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1.  The Prevalence of Undiagnosed Presurgical Cognitive Impairment and Its Postsurgical Clinical Impact in Older Patients Undergoing Lumbar Spine Surgery 
Because elderly patients are undergoing more surgeries, the importance of postoperative cognitive impairment (CI) evaluations is rising, especially for spine surgery, which is related to subjective pain. We investigated the prevalence of undiagnosed CI among elderly patients who underwent spine surgery and the impact of CI on postoperative outcomes.
The preoperative cognitive statuses of 129 patients over 65 who underwent lumbar spine surgery from 2012 to 2014 were determined with the Mini-Mental State Examination, and patients with scores under 24 were diagnosed with CI. The patients were then divided into a CI group (n=49) and non-cognitive impairment (NCI) group (n=80).
Among the 129 patients, 49 (38.0%) were diagnosed with CI, and 9 (7.0%) had severe CI. The age of the CI group (72.88±6.20 years) was significantly greater than that of the NCI group (69.96±4.53 years). In contrast, the postoperative visual analog scale scores and performance statuses did not differ significantly. However, postoperative delirium was more frequent and the hospital stay length was longer in the CI group compared with the NCI group (p<0.05).
A high prevalence of undiagnosed CI was discovered among elderly patients undergoing spine surgery. The existence of CI was associated with higher rates of postoperative delirium and prolonged hospital stays, which affected clinical outcomes. Thus, CI assessments should be included in preoperative evaluations of elderly patients prior to spine surgery.
PMCID: PMC4877553  PMID: 27226862
Cognitive impairment; Lumbar spine surgery; Postoperative delirium; Elderly patients
2.  Spinous Process-Splitting Hemilaminoplasty for Intradural and Extradural Lesions 
To describe a novel spinous process-splitting hemilaminoplasty technique for the surgical treatment of intradural and posterior epidural lesions that promotes physiological restoration.
The spinous process was split, the area of the facet lamina junction was drilled, and en bloc hemilaminectomy was then performed. After removing intradural and posterior epidural lesions, we fitted the previously en bloc-removed bone to the pre-surgery same shape, and held it in place with non-absorbable sutures. Surgery was performed on 16 laminas from a total of nine patients between 2011 and 2014. Bony union of the reconstructed lamina was assessed using computed tomography (CT) at 6 months after surgery.
Spinous process-slitting hemilaminoplasty was performed for intradural extramedullary tumors in eight patients and for ossification of the ligament flavum in one patient. Because we were able to visualize the margin of the ipsilateral and contralateral dura, we were able to secure space for removal of the lesion and closure of the dura. None of the cases showed spinal deformity or other complications. Bone fusion and maintenance of the spinal canal were found to be perfect on CT scans.
The spinous process-splitting hemilaminoplasty technique presented here was successful in creating sufficient space to remove intradural and posterior epidural lesions and to close the dura. Furthermore, we were able to maintain the physiological barrier and integrity after surgery because the posterior musculature and bone structures were restored.
PMCID: PMC4688324  PMID: 26713155
Spinous process-splitting hemilaminoplasty; Physiological integrity; Intradural and posterior extradural lesion
3.  Survival Rates and Risk Factors for Cephalad and L5-S1 Adjacent Segment Degeneration after L5 Floating Lumbar Fusion : A Minimum 2-Year Follow-Up 
Although the L5-S1 has distinct structural features in comparison with other lumbar spine segments, not much is known about adjacent segment degeneration (ASD) at the L5-S1 segment. The aim of study was to compare the incidence and character of ASD of the cephalad and L5-S1 segments after L5 floating lumbar fusion.
From 2005 to 2010, 115 patients who underwent L5 floating lumber fusion were investigated. The mean follow-up period was 46.1 months. The incidence of radiological and clinical ASD of the cephalad and the L5-S1 segments was compared using survival analysis. Risk factors affecting ASD were analyzed using a log rank test and the Cox proportional hazard model.
Radiological ASD of the L5-S1 segment had a statistically significant higher survival rate than that of the cephalad segment (p=0.001). However, clinical ASD of the L5-S1 segment was significantly lower survival rates than that of the cephalad segment (p=0.038). Risk factor analysis showed that disc degeneration of the cephalad segment and preoperative spinal stenosis of the L5-S1 segment were risk factors.
