Intracranial hemorrhage is a serious but rare complication of spinal surgery, which can occur in the intracerebral, cerebellar, epidural, or subdural compartment.
To describe patients with intracranial hemorrhage after lumbar spinal surgery and present clinical and diagnostic imaging findings.
In this retrospective study, medical records of 1,077 patients who underwent lumbar spinal surgery in our tertiary referral neurosurgery center between January 2003 and September 2010 were studied. The original presentations of the patients before the surgical intervention were herniated lumbar disc, spinal canal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, lumbar spinal trauma, and lumbar spine and epidural tumor. The operations performed consisted of discectomy, multiple level laminectomy, stabilization and fusion, lumbar instrumentation, and lumbar spinal and epidural tumor resection.
Four cases developed intracranial hemorrhage including acute subdural hematoma (one case), epidural hematoma (one case), and remote cerebellar hemorrhage (two cases). The clinical and diagnostic imaging characteristics along with treatments performed and outcomes of these four patients are described and the pertinent literature regarding post-lumbar spinal surgery intracranial hemorrhages is reviewed.
Though rare, intracranial hemorrhage can occur following lumbar spinal surgery. This complication may be asymptomatic or manifest with intense headache at early stages any time during the first week after surgery. Dural tear, bloody CSF leakage, focal neurologic symptoms, and headache are indicators of potential intracranial hemorrhage, which should be considered during or following surgery and necessitate diagnostic imaging.
Intracranial hemorrhage; Lumbar spine surgery; Remote cerebellar hemorrhage; Subdural hematoma; Epidural hematoma
To define the role of Enneking staging system and of the consequent different treatment options on the outcome of osteoblastoma (OBL) of the spine.
A retrospective review of 51 patients with OBL of the mobile spine conducted to compare the outcomes among the different types of treatments at long term follow-up (25–229 months, av.90). These 51 patients were previously staged according to Enneking staging system and treatment selected accordingly. 10 stage two (st.2) OBLs were treated with intralesional excision and 41 stage three (st.3) OBLs were treated either by intralesional excision or en bloc resection. The intralesional excision group was divided considering the use or not of radiation therapy after surgery. The recurrence rate was compared among these groups and also considering previous open surgery (“non intact” vs. “intact”). The statistical significance was defined using the Fisher Exact test.
No local recurrence occurred in the st.2 patients treated by intralesional excision. Considering the st.3 patients, 2 local recurrences out of 13 patients occurred in the en bloc resection (15.4 %) group. All occurred in “non intact” cases (67 %). In the intralesional group, 5 local recurrences out of 27 patients occurred (18 %) being none in the group that received radiation therapy after surgery. Two occurred in the “intact” (7 %) and three in the “non intact” group (75 %). Considering all patients, the difference between the recurrence rate between “intact” and “non intact” groups was statistically significant (p < 0.002).
Intralesional excision proved to be effective in st.2 lesions and en bloc resection in st.3. Radiotherapy seems to be an effective adjuvant treatment when en bloc resection is not feasible or requires unacceptable functional sacrifices. The first treatment significantly affects the prognosis as previously treated patients have worse prognosis.
Osteoblastoma; Treatment; Enneking staging system; Prognosis
To compare the positions of the aorta relative to vertebral bodies and the potential risk of the aorta impingement for pedicle screw (PS) placement between right-sided and left-sided thoracolumbar/lumbar curves of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).
Thirty-nine AIS patients with a main thoracolumbar or lumbar curve were recruited. The Lenke’s classification was type 5C in all patients. According to the convexity of the thoracolumbar or lumbar curves, the patients were divided into either group R or Group L. The patients in Group R had a main right-sided thoracolumbar/lumbar curve, and the patients in Group L had a main left-sided thoracolumbar/lumbar curve. Axial CT images from T12 to L4 at the midvertebral body level were obtained to evaluate Aorta-vertebra angle (α), Vertebral rotation angle (β), Lefty safety distance (LSD), and Right safety distance (RSD). The risks of the aorta impingement from T12 to L4 were calculated and then compared between the two groups.
