Pseudotumor cerebri is a condition of increased intracranial pressure in the absence of clinical, laboratory or radiological pathology. Spinal intradural hematoma formation after lumboperitoneal shunt (LPS) implantation is very rare, but it can cause sudden and serious deterioration. In this report, we present a patient who developed an intradural hematoma following LPS operation. A 27-year-old male patient suffering from headaches and progressive vision loss was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri. He underwent LPS operation in January 2009. Four hours after the operation, he developed urinary and fecal incontinence with paraparesis (1/5). Lumbar magnetic resonance imaging identified an intradural hematoma at the level of L2-L3, and he was reoperated. The intradural hematoma was removed. Physical therapy was started because of paraparesis. Two months later, the patient's muscle strength had increased to 3/5. Surgeons must remember that, LPS implantation can cause a spinal intradural hematoma in a small percentage of patients, with catastrophic results.
Pseudotumor cerebri; Lumboperitoneal shunt; Intradural hematoma; Paraparesis; Cauda equina syndrome
Brain herniation into the middle ear is very rarely seen. In addition to reasons like congenital factors, trauma, and infection, tegmen defect may develop as a result of iatrogenic events secondary to chronic otitis media surgery with or without cholesteatoma. Since it may cause life-threatening complications, patients must be evaluated and monitored for tegmen defect. In this paper, diagnosis and treatment of a brain herniation case due to iatrogenic tegmen defect were described along with relevant literature.
Fusion and rigid instrumentation have been currently the mainstay for the surgical treatment of degenerative diseases of the spine over the last 4 decades. In all over the world the common experience was formed about fusion surgery. Satisfactory results of lumbar spinal fusion appeared completely incompatible and unfavorable within years. Rigid spinal implants along with fusion cause increased stresses of the adjacent segments and have some important disadvantages such as donor site morbidity including pain, wound problems, infections because of longer operating time, pseudarthrosis, and fatigue failure of implants. Alternative spinal implants were developed with time on unsatisfactory outcomes of rigid internal fixation along with fusion. Motion preservation devices which include both anterior and posterior dynamic stabilization are designed and used especially in the last two decades. This paper evaluates the dynamic stabilization of the lumbar spine and talks about chronologically some novel dynamic stabilization devices and thier efficacies.
We report the case of a 22-year old man with intracranial metallic foreign bodies who presented complaining of a headache. His history of headaches had begun when he was five years old and continued with increasing severity. Six months before hospital admission, nausea and vomiting began to accompany his headache. Computed tomography scan revealed that 2 metallic foreign bodies were located adjacent to the vertex and another was next to the ambient cistern. The location and position of foreign bodies suggested that they were introduced in infancy through the anterior fontanelle before its closure in an unsuccessful homicide attempt. This case is one of the few reported cases combining headache and intracranial foreign bodies and we discuss the relationship between headache and these metallic materials.
brain; foreign body; sewing needle; homicide; headache.
Low-back pain is a common problem in neu-rosurgery practice, and an algorithm has been developed for assessing these cases. However, one subgroup of these patients shares several clinical features and these individuals are not easy to categorize and diagnose. We present our observations for 8 of these patients, individuals with low-back pain caused by atypical annulus fibrosus rupture (AAR). The aim of this study is to show the consequences of overlooked annular tears on acute onset of low back pain. Eight patients with acute-onset severe low-back pain were admitted. Physical examinations were normal and each individual was examined neurologically and assessed with neuroradiologic studies [plain x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), discography and computed tomography (CT) discography]. AAR was ultimately diagnosed with provocative discography. In all cases, MRI showed a healthy disc or mild degeneration, whereas discography and CT discography demonstrated disc disease. Anterior interbody cage implantation was performed in 3 of the 8 cases and posterior dynamic stabilization was carried out in 3 cases. The other 2 individuals refused surgery, and we were informed that one of them developed disc herniation at the affected level 1 year after our diagnosis. Clinical and radiological outcomes were evaluated. In cases where AAR is suspected, MRI, discography, and CT discography should be performed in addition to routine neuroradiologic studies.
atypical annulus fibrosus rupture; CT discography; low-back pain.