In L5 floating fusion, radiological ASD was more common in the cephalad segment and clinical ASD was more common in the L5-S1 segment. At the L5-S1 segment, the degree of spinal stenosis appears to be the most influential risk factor in ASD incidences, unlike the cephalad segment.
PMCID: PMC4345187  PMID: 25733991
Radiological adjacent segment degeneration; Clinical adjacent segment degeneration; Cephalad segment; L5-S1 segment
4.  Comparison of Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Direct Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Clinical and Radiological Results 
The use of direct lumbar interbody fusion (DLIF) has gradually increased; however, no studies have directly compared DLIF and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). We compared DLIF and TLIF on the basis of clinical and radiological outcomes.
A retrospective review was performed on the medical records and radiographs of 98 and 81 patients who underwent TLIF and DLIF between January 2011 and December 2012. Clinical outcomes were compared with a visual analog scale (VAS) and the Oswestry disability index (ODI). The preoperative and postoperative disc heights, segmental sagittal/coronal angles, and lumbar lordosis were measured on radiographs. Fusion rates, operative time, estimated blood loss (EBL), length of hospital stay, and complications were assessed.
DLIF was superior to TLIF regarding its ability to restore disc height, foraminal height, and coronal balance (p<0.001). As the extent of surgical level increased, DLIF displayed significant advantages over TLIF considering the operative time and EBL. However, fusion rates at 12 months post-operation were lower for DLIF (87.8%) than for TLIF (98.1%) (p=0.007). The changes of VAS and ODI between the TLIF and DLIF were not significantly different (p>0.05).
Both DLIF and TLIF are less invasive and thus good surgical options for treating degenerative lumber diseases. DLIF has higher potential in increasing neural foramina and correcting coronal balance, and involves a shorter operative time and reduced EBL, in comparison with TLIF. However, DLIF displayed a lower fusion rate than TLIF, and caused complications related to the transpsoas approach.
PMCID: PMC4303721  PMID: 25628805
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; Direct lumbar interbody fusion; Segmental balance; Coronal balance; Fusion rate
5.  Long Term Effect on Adjacent Segment Motion after Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy 
Korean Journal of Spine  2014;11(1):1-6.
Posterior cervical foraminotomy (PCF) is a motion-preserving surgical technique. The objective was to determine whether PCF alter cervical motion as a long-term influence.
Thirty one patients who followed up more than 36 months after PCF for cervical radiculopathy from January 2004 to September 2008 were enrolled in this study. The range of motion (ROM) of whole cervical spine, the operated segment, the cranial and the caudal adjacent segment were obtained. The clinical result and the change of ROMs were compared with those in the patients performed anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) during the same period.
In PCF group, the ROM of whole cervical spine had no significant difference in statistically at preoperative and last follow up. The operated segment ROM was significantly decreased from 11.02±5.72 to 8.82±6.65 (p<0.05). The ROM of cranial adjacent segment was slightly increased from 10.42±5.13 to 11.02±5.41 and the ROM of caudal adjacent segment was decreased from 9.44±6.26 to 8.73±5.92, however these data were not meaningful statistically. In ACDF group, the operated ROM was decreased and unlike in PCF group, especially the ROM of caudal adjacent segment was increased from 9.39±4.21 to 11.33±5.07 (p<0.01).
As part of the long-term effects of PCF on cervical motion, the operated segment motions decreased but were preserved after PCF. However, unlikely after ACDF, the ROMs of the adjacent segment did not increase after PCF. PCF, by maintaining the motion of the operated segment, imposes less stress on the adjacent segments. This may be one of its advantages.
PMCID: PMC4040637  PMID: 24891864
Posterior cervical foraminotomy; Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion; Adjacent segment; Range of motion
6.  Transient Adverse Neurologic Effects of Spinal Pain Blocks 
Chronic neck or back pain can be managed with various procedures. Although these procedures are usually well-tolerated, a variety of side effects have been reported. In this study we reviewed cases of unexpected temporary adverse events after blocks and suggest possible causes.
