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1.  An intradural cervical chordoma mimicking schwannoma 
Journal of Injury and Violence Research  2012;4(3 Suppl 1): Paper No. 83.
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
2.  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
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  Herniated lumbar disc 
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
7.  Herniated lumbar disc 
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
8.  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
9.  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
10.  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
11.  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
12.  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
13.  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
14.  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
15.  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
16.  Postoperative Spinal Epidural Hematoma: Risk Factor and Clinical Outcome 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2006;47(3):326-332.
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.
doi:10.3349/ymj.2006.47.3.326
PMCID: PMC2688151  PMID: 16807981
Clinical outcome; risk factor; postoperative; spinal epidural hematoma; spine surgery
17.  Lumbar Periradicular Abscess Mimicking a Fragmented Lumbar Disc Herniation : An Unusual Case 
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.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2008.44.6.385
PMCID: PMC2615143  PMID: 19137084
Abscess; Disc; Periradicular; Spinal
18.  Endoscopic Foraminal Decompression for Failed Back Surgery Syndrome under local Anesthesia 
Background
The most common causes of failed back surgery are residual or recurrent herniation, foraminal fibrosis and foraminal stenosis that is ignored, untreated, or undertreated. Residual back ache may also be from facetal causes or denervation and scarring of the paraspinal muscles.1–6 The original surgeon may advise his patient that nothing more can be done on the basis of his opinion that the nerve was visually decompressed by the original surgery, supported by improved post-op imaging and follow-up studies such as EMG and conduction velocity studies. Post-op imaging or electrophysiological assessment may be inadequate to explain all the reasons for residual or recurrent symptoms. Treatment of Failed back surgery by repeat traditional open revision surgery usually incorporates more extensive decompression causing increased instability and back pain, therefore necessitating fusion. The authors, having limited their practice to endoscopic MIS surgery over the last 15-20 years, report on their experience gained during that period to relieve pain by endoscopically visualizing and treating unrecognized causative patho-anatomy in FBSS.7
Methods
Thirty consecutive patients with FBSS presenting with back and leg pain that had supporting imaging diagnosis of lateral stenosis and /or residual / recurrent disc herniation, or whose pain complaint was supported by relief from diagnostic and therapeutic injections (Figure 1), were offered percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy and foraminoplasty over a repeat open procedure. Each patient sought consultation following a transient successful, partially successful or unsuccessful open translaminar surgical treatment for disc herniation or spinal stenosis. Endoscopic foraminoplasty was also performed to either decompress the bony foramen for foraminal stenosis, or foraminoplasty to allow for endoscopic visual examination of the affected traversing and exiting nerve roots in the axilla, also known as the “hidden zone” of Macnab (Figure 2).8, 9 The average follow up time was, average 40 months, minimum 12 months. Outcome data at each visit included Macnab, VAS and ODI.
A diagnostic and therapeutic epidural gram may help identify unrecognized lateral recess stenosis underestimated by MRI. An excellent result from a therapeutic block lends excellent prognosis for a more lasting and “permanent” result from transforaminal endoscopic lateral recess decompression.
Kambin's Triangle provides access to the “hidden zone” of Macnab by foraminoplasty. The foramen and lateral recess is decompressed by removing the ventral aspect and tip of the superior articular process to gain access to the axilla between the traversing and exiting nerve. FBSS contains patho-anatomy in the axilla between the traversing and exiting nerve that hides the pain generators of FBSS.
Results
The average pre-operative VAS improved from 7.2 to 4.0, and ODI 48% to 31%. While temporary dysesthesia occurred in 4 patients in the early post-operative period, all were happy, as all received additional relief of their pre-op symptoms. They were also relieved to be able to avoid “open” decompression or fusion surgery.
Conclusions / Level of Evidence 3
The transforaminal endoscopic approach is effective for FBSS due to residual/recurrent HNP and lateral stenosis. Failed initial index surgery may involve failure to recognize patho-anatomy in the axilla of the foramen housing the traversing and the exiting nerve, including the DRG, which is located cephalad and near the tip of SAP.10 The transforaminal endoscopic approach effectively decompresses the foramen and does not further destabilize the spine needing stabilization.11 It also avoids going through the previous surgical site.
Clinical Relevance
Disc narrowing as a consequence of translaminar discectomy and progressive degenerative narrowing and spondylolisthesis (Figure 3) as a natural history of degenerative disc disease can lead to central and lateral stenosis. The MRI may underestimate the degree of stenosis from a bulging or a foraminal disc protrusion and residual lateral recess stenosis. Pain can be diagnosed and confirmed by evocative discography and by clinical response to transforaminal diagnostic and therapeutic steroid injections.12 Foraminal endoscopic decompression of the lateral recess is a MIS technique that does not “burn bridges” for a more conventional approach and it adds to the surgical armamentarium of FBSS.