We retrospectively reviewed the clinical characteristics and the surgical results of seven patients treated with L5 vertebrectomy. The pathologies, clinical characteristics, preoperative and postoperative radiological findings, surgical techniques, and instrumentation for seven patients operated on between 1998 and 2009 are presented in this article. Biopsies were performed on all patients except those involving trauma. Patients were followed up at three-month intervals in the first year, at 6-month intervals in the second year, and on a regular basis afterward. One patient had a traumatic L5 burst fracture; the other six had tumoral pathologies in the L5 vertebrae. One tumoral lesion was a chordoma, another was a hemangioma, and the remaining four were metastatic lesions. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy were performed for the metastatic tumor patients during the postoperative period. Patients with renal cancer and chordoma survived for 3 years; patients with lung cancer and bladder cancer survived for 1 year; and patients with breast cancer survived for 16 months. The lumbosacral region presents significant stabilization problems because of the presence of sacral slope. In our opinion, if the lesion involves only the L5 vertebra, anterior cage-filled bone cement or bone graft should be performed, as dictated by the pathology and posterior transpedicular instrumentation. If the lesion involves the L4 vertebra or the sacrum and the L5 vertebra, the instrumentation can be extended to cover other segments with sacral attachments. The present cases involved only L5 vertebra and treatment with short-segment stabilization covering the anterior and posterior columns.
L5 vertebrectomy; short-segment stabilization; lumbosacral region pathologies; spinal neoplasm; fifth lumbar burst fracture; instability of the lumbosacral region.
Primary central nervous system lymphomas are infrequently occurring lymphomas that account for only 0.3-1.5% of all intra-cranial neoplasms in patients without acquired immune deficiency syndrome. However, a pure third ventricle lymphoma is extremely rare. Here, we discuss the similar radiological appearances of lesions localized in the third ventricle and the importance of accurately diagnosing primary central nervous system lymphomas for favorable treatment outcomes.
A 38-year-old Caucasian man from Turkey presented with a severe headache lasting for three months that failed to respond to any medication. Both severity and duration of the symptoms increased gradually, resulting in vomiting, nausea and gait disturbance that accompanied the headache for three weeks. Neuro-imaging studies showed a lesion located solely in the third ventricle, resulting in partial obstruction of the foramen of Monro. The pre-operative diagnosis was a colloid cyst. Following the surgical procedure, the results of pathological and immunochemical assays revealed that the pre-operative diagnosis was incorrect and that the lesion was a primary central system lymphoma.
Pure third ventricle lymphomas are extremely rare and are exceptionally localized. It is important to be aware of, and to differentiate between, other possible third ventricular lesions that may mimic the same radiological appearance. Accurate diagnosis is necessary for selecting appropriate treatment modalities.
Aneurysm rupture results in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) with subsequent vasospasm in the cerebral and cerebellar major arteries. In recent years, there has been increasing evidence that hypercholesterolemia plays a role in the pathology of SAH. It is known that hypercholesterolemia is one of the major risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis. Among the factors that have been found to retard the development of atherosclerosis is the intake of a sufficient amount of Vitamin E. An inverse association between serum Vitamin E and coronary heart disease mortality has been demonstrated in epidemiologic studies. Therefore, we tested, in an established model of enhanced cholesterol feed in rabbits, the effects of hypercholesterolemia on vasospasm after SAH by using computed tomography (CT) angiograms of the rabbit basilar artery; in addition, we tested the effects of Vitamin E on these conditions, which have not been studied up to now.
In this study rabbits were divided into 3 major groups: control, cholesterol fed, and cholesterol + Vitamin E fed. Hypercholesterolemia was induced by a 2% cholesterol-containing diet. Three rabbit groups were fed rabbit diet; one group was fed a diet that also contained 2% cholesterol and another group was fed a diet containing 2% cholesterol and they received i.m. injections of 50 mg/kg of Vitamin E. After 8 weeks, SAH was induced by the double-hemorrhage method and distilled water was injected into cisterna magna. Blood was taken to measure serum cholesterol and Vitamin E levels. Basilar artery samples were taken for microscopic examination. CT angiography and measurement of basilar artery diameter were performed at days 0 and 3 after SAH.