We reviewed the records of patients treated with spinal pain blocks between December 2009 and January 2011. The types of blocks performed were medial branch blocks, interlaminar epidural blocks and transforaminal epidural blocks. During the first eight months of the study period (Group A), 2% mepivacaine HCL and triamcinolone was used, and during the last six months of the study period (Group B), mepivacaine was diluted to 1% with normal saline.
There were 704 procedures in 613 patients. Ten patients had 12 transient neurologic events. Nine patients were in Group A and one was in Group B. Transient complications occurred in four patients after cervical block and in eight patients after lumbar block. Side effects of lumbar spine blocks were associated with the concentration of mepivacaine (p<0.05). The likely causes were a high concentration of mepivacaine in five patients, inadvertent vascular injection in three patients, intrathecal leak of local anesthetics in one, and underlying conversion disorder in one.
Spinal pain blocks are a good option for relieving pain, but clinicians should always keep in mind the potential for development of inevitable complications. Careful history-taking, appropriate selection of the anesthetics, and using real-time fluoroscopy could help reduce the occurrence of adverse events.
PMCID: PMC3483324  PMID: 23115666
Adverse effect; Spinal pain; Conversion disorder; Medial branch blocks; Paralysis; C2 ganglion block
7.  Leg Weakness in a Patient with Lumbar Stenosis and Adrenal Insufficiency 
Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is a common spinal disease in the elderly. The cardinal symptom of LSS is neurogenic claudication, but not all patients present with such typical symptom. The clinical symptoms are often confused with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, musculo-skeletal disease and other medical conditions in elderly patients. In particular, LSS presenting with rapid progression of leg weakness must be distinguished from other combined diseases. We report a case of rapid progressive leg weakness in a patient with LSS and iatrogenic adrenal insufficiency that was induced by obscure health supplement.
PMCID: PMC3098429  PMID: 21607184
Leg weakness; Lumbar spinal stenosis; Adrenal insufficiency
8.  Isolated Spinal Cord Neurosarcoidosis Diagnosed by Cord Biopsy and Thalidomide Trial 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;26(1):154-157.
We report a case of 54-yr-old woman who presented with 4-extremities weakness and sensory changes, followed by cervical spinal cord lesion in magnetic resonance imaging. Based on the suspicion of spinal tumor, spinal cord biopsy was performed, and the histology revealed multinucleated giant cells, lymphocytes and aggregated histiocytes within granulomatous inflammation, consistent with non-caseating granuloma seen in sarcoidosis. The patient was treated with corticosteroid, immunosuppressant and thalidomide for years. Our case indicates that diagnosis of spinal cord sarcoidosis is challenging and may require histological examination, and high-dose corticosteroid and immunosuppressant will be a good choice in the treatment of spinal cord sarcoidosis, and the thalidomide has to be debated in the spinal cord sarcoidosis.
PMCID: PMC3012843  PMID: 21218047
Sarcoidosis; Neurosarcoidosis; Spinal Cord Sarcoidosis; Thalidomide
9.  A Case of Pedicle Screw Loosening Treated by Modified Transpedicular Screw Augmentation with Polymethylmethacrylate 
We report a case of pedicle screw loosening treated by modified transpedicular screw augmentation technique using polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), which used the anchoring effect of hardened PMMA. A 56-year-old man who had an L3/4/5 fusion operation 3 years ago complained of continuous low back pain after this operation. The computerized tomography showed a radiolucent halo around the pedicle screw at L5. We augmented the L5 pedicle screw with modified pedicle screw augmentation technique using PMMA and performed an L3/4/5 pedicle screw fixation without hook or operation field extension. This modified technique is a kind of transpedicular stiffness augmentation using PMMA for the dead space around the loosed screw. After filling the dead space with 1-2 cc of PMMA, we inserted a small screw. Once the PMMA hardened, we removed the small screw and inserted a thicker screw along the existing screw threading to improve the pedicle screws' pullout strength. At 10 months' follow-up, x-ray showed strong fusion of L3/4/5. The visual analogue scale (VAS) of his back pain was improved from 9 to 5. This modified transpedicular screw augmentation with PMMA using anchoring effect is a simple and effective surgical technique for pedicle screw loosening. However, clinical analyses of long-term follow-up and biomechanical studies are needed.
