Although Denis classification is considered as one of most clinically useful schemes for the evaluation of spinal fracture, there is little documentation on the relationship between fracture pattern and the neurologic recovery. The purpose is to evaluate the correlation between the fracture patterns according to Denis classification and neurologic recovery.
Materials and Methods
The 38 patients (26 men and 12 women) in this series had an average follow-up of 47.1 months, and they were all managed surgically. Denis classification had been used prospectively to determine the fracture morphology. Frankel Scale and American Spinal Injury Association Spinal Cord Injury Assessment Form [American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) score] were obtained before surgery, after surgery and at the final follow-up.
The common injuries making neurologic deterioration were burst fracture and fracture-dislocation. The degree of neurologic deficits seen first and at the final follow-up was more severe in fracture-dislocation than burst fracture. The neurologic recovery was not different between burst fracture and fracture-dislocation, assessed by Frankel grading and ASIA scoring system. The neurologic recovery evaluated by ASIA score was not different between the lumbar and thoracic spinal fracture. The neurologic recovery assessed by Frankel grade was greater in the lumbar spinal fractures in than the thoracic spinal fractures.
The severity of initial and the final follow-up neurologic deficits were correlated with the fracture patterns according to Denis classification, but the neurologic recovery was not correlated.
Spine; fracture; Denis classification; neurologic recovery
Patient safety regarding wrong site surgery has been one of the priority issues in surgical fields including that of spine care. Since the wrong-side surgery in the DM foot patient was reported on a public mass media in 1996, the wrong-site surgery issue has attracted wide public interest as regarding patient safety. Despite the many wrong-site surgery prevention campaigns in spine care such as the operate through your initial program by the Canadian Orthopaedic Association, the sign your site program by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeon, the sign, mark and X-ray program by the North American Spine Society, and the Universal Protocol program by the Joint Commission, the incidence of wrong-site surgery has not decreased. To prevent wrong-site surgery in spine surgeries, the spine surgeons must put patient safety first, complying with the hospital policies regarding patient safety. In the operating rooms, the surgeons need to do their best to level the hierarchy, enabling all to speak up if any patient safety concerns are noted. Changing the operating room culture is the essential part of the patient safety concerning spine surgery.
Patient safety; Wrong-site surgery; Spine
We report here on a case of a 23-year-old male who received en block spondylectomy for a vertebral Ewing's sarcoma at our hospital. Nine days after surgery, he presented with severe back pain and motor weakness of the lower extremities. Based on the physical examination and the computed tomography scan, he was diagnosed with acute cauda equina syndrome that was caused by compression from an epidural hematoma. His neurological functions recovered after emergency evacuation of the hematoma. This case showed that extensive surgery for a malignant vertebral tumor has a potential risk of delayed epidural hematoma and acute cauda equina syndrome and this should be treated with emergency evacuation.
Epidural hematoma; Ewing's sarcoma; Spine; En block spondylectomy
This is a prospective randomized cohort study.
We intended to evaluate the efficacy of a 48 hour antibiotic microbial prophylaxis (AMP) protocol as compared with a 72 hour AMP protocol.
Overview of Literature
The current guideline for the prevention of surgical site infection (SSI) suggests the AMP should not exceed 24 hours after clean surgery like spinal surgery. But there exist some confusion in real clinical practice about the duration of postoperative antibiotic administration because the evidence of the guideline was not robust.
The subjects were 548 patients who underwent spinal surgery at our department from April 2007 to December 2008. The patients were classified into two groups according to the prophylaxis protocol: group A, for which AMP was employed for 72 hours postoperatively and group B, for which AMP was employed for 48 hours postoperatively. Five hundred two patients out of 548 patients were followed until 6 months postoperatively. The incidence of SSI in the two groups was analyzed.
The overall infection rate was 0.8%. There was no significant difference in infection rate between the two groups. The overall infection rate for the patients who underwent instrumented fusion was 0.9%. There was no significant difference in the infection rate between the patients of the two groups who underwent instrumented fusion.
AMP for 48 hours is as efficient as AMP for 72 hours.