The α increased from T12 through L4 in Group R, increased from T12 through L1, and then decreased from L1 through L4 in Group L. The β decreased from T12 through L4 in both groups. The LSD constantly increased from T12 through L4 in Group R, increased from T12 through L3, and then decreased from L3 through L4 in Group L. The RSD increased from T12 through L3 and then decreased from L3 through L4 in both groups. With the increment of the lengths of the simulated screws, the aorta impingement risks were constantly elevated at all levels in both groups. The aorta was at a high risk of impingement from left PS regardless of the diameters of the simulated screws in Group R (80–100 % at T12 and 53.3–100 % at L1). In Group L, the aorta was completely safe when using 35 mm (0 at all levels) PS and at high risks of the aorta impingement on the right side from 45 mm PSs (31.8–72.7 %). In all, the risks of the aorta impingement were mainly from left PS in Group R and from right PS in Group L, and the risk of the aorta impingement from PS placement was generally higher in right thoracolumbar or lumbar curves when compared with that of the left.
The present study illustrated different changed positions of the aorta relative to vertebrae between thoracolumbar/lumbar curves with different convexities. In right-sided curve, the risks of the aorta impingement were mainly from left PS while in left-sided curves, from right PS. The aorta was more proximal to entry points in right-sided lumbar curve when compared with left-sided curve; thus placing PS carries more risks in right-sided thoracolumbar/lumbar curve. Surgeons should be more cautious when placing PSs on the concave sides of T12 and L1 vertebrae of right-sided thoracolumbar/lumbar curves.
Aorta impingement; Thoracolumbar/lumbar curve; Convexity; Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
To investigate the safety and therapeutic effects of mono-segmental pedicle instrumentation (MSPI) in treating thoracolumbar burst fracture (AO classification: A3.1 and A3.2).
A retrospective analysis was conducted on 60 cases with thoracolumbar burst fracture (AO classification: A3.1 and A3.2) between April 2005 and February 2010. Half of the 60 inpatients were treated with MSPI, and the other half was treated with short-segment pedicle instrumentation (SSPI). The mean operation time, blood loss, visual analog scale (VAS) and vertebral kyphotic angle before and after surgery were compared.
In the MSPI group, the mean operation time was 90 ± 25 min, and the blood loss at operation was 180 ± 62 ml. The vertebral kyphotic angles were 17.3° ± 9.3° before surgery, 6.5° ± 6.5° one week after surgery, and 9.5° ± 6.4° for the latest follow-up. The VAS scores were 7.5 ± 1.4 before surgery, 2.5 ± 0.7 one week after surgery, and 1.4 ± 0.8 for the latest follow-up. In the SSPI group, the mean operation time was 101 ± 28 min, and the blood loss at operation was 203 ± 88 ml. The follow-up duration was 12–64 months. The vertebral kyphotic angles were 16.5° ± 9.1° before surgery, 7.1° ± 6.9° one week after surgery, and 7.5° ± 5.2° for the latest follow-up. The VAS scores were 6.7 ± 1.5 before surgery, 3.0 ± 0.4 one week after surgery, and 1.1 ± 0.6 for the latest follow-up. There were no statistically significant differences between these two groups in the operation time, blood loss at operation, VAS score and vertebral kyphotic angle before and after surgery (p > 0.05). The post-surgical VAS scores and vertebral kyphotic angles were significantly decreased in both groups, compared to before surgery (p < 0.05).
It is safe and effective to treat thoracolumbar burst fractures (AO 3.1 and AO 3.2) with MSPI. The mean operation time, blood loss at operation, post-surgical VAS and vertebral kyphotic angle of the MSPI group are similar, compared to the SSPI group. Further research is needed to find out whether therapeutic effects of MSPI are better than those of conservative treatment in these cases.
Spinal fractures; Fracture fixation; Mono-segmental pedicle instrumentation; Short-segment pedicle instrumentation
Idiopathic scoliosis can lead to sagittal imbalance. The relationship between thoracic hyper- and hypo-kyphotic segments, vertebral rotation and coronal curve was determined. The effect of segmental sagittal correction by in situ contouring was analyzed.
Pre- and post-operative radiographs of 54 scoliosis patients (Lenke 1 and 3) were analyzed at 8 years follow-up. Cobb angles and vertebral rotation were determined. Sagittal measurements were: kyphosis T4–T12, T4–T8 and T9–T12, lordosis L1–S1, T12–L2 and L3–S1, pelvic incidence, pelvic tilt, sacral slope, T1 and T9 tilt.