PMCID: PMC3070902  PMID: 21494370
Instrument failure; Osteoporosis; Pedicle screw loosening; PMMA; Pseudoarthrosis; Surgical technique
10.  Cervical Radiculopathy due to Cervical Degenerative Diseases : Anatomy, Diagnosis and Treatment 
A cervical radiculopathy is the most common symptom of cervical degenerative disease and its natural course is generally favorable. With a precise diagnosis using appropriate tools, the majority of patients will respond well to conservative treatment. Cervical radiculopathy with persistent radicular pain after conservative treatment and progressive or profound motor weakness may require surgery. Options for surgical management are extensive. Each technique has strengths and weaknesses, so the choice will depend on the patient's clinical profile and the surgeon's judgment.
PMCID: PMC3053539  PMID: 21430971
Cervical radiculopathy; Diagnosis; Surgery
11.  Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension Secondary to Lumbar Disc Herniation 
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.
PMCID: PMC2817515  PMID: 20157378
Spontaneous intracranial hypotension; Orthostatic headache; Lumbar disc herniation
12.  Comparison Between Open Procedure and Tubular Retractor Assisted Procedure for Cervical Radiculopathy: Results of a Randomized Controlled Study 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2009;24(4):649-653.
Posterior cervical foraminotomy is an effective surgical technique for the treatment of radicular pain caused by foraminal stenosis or posterolateral herniated discs. The present study was performed to compare the clinical parameters and surgical outcomes of open foraminotomy/discectomy (OF/OFD) and tubular retractor assisted foraminotomy/discectomy (TAF/TAFD) in the treatment of cervical radiculopathy. A total of 41 patients were divided into two groups: 19 patients in Group 1 underwent OF/OFD and 22 patients in Group 2 underwent TAF/TAFD. Among the various clinical parameters, skin incision size, length of hospital stay, analgesic using time, and postoperative neck pain (for the first 4 weeks after the operation) were favorable in Group 2. Surgical outcomes were not different between the two groups. In conclusion, TAF/TAFD should increase patient's compliance and is as clinically effective as much as the OF/OFD.
PMCID: PMC2719221  PMID: 19654947
Radiculopathy; Tubular Retractor Assisted Foraminotomy; Open Foraminotomy
13.  Primary Paraspinal Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor 
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are very rare tumors. We experienced a case of MPNST in the cervical paraspinal space which was not associated with neurofibromatosis. The tumor located in left C6-7 foramen and compressed C7 root. The tumor was removed through the occipital triangle. We report a case of the primary cerivcal MPNST in a patient who did not have neurofibromatosis-1.
PMCID: PMC2588335  PMID: 19096700
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor; Cervical paraspinal space; Occipital triangle
14.  A Case of Myelopathy after Intrathecal Injection of Fluorescein 
We present a case with seizure, confusion, hypesthesia and paraplegia after intrathecal injection of fluorescein. A 41-year-old man was admitted to our institution for the management of the CSF leakage. Intrathecal injection of fluorescein was performed and he complained of severe pain and numbness in the lower extremities at the end of the injection. Four hours later, he exhibited confusion, paraparesis and two episodes of generalized seizures. Two days later, he showed paraplegia and all sensory modalities below the T12 level were absent. Spine magnetic resonance imaging revealed myelopathic change in the lower thoracic spinal cord. There was no improvement of weakness and sensory deficits in lower extremity even 14 days after fluorescein injection. We speculated that thoracic myelopathy was associated with the intrathecal injection of fluorescein. In spite of its rarity, the complication after intrathecal injection of fluorescein could be serious. Thus, obtaining an informed consent with discussion with patient before the procedure is mandatory.
PMCID: PMC2588173  PMID: 19096598
Fluorescein; Intrathecal; Myelopathy
15.  Segmental Deformity Correction after Balloon Kyphoplasty in the Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fracture 
Balloon kyphoplasty can effectively relieve the symptomatic pain and correct the segmental deformity of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. While many articles have reported on the effectiveness of the procedure, there has not been any research on the factors affecting the deformity correction. Here, we evaluated both the relationship between postoperative pain relief and restoration of the vertebral height, and segmental kyphosis, as well as the various factors affecting segmental deformity correction after balloon kyphoplasty.