Two percent cholesterol diet supplementation for 8 weeks resulted in a significant increase in serum cholesterol levels. Light microscopic analysis of basilar artery of hypercholesterolemic rabbits showed disturbances in the subendothelial and medial layers, degeneration of elastic fibers in the medial layer from endothelial cell desquamation, and a reduction of waves in the endothelial layer. However, the cholesterol + Vitamin E group did not exhibit these changes. The mean diameter of the basilar artery after SAH induction in the cholesterol-treated group was decreased 47% compared with the mean diameter of the control group. This value was less affected in cholesterol + Vitamin E-treated rabbits, which decreased 18% compared with the mean diameter of the control group.
Hypercholesterolemia-related changes in the basilar artery aggravate vasospasm after SAH. Adding Vitamin E to cholesterol-treated rabbits decreased the degree of vasospasm following SAH in the rabbit basilar artery SAH model. We suggest that Vitamin E supplements and a low cholesterol diet may potentially diminish SAH complicated by vasospasm in high-risk patients.
Aneurysm; atherosclerosis; hypercholesterolemia; subarachnoid hemorrhage; vasospasm; Vitamin E
Although some investigators believe that the rate of postoperative instability is low after lumbar spinal stenosis surgery, the majority believe that postoperative instability usually develops. Decompression alone and decompression with fusion have been widely used for years in the surgical treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. Nevertheless, in recent years several biomechanical studies have shown that posterior dynamic transpedicular stabilization provides stabilization that is like the rigid stabilization systems of the spine. Recently, posterior transpedicular dynamic stabilization has been more commonly used as an alternative treatment option (rather than rigid stabilization with fusion) for the treatment of degenerative spines with chronic instability and for the prevention of possible instability after decompression in lumbar spinal stenosis surgery.
A total of 30 patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (19 women and 11 men) were included in the study group. The mean age was 67.3 years (range, 40–85 years). Along with lumbar decompression, a posterior dynamic transpedicular stabilization (dynamic transpedicular screw–rigid rod system) without fusion was performed in all patients. Clinical and radiologic results for patients were evaluated during follow-up visits at 3, 12, and 24 months postoperatively.
The mean follow-up period was 42.93 months (range, 24–66 months). A clinical evaluation of patients showed that, compared with preoperative assessments, statistically significant improvements were observed in the Oswestry and visual analog scale scores in the last follow-up control. Compared with preoperative values, there were no statistically significant differences in radiologic evaluations, such as segmental lordosis angle (α) scores (P = .125) and intervertebral distance scores (P = .249). There were statistically significant differences between follow-up lumbar lordosis scores (P = .048). There were minor complications, including a subcutaneous wound infection in 2 cases, a dural tear in 2 cases, cerebrospinal fluid fistulas in 1 case, a urinary tract infection in 1 case, and urinary retention in 1 case. We observed L5 screw loosening in 1 of the 3-level decompression cases. No screw breakage was observed and no revision surgery was performed in any of these cases.
Posterior dynamic stabilization without fusion applied to lumbar decompression leads to better clinical and radiologic results in degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. To avoid postoperative instability, especially in elderly patients who undergo degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis surgery with chronic instability, the application of decompression with posterior dynamic transpedicular stabilization is likely an important alternative surgical option to fusion, because it does not have fusion-related side effects, is easier to perform than fusion, requires a shorter operation time, and has low morbidity and complication rates.
Lumbar spinal stenosis; Posterior dynamic stabilization; Microlumbar decompression; Spinal fusion; Spinal instability
The observed rate of recurrent disc herniation after limited posterior lumbar discectomy is highest in patients with posterior wide annular defects, according to the Carragee classification of type II (fragment-defect) disc hernia. Although the recurrent herniation rate is lower in both type III (fragment-contained) and type IV (no fragment-contained) patients, recurrent persistent sciatica is observed in both groups. A higher rate of recurrent disc herniation and sciatica was observed in all 3 groups in comparison to patients with type I (fragment-fissure) disc hernia.