Spine; Surgical site infection; Anti-bacterial agents
A 23-year-old male whose medical history included tuberculous spondylitis presented with a kyphotic deformity and incomplete paraplegia of twenty days duration. Preoperative radiographs demonstrated a T12-L4 kyphotic Cobb's angle of 100° with a complete block showing on the lumbar myelogram at L4-5. The patient underwent anterior osteotomy and release. After the operation, a halo-pelvic apparatus was fit onto the patient, and distraction was begun. After distraction for 2 months, posterior osteotomy and release was performed for final correction, and distraction was maintained for another three weeks. Finally, the kyphotic deformity was corrected to a Cobb's angle of 62° from T12 to L4. Supplementary anterior fusion was done, and the apparatus was removed after consolidation of the fusion mass.
Even twenty years after correction of a tuberculous kyphosis, he had no neurological deterioration, and could work as a farmer using agricultural machines. Correction angle and sagittal balance were well maintained.
Tuberculous kyphosis; Halo-pelvic traction; Spine osteotomy
Autologous transfusion has been used to overcome adverse effects of homologous transfusion. Clinical studies evaluating general orthopaedic postoperative results have been designed to compare these transfusion methods. However, few studies have evaluated postoperative results in spinal fusion surgeries, which have larger blood loss volumes. The purpose of this study is to determine if there are differences in postoperative infection and clinical results of spinal fusion with autologous, as compared to homologous, blood transfusion. A total of 62 patients who underwent instrumented spinal fusion and received autologous (n = 30) or homologous (n = 32) transfusions were reviewed. Information on gender, age, preoperative and 3-day postoperative hematologic features, total transfused units, segmental estimated blood loss, transfused units, and surgery time were collected. In addition, postoperative infection data on wound infection, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, cellulitis, and viral disease, incidence and duration of fever, as well as clinical results, fusion rates, and patient feedback were collected. No differences in postoperative infection and clinical results were found between the two types of transfusions; however, homologous transfusion was associated with an increased number of total units transfused, longer duration of fever, and decreased patient satisfaction regarding the transfusion.
Spinal fusion; autologous transfusion
Chronic lower back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems; it is also the most expensive industrial injury. Not surprisingly, many treatments have been developed to combat this expensive and debilitating condition. One of these, intradiscal electrothermal treatment (IDET), was developed for patients with chronic discogenic lower back pain who failed to improve with any of the wide variety of non-surgical treatments. The present study sought to evaluate the efficacy of IDET for patients with chronic lower back pain. Twenty-five patients were enrolled in this prospective study; the patients received IDET between June 2001 and June 2003. MRI was used to confirm the diagnosis of internal disc disruption in all patients. The patients then underwent a pre-operative provocative test and discography. The follow-up duration was at least 1 year in all cases, and the visual analogue scale, recovery rate, and satisfaction of each patient were evaluated. The average age of the patients was 32 years (age range 18 to 49 years), and the patient group was 33% male and 67% female. Of the 25 patients, 5 underwent lumbar fusion surgery within 1 year of IDET. After IDET, 8 patients (32%) reported more pain than before, 14 patients (56%) reported less pain, and 3 patients (12%) experienced no change. Twelve patients (48%) were satisfied with IDET, 11 (44%) were dissatisfied, and 2 (8%) were undecided about the treatment. At least 1 year after IDET, nearly half the study patients were dissatisfied with their medical outcome. Consequently, 5 patients (20%) underwent fusion surgery at 1 year after IDET. Although other studies have shown good results with IDET for at least 2 years, this investigation suggests the IDET may be somewhat less effective. In order to firmly establish the efficacy of IDET for treating chronic discogenic lower back pain, additional studies with larger numbers of patients evaluated over longer time periods are recommended.