Between January 2004 and December 2006, 137 patients (158 vertebral levels) underwent balloon kyphoplasty. We analyzed various factors such as the age and sex of the patient, preoperative compression ratio, kyphotic angle of compressed segment, injected PMMA volume, configuration of compression, preoperative bone mineral density (BMD) score, time interval between onset of symptom and the procedure, visual analogue scale (VAS) score for pain rating and surgery-related complications.
The mean postoperative VAS score improvement was 4.93±0.17. The mean postoperative height restoration rate was 17.8±1.57% and the kyphotic angle reduction was 1.94±0.38°. However, there were no significant statistical correlations among VAS score improvement, height restoration rate, and kyphotic angle reduction. Among the various factors, the configuration of the compressed vertebral body (p=0.002) was related to the height restoration rate and the direction of the compression (p=0.006) was related with the kyphotic angle reduction. The preoperative compression ratio (p=0.023, p=0.006) and injected PMMA volume (p<0.001, p=0.035) affected both the height restoration and kyphotic angle reduction. Only the preoperative compression ratio was found to be as an independent affecting factor (95% CI : 1.064-5.068).
The two major benefits of balloon kyphoplasty are immediate pain relief and local deformity correction, but segmental deformity correction achieved by balloon kyphoplasty does not result in additional pain relief. Among the factors that were shown to affect the segmental deformity correction, configuration of the compressed vertebral body, direction of the most compressed area, and preoperative compression ratio were not modifiable. However, careful preoperative consideration about the modifiable factor, the PMMA volume to inject, may contribute to the dynamic correction of the segmental deformity.
PMCID: PMC2588189  PMID: 19096572
Balloon kyphoplasty; Compression fracture; Deformity; Restoration
16.  Clinical Applications of the Tubular Retractor on Spinal Disorders 
Tubular retractor system as a minimally invasive surgery (MIS) technique has many advantages over other conventional MIS techniques. It offers direct visualization of the operative field, anatomical familiarity to spine surgeons, and minimizing tissue trauma. With technical advancement, many spinal pathologies are being treated using this system. Namely, herniated discs, lumbar and cervical stenosis, synovial cysts, lumbar instability, trauma, and even some intraspinal tumors have all been treated through tubular retractor system. Flexible arm and easy change of the tube direction are particularly useful in contralateral spinal decompression from an ipsilateral approach. Careful attention to surgical technique through narrow space will ensure that complications are minimized and will provide improved outcomes. However, understanding detailed anatomies and keeping precise surgical orientation are essential for this technique. Authors present the technical feasibility and initial results of use a tubular retractor system as a minimally invasive technique for variaties of spinal disorders with a review of literature.
PMCID: PMC2588212  PMID: 19096551
Tubular retractor; Minimally invasive surgery; Spinal disorders; Microendoscopic discectomy
17.  Postoperative Changes in Paraspinal Muscle Volume: Comparison between Paramedian Interfascial and Midline Approaches for Lumbar Fusion 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2007;22(4):646-651.
In this study, we compared the paramedian interfascial approach (PIA) and the traditional midline approach (MA) for lumbar fusion to determine which approach resulted in the least amount of postoperative back muscle atrophy. We performed unilateral transforaminal posterior lumbar interbody fusion via MA on the symptomatic side and pedicle screw fixation via PIA on the other side in the same patient. We evaluated the damage to the paraspinal muscle after MA and PIA by measuring the preoperative and postoperative paraspinal muscle volume in 26 patients. The preoperative and postoperative cross-sectional area, thickness, and width of the multifidus muscle were measured by computed tomography. The degree of postoperative paraspinal muscle atrophy was significantly greater on the MA side than on the contralateral PIA side (-20.7% and -4.8%, respectively, p<0.01). In conclusion, the PIA for lumbar fusion yielded successful outcomes for the preservation of paraspinal muscle in these 26 patients. We suggest that the success of PIA is due to less manipulation and retraction of the paraspinal muscle and further studies on this technique may help confirm whether less muscle injury has positive effects on the long-term clinical outcome.