Thoracic and lumbar curves were significantly reduced (p = 0.0001). Spino-pelvic parameters, T1 and T9 tilt were not modified. The global T4–T12 kyphosis decreased by 2.1° on average (p = 0.066). Segmental analysis evidenced a significant decrease of T4–T8 hyperkyphosis by 6.6° (p = 0.0001) and an increase of segmental hypokyphosis T9–T12 by 5.0° (p = 0.0001). Maximal vertebral rotation was located at T7, T8 or T9 and correlated (r = 0.422) with the cranial level of the hypokyphotic zone (p = 0.003). This vertebra or its adjacent levels corresponded to the coronal apex in 79.6 % of thoracic curves.
Lenke 1 and 3 curves can show normal global kyphosis, divided in cranial hyperkyphosis and caudal hypokyphosis. The cranial end of hypokyphosis corresponds to maximal rotation. These vertebrae have most migrated anteriorly and laterally. The sagittal apex between segmental hypo- and hyper-kyphosis corresponds to the coronal thoracic apex. A segmental sagittal imbalance correction is achieved by in situ contouring. The concept of segmental imbalance is useful when determining the levels on which surgical detorsion may be focused.
Idiopathic scoliosis; Sagittal balance; Thoracic kyphosis; Vertebral rotation; Posterior instrumentation; In situ contouring
Surgical adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) management can be associated with loss of thoracic kyphosis and a secondary loss of lumbar lordosis leading to iatrogenic flatback. Such conditions are associated with poorer clinical outcomes during adulthood. The aim of this study was to evaluate sagittal plane reciprocal changes after posterior spinal fusion in the setting of AIS.
Thirty consecutive adolescents (mean age 14.6 years) with AIS Lenke 1, 2 or 3 were included in this retrospective study with 2 year follow-up. Full-spine standing coronal and lateral radiographs were obtained preoperatively, at 3 and 24 months postoperatively. Coronal Cobb angle, thoracic kyphosis (TK) and lumbar lordosis (LL) were measured. Surgical procedure was similar in all the cases, with use of pedicular screws between T11 and the lowest instrumented vertebra (≥L2), sublaminar hooks applied in compression at the upper thoracic level and sub-laminar bands and clamps in the concavity of the deformity. Statistical analysis was done using t test and Pearson correlation coefficient.
Between preoperative and last follow-up evaluations a significant reduction of Cobb angle was observed (53.6° vs. 17.2°, p < 0.001). A significant improvement of the instrumented thoracic kyphosis, TK (19.7° vs. 26.2°, p < 0.005) was noted, without difference between 3 and 24 months postoperatively. An improvement in lumbar lordosis, LL (43.9° vs. 47.3°, p = 0.009) was also noted but occurred after the third postoperative month. A significant correlation was found between TK correction and improvement of LL (R = 0.382, p = 0.037), without correlation between these reciprocal changes and the amount of coronal correction.
Results from this study reveal that sagittal reciprocal changes occur after posterior fusion when TK is restored. These changes are visible after 3 months postoperatively, corresponding to a progressive adaptation of patient posture to the surgically induced alignment. These changes are not correlated with coronal plane correction of the deformity. In the setting of AIS, TK restoration is a critical goal and permits favorable postural adaptation. Further studies will include pelvic parameters and clinical scores in order to evaluate the impact of the noted reciprocal changes.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Sagittal alignment; Reciprocal changes; Posterior fusion; Thoracic kyphosis
The purpose of the study was to find out if transpedicular decancellation osteotomy (TDO) is recommendable for neurological recovery in patients with myelopathy due to tubercular rigid kyphosis. We have analyzed the pattern of recovery seen after the surgery and also made an effort to correlate the neurological recovery with preoperative clinical and radiological features.
The clinical parameters used were (1) ASIA impairment scale for motor and sensory function, (2) sphincter dysfunction score, (3) time duration from the onset of myelopathy till the date of surgery, and (4) SRS 30 outcomes questionnaire. Radiological parameters used were (1) Cobb’s angle in standing/sitting radiographs, (2) levels of gibbus, (3) cord changes in sagittal T2 MRI images, and (4) percentage of cord compression. Assessment was done preoperatively and at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and at 2 years postoperatively.