Intradiscal electrothermal treatment (IDET); internal disc disruption; back pain
Lumbar spinal fusions have been performed for spinal stability, pain relief and improved function in spinal stenosis, scoliosis, spinal fractures, infectious conditions and other lumbar spinal problems. The success of lumbar spinal fusion depends on multifactors, such as types of bone graft materials, levels and numbers of fusion, spinal instrumentation, electrical stimulation, smoking and some drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). From January 2000 to December 2001, 88 consecutive patients, who were diagnosed with spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis, were retrospectively enrolled in this study. One surgeon performed all 88 posterolateral spinal fusions with instrumentation and autoiliac bone graft. The patients were divided into two groups. The first group (n=30) was infused with ketorolac and fentanyl intravenously via patient controlled analgesia (PCA) postoperatively and the second group (n=58) was infused only with fentanyl. The spinal fusion rates and clinical outcomes of the two groups were compared. The incidence of incomplete union or nonunion was much higher in the ketorolac group, and the relative risk was approximately 6 times higher than control group (odds ratio: 5.64). The clinical outcomes, which were checked at least 1 year after surgery, showed strong correlations with the spinal fusion status. The control group (93.1%) showed significantly better clinical results than the ketorolac group (77.6%). Smoking had no effect on the spinal fusion outcome in this study. Even though the use of ketorolac after spinal fusion can reduce the need for morphine, thereby decreasing morphine related complications, ketorolac used via PCA at the immediate postoperative state inhibits spinal fusion resulting in a poorer clinical outcome. Therefore, NSAIDs such as ketorolac, should be avoided after posterolateral spinal fusion.
Lumbar spine; spinal fusion; ketorolac
The cervical dynamic rotational plating system may induce bone graft subsidence, so it may cause loss of cervical lordosis. However there were few studies for alignments of cervical spines influencing the clinical results after using dynamic rotational plates. The purpose is to evaluate the effect of graft subsidence on cervical alignments due to the dynamic rotational cervical plates and correlating it with the clinical outcomes of patients undergoing anterior cervical fusion.
Materials and Methods
Thirty-three patients with disease or fracture underwent anterior cervical decompression and fusion using a dynamic rotational plate. The presence and extent of implant complications, graft subsidence, loss of lordosis were identified and Visual Analog Scale score (VAS score), Japanese Orthopaedic Association score (JOA score), clinical outcomes based on Odom's criteria were recorded.
Fusion was achieved without implant complications in all cases. The mean graft subsidence at 6 months after the surgery was 1.46 mm. The lordotic changes in local cervical angles were 5.85° which was obtained postoperatively. VAS score for radicular pain was improved by 5.19 and the JOA score was improved by 3. Clinical outcomes based on Odom's criteria showed sixteen excellent, ten good and two satisfactory results. There was no significant relationship between clinical outcomes and changes in the cervical angles.
Dynamic rotational anterior cervical plating provides comparable clinical outcomes to that of the reports of former static cervical platings. The loss of lordosis is related to the amount of graft settling but it is not related to the clinical outcomes.
Cervical alignment; subsidence; cervical fusion; dynamic rotational cervical plates
The incidence of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) has rapidly increased, and with it, physician consultations and expenditures (about one and a half times) in the last 5 years. Recent etiological studies reveal that AIS is a complex genetic disorder that results from the interaction of multiple gene loci and the environment. For personalized treatment of AIS, a tool that can accurately measure the progression of Cobb's angle would be of great use. Gene analysis utilizing single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) has been developed as a diagnostic tool for use in Caucasians but not Koreans. Therefore, we attempted to reveal AIS-related genes and their relevance in Koreans, exploring the potential use of gene analysis as a diagnostic tool for personalized treatment of AIS therein.
Materials and Methods
A total of 68 Korean AIS and 35 age- and sex-matched, healthy adolescents were enrolled in this study and were examined for 10 candidate scoliosis gene SNPs.
This study revealed that the SNPs of rs2449539 in lysosomal-associated transmembrane protein 4 beta (LAPTM4B) and rs5742612 in upstream and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) were associated with both susceptibility to and curve severity in AIS. The results suggested that both LAPTM4B and IGF1 genes were important in AIS predisposition and progression.
Thus, on the basis of this study, if more SNPs or candidate genes are studied in a larger population in Korea, personalized treatment of Korean AIS patients might become a possibility.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; gene; single nucleotide polymorphism
In vitro experiment using human intervertebral disc (IVD) cells and adenovirus-therapeutic gene constructs.
To examine the biologic effect of “cocktail” therapeutic gene transfer to human IVD cells in three dimensional cultures.
Summary of Background Data
. Gene therapy is regarded as a potential option for the treatment of degenerative disc disease. Although various anabolic genes have previously been introduced for this purpose, cocktail gene transfer of anabolic genes to IVD cells has never been attempted.
