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1.  Paraspinal Muscle Sparing versus Percutaneous Screw Fixation : A Prospective and Comparative Study for the Treatment of L5-S1 Spondylolisthesis 
Both the paraspinal muscle sparing approach and percutaneous screw fixation are less traumatic procedures in comparison with the conventional midline approach. These techniques have been used with the goal of reducing muscle injury. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and to compare the safety and efficacy of the paraspinal muscle sparing technique and percutaneous screw fixation for the treatment of L5-S1 spondylolisthesis.
Twenty patients who had undergone posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) at the L5-S1 segment for spondylolisthesis were prospectively studied. They were divided into two groups by screw fixation technique (Group I : paraspinal muscle sparing approach and Group II: percutaneous screw fixation). Clinical outcomes were assessed by Low Back Outcome Score (LBOS) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for back and leg pain at different times after surgery. In addition, modified MacNab's grading criteria were used to assess subjective patients' outcomes 6 months after surgery. Postoperative midline surgical scarring, intraoperative blood loss, mean operation time, and procedure-related complications were analyzed.
Excellent or good results were observed in all patients in both groups 6 months after surgery. Patients in both groups showed marked improvement in terms of LBOSs all over time intervals. Postoperative midline surgical scarring and intraoperative blood loss were lower in Group II compared to Group I although these differences were not statistically significant. Low back pain (LBP) and leg pain in both groups also showed significant improvement when compared to preoperative scores. However, at 7 days and 1 month after surgery, patients in Group II had significantly better LBP scores compared to Group I.
In terms of LBP during the early postoperative period, patients who underwent percutaneous screw fixation showed better results compared to ones who underwent screw fixation via the paraspinal muscle sparing approach. Our results indicate that the percutaneous screw fixation procedure is the preferable minimally invasive technique for reducing LBP associated with L5-S1 spondylolisthesis.
PMCID: PMC3085812  PMID: 21556236
Spondylolisthesis; Paraspinal muscle sparing approach; Percutaneous screw fixation; Back pain
2.  Screw Fixation without Fusion for Low Lumbar Burst Fracture : A Severe Canal Compromise But Neurologically Intact Case 
The low lumbar spine is deeply located in flexible segments, and has a physiologic lordosis. Therefore, burst fractures of the low lumbar spine are uncommon injuries. The treatment for such injuries may either be conservative or surgical management according to canal compromise and the neurological status. However, there are no general guidelines or consensus for the treatment of low lumbar burst fractures especially in neurologically intact cases with severe canal compromise. We report a patient with a burst fracture of the fourth lumbar vertebra, who was treated surgically but without fusion because of the neurologically intact status in spite of severe canal compromise of more than 85%. It was possible to preserve motion segments by removal of screws at one year later. We also discuss why bone fusion was not necessary with review of the relevant literature.
PMCID: PMC3079100  PMID: 21519504
Burst fracture; Low lumbar spine; Fusion
3.  Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Causing Cervical Myelopathy in a Child 
Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), a disorder of the phagocytic system, is a rare condition. Moreover, spinal involvement causing myelopathy is even rare and unusual. Here, we report a case of atypical LCH causing myelopathy, which was subsequently treated by corpectemy and fusion. A 5-year-old boy presented with 3 weeks of severe neck pain and limited neck movement accompanying right arm motor weakness. CT scans revealed destruction of C7 body and magnetic resonance imaging showed a tumoral process at C7 with cord compression. Interbody fusion using cervical mesh packed by autologus iliac bone was performed. Pathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of LCH. After the surgery, the boy recovered from radiating pain and motor weakness of right arm. Despite the rarity of the LCH in the cervical spine, it is necessary to maintain our awareness of this condition. When neurologic deficits are present, operative treatment should be considered.
PMCID: PMC2899035  PMID: 20617093
Langerhans cell histiocytosis; Cervical spine; Cord compression

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