PMCID: PMC2693813  PMID: 17728503
Paraspinal Muscle; Paramedian Approach; Muscle Atrophy; Lumbar Spine
18.  Neuroprotective Effect of Ginseng Total Saponins in Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2005;20(2):291-296.
In the present study, we investigated whether ginseng total saponins (GTSs) protect hippocampal neurons after experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI) in rats. A moderate-grade TBI was made with the aid of a controlled cortical impact (CCI) device set at a velocity of 3.0 m/sec, a deformation of 3.0 mm, and a compression time of 0.2 sec at the right parietal area for adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Sham-operated rats that underwent craniectomy without impact served as controls. GTSs (100 and 200 mg/kg) or saline was injected intraperitoneally into the rats immediately post-injury. Twenty-four hours after the injury, the rats underwent neurological evaluation. Contusion volume and the number of hippocampal neurons were calculated with apoptosis evaluated by TUNEL staining. 24 hr post-injury, saline-injected rats showed a significant loss of neuronal cells in the CA2 region of the right hippocampus (53.4%, p<0.05) and CA3 (34.6%, p<0.05) compared with contralateral hippocampal region, a significant increase in contusion volume (34±8 µL), and significant increase in neurologic deficits compared with the GTSs groups. Treating rats with GTSs seemed to protect the CCI-induced neuronal loss in the hippocampus, decrease cortical contusion volume, and improve neurological deficits.
PMCID: PMC2808608  PMID: 15832003
Brain Injuries; Panax; Saponins; Neuroprotective Agents; Hippocampus
19.  Chronic Paraspinal Muscle Injury Model in Rat 
The objective of this study is to establish an animal model of chronic paraspinal muscle injury in rat.
Fifty four Sprague-Dawley male rats were divided into experimental group (n=30), sham (n=15), and normal group (n=9). Incision was done from T7 to L2 and paraspinal muscles were detached from spine and tied at each level. The paraspinal muscles were exposed and untied at 2 weeks after surgery. Sham operation was done by paraspinal muscles dissection at the same levels and wound closure was done without tying. Kyphotic index and thoracolumbar Cobb's angle were measured at preoperative, 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after the first surgery for all groups. The rats were sacrificed at 4, 8, and 12 weeks after the first surgery, and performed histological examinations.
At 4 weeks after surgery, the kyphotic index decreased, but, Cobb's angle increased significantly in the experimental group (p<0.05), and then that were maintained until the end of the experiment. However, there were no significant differences of the kyphotic index and Cobb's angle between sham and normal groups. In histological examinations, necrosis and fibrosis were observed definitely and persisted until 12 weeks after surgery. There were also presences of regenerated muscle cells which nucleus is at the center of cytoplasm, centronucleated myofibers.
Our chronic injury model of paraspinal muscles in rats shows necrosis and fibrosis in the muscles for 12 weeks after surgery, which might be useful to study the pathophysiology of the degenerative thoracolumbar kyphosis or degeneration of paraspinal muscles.
PMCID: PMC5028601  PMID: 27651859
Animal model; Paraspinal muscle; Chronic injury; Kyphosis; Degeneration
20.  Cervical Myelopathy Caused by Intracranial Dural Arteriovenous Fistula 
Korean Journal of Spine  2016;13(2):67-70.
Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) usually results in various problems in the brain. But it can be presented as a myelopathy, which may make early diagnosis and management to be difficult. We recently experienced a case of cervical myelopathy caused by intracranial dAVF. A 60-year-old man presented with a 3-year history of gait disturbance due to a progressive weakness of both legs. Neurological examination revealed spastic paraparesis (grade IV) and Babinski sign on both sides. Magnetic resonance imaging showed serpentine vascular signal voids at C2-T1 on T2-weighted image with increased signal intensity and swelling of spinal cord at C1-C4. We performed a brain computed tomography angiography and found intracranial dAVF with multiple arteriovenous shunts. Venous drainages were noted at tentorial veins and cervical perimedullary veins. After Onyx embolization, the patient showed gradual improvement in motor power and gait disturbance. The venous drainage pattern is a well-known prognostic factor of dAVF. In our case, the intracranial dAVF drained to spinal perimedullary vein, which seemed to result in the ischemic myelopathy. Although it is rare condition, it sometimes can cause serious complications. Therefore, we should keep in mind the possibility of intracranial dAVF when a patient presents myelopathy.