Materials and Methods
Human IVDs were harvested during surgical disc procedures and cultured. We prepared recombinant adenovirus constructs bearing the TGF-β1 gene (Ad/TGF-β1), the IGF-1 gene (Ad/IGF-1), and the BMP-2 gene (Ad/BMP-2). Transgene expression was detected by luciferase assays, enzyme linked immuno-sorbent assays, and Western blot analysis. Newly synthesized proteoglycan was measured by 35S-sulfate incorporation on Sephadex G-25M in PD 10 columns. Human IVD cells were transduced by single, double, and triple combination of Ad/TGF-β1, Ad/IGF-1, Ad/BMP-2 with an MOI of 75, then cultured three-dimensionally in alginate beads.
Transgene expression was detected at 18 hours after viral transduction. IVD cultures with Ad/TGF-β1, Ad/IGF-1, Ad/BMP-2 (MOI of 75) showed 2.9, 1.8, and 1.9 fold increases, respectively, in proteoglycan synthesis compared to control. Human IVD cultures with double gene combination (MOI of 75) showed 3.2 to 3.9 fold increases of proteoglycan synthesis. Lastly, Human IVD cultures with triple gene combination (TGF-β1+IGF-1+BMP-2 genes with an MOI of 75) transfer demonstrated 4.7 fold increase in proteoglycan synthesis compared control.
Combination or “cocktail” gene therapy offers a promising mechanism for maximizing matrix synthesis with low dose of adenoviral mixtures, circumventing systemic, local toxic effect, and immune response.
Gene Therapy; Intervertebral Disc; Proteoglycan
Infective spondylodiscitis usually occurs in patients of older age, immunocompromisation, co-morbidity, and individuals suffering from an overall poor general condition unable to undergo reconstructive anterior and posterior surgeries. Therefore, an alternative, less aggressive surgical method is needed for these select cases of infective spondylodiscitis. This retrospective clinical case series reports our novel surgical technique for the treatment of infective spondylodiscitis.
Between January 2005 and July 2011, among 48 patients who were diagnosed with pyogenic lumbar spondylodiscitis or tuberculosis lumbar spondylodiscitis, 10 patients (7 males and 3 females; 68 years and 48 to 78 years, respectively) underwent transpedicular curettage and drainage. The mean postoperative follow-up period was 29 months (range, 7 to 61 months). The pedicle screws were inserted to the adjacent healthy vertebrae in the usual manner. After insertion of pedicle screws, the drainage pedicle holes were made through pedicles of infected vertebra(e) in order to prevent possible seeding of infective emboli to the healthy vertebra, as the same instruments and utensils are used for both pedicle screws and the drainage holes. A minimum of 15,000 mL of sterilized normal saline was used for continuous irrigation through the pedicular pathways until the drained fluid looked clear.
All patients' symptoms and inflammatory markers significantly improved clinically between postoperative 2 weeks and postoperative 3 months, and they were satisfied with their clinical results. Radiologically, all patients reached the spontaneous fusion between infected vertebrae and 3 patients had the screw pulled-out but they were clinically tolerable.
We suggest that our method of transpedicular curettage and drainage is a useful technique in regards to the treatment of infectious spondylodiscitic patients, who could not tolerate conventional combined anterior and posterior surgery due to multiple co-morbidities, multiple level infectious lesions and poor general condition.
Spondylodiscitis; Curettage; Drainage; Surgery; Transpedicular
The osteoporosis and lumbar canal stenosis, in elderly patients are under diagnosed and under reported. We report a cross sectional study to demonstrate the osteoporotic profile in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) and to determine the proportion of patients with LSS who need to be treated for osteoporosis.
Materials and Methods:
One hundred and six postmenopausal patients with symptomatic LSS were evaluated for osteoporotic profile, which included lumbar and hip bone mineral density (BMD), serum vitamin D concentration, bone resorption and formation markers. Demographic and disease related variables were analyzed to identify the association with the risk of osteoporosis or osteopenia. Statistical analysis used were multivariate logistic regression with a forward stepwise procedure.
