesia; interlaminar approach; local anesthesia; lumbar disc herniation; percutaneous endoscopic discectomy
A retrospective case report of a 24-year-old man with recurrent lumbar disk herniation and epidural fibrosis is presented. Recurrent lumbar disk herniation and epidural fibrosis are common complications following lumbar diskectomy.
A 24-year-old patient had a history of lumbar diskectomy and new onset of low back pain and radiculopathy. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed recurrent herniation at L5/S1, left nerve root displacement, and epidural fibrosis.
Intervention and Outcomes
The patient received a course of chiropractic care including lumbar spinal manipulation and rehabilitation exercises with documented subjective and objective functional and symptomatic improvement.
This case report describes chiropractic management including spinal manipulative therapy and rehabilitation exercises and subsequent objective and subjective functional and symptomatic improvement.
Low back pain; Recurrent; Disk displacement; Intervertebral; Chiropractic manipulation; Diskectomy
We report a series of epidural hematomas which cause neurologic deterioration after spinal surgery, and have taken risk factors and prognostic factors into consideration. We retrospectively reviewed the database of 3720 cases of spine operation in a single institute over 7 years (1998 April-2005 July). Nine patients who demonstrated neurologic deterioration after surgery and required surgical decompression were identified. Factors postulated to increase the postoperative epidural hematoma and to improve neurologic outcome were investigated. The incidence of postoperative epidural hematoma was 0.24%. Operation sites were cervical 3 cases, thoracic 2 cases, and lumbar 4 cases. Their original diagnoses were tumor 3 cases, cervical stenosis 2 cases, lumbar stenosis 3 cases and herniated lumbar disc 1case. The symptoms of epidural hematomas were neurologic deterioration and pain. After decompression, clinical outcome revealed complete recovery in 3 cases (33.3%), incomplete recovery in 5 cases (55.6%) and no change in 1 case (11.1%). Factors increasing the risk of postoperative epidural hematoma were coagulopathy from medical illness or anticoagulation therapy (4 cases, 44.4%) and highly vascularized tumor (3 cases, 33.3%). The time interval to evacuation of complete recovery group (29.3 hours) was shorter than incomplete recovery group (66.3 hours). Patients with coagulopathy and highly vascularized tumor were more vulnerable to spinal epidural hematoma. The postoperative outcome was related to the preoperative neurological deficit and the time interval to the decompression.
Clinical outcome; risk factor; postoperative; spinal epidural hematoma; spine surgery
Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy (PELD) for migrated disc herniations is technically demanding due to the absence of the technical guideline. The purposes of this study were to propose a radiologic classification of disc migration and surgical approaches of PELD according to the classification. A prospective study of 116 consecutive patients undergoing single-level PELD was conducted. According to preoperative MRI findings, disc migration was classified into four zones based on the direction and distance from the disc space: zone 1 (far up), zone 2 (near up), zone 3 (near down), zone 4 (far down). Two surgical approaches were used according to this classification. Near-migrated discs were treated with “half-and-half” technique, which involved positioning a beveled working sheath across the disc space to the epidural space. Far-migrated discs were treated with “epiduroscopic” technique, which involved introducing the endoscope into the epidural space completely. The mean follow-up period was 14.5 (range 9–20) months. According to the Macnab criteria, satisfactory results were as follows: 91.6% (98/107) in the down-migrated discs; 88.9% (8/9) in the up-migrated discs; 97.4% (76/78) in the near-migrated discs; and 78.9% (30/38) in the far-migrated discs. The mean VAS score decreased from 7.5 ± 1.7 preoperatively to 2.6 ± 1.8 at the final follow-up (P < 0.0001). There were no recurrence and no approach-related complications during the follow-up period. The proposed classification and approaches will provide appropriate surgical guideline of PELD for migrated disc herniation. Based on our results, open surgery should be considered for far-migrated disc herniations.
Percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy; Migrated disc herniation; Radiologic classification
Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is an important complication of lumbar disc surgery. Epidural fibrosis is one of the major causes of FBSS. However, most patients with epidural fibrosis do not develop symptomatic complaints from scarring. The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the relationships among the severity of epidural fibrosis, psychological factors, back pain and disability after lumbar disc surgery. Twenty-nine surgically managed patients (13 women, 16 men) were included in this study. In all patients, the presence and severity of epidural fibrosis was determined with contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A pain visual analog scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODQ) were completed before and after surgery. Subjects were grouped by their type of herniation (protrusion, free fragment), MRI findings and results of the mini form of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), and the groups were compared for their VAS and ODQ scores. Our results disclosed that neither the postoperative VAS scores nor the postoperative ODQ scores differed significantly among the epidural fibrosis severity groups. Moreover, postoperative VAS scores were positively correlated with the scores of the mini MMPI. These findings indicate that epidural fibrosis may be considered as a radiological entity independent of patients’ complaints. Furthermore, the mini MMPI should be included in the assessment and planning of the reoperations in FBSS patients, because of the importance of psychological factors in postoperative pain and disability.
Key words Visual analog scale (VAS); Oswestry Disability; Questionnaire (ODQ); Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI); Epidural fibrosis; Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)
A herniated intervertebral disc is the most common type of soft tissue mass lesion within the lumbar spinal canal. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a useful tool for the assessment of patients with lower back pain and radiating pain, especially intervertebral disc herniation. MRI findings of intervertebral disc herniation are typical. However, from time to time, despite an apparently classic history and typical MRI findings suggestive of disc herniation, surgical exploration fails to reveal any lesion of an intervertebral disc. Our patient underwent lumbar disc surgery with the preoperative diagnosis of lumbar disc herniation; however, nothing could be found during the surgical procedure, except a swollen nerve root.
herniated intervertebral disc; magnetic resonance imaging; nerve root
Herniated intervertebral disc causes in a great number of cases of lumbar nerve root compression, especially in the segment L5/S1. Other reasons responsible for stress to the lumbar spinal root are the spinal canal stenosis and the postdiscotomy syndrome. For patients without neurological deficiencies, the conservative treatment includes different epidural injection techniques. Steroids are often applied. A specific injection technique needing only a small drug amount is the epidural perineural approach using a special two-needle technique. The anatomical spaces of the nerve roots have received little attention in therapy. We have determined the anterolateral epidural space nerve volume of the nerve root L5/S1, and compared the data collected in an anatomical study with operative measurements during discectomy. The volume determination in the human cadavers was performed with liquid silicone filling the anterolateral space after dissection. The in vivo measurements were performed during surgery at the site of the anterolateral space after discectomy. The anatomical studies showed us a mean value volume of 1.1 ml. The surgical volume determinations result in a mean volume of 0.9 ml. A better understanding of the anterolateral epidural space may allow a reduction of the injection volume in the conservative nerve root compression treatment, especially using the epidural perineural technique, avoiding the risk of side effects of high doses of steroids.
Lumbar nerve root compression; Anatomical volume determination; Epidural–perineural injection technique