Cadaver Illustration of Foraminal Stenosis (courtesy of Wolfgang Rauschning). As the disc narrows, the superior articular process impinges on the exiting nerve and DRG, creating lateral recess stenosis, lumbar spondylosis, and facet arthrosis.
doi:10.14444/1022
PMCID: PMC4325507
Failed Back Surgery Syndrome(FBSS); Hidden zone; Foraminal decompression; Recurrent herniation; Lateral stenosis; Foraminal osteophyte
19.  Sacroplasty for Symptomatic Sacral Hemangioma: A Novel Treatment Approach 
Interventional Neuroradiology  2013;19(2):245-249.
Summary
Painful vertebral body hemangiomas have been successfully treated with vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. Sacral hemangiomas are uncommon and as such painful sacral hemangiomas are rare entities. We report what we believe is only the second successful treatment of a painful sacral hemangioma with CT-guided sacroplasty.
A 56-year-old woman with a history of right-sided total hip arthroplasty and lipoma excision presented to her orthopedic surgeon with persistent right-sided low back pain which radiated into her buttock and right groin and hindered her ability to walk and perform her activities of daily living. MRIs of the thoracic spine, lumbar spine and pelvis showed numerous lesions with imaging characteristics consistent with multiple hemangiomas including a 2.2×2.1 cm lesion involving the right sacrum adjacent to the right S1 neural foramen. Conservative measures including rest, physical therapy, oral analgesics and right-sided sacroiliac joint steroid injection did not provide significant relief. Given her lack of improvement and the fact that her pain localized to the right sacrum, the patient underwent CT-guided sacroplasty for treatment of a painful right sacral hemangioma. Under CT fluoroscopic guidance, a 10 gauge introducer needle was advanced through the soft tissues of the back to the margin of the lesion. Biopsy was then performed and after appropriate preparation, cement was then introduced through the needle using a separate cement filler cannula. Appropriate filling of the right sacral hemangioma was visualized using intermittent CT fluoroscopy. After injection of approximately 2.5 cc of cement, it was felt that there was near complete filling of the right sacral hemangioma. With satisfactory achievement of cement filling, the procedure was terminated. Pathology from biopsy taken at the time of the procedure was consistent with hemangioma.
Image-guided sacroplasty with well-defined endpoints is an effective, minimally invasive and safe procedure. Patients with painful sacral hemangiomas can be treated with this technique with no significant complications.
PMCID: PMC3670066  PMID: 23693051
sacral hemangioma, sacroplasty
20.  Right hepatectomy for giant cavernous hemangioma with diffuse hemangiomatosis around Glisson’s capsule 
Diffuse liver hemangiomatosis with giant cavernous hemangioma in adult is extremely rare. A 35 year-old woman presented to hospital with main complaint of epigastric pain and abdominal fullness. An enhanced computed tomography scan revealed a massive liver tumor in right lobe about 150 mm in size. There was contrast enhancement at the periphery of the mass consistent with a cavernous hemangioma. She underwent right hepatectomy. Histologically, it was diagnosed as a cavernous hemangioma. And also, hemangiomatous lesions were scattered around the Glisson’s capsule on the back ground liver. These hemangiomatous lesions were not recognized preoperatively. Even if we couldn’t diagnose hemangiomatosis around the main giant hemangioma preoperatively, we need to take enough surgical margins because the giant hemangioma has the potential to have small hemangiomatous lesions around the tumor. We reported right hepatectomy for giant cavernous hemangioma with diffuse hepatic hemangiomatosis without an extrahepatic lesion in an adult.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i25.8312
PMCID: PMC4081710  PMID: 25009410
Giant cavernous hemangioma; Hemangiomatosis; Right hepatectomy; Around Glisson’s capsule; Surgery
21.  Lumbar Disc Herniation in a Patient With Congenital Vertebral Body Anomaly: A Case Report 
Korean Journal of Spine  2014;11(4):245-248.
Lumbar disc herniation is characterized with low back and leg pain resulting from the degenerated lumbar disc compressing the spinal nerve root. The etiology of degenerative spine is related to age, smoking, microtrauma, obesity, disorders of familial collagen structure, occupational and sports-related physical activity. However, disc herniations induced by congenital lumbar vertebral anomalies are rarely seen. Vertebral fusion defect is one of the causes of congenital anomalies. The pathogenesis of embryological corpus vertebral fusion anomaly is not fully known. In this paper, a 30-year-old patient who had the complaints of low back and right leg pain after falling from a height is presented. She had right L5-S1 disc herniation that had developed on the basis of S1 vertebra corpus fusion anomaly in Lumbar computed tomography. This case has been discussed in the light of literature based on evaluations of Lumbar Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This case is unique in that it is the first case with development of lumbar disc herniation associated with S1 vertebral corpus fusion anomaly. Congenital malformations with unusual clinical presentation after trauma should be evaluated through advanced radiological imaging techniques.
doi:10.14245/kjs.2014.11.4.245
PMCID: PMC4303288  PMID: 25620987
Fusion anomaly; Disc hernia; Trauma; Nervous system
22.  Pure Spinal Epidural Cavernous Hemangioma with Intralesional Hemorrhage: A Rare Cause of Thoracic Myelopathy 
Korean Journal of Spine  2014;11(2):85-88.