Twenty-four patients (22.6%) had osteoporosis and 60 (56.6%) had osteopenia. Overall, 84 patients (79.2%) with symptomatic LSS had osteoporosis or osteopenia. Fifty-nine patients (55.6%) had hypovitaminosis D. All bone turnover makers [alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, urinary-N-terminal telopeptide (u-NTx)] were demonstrated to be within normal range. Only age was associated with the risk of osteoporosis or osteopenia in the hip region. In the lumbar spine, all variables were not associated with osteoporosis or osteopenia. 44 patients (41.5%) required treatment for osteoporosis as per risk factors for osteoporosis. According to the guidelines from the Health Insurance Review Agency, however, only 20 patients (18.8% required) qualified for reimbursement for osteoporosis medications.
LSS is associated with osteopenia, osteoporosis, and hypovitaminosis D, which should prompt careful screening and treatment in cases of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Bone mineral density; bone turnover marker; hypovitaminosis D; lumbar spinal stenosis; osteoporosis
The objective of this study was to evaluate of prevalence of co-existing spine and hip disease using initial screening kidney–ureter–bladder (KUB) radiograph in patients over 50 who underwent spinal surgery.
Materials and Methods:
The study subjects were 388 patients (male: female=117:271; mean age 62.0 years) who underwent spinal surgery between 2008 and 2010. We retrospectively reviewed the initial KUB radiographs used to diagnose the spine and hip disease. Depending on the extent of acetabular and hip joint visualization in KUB, we divided the subjects into three groups: Acetabulum, hip joint, and femoral neck visualization. The hip visualization rate was also assessed with respect to patient height. χ2 and logistic regression test were used for statistical analysis.
126 (32.5%) cases had significant hip pathology including hip osteoarthritis (Kellgren/Lawrence grade 3 in 123 cases, grade 4 in 3 cases) and avascular necrosis (1 case each of Ficat stage IIA and IIB), and 8 cases had other morphologic abnormalities. Regarding acetabulum–hip visualization in KUB, 7 (1.8%) cases had acetabulum visualization only, 16 (4.1%) had hip joint visualization, and 365 (94.1%) had femoral neck including lesser trochanter visualization. Patients were categorized into four groups according to height (less than 150 cm, 150–159 cm, 160–169 cm, greater than 170 cm). The hip visualization rates differed significantly among these four groups (P<0.05).
The prevalence of discernible hip pathology in patients who underwent spinal surgery was 32.5%. Hip joint visualization was excellent (98.2%) in KUB radiographs. Hence, spinal surgeons should pay attention to hip pathology in surgically indicated spinal patients.
Hip pathology; spinal surgery; elderly
The objectives of this study are to describe the outcome of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients treated with Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) plus supplementary minimal incision in the lumbar region for thoracic and lumbar deformity correction and fusion.
Materials and Methods
This is a case series of 13 patients treated with VATS plus lumbar mini-open surgery for AIS. A total of 13 patients requiring fusions of both the thoracic and lumbar regions were included in this study: 5 of these patients were classified as Lenke type 1A and 8 as Lenke type 5C. Fusion was performed using VATS up to T12 or L1 vertebral level. Lower levels were accessed via a small mini-incision in the lumbar area to gain access to the lumbar spine via the retroperitoneal space. All patients had a minimum follow-up of 1 year.
The average number of fused vertebrae was 7.1 levels. A significant correction in the Cobb angle was obtained at the final follow-up (p = 0.001). The instrumented segmental angle in the sagittal plane was relatively well-maintained following surgery, albeit with a slight increase. Scoliosis Research Society-22 (SRS-22) scores were noted have significantly improved at the final follow-up (p < 0.05).
Indications for the use of VATS may be extended from patients with localized thoracic scoliosis to those with thoracolumbar scoliosis. By utilizing a supplementary minimal incision in the lumbar region, a satisfactory deformity correction may be accomplished with minimal post-operative scarring.
Scoliosis; VATS; mini-open retroperitoneal approach
Retrospective comparative study.
To study and compare the surgical outcomes of muscular dystrophy (MD) and spinal muscle atrophy (SMA).
Overview of Literature
There are few reports that have evaluated and compared the surgical outcomes of MD and SMA patients.
The patients (n = 35) were divided into two groups: a MD group with 24 patients and a SMA group with 11 patients. The average follow-up period was 21 months. All patients were operated for scoliosis correction using posterior instrumentation and fusion. In the immediate postoperative period, all efforts were made to reduce the pulmonary complications using non-invasive positive pressure ventilation and a coughing assist devices. The patients were evaluated by radiograph in terms of the Cobb's angle, pelvic obliquity, T1 translation, thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis. The pulmonary function and self-image satisfaction were also assessed.