Seventeen patients were included. The follow-up period was 2 years. We had one patient in ASIA A, nine patients in ASIA C and seven patients in ASIA D. Four patients with ASIA C presented with mild sphincter disturbance (score 2) and one presented with severe disturbance (score 1). The ASIA A patient had complete retention (score 0). The ASIA impairment scale improved after surgery, with maximum improvement at 3 months and improvement continuing up to 6 months. 16 (94 %) patients had improvement in lower limb function and 5 (83 %) patients had improvement of sphincter function. 94 % patients had neurological recovery after the operation. The neurological recovery reached a plateau at 6 months with no significant improvement in the further follow-up. Preoperative MRI changes, cord compression and duration from onset of myelopathy to day of surgery were not predictive of the final neurological outcome after surgery.
TDO gives good results in delayed onset neurological deficits in caries spine with rigid kyphosis. At least, one grade improvement in the neurological status of patients with ASIA C and ASIA D can be expected. Maximum improvement in the neurology is seen in the first 3 months and up to 6 months from the date of surgery, without much improvement thereafter.
Level of evidence Level IV.
Tuberculous; Kyphosis; Neurological recovery; Transpedicular decancellation osteotomy
To examine the association between brace compliance and outcome.
Patients and methods
495 (457 females) patients with late onset juvenile and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis were examined prospectively before bracing and at least 2 years after brace weaning. One spine surgeon examined all patients. 381 (353 females) answered a standardised questionnaire and 355 had radiological examination after median 24 years. Compliance was defined as brace wear >20 h daily until weaning. Main outcomes were curve progression and surgery.
At weaning, 76/389 compliers and 59/106 non-compliers had curve progression ≥6° (OR 5.2, 95 % CI 3.3–8.2). At long-term the numbers were 68/284 and 46/71 (OR 5.8, 95 % CI 3.3–10.2), 10/284 versus 17/71 had been operated (OR 8.6, 95 % CI 3.7–19.9).
We conclude that the risk for curve progression and surgery are reduced in patients with good brace compliance.
Idiopathic scoliosis; Bracing; Compliance; Curve progression; Surgery
The quality of presentations at medical conferences is of major importance. The publication rate (PR) following congress presentation is an indicator of the extent and quality of a scientific society’s activity. The purpose of this study was to investigate publication rates in the Spine Society of Europe (SSE), compare them with the results for American spine societies, and determine factors affecting publication.
Materials and methods
All 839 abstracts of podium and poster presentations at SSE congresses held in 2000–2003 were investigated. PRs in peer-reviewed journals within a period of 5 years were assessed. Subgroup analyses were performed for different study types. The consistency of abstracts with publications was also analyzed.
The overall PR was 37.8%, with a mean of 17.7 ± 15.7 months between congress and publication and a mean impact factor of 1.8 ± 1.0 at the time of publication. Comparatively high PRs were found for podium presentations versus posters, studies with higher versus lower levels of evidence, experimental versus clinical studies, prospective versus retrospective studies, randomized versus nonrandomized studies, studies reporting significant main results versus those without, and multicenter studies versus single-center studies. Biomechanical studies also achieved high PRs.
The PR was similar to that of NASS (40%) and only slightly inferior to that of SRS (47%) and ISSLS (45%). This shows the high quality of presentations at SSE congresses. The fate of unpublished abstracts is worth further consideration. It is questionable whether it is acceptable to cite abstracts that have not passed a journal’s peer-review process and to implement their results in clinical practice.
Publication rate; Spine Society of Europe; Annual congress; Publication; Scientific presentation; Level of evidence
To show the radiological results of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients treated with posterior fusion using all-pedicle-screw construct with correction carried out using a convex rod reduction technique.
Between October 2004 and June 2007, 42 AIS patients were treated with posterior fusion using all-pedicle-screw construct with correction done through the convex side. Two patients were lost to follow-up and were not included in the study. Forty patients had a minimum follow-up of 2 years. Patients were evaluated for the deformity correction in coronal and sagittal planes and for spinal balance.