Although cavernous hemangiomas occur frequently in the intracranial structures, they are rare in the spine. Most of spinal hemangiomas are vertebral origin and "pure" epidural hemangiomas not originating from the vertebral bone are very rare. Our spinal hemangioma case is extremely rare because of its "pure" epidural involvement and intralesional hemorrhage. A 64-year-old man presented with progressive paraparesis from two months ago. His motor weakness was rated as grade 4/5 in bilateral lower extremities. He also complained of decreased sensation below the T4 sensory dermatome, which continuously progressed to the higher dermatome level. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated thoracic spinal tumor at T3-T4 level. The tumor was located epidural space compressing thoracic spinal cord ventrally. The tumor was not involved with the thoracic vertebral bone. We performed T3-5 laminectomy and removed the tumor completely. The tumor was not infiltrating into intradural space or vertebral bone. The histopathologic study confirmed the epidural tumor as cavernous hemangioma. Postoperatively, his weakness improved gradually. Four months later, his paraparesis recovered completely. Here, we present a case of pure spinal epidural cavernous hemangioma, which has intralesional hemorrhage. We believe cavernous hemangioma should be included in the differential diagnosis of the spinal epidural tumors.
doi:10.14245/kjs.2014.11.2.85
PMCID: PMC4124926  PMID: 25110490
Cavernous; Epidural; Hemangioma; Hemorrhage; Spine
23.  Spinal Textiloma (Gossypiboma): A Report of Three Cases Misdiagnosed as Tumour 
Balkan medical journal  2013;30(4):422-428.
Background:
Textile products commonly used in surgery (e.g., sponges or gauze) have been known to cause complications after spinal surgery. Associated complications usually arise months or even years after the primary surgery. In case of spine surgery, these bodies are often detected during neuroradiological evaluations to investigate reported back pain; however, this complication often remains asymptomatic.
Aims:
The research is intended to increase awareness among both spinal surgeons and neuroradiologists of this potential complication.
Study Design:
Retrospective study.
Methods:
This study is a retrospective case series of three patients with retained surgical textile products who had been misdiagnosed with spinal tumour. The medical records of the patients were reviewed and demographic data, clinical aspects, initial diagnosis, surgical procedures, time interval between previous operation and onset of symptoms, laboratory findings, radiological findings, treatment, and outcome were analysed.
Results:
The three patients included two women and one man aged between 64 and 67 years. All patients had a previous surgery for lumbar disc herniation. The time from the previous surgical procedures to presentation ranged from 3 to 17 years. All patients presented with non-specific lower back pain and/or radiculopathy without clinical findings of infection. Laboratory parameters were otherwise normal. All three cases had been misdiagnosed as a spinal tumor based on magnetic resonance imaging findings. During new surgical procedures, gauze bandages, i.e., surgical textiles left during a previous operation, were found.
Conclusion:
Textiloma is an important and rarely mentioned potential neurosurgical complication that may remain asymptomatic for years. They are more common in obese patients, after emergency surgery, and with unplanned changes in surgical procedure such as bleeding and unintended neurosurgical complications. Neuroradiological findings are variable and non-specific; thus, patients could be misdiagnosed with a spinal tumor or abscess. Likewise, in patients with a history of spinal surgery, spinal abscesses, haematomas, hypertrophic scars, fibrosarcomas, rhabdomyosarcomas, and schwannomas should definitely be considered in the differential diagnosis and considered when planning diagnostic procedures. Appropriate antibiotic therapy is recommended when a suppurative complication is present or suspected. Textiloma is a medico-legal complication that can be prevented by the education of surgical staff, the counting method (preoperatively, at closure, and at the end), and use of products with radiopaque barcodes.
doi:10.5152/balkanmedj.2013.8732
PMCID: PMC4115950  PMID: 25207152
Gauze bandage; spinal tumour; surgical textile products; lumbar spine; gossypiboma; foreign body granuloma
24.  Postoperative spinal epidural hematoma resulting in cauda equina syndrome: a case report and review of the literature 
Cases Journal  2009;2:8584.
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.
doi:10.4076/1757-1626-2-8584
PMCID: PMC2740261  PMID: 19830087
25.  Relationships between epidural fibrosis, pain, disability, and psychological factors after lumbar disc surgery 
European Spine Journal  2000;9(3):218-223.
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.
doi:10.1007/s005860000144
PMCID: PMC3611400  PMID: 10905440
Key words Visual analog scale (VAS); Oswestry Disability; Questionnaire (ODQ); Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI); Epidural fibrosis; Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)

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