There was a lower correction rate in the MD group (41.5%) than in the SMA group (48.3%), even though the curves were smaller in the MD group. The correction in the pelvic obliquity was significantly better in the SMA group (p = 0.03). The predicted vital capacity showed a 4% reduction in the MD group 1 year after surgery, while the SMA group showed a 10% reduction. The peak cough flow and end tidal PCO2 did not deteriorate and were well maintained. The average score for the improvement in self-image satisfaction postoperatively was 3.96 and 4.64 for the MD and SMA groups, respectively. The total complication rate was 45.7%; 14.3% of which were respiratory-related.
Surgical intervention for MD and SMA may be performed safely in patients with a very low forced vital capacity (< 30%) through aggressive preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation efforts.
Muscular dystrophy; Spinal muscular atrophy; Neuromuscular scoliosis; Surgical correction; Pulmonary function
The purpose of this study is to investigate the mechanism of cellular proliferation of electromagnetic field (EMF) on human intervertebral disc (IVD) cells.
Materials and Methods
Human IVD cells were cultured three-dimensionally in alginate beads. EMF was exposed to IVD cells with 650Ω, 1.8 millitesla magnetic flux density, 60 Hz sinusoidal wave. Cultures were divided into a control and EMF group. Cytotoxicity, DNA synthesis and proteoglycan synthesis were measured by MTT assay, [3H]-thymidine, and [35S]-sulfate incorporation. To detect phenotypical expression, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) were performed for aggrecan, collagen type I, and type II mRNA expression. To assess action mechanism of EMF, IVD cells were exposed to EMF with NG-Monomethyl-L-arginine (NMMA) and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA).
There was no cytotoxicity in IVD cells with the EMF group in MTT assay. Cellular proliferation was observed in the EMF group (p < 0.05). There was no difference in newly synthesized proteoglycan normalized by DNA synthesis between the EMF group and the control. Cultures with EMF showed no significant change in the expression of aggrecan, type I, and type II collagen mRNA compared to the control group. Cultures with NMMA (blocker of nitric oxide) or ASA (blocker of prostaglandin E2) exposed to EMF demonstrated decreased DNA synthesis compared to control cultures without NMMA or ASA (p < 0.05).
EMF stimulated DNA synthesis in human IVD cells while no significant effect on proteoglycan synthesis and chondrogenic phenotype expressions. DNA synthesis was partially mediated by nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2. EMF can be utilized to stimulate proliferation of IVD cells, which may provide efficient cell amplification in cell therapy to degenerative disc disease.
Electromagnetic fields; intervertebral disc; nitric oxide; prostaglandin E2
The purpose of this study is to report the comparative results of thoracoscopic correction achieved via cantilever technique using a 4.5 mm thin rod and the poly-axial reduction screw technique using a 5.5 mm thick rod in Lenke type 1 adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).
Materials and Methods
Radiographic data, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) patient-based outcome questionnaires, and operative records were reviewed for forty-nine patients undergoing surgical treatment of scoliosis. The study group was divided into a 4.5 mm thin rod group (n = 24) and a 5.5 mm thick rod group (n = 25). The radiographic parameters that were analyzed included coronal curve correction, the most caudal instrumented vertebra tilt angle correction, coronal balance, and thoracic kyphosis.
The major curve was corrected from 49.8° and 47.2° pre-operatively to 24.5° and 18.8° at the final follow-up for the thin and thick rod groups, respectively (50.8% vs. 60.2% correction). There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of kyphosis, coronal balance, or tilt angle at the time of the final follow-up. The mean number of levels fused was 6.2 in the thin rod group, compared with 5.9 levels in the thick rod group. There were no major intraoperative complications in either group.
Significant correction loss was observed in the thin rod system at the final follow-up though both groups had comparable correction immediately post-operative. Therefore, the thick rod with poly axial screw system helps to maintain post-operative correction.
Instrumentation; rod; scoliosis; thoracoscopic surgery
Surgical treatment in the case of thoracolumbar burst fractures is very controversial. Posterior instrumentation is most frequently used, however, but the number of levels to be instrumented still remains a matter of debate.