PMCID: PMC4949170  PMID: 27437016
Brain; Arteriovenous fistula; Ischemia; Spinal cord diseases
21.  Acute Contralateral Radiculopathy after Unilateral Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion 
Cases of contralateral radiculopathy after a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with a single cage (unilateral TLIF) had been reported, but the phenomenon has not been explained satisfactorily. The purpose of this study was to determine its incidence, causes, and risk factors.
We did retrospective study with 546 patients who underwent a unilateral TLIF, and used CT and MRI to study the causes of contralateral radicular symptoms that appeared within a week postoperatively. Clinical and radiological results were compared by dividing the patients into the symptomatic group and asymptomatic group.
Contralateral symptoms occurred in 32 (5.9%) of the patients underwent unilateral TLIF. The most common cause of contralateral symptoms was a contralateral foraminal stenosis in 22 (68.8%), screw malposition in 4 (12.5%), newly developed herniated nucleus pulposus in 3 (9.3%), hematoma in 1 (3.1%), and unknown origin in 2 patients (6.3%). 16 (50.0%) of the 32 patients received revision surgery. There was no difference in visual analogue scale and Oswestry disability index between the two groups at discharge. Both preoperative and postoperative contralateral foraminal areas were significantly smaller, and postoperative segmental angle was significantly greater in the symptomatic group comparing to those of the asymptomatic group (p<0.05).
The incidence rate is not likely to be small (5.9%). If unilateral TLIF is performed for cases when preoperative contralateral foraminal stenosis already exists or when a large restoration of segmental lordosis is required, the probability of developing contralateral radiculopathy is increased and caution from the surgeon is needed.
PMCID: PMC4651996  PMID: 26587189
Spinal stenosis; Complication; Radiculopathy; Lumbar manipulation; Lordosis
22.  The Effects of Spinopelvic Parameters and Paraspinal Muscle Degeneration on S1 Screw Loosening 
To investigate risk factors for S1 screw loosening after lumbosacral fusion, including spinopelvic parameters and paraspinal muscles.
We studied with 156 patients with degenerative lumbar disease who underwent lumbosacral interbody fusion and pedicle screw fixation including the level of L5-S1 between 2005 and 2012. The patients were divided into loosening and non-loosening groups. Screw loosening was defined as a halo sign larger than 1 mm around a screw. We checked cross sectional area of paraspinal muscles, mean signal intensity of the muscles on T2 weight MRI as a degree of fatty degeneration, spinopelvic parameters, bone mineral density, number of fusion level, and the characteristic of S1 screw.
Twenty seven patients showed S1 screw loosening, which is 24.4% of total. The mean duration for S1 screw loosening was 7.3±4.1 months after surgery. Statistically significant risk factors were increased age, poor BMD, 3 or more fusion levels (p<0.05). Among spinopelvic parameters, a high pelvic incidence (p<0.01), a greater difference between pelvic incidence and lumbar lordotic angle preoperatively (p<0.01) and postoperatively (p<0.05). Smaller cross-sectional area and high T2 signal intensity in both multifidus and erector spinae muscles were also significant muscular risk factors (p<0.05). Small converging angle (p<0.001) and short intraosseous length (p<0.05) of S1 screw were significant screw related risk factors (p<0.05).
In addition to well known risk factors, spinopelvic parameters and the degeneration of paraspinal muscles also showed significant effects on the S1 screw loosening.
PMCID: PMC4651997  PMID: 26587190
Lumbosacral region; Pedicle screws; Instrumentation; Muscle; Spinal fusion; Risk factors
23.  An Intramuscular Hemangioma at the Cervical Muscle: A Case Report 
Korean Journal of Spine  2015;12(3):196-199.