In total, 40 single-level lumbar disc herniation cases were treated with limited posterior lumbar microdiscectomy and posterior dynamic stabilization. The mean follow-up period was 32.75 months. Cases were selected after preoperative magnetic resonance imaging and intraoperative observation. We used the Carragee classification system in this study and excluded Carragee type I (fragment-fissure) disc herniations. Clinical results were evaluated with visual analog scale scores and Oswestry scores. Patients’ reherniation rates and clinical results were evaluated and recorded at 3, 12, and 24 months postoperatively.
The most common herniation type in our study was type III (fragment-contained), with 45% frequency. The frequency of fragment-defects was 25%, and the frequency of no fragment-contained defects was 30%. The perioperative complications observed were as follows: 1 patient had bladder retention that required catheterization, 1 patient had a superficial wound infection, and 1 patient had a malpositioned transpedicular screw. The malpositioned screw was corrected with a second operation, performed 1 month after the first. Recurrent disc herniation was not observed during the follow-up period.
We observed that performing discectomy with posterior dynamic stabilization decreased the risk of recurrent disc herniations in Carragee type II, III, and IV groups, which had increased reherniation and persistent/continuous sciatica after limited lumbar microdiscectomy. Moreover, after 2 years’ follow-up, we obtained improved clinical results.
Limited discectomy; Carragee classification system; Dynamic stabilization; Lumbar disc herniation
To evaluate the clinical results of gross total resection in the surgical approach to spinal ependymoma.
Between June 1995 and May 2009, 13 males and 8 females (mean age 34) diagnosed with intramedullary or extramedullary spinal ependymoma were surgically treated at our centre. The neurological and functional state of each patient were evaluated according to the modified McCormick scale.
The average follow-up duration was 54 months (ranging from 12 to 168 months). The locations of the lesions were: thoracic region (4, 19%), lumbar region (7, 34%), cervical region (4, 19%), cervicothoracic region (3, 14%) and conus medullaris (3, 14%). Four patients (19%) had deterioration of neurological function in the early postoperative period. The neurological function of three patients was completely recovered at the 6th postoperative month, while that of another patient was recovered at the 14th month. In the last assessment of neurological function, 20 patients (95%) were assessed as McCormick grade 1. No perioperative complications developed in any of our patients. In one patient's 24-month assessment, tumour recurrence was observed. Re-operation was not performed and the patient was taken under observation.
Two determinants of good clinical results after spinal ependymoma surgery are a gross total resection of the tumour and a good neurological condition before the operation. Although neurological deficits in the early postoperative period can develop as a result of gross total tumour resection, significant improvement is observed six months after the operation.
Ependymoma; Intramedullary ependymoma; Intramedullary tumour; Functional outcome
A lumbar pedicular dynamic stabilization system (LPDSS) is an alternative to fusion for treatment of degenerative disc disease (DDD). In this study, clinical and radiological results of one LPDSS (Saphinaz, Medikon AS, Turkey) were compared with results of rigid fixation after two-year follow-up.
All patients had anteroposterior and lateral standing x-rays of the lumbar spine preoperatively and at 3 months, 12 months and 24 months after surgery. Lordosis of the lumbar spine, segmental lordosis and ratio of the height of the intervertebral disc spaces (IVS) measured preoperatively and at 3 months, 12 months and 24 months after surgery.
All patients underwent MRI and/or CT preoperatively, 3months, 12 months and 24 months postoperatively. The ratio of intervertebral disc space to vertebral body height (IVS) and segmental and lumbar lordosis were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively. Pain scores were evaluated via Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) preoperatively and postoperatively.
In both groups, the VAS and ODI scores decreased significantly from preoperatively to postoperatively. There was no difference in the scores between groups except that a lower VAS and ODI scores were observed after 3 months in the LPDSS group. In both groups, the IVS ratio remained unchanged between preoperative and postoperative conditions. The lumbar and segmental lordotic angles decreased insignificantly to preoperative levels in the months following surgery.
Patients with LPDSS had equivalent relief of pain and maintenance of sagittal balance to patients with standard rigid screw-rod fixation. LPDSS appears to be a good alternative to rigid fixation.
Degenerative disc disease; dynamic stabilization; lumbar spine; rigid stabilization.