Materials and Methods
A total of 94 patients who had a single burst fracture between T11 and L2 were selected and were managed using posterior instrumentation with anterior fusion when necessary. They were divided into three groups as follows; Group I (n = 28) included patients who were operated by intermediate segment fixation, Group II (n = 32) included patients operated by long segment fixation, and Group III (n = 34) included those operated by intermediate segment fixation with a pair of additional screws in the fractured vertebra. The mean follow-up period was twenty one months. The outcomes were analyzed in terms of kyphosis angle (KA), regional kyphosis angle (RA), sagittal index (SI), anterior height compression rate, Frankel classification, and Oswestry Disability Index questionnaire.
In Groups II and III, the correction values of KA, RA, and SI were much better than in Group I. At the final follow up, the correction values of KA (6.3 and 12.1, respectively) and SI (6.2 and 12.0, respectively) were in Groups II and III found to be better in the latter.
The intermediate segment fixation with an additional pair of screws at the fracture level vertebra gives results that are comparable or even better than long segment fixation and gives an advantage of preserving an extra mobile segment.
Thoracolumbar burst fracture; posterior instrumentation; intermediate segment fixation; fixation length; selective anterior fusion
We report here on an unusual case of multiple levels of asymmetric lumbar spondylolysis in a 19-year-old woman. The patient had severe low back pain of increasing intensity with lumbar instability, which was evident on the dynamic radiographs. MRI demonstrated the presence of abnormalities and the three dimensional CT scan revealed asymmetric complete spondylolysis at the left L2, L3 and L4 levels and the right L1, L2 and L3 levels. This case was treated surgically by posterior and posterolateral fusion at L2-3-4 with intersegmental fixation using pedicle screws and an auto iliac bone graft. The patient was relieved of her low back pain after the surgery.
Lower back pain; Multiple spondylolysis; Fusion
First, to examine the association between bone mineral density (BMD) and the halo phenomenon, and second, to investigate risk factors predisposing to the halo phenomenon and its correlation with clinical outcomes.
Overview of Literature
The few in vivo studies regarding the relationship between pedicle screw stability and BMD have shown conflicting results.
Forty-four female patients who underwent spine fusion surgery due to spinal stenosis were included in this study. The halo phenomenon and fusion state were evaluated through plain radiographs performed immediately after surgery and through the final outpatient follow-up examination. BMD, osteoarthritis grade in the hip and knee joints, and surgical outcome were also evaluated.
BMD was not related to the halo phenomenon, but age, absence of osteoarthritis in the knee, and non-union state were found to be significant risk factors for the halo phenomenon. However, the radiological halo phenomenon did not correlate with clinical outcome (visual analogue scale for back pain and leg pain).
The halo phenomenon is a simple phenomenon that can develop during follow-up after pedicle screw fixation. It does not influence clinical outcomes, and thus it is thought that hydroxyapatite coating screws, expandable screws, cement augmentation, and additional surgeries are not required, if their purpose is to prevent the halo phenomenon.
Halo phenomenon; Pedicle screw; Bone mineral density
Herniated nucleus pulposus fragments are recognized by the immune system as a foreign-body, which results in an autoimmune reaction. Human activation-inducible tumor necrosis factor receptor (AITR) and its ligand, AITRL, are important costimulatory molecules in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Despite the importance of these costimulatory molecules in autoimmune disease, their role in the autoimmune reaction to herniated disc fragments has yet to be explored. The purpose of the present study is to investigate whether the overexpression of AITR and AITRL might be associated with lumbar disc herniation.
Materials and Methods
The study population consisted of 20 symptomatic lumbar disc herniation patients. Ten macroscopically normal control discs were obtained from patients with spinal fractures managed with anterior procedures that involved a discectomy. Peripheral blood samples from both the study patients and controls were collected. The expression levels of AITR and AITRL were investigated by flow cytometric analysis, confocal laser scanning microscopy, immunohistochemistry and by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The soluble AITR and AITRL serum levels were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Flow cytometric analysis revealed significantly higher levels of both AITR and AITRL in the lumbar disc herniation patients than in the controls. The AITRL expression levels were also increased in patients with lumbar disc herniation, shown by using confocal laser scanning microscopy, immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Finally, soluble AITR and AITRL were elevated in the patients with lumbar disc herniations.