Intramuscular hemangioma (IMH) primarily develops in the skeletal muscles of the limbs or trunk. The occurrence of IMH in the neck muscle is very rare. In the present report, we describe a case of IMH in the posterior neck muscle. A 58-year-old woman presented with a mass on the right posterior neck area, which had developed 2 years previously. The tumor was round in shape, had a size of 3.5×3.0 cm, and was fixed to the surrounding soft tissue. The patient complained of mild dull pain and tenderness at the mass without reddish discoloration. The mass showed a diurnal variation in size - the mass grew in size in the morning and became smaller in the afternoon. Preoperative study confirmed the vascular nature of the tumor. During peritumoral dissection, the mass shrank rapidly following profuse bleeding and arterial cauterization, and hence, it was difficult to distinguish the mass from the surrounding tissues. A total resection was possible with careful dissection of its fibrotic boundary. Based on the histological findings, a definitive diagnosis of cavernous type IMH was made. An initial suspicion of IMH, according to the clinical findings, would be helpful for decision making of further evaluations and surgical plan.
PMCID: PMC4623183  PMID: 26512283
Hemangioma; Cavernous; Neck muscles
24.  Two Cases of Klippel-Feil Syndrome with Cervical Myelopathy Successfully Treated by Simple Decompression without Fixation 
Korean Journal of Spine  2015;12(3):225-229.
Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS) is a congenital developmental disorder of cervical spine, showing short neck with restricted neck motion, low hairline, and high thoracic cage due to multilevel cervical fusion. Radiculopathy or myelopathy can be accompanied. There were 2 patients who were diagnosed as KFS with exhibited radiological and physical characteristics. Both patients had stenosis and cord compression at C1 level due to anterior displacement of C1 posterior arch secondary to kyphotic deformity of upper cervical spine, which has been usually indicative to craniocervical fixation. One patient was referred due to quadriparesis detected after surgery for aortic arch aneurysmal dilatation. The other patient was referred to us due to paraparesis and radiating pain in all extremities developed during gynecological examinations. Decompressive C1 laminectomy was done for one patient and additional suboccipital craniectomy for the other. No craniocervical fixation was done because there was no spinal instability. Motor power improved immediately after the operation in both patients. Motor functions and spinal stability were well preserved in both patients for 2 years. In KFS patients with myelopathy at the C1 level without C1-2 instability, a favorable outcome could be achieved by a simple decompression without spinal fixation.
PMCID: PMC4623191  PMID: 26512291
Klippel-Feil syndrome; Deformity; Cervical vertebrae; Spinal cord compression
25.  Pullout Strength after Expandable Polymethylmethacrylate Transpedicular Screw Augmentation for Pedicle Screw Loosening 
Pedicle screw fixation for spine arthrodesis is a useful procedure for the treatment of spinal disorders. However, instrument failure often occurs, and pedicle screw loosening is the initial step of a range of complications. The authors recently used a modified transpedicular polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) screw augmentation technique to overcome pedicle screw loosening. Here, they report on the laboratory testing of pedicle screws inserted using this modified technique.
To evaluate pullout strengths three cadaveric spinal columns were used. Three pedicle screw insertion methods were utilized to compare pullout strength; the three methods used were; control (C), traditional transpedicular PMMA augmentation technique (T), and the modified transpedicular augmentation technique (M). After control screws had been pulled out, loosening with instrument was made. Screw augmentations were executed and screw pullout strength was rechecked.
Pedicle screws augmented using the modified technique for pedicle screw loosening had higher pullout strengths than the control (1106.2±458.0 N vs. 741.2±269.5 N; p=0.001). Traditional transpedicular augmentation achieved a mean pullout strength similar to that of the control group (657.5±172.3 N vs. 724.5±234.4 N; p=0.537). The modified technique had higher strength than the traditional PMMA augmentation technique (1070.8±358.6 N vs. 652.2±185.5 N; p=0.023).
The modified PMMA transpedicular screw augmentation technique is a straightforward, effective surgical procedure for treating pedicle screw loosening, and exhibits greater pullout strength than traditional PMMA transpedicular augmentation. However, long-term clinical evaluation is required.
PMCID: PMC4414765  PMID: 25932288
Biomechanics; Osteoporosis; Postoperative complication; Prosthesis loosening; Polymethylmethacrylate; Surgical technique

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