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.
Posterior cervical foraminotomy; Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion; Adjacent segment; Range of motion
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.
Leg weakness; Lumbar spinal stenosis; Adrenal insufficiency
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.
Sarcoidosis; Neurosarcoidosis; Spinal Cord Sarcoidosis; Thalidomide
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.
Instrument failure; Osteoporosis; Pedicle screw loosening; PMMA; Pseudoarthrosis; Surgical technique
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.
Cervical radiculopathy; Diagnosis; Surgery
Spontaneous intracranial hypotension is often idiopathic. We report on a patient presenting with symptomatic intracranial hypotension and pain radiating to the right leg caused by a transdural lumbar disc herniation. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the brain revealed classic signs of intracranial hypotension, and an additional spinal MR confirmed a lumbar transdural herniated disc as the cause. The patient was treated with a partial hemilaminectomy and discectomy. We were able to find the source of cerebrospinal fluid leak, and packed it with epidural glue and gelfoam. Postoperatively, the patient's headache and log radiating pain resolved and there was no neurological deficit. Thus, in this case, lumbar disc herniation may have been a cause of spontaneous intracranial hypotension.
Spontaneous intracranial hypotension; Orthostatic headache; Lumbar disc herniation
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.
Radiculopathy; Tubular Retractor Assisted Foraminotomy; Open Foraminotomy
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.
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor; Cervical paraspinal space; Occipital triangle
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.
Fluorescein; Intrathecal; Myelopathy
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.
Balloon kyphoplasty; Compression fracture; Deformity; Restoration
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.
Tubular retractor; Minimally invasive surgery; Spinal disorders; Microendoscopic discectomy
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.
Paraspinal Muscle; Paramedian Approach; Muscle Atrophy; Lumbar Spine
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.
Brain Injuries; Panax; Saponins; Neuroprotective Agents; Hippocampus
Conventional laminectomy is the most popular technique for the complete removal of intradural spinal tumors. In particular, the central portion intramedullary tumor and large intradural extramedullary tumor often require a total laminectomy for the midline myelotomy, sufficient decompression, and adequate visualization. However, this technique has the disadvantages of a wide incision, extensive periosteal muscle dissection, and bony structural injury. Recently, split-spinous laminectomy and tubular retractor systems were found to decrease postoperative muscle injuries, skin incision size and discomfort. The combined technique of split-spinous laminectomy, using a quadrant tube retractor system allows for an excellent exposure of the tumor with minimal trauma of the surrounding tissue. We propose that this technique offers possible advantages over the traditional open tumor removal of the intradural spinal cord tumors, which covers one or two cervical levels and requires a total laminectomy.
Cervical cord tumor; Split-spinous laminectomy; Quadrant tube retractor
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.
Adverse effect; Spinal pain; Conversion disorder; Medial branch blocks; Paralysis; C2 ganglion block
We investigated the neuroprotective effect of anthocyanin, oxygen radical scavenger extracted from raspberries, after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats.
The animals were divided into two groups : the vehicle-treated group (control group, n=20) received an oral administration of normal saline via stomach intubation immediately after SCI, and the anthocyanin-treated group (AT group, n=20) received 400 mg/kg of cyanidin 3-O-β-glucoside (C3G) in the same way. We compared the neurological functions, superoxide expressions and lesion volumes in two groups.
At 14 days after SCI, the AT group showed significant improvement of the BBB score by 16.7±3.4%, platform hang by 40.0±9.1% and hind foot bar grab by 30.8±8.4% (p<0.05 in all outcomes). The degree of superoxide expression, represented by the ratio of red fluorescence intensity, was significantly lower in the AT group (0.98±0.38) than the control group (1.34±0.24) (p<0.05). The lesion volume in lesion periphery was 32.1±2.4 µL in the control and 24.5±2.3 µL in the AT group, respectively (p<0.05), and the motor neuron cell number of the anterior horn in lesion periphery was 8.3±5.1 cells/HPF in the control and 13.4±6.3 cells/HPF in the AT group, respectively (p<0.05).
Anthocyanin seemed to reduce lesion volume and neuronal loss by its antioxidant effect and these resulted in improved functional recovery.
Spinal cord trauma; Anthocyanin; Antioxidants
The purpose of this study is to identify the relationship between asymptomatic urinary tract infection (aUTI) and postoperative spine infection.
A retrospective review was done in 355 women more than 65 years old who had undergone laminectomy and/or discectomy, and spinal fusion, between January 2004 and December 2008. Previously postulated risk factors (i.e., instrumentation, diabetes, prior corticosteroid therapy, previous spinal surgery, and smoking) were investigated. Furthermore, we added aUTI that was not previously considered.
Among 355 patients, 42 met the criteria for aUTI (Bacteriuria ≥ 105 CFU/mL and no associated symptoms). A postoperative spine infection was evident in 15 of 355 patients. Of the previously described risk factors, multi-levels (p < 0.05), instrumentation (p < 0.05) and diabetes (p < 0.05) were proven risk factors, whereas aUTI (p > 0.05) was not statistically significant. However, aUTI with Foley catheterization was statistically significant when Foley catheterization was added as a variable to the all existing risk factors.
aUTI is not rare in elderly women admitted to the hospital for lumbar spine surgery. The results of this study suggest that aUTI with Foley catheterization may be considered a risk factor for postoperative spine infection in elderly women. Therefore, we would consider treating aUTI before operating on elderly women who will need Foley catheterization.
Asymptomatic UTI; Postoperative spine infection; Elderly women
The criteria for the evaluation of spinal impairment are diverse, complex, and have no standardized form. This makes it difficult and somewhat troublesome to accurately evaluate spinal impairment patients. A standardized guideline was studied for the evaluation of spinal impairment, based on the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides and the McBride method. This guideline proposal was developed by specialty medical societies under the Korean Academy of Medical Sciences. In this study, the grades of impairment were assessed by dividing patients into three different categories: spinal cord impairment, spinal injury impairment and spinal disorder impairment. The affected regions of the spine are divided into three: the cervical region, the thoracic region, and the lumbosacral region. The grade of impairment was differentially evaluated according to the affected region. The restricted range of motion was excluded in the evaluation spinal impairment because of low objectivity. Even though the new Korean guideline for the evaluation of spinal impairment has been proposed, it should be continuously supplemented and revised.
Korean Guideline; Spine Impairment; AMA Guides; McBride
An animal model of spinal cord trauma is essential for understanding the injury mechanisms, cord regeneration, and to aid the development of new therapeutic modalities. This study focused on the development of a graded experimental contusion model for spinal cord injury (SCI) using a pneumatic impact device made in Korea. A contusive injury was made to the dorsal aspect of the cord. Three trauma groups were defined according to the impact velocity (IV). A control group (n=6), received laminectomy only. Group 1 (n=10), 2 (n=10), and 3 (n=10) had IVs of 1.5 m/sec, 2.0 m/sec, and 3.5 m/sec respectively. Functional assessments were made up to the 14th day after injury. The cord was removed at the 14th post-injury day and prepared for histopathologic examination. Significant behavioral and histopathological abnormalities were found in control and each trauma group. All trauma groups showed severe functional impairment immediately after injury but following different rates of functional recovery (Fig. 5). As the impact velocity and impulse increased, the depth of contusive lesion revealed to be profound the results show that the rat model reproduces spinal cord lesions consistently, has a distinctive value in assessing the effects of impact energy.
Models, Animal; Spinal Cord Injuries; Equipment and Supplies; Equipment Design