The mean preoperative Cobb angle of the major curve and secondary minor curves was 60° and 41°, respectively. Immediate postoperative mean Cobb angle of the major curve and secondary minor curves was 17° and 13°, respectively. Postoperative 2-year average major curve loss of correction was 7 %. Postoperative 2-year average minor curve loss of correction was 5 %. Preoperative thoracic kyphosis of 28° was changed to 22° in 2-years follow-up. The loss of thoracic kyphosis was most noted in hyperkyphotic patients.
The correction of AIS by convex-sided pedicular screws yields a coronal correction comparable to what is described in the literature for segmental concave-sided screws.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Convex side correction; Pedicular screws; Complications; Posterior fusion
To clarify the relative frequency of various histopathological primary spinal cord tumors and their features in Japanese people and to compare this data with other reports.
Primary spinal cord tumor surgical cases from 2000 to 2009, which were registered in our affiliated hospital database were collected. We examined age at surgery, sex, anatomical location, vertebral level of the tumor, and pathological diagnosis in each case.
Of the 678 patients in our study, 377 patients (55.6 %) were males and 301 patients (44.4 %) were females (male/female ratio 1.25). The mean age at surgery was 52.4 years. Of these tumors, 123 cases (18.1 %) were intramedullary, 371 cases (54.7 %) were intradural extramedullary, 28 cases (4.1 %) were epidural, and 155 cases (22.9 %) were dumbbell tumors. The pathological diagnoses included 388 schwannomas (57.2 %), 79 meningiomas (11.6 %), 54 ependymomas (8.0 %), 27 hemangiomas (4.0 %), 23 hemangioblastomas (3.4 %), 23 neurofibromas (3.4 %), and 9 astrocytomas (1.3 %). The male/female ratios for schwannomas, meningiomas, ependymomas, hemangiomas, hemangioblastomas, neurofibromas, malignant lymphomas, and lipomas are 1.4, 0.34, 1.3, 1.5, 2.3, 1.3, 2.7 and 2.3, respectively.
This is the first published research in English on the epidemiology of primary spinal cord tumors in Japanese people. Similar to other reports from Asian countries, our data indicates a higher male/female ratio overall for spinal cord tumors, a higher proportion of nerve sheath cell tumors, and a lower proportion of meningiomas and neuroepithelial tumors compared to reports from non-Asian countries. Data in the current study represent the characteristics of primary spinal cord tumors in Asian countries.
Spinal cord tumor; Epidemiology; Tumor location; Schwannoma; Meningioma
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is thought to play a crucial role in the radicular pain caused by lumbar spinal stenosis. However, efficacy of inhibition of IL-6 for sciatica in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis has not been clarified. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effect of the anti-IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody, tocilizumab, on radicular pain by its epidural administration onto spinal nerves in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis.
Sixty patients with low back and radicular leg pain caused by spinal stenosis were investigated. In 30 patients, we infiltrated 2.0 mL of lidocaine and 80 mg of tocilizumab onto the affected spinal nerve, and 2.0 mL of lidocaine and 3.3 mg of dexamethasone were used in 30 patients. Low back pain, leg pain, and leg numbness were evaluated during 1 month after spinal nerve infiltration.
Infiltration of tocilizumab was more effective than dexamethasone for leg pain (3 days, 1, 2, and 4 weeks), low back pain (3 days, 1, 2 and 4 weeks), and leg numbness (3 days, 1 and 2 weeks). No adverse event was observed in either group.
Our results indicate that the epidural administration of an anti-IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody, tocilizumab, onto the spinal nerve produced reduction of radicular leg pain, numbness, and low back pain without adverse event. IL-6 may be one of the inducers of pain caused by spinal stenosis in humans.
Anti-interleukin-6 receptor monoclonal antibody; Sciatica; Lumbar spinal stenosis; Pain; Tocilizumab
Vertebral hemangioma (VH) is virtually vascular malformation, which is usually asymptomatic. Only 3.7 % of VH may become active and symptomatic, and 1 % may invade the spinal canal and/or paravertebral space. Treatment protocols for active or aggressive VHs are still in controversy. Reported treatments include radiotherapy, vertebroplasty, direct alcohol injection, embolization, surgery and a combination of these modalities.