The AITR and AITRL are increased in both the herniated disc tissue and the peripheral blood of patients with lumbar disc herniation.
Lumbar disc herniation; costimulatory molecule
Facet joint injection is considered to be a safe procedure. There have been some reported cases of facet joint pyogenic infection and also 3 cases of facet joint infection spreading to paraspinal muscle and epidural space due to intra-articular injections. To the author's knowledge, paraspinal and epidural abscesses after facet joint injection without facet joint pyogenic infection have not been reported. Here we report a case in which extra-articular facet joint injection resulted in paraspinal and epidural abscesses without facet joint infection. A 50-year-old man presenting with acute back pain and fever was admitted to the hospital. He had the history of diabetes mellitus and had undergone the extra-articular facet joint injection due to a facet joint syndrome diagnosis at a private clinic 5 days earlier. Physical examination showed tenderness over the paraspinal region. Magnetic resonance image (MRI) demonstrated the paraspinal abscess around the fourth and fifth spinous processes with an additional epidural abscess compressing the thecal sac. The facet joints were preserved. The laboratory results showed a white blood cell count of 14.9 × 109 per liter, an erythrocyte sedimentation rate of 52mm/hour, and 10.88mg/dL of C-reactive protein. Laminectomy and drainage were performed. The pus was found in the paraspinal muscles, which was communicated with the epidural space through a hole in the ligamentum flavum. Cultures grew Staphylococcus aureus. Paraspinal abscess communicated with epidural abscess is a rare complication of extra-articular facet joint injection demonstrating an abscess formation after an invasive procedure near the spine is highly possible.
Complication; infection; injection; facet joint
To identify the incidence of new vertebral compression fractures in women after kyphoplasty and to analyze influential factors in these patients.
Materials and Methods
One hundred and eleven consecutive female patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) underwent kyphoplasty at 137 levels. These patients were followed for 15.2 months postoperatively. For the survey of new vertebral compression fractures, medical records and x-rays were reviewed, and telephone interviews were conducted with all patients.
During that time 20 (18%) patients developed new VCFs. The rate of occurrence of new VCFs in one year was 15.5% using a Kaplan-Meier curve. Body mass index (BMI), symptom duration and kyphoplasty level were the statistically significant factors between the patient groups both with and without new VCFs after kyphoplasty. In the comparison between the adjacent and remote new VCF groups, the adjacent new VCF group showed a larger amount of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) use during kyphoplasty (p < 0.05). Before kyphoplasty, 9.9% of the patients had been prescribed medication for osteoporosis, and 93.7% of the patients started or continued medication after kyphoplasty. The development of new VCFs was affected by the number of vertebrae involved in the kyphoplasty. However, the lower incidence rate (15.5%) of new compression fractures might be due to a greater percentage (93.7% in our study) of patients taking anti-osteoporotic medication before and/or after kyphoplasty.
When kyphoplasty is planned for the management of patients with osteoporotic VCFs, the application of a small amount of PMMA can be considered in order to lower the risk of new fractures in adjacent vertebrae. The postoperative use of anti- osteoporotic medication is recommended for the prevention of new VCFs.
Kyphoplasty; compression fracture; influencing factor
Disability questionnaires are used for clinical assessment, outcome measurement, and research methodology. Any disability measurement must be adapted culturally for comparability of data, when the patients, who are measured, use different languages. This study aimed to conduct cross-cultural adaptation in translating the original (English) version of the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) into Korean, and then to assess the reliability of the Korean versions of the Oswestry Disability Index (KODI). We used methodology to obtain semantic, idiomatic, experimental, and conceptual equivalences for the process of cross-cultural adaptation. The KODI were tested in 116 patients with chronic low back pain. The internal consistency and reliability for the KODI reached 0.9168 (Cronbach's alpha). The test-retest reliability was assessed with 32 patients (who were not included in the assessment of Cronbach's alpha) over a time interval of 4 days. Test-retest correlation reliability was 0.9332. The entire process and the results of this study were reported to the developer (Dr. Fairbank JC), who appraised the KODI. There is little evidence of differential item functioning in KODI. The results suggest that the KODI is internally consistent and reliable. Therefore, the KODI can be recommended as a low back pain assessment tool in Korea.
Korean Version; Back Pain; Oswestry Disability Index; Disability Evaluation