The objective of this article is to evaluate two-year clinical and radiological follow-up results for patients who were treated with microdiscectomy and posterior dynamic transpedicular stabilisation (PDTS) due to recurrent disc herniation. This article is a prospective clinical study. We conducted microdiscectomy and PDTS (using a cosmic dynamic screw-rod system) in 40 cases (23 males, 17 females) with a diagnosis of recurrent disc herniation. Mean age of included patients was 48.92 ± 12.18 years (range: 21-73 years). Patients were clinically and radiologically evaluated for follow-up for at least two years. Patients’ postoperative clinical results and radiological outcomes were evaluated during the 3rd, 12th, and 24th months after surgery. Forty patients who underwent microdiscectomy and PDTS were followed for a mean of 41 months (range: 24-63 months). Both the Oswestry and VAS scores showed significant improvements two years postoperatively in comparison to preoperative scores (p<0.01). There were no significant differences between any of the three measured radiological parameters (α, LL, IVS) after two years of follow-up (p > 0.05). New recurrent disc herniations were not observed during follow-up in any of the patients. We observed complications in two patients. Performing microdiscectomy and PDTS after recurrent disc herniation can decrease the risk of postoperative segmental instability. This approach reduces the frequency of failed back syndrome with low back pain and sciatica.
Lumbar spine; recurrent disc herniation; decompression; posterior dynamic stabilisation; segmental instability; adjacent level disease.
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.
Remote cerebellar hemorrhage after supratentorial surgery is rare, ranging between 0.08% and 0.29% in adults and children. However, it is extremely rare in children. This phenomenon underlying mechanisms remain obscure. A 14-year-old male child patient had a history of right focal seizures and underwent craniotomy for a left frontal mass (Dysembryoplastic Neuroepithelial Tumor). First hours post recovery period, the patient was somnolent and had right hemiparesis. Postoperative Computer Tomography and magnetic resonance imaging findings revealed that the patient had developed remote cerebellar hemorrhage. He was treated conservatively, and was free of neurological deficits.
Although dehydration and the displacement of the cerebellum are associated with this phenomenon after supratentorial surgery, the identification of the exact etiological factors remains elusive. It is advisable for case givers to be aware of the high potential risk of morbidity and mortality of this entity. Preoperative attention to prevent cerebrospinal fluid overflow leakage and exaggerated dehydration of the patient may prevent remote cerebellar hemorrhages.
Prosthetic replacement of spinal discs is emerging as a treatment option for degenerative disc disease. Posterior dynamic transpedicular stabilization (PDTS) and prosthetic disc nucleus (PDN) devices have been used sporadically in spinal surgery.
This was a prospective study of 13 patients averaging 40.9 years of age with degenerative disc disease who underwent posterior placement of a PDN with a PDTS. The Oswestry low-back pain disability questionnaire and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain were used to assess patient outcomes at the 3rd, 6th, and 12th postoperative months.
Lumbar range of motion was evaluated using a bubble inclinometer preoperatively and at 12 months postoperatively. Radiological parameters including lumbar lordosis angle (LL), segmental lordosis angle (α), disc height at the operated level (DHo), and disc height of the adjacent level (DHu) were evaluated. A typical midline posterior approach for complete discectomy was followed by the simultaneous placement of the PDN with PDTS.
Both the Oswestry and VAS scores showed significant improvement postoperatively (P < .05). There were no significant differences in LL, α, DHo, and DHu parameters. We observed complications in 3 patients including 2 patients who had the PDN device embedded into the adjacent corpus; 1 had massive endplate degeneration, and the other experienced interbody space infection. In 1 patient, the PDN device migrated to one side in the vertebral space.
The use of a PDN in combination with posterior dynamic instrumentation can help to restore the physiologic motion of the anterior and posterior column and could help to establish posterior dynamic instrumentation as an important treatment of degenerative disc disease. Theoretically this concept is superior, but practically we need more advanced technology to replace disc material. Because this study examined the combination of the PDN and stabilization instrumention, the results cannot be compared with those reported in the literature for either PDN alone or dynamic screws alone.
Level of Evidence
Prospective cohort study with good follow-up (level 1b).
Dynamic instrumentation; prosthetic disc nucleus; degenerative disc disease; non fusion treatment; lumbar disc herniation