A 41-year-old lady was presented with 18 month history of intermittent back pain. CT revealed T5 osteolytic lesion with epidural and paravertebral extension. The first CT guided biopsy yielded little information.
Histopathological diagnosis of the second biopsy was VH. Vertebroplasty, posterior decompression and fixation were performed followed by postoperative radiotherapy. Her symptoms were resolved immediately after the operation. At 12 months follow-up, no recurrence was detected by CT with contrast enhancement.
Surgical decompression, vertebroplasty and fixation are safe and effective for aggressive VH. More attention is needed in determining the algorithm for the diagnosis and treatment of aggressive VH.
Vertebral hemangioma; Diagnosis; Radiotherapy; Vertebroplasty; Surgery
No information exists on the level of internet use among parents of pediatric patients with scoliosis. The internet may represent a medium through which to provide information to augment the outpatient consultation. The aim of this research was to establish the prevalence of internet use amongst a cohort of parents attending a pediatric scoliosis outpatient clinic.
A previously used questionnaire (Baker et al., Eur Spine J, 19:1776–1779, 2010) was distributed to parents attending a dedicated scoliosis outpatient clinic with their children. Demographic data and details about use of the internet were collected.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents had used the internet to search for information on scoliosis, and 94 % were interested in a local internet provided information provision. A positive history of corrective surgery and possession of health insurance were independent positive predictors of internet use.
As surgeons we need to be aware of our patients’ use of the internet, and there is the opportunity to use this medium to provide additional education.
Internet; Pediatric; Scoliosis; Information provision; Outpatient
Previous studies had shown that sagittal spinal and pelvic morphology may be associated with the development and progression of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, but the predictive value of initial spinal and pelvic morphology on the curve progression during brace treatment is unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relation between initial spinopelvic morphology and the risk of curve progression of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with the Milwaukee brace.
Materials and methods
From 2002 to 2007, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (single thoracic curve with apex at or above T8) was treated with the Milwaukee brace in 60 girls. Initial standing, full-length lateral radiographs were made and seven sagittal radiographic parameters of spinal and pelvic alignment were measured. Patients were followed until skeletal maturity or progression of Cobb angle >45°. The progression of curve was defined as an increase of Cobb angle ≥6° at final follow-up or progression to surgery during brace treatment.
The 45 patients (75.0 %) who had successful control of curve progression were initially significantly more skeletally mature (higher mean Risser sign) than the 15 patients (25.0 %) who had curve progression. The initial mean Cobb angle was similar between the stable and progressed groups. The mean pelvic tilt, T1-spinopelvic inclination and T9-spinopelvic inclination angles were significantly greater in the stable group than in the progressed group and these three angles were independent predictors for curve progression during brace treatment. There were no significant differences between the stable and progressed groups in initial mean pelvic incidence, sacral slope, thoracic kyphosis or lumbar lordosis angles. Pre-bracing pelvic tilt ≤−0.5° was strongly predictive and T1-spinopelvic inclination ≤3.5° was moderately predictive of curve progression during the Milwaukee brace treatment.
Initial pelvic tilt and spinopelvic inclination angles may predict the curve progression and treatment outcome of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with the Milwaukee brace.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Spinopelvic morphology; Brace treatment; Curve progression
One of the downsides of spinal correction surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is the cessation of spinal longitudinal growth within the fused levels in growing children. However, the surgery itself has the potential to increase spinal longitudinal length by correcting the curvature. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between curve correction and increased spinal longitudinal length by corrective surgery for AIS.
This study included 208 consecutive patients (14 male, 194 female) with AIS who underwent posterior or anterior correction and fusion surgeries. Mean age at the time of surgery was 15.7 ± 3.3 years (range 10–20 years). Patients with hyperkyphosis of more than 40° were excluded. All patients had main curves in the thoracic spine (Lenke type 1 or 2). Forty-three patients underwent anterior spinal correction and fusion (ASF) and 164 underwent posterior spinal correction and fusion (PSF). The mean preoperative height was 154.7 ± 6.9 cm (range 133–173 cm). Pre and postoperative PA standing X-ray films were used to measure the Cobb angle and spinal length between the end vertebrae of the main thoracic curve, and between T1 and L5. The patients were divided into ASF and PSF groups, within which correlations between the Cobb angle correction and spinal length increase were evaluated.
In the ASF group, the mean preoperative Cobb angle of the main thoracic curve was 54.9 ± 8.3° (range 41–83°) and it was corrected to 19.7 ± 9.5° (range 0–47°) with a mean correction of 35.2 ± 11.1° (range 10–74°) after surgery. The mean increase in the length of the main thoracic curve was 1.5 ± 4.6 mm (range −8 to 13 mm), and the mean increase in T1–L5 length was 16.6 ± 7.7 mm (range −3 to 51 mm). Significant correlation between the correction of the Cobb angle and increase in T1–L5 length was observed, with a correlation coefficient of 0.44. In the PSF group, the mean preoperative Cobb angle of the main thoracic curve was 58.8 ± 11.6° (range 36–107°) and it was corrected to 17.1 ± 7.6° (range 10–49°), with a mean correction of 41.7 ± 10.2° (range 21–73°) after surgery. The mean increase in the length of the main thoracic curve was 14.0 ± 5.2 mm (range 0–42 mm), and the mean increase in T1–L5 length was 32.4 ± 10.8 mm (10–61 mm). Correlation between the correction of the Cobb angle and increase in T1–L5 length was high, with a correlation coefficient of 0.64. The increase in T1–L5 length could be calculated by the following formula based on linear regression analysis: increase in T1–L5 length (mm) = correction of the Cobb angle (º) × 0.77.
Spinal longitudinal length was significantly increased after surgery in both the ASF and PSF groups. Correction of the Cobb angle and increase in T1–L5 length were highly correlated with each other, especially in the PSF group.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Posterior correction with fusion surgery; Anterior correction with fusion surgery; Spinal length
This study aimed to improve the effectiveness of orthotic treatment for the patients with AIS using the three-dimensional clinical ultrasound (3D CUS) method in which the optimal location of pressure pad of spinal orthosis was determined with the assistance of ultrasound image analysis.
By means of 3D CUS method, the spinous process angle (SPA) could be traced and used as a clinical parameter to estimate the Cobb’s angle in order to determine the location of pressure pad. Twenty-one patients (test group) and 22 patients (control group) were recruited to the ultrasound-assisted fitting method and the conventional fitting method, respectively. All the measurements were done by a blinded observer.
The intra-rater reliability of using 3D CUS to measure SPA was found >0.9 [ICC (3,3) = 0.91, p < 0.05]. In the test group, 13 out of 21 patients were required to adjust the location of pressure pad in order to achieve the largest curvature correction. The mean immediate in-brace corrections (Cobb’s angle measured from radiographs) of the test group (mean thoracic curve correction: 10.3°, mean lumbar curve correction: 10.1°) were found significantly higher (p < 0.005) than that of the control group (mean thoracic curve correction: 4.6°, mean lumbar curve correction: 6.0°). The results showed that the ultrasound-assisted fitting method of spinal orthosis was effective and beneficial to 62 % of the patients in this study.
The 3D CUS could be considered as an effective, non-invasive and fast assessment method to scoliosis, especially in enhancing the effectiveness of orthotic treatment and its applications could also be further extended to other spinal deformities.
Three-dimensional clinical ultrasound; Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Spinous process angle; Fitting of spinal orthosis
Concerns have been raised regarding the effects of schoolbag carriage on adolescent schoolchildren and particularly those with a pre-existing spinal deformity. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of school backpack loads in scoliotic and healthy school-age children during walking, in terms of peak vertical ground reaction forces and loading rates. We hypothesized that walking with a loaded backpack would have a greater effect on gait kinetics of scoliotic compared to healthy.
Eight children with idiopathic scoliosis and eight healthy children were assessed. Kinetic data were collected using two AMTI OR6-7 force-plates, while the subjects walked freely along a 6-m walkway under three walking conditions: (1) without a schoolbag, (2) carrying a schoolbag bilaterally (over both shoulders—symmetrical load) and (3) carrying a schoolbag unilaterally (over each shoulder—asymmetrical load). Kinetic data were collected and four parameters were calculated; peak ground reaction force at the first maximum force peak (F1), time needed to reach F1 (T1), loading rate of F1 (LRF1) and total contact time (T2).
We found no significant differences between the scoliotic and healthy children for any of the kinetic variables examined. In addition, the position of the bag did not seem to have any effect on loading rate.
The results of this study indicate that in terms of kinetic parameters during normal gait, the schoolbag load (symmetrical or asymmetrical) does not have a different effect on children with mild adolescent idiopathic scoliosis compared to normal controls.
Idiopathic scoliosis; Loading rate; Kinetics; Backpack; Schoolchildren
Imaging of the painful coccyx currently relies on standard and dynamic radiography. There are no literature data on MRI of the coccyx. This examination could provide information on the cause of pain.
172 patients with severe chronic coccydynia underwent MRI and dynamic radiography of the coccyx.
Disc abnormalities (seen in 70 patients) were related to either the presence of intradiscal liquid effusion (17/70), or abnormality of the endplates similar to Modic 1 changes (38/70), or uncertain abnormalities (15/70). Abnormalities of the tip of the coccyx (seen in 41 patients) were located in the surrounding soft tissues: venous dilatations (18/41), soft tissue inflammation (13/41) and ambiguous images (9/41). Vertebral bone oedema was observed in five cases and a benign tumour was observed once. The type of imaging feature depend broadly on the mobility of the coccyx: the 105 cases with a mobile coccyx mainly presented abnormal features mainly in a disc (63 cases vs. 4 cases for the tip), whereas the 67 patients with a rigid coccyx mainly showed abnormal features at the tip (37 cases vs. 7 for the joints, p < 0.001).
We recommend MRI of the painful coccyx when dynamic radiography fails to reveal clearly a pathological lesion (i.e., normal or slightly increased mobility of the coccyx or a rigid coccyx lacking a spicule).
Coccyx; Coccydynia; Coccygodynia; Dynamic films; MRI
Spine-related research has evolved dramatically during the last century. Significant contributions have been made by thousands of authors. A citation rank list has historically been used within a particular field to measure the importance of an article. The purpose of this article is to report on the 100 most cited articles in the field of spine.
Science Citation Index Expanded was searched for citations in 27 different journals (as of 30 November 2010) chosen based on the relevance for all cited spine publications. The top 100 most cited articles were identified. Important information such as journal, date, country of origin, author, subspecialty, and level of evidence (for clinical research) were compiled.
The top 100 publications ranged from 1,695 to 240 citations. Fifty-three articles were of the lumbar, 17 were of the thoracolumbar, and 15 of the cervical spine. Eighty-one of the articles were clinical and 19 were basic science in nature. Level of evidence varied for the clinical papers, however, was most commonly level IV (34 of 81 articles). Notably, the 1990–1999 decade was the most productive period with 43 of the top 100 articles published during this time.
Identification of the most cited articles within the field of spine recognizes some of the most important contributions in the peer-reviewed literature. Current investigators may utilize the aspects of their work to guide and direct future spine-related research.
Citation analysis; Spine surgery; Publications
Persistent lower back pain after instrumental posterolateral desis may arise from incomplete fusion. We investigate the impact of experience on interobserver agreement in fusion estimation.
Four independent observers, two residents and two musculoskeletal radiologists, reviewed dedicated lumbar 64-MDCT scans and scored vertebral levels 1–5 after Glassman’s grades, 1: solid bilateral fusion, 2: solid unilateral fusion, 3: partial bilateral fusion, 4: partial unilateral fusion, 5: non-fusion. We investigated two simplifying dichotomizations, solid bilateral fusion (Glassman 1) versus all others and uni- or bilateral fusion (Glassman 1–2) versus partial or non-fusion.
Thirty-six patients with 61 operated lumbar levels were included. Interobserver agreement rates for four observers using Glassman’s system were fair (kappa 0.32), either dichotomization showed moderate agreement (kappa 0.53 and 0.59). Observer pairs had comparable prevalence adjusted interobserver agreement rates (residents: PABAK 0.67 and 0.54; consultants: PABAK 0.57 and 0.71).
Difference in observer experience seems of minor impact.
Spine fusion; Interobserver variability; CT scan; Observer experience