The anterior approach for C7-T1 disc herniation may be challenging because of obstruction by the manubrium and the narrow operative field. This study aimed to investigate the clinical and neurological outcomes of anterior approach for C7-T1 disc herniation.
We retrospectively evaluated 13 patients who underwent the anterior approach for C7-T1 disc herniation by a single surgeon within a period of 11 years (2003-2014). The minimum follow-up duration was 6 months. We describe the clinical presentation, radiographic findings, neurological outcome, and related complications.
Of 372 patients with single-level anterior discectomy and fusion or artificial disc replacement for cervical disc herniation, 13 (3.5%) had C7-T1 disc herniation. The main clinical presentation was unilateral motor weakness in intrinsic hand muscles (11 patients), along with numbness, pain, and tingling sensation that radiate down the arm to the little finger. Most of the patients improved after surgery via the anterior approach. Ten patients underwent successful anterior discectomy and fusion by the standard supramanubrial Smith-Robinson approach, but 2 needed additional manubriotomy and sternotomy. In 1 patient, we performed surgery at a wrong level because the correct level was difficult to identify intraoperatively. Two patients had transient vocal dysfunction, but none had major complications related to injuries of the great vessels such as the thoracic duct or esophagus.
For patients who require direct anterior decompression for C7-T1 disc herniation, the anterior approach is relatively feasible. However, care should be taken to overcome physical constraints by the manubrium and slope.
Cervicothoracic; Anterior; Fusion
Cervical epidural steroid injection is frequently used in the conservative management of neck pain and cervical radiculopathy. Epidural cervical transforaminal injections are usually well-tolerated with mild side effects such as transient decreased sensory and motor function, or headache due to dural puncture. Although there are a few case reports about adverse effects of cervical epidural injection in the literature, it can cause severe complications such as large hematoma, infarction by spinal vascular injury. Subdural hematoma has been occurred much less common rather than epidural hematoma in the spinal cord. We report a rare catastrophic case of cervical spinal subdural hematoma with quadriparesis after cervical transforaminal epidural block.
Subdural spinal hematoma; Cervical transforaminal epidural block; Quadriparesis
It is well known that spinal instability should be evaluated in the standing lateral position. Standing dynamic flexion and extension radiographs are usually used to assess spinal instability. Here, we report a patient who experienced distraction instability while in the supine position rather than the standard standing position. To our knowledge, this is the first report of lying-down instability undetected on standing dynamic flexion and extension radiographs. We discuss the pathophysiological mechanism of this uncommon but possible entity and provide a review of the literature.
Distraction; Dynamic; Instability
Juxtafacet cysts are implicated in neural compression. Thus far, it is known that surgical removal is the definitive treatment for symptomatic juxtafacet cyst because spontaneous regression is rare, and the failure rate of conservative treatment is high. We have reported a rare case of right-sided juxtafacet cyst development after the spontaneous resolution of contralateral left-sided facet cyst. The left-sided facet cyst resolved spontaneously without surgical treatment, but a juxtacyst developed on the contralateral facet on the right side, as illustrated on 4-year follow-up magnetic resonance images. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of newly developed contralateral juxtafacet cyst after spontaneous regression. Herein, we have discussed the natural history and the management of this rare case.
Lumbar; Facet; Cyst
Spinal epidural lipomatosis (SEL) is a rare condition that presents as a back pain with progressive neurologic symptoms. Most affected patients are obese and receiving steroid therapy, or have an endocrinopathies. We report a rare case of cauda equina syndrome caused by SEL in a non-obese healthy young man without any evident traumatic episode. A healthy 19-year-old man, who had experienced lower back pain for two months, visited our emergency room because of the sudden development of motor weakness and voiding difficulty. Lumbar magnetic resonance image revealed extradural fat compressing the cauda equina. Urgent decompression via posterior laminectomy and excision of excess epidural fat resulted in an immediate symptom improvement.
Cauda equina syndrome; Epidural; Lipomatosis
Acute lumbar disc herniation can occur in every lumbar intervertebral disc space and in multiple levels simultaneously. In the cases of 2 levels adjacent lumbar disc herniations of severe unilateral radiculopathic leg pain caused by compression of the nerve roots, respectively, multiple incision or long incision is generally needed for simultaneous removal of disc fragment in 2 levels.
We proposed the minimally invasive one portal skin incision endoscopic discectomy is effective and safe method to treat 2 levels adjacent lumbar disc herniation.
Materials and Methods:
We have experimented total 8 cases of 2 levels adjacent lumbar disc herniation having unilateral radiculopathic pain respectively. All cases are 2 levels adjacent lumbar disc herniation. We have tried a percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal approach through minimal one portal skin incision and remove the two herniated disc materials in the adjacent levels.
The L2-L3 level was involved in 2 patients, L3-L4 level in 6 patients, while the L4-L5 level was involved in 7 patients, L5-S1 level in 1 patient. The mean follow-up was 18.5 months. The mean visual analogue score (VAS) of the patients prior to surgery was 7.75, and the mean postoperative VAS was 2.375. According to Macnab's criteria, 3 patients had excellent results, 4 patients had good results, 1 patient had fair results, and no patient had a poor result; satisfactory results were obtained in 87.5% of the cases.
The percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal approach through 1 skin portal incision could be effective surgical method in unilateral adjacent 2 levels lumbar disc herniation.
Adjacent 2 levels disc herniation; one portal; percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discectomy; transforaminal approach
Lumbar disc herniation in children aged 10 years or less is extremely uncommon and posterior apophyseal ring separation is not a common injury that usually occurs in adolescents or young adults after a sports-related microtraumatism. The authors report an unique case of 10-year-old boy who presented with low back pain and radiating pain on both legs. The boy received conservative treatment, which included anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants, and physical therapy, but symptoms were not improved. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a huge central disc herniation combined with posterior apophyseal ring separation. Microscopic lumbar discectomy with the removal of apophyseal ring separation was performed due to the intractable pain. At six months after surgery, the child was symptom free.
Disc herniation; Apophyseal ring; Child
Unilateral pedicle stress fracture accompanying spondylolytic spondylolisthesis is rare even in the elderly. Most are associated with major trauma, previous spine surgery, or stress-related activity. Here, the authors describe an unique case of unilateral pedicle fracture associated with spondylolytic spondylolisthesis at the L5 level, which was successfully treated by posterior lumbar interbody fusion with screw fixation at the L5-S1 level. As far as the authors' knowledge, no such case has been previously reported in the literature. The pathophysiological mechanism of this uncommon entity is discussed and a review of relevant literature is included.
Pedicle; Fracture; Spondylolysis
Dorsal extradural migration of extruded disc material is clinically uncommon. We report a rare case of posterior epidural migration of an extruded lumbar disc mimicking a facet cyst. A 32-year-old man was admitted to our institute with a 2-week history of severe low back pain and radiating pain in the left leg. The magnetic resonance (MR) images revealed a dorsally located, left-sided extradural cystic mass at the L2-3 level. The initial diagnosis was an epidural facet cyst because of the high signal intensity on MR images and its location adjacent to the facet joint. Intraoperatively, an encapsulated mass of soft tissue adherent to the dural sac was observed and excised. The pathological diagnosis was degenerated disc material. After surgery, the patient experienced complete relief from leg pain.
Disc; Cyst; Facet
Epidural neuroplasty is found to be effective in removing fibrous tissue occurring in the epidural space for various reasons. We report a case of cerebellar infarction caused by epidural abscess after epidural neuroplasty. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of cerebellar infarction developed as a result of epidural abscess accompanying bacterial meningitis after epidural neuroplasty. We also discuss the etiology, pathogenesis, and prognosis of this rare pathologic entity.
Neuroplasty; Epidural abscess; Infarction
We generally believe that obese patients are faced on higher risk of developing perioperative complications. Rhabdomyolysis is a rare but potentially life-threatening condition caused by the release of injured skeletal muscle components into the circulation. It usually results from mechanical damage to the muscle, intoxication, or a postictal state after a seizure. In the present study, we have reported a rare case of rhabdomyolysis developing in a morbidly obese patient after upper thoracic spinal fusion surgery. We have found acute renal failure that evolved during the course of treatment resulted in a fatal outcome even though the patient received intensive supportive care. Our experience suggests that this rare complication should be considered in morbidly obese patients and those efforts should be made to avoid rhabdomyolysis.
Spine; Rhabdomyolysis; Obesity
Postoperative facet joint syndrome requiring radiofrequency neurotomy (RFN) is a relatively common problem following microscopic discectomy. However, the efficacy of repeated RFN after microscopic discectomy has not been clearly documented. The purpose of this study was to determine the success rate and symptom-free duration of repeated RFN for facet joint syndrome after microscopic discectomy.
Medical records from 56 patients, who had undergone successful initial RFN following microscopic discectomy, experienced recurrence of pain, and subsequently had repeated RFN, were reviewed and evaluated. Responses of repeated RFN were compared with initial radiofrequency neurotomy for success rates and duration of relief. The criterion for RFN to be successful was defined as greater than 50% relief from pain and sufficient satisfaction of patients with prior RFN to have repeated RFN.
Fifty-six patients (41 women and 15 men; mean age=48 years) had repeated RFNs, which were successful in all except three patients. RFN denervated three bilateral segments (L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1) in all patients. Mean duration of relief after initial RFN was 9.2 months (range 3-14). The mean duration of relief after secondary RFN in 53 patients was 9.0 months (range 4-14). The success rates and duration of relief remained consistent after subsequent RFNs.
Repeated RFN for lumbar facet joint pain after microscopic discectomy is an effective palliative treatment. It provided a mean duration of relief of 9.0 months and >94% success rate.
Facet syndrome; Radiofrequency; Neurotomy; Discectomy
A 61-year-old woman with a very rare case of totally ossified large thoracic spinal metaplastic meningioma, showing progressing myelopathy is presented. Computed tomographic images showed a large totally ossfied intradural round mass occupying the spinal canal on T9-10 level. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a large T9-10 intradural extramedullary mass that was hypointense to spinal cord on T1- and T2-weighted sequences, partial enhancement was apparent after Gadolinium administration. The spinal cord was severely compressed and displaced toward the right at the level of T9-10. Surgical removal of the tumor was successfully accomplished via the posterior midline approach and the histological diagnosis verified an ossified metaplastic meningioma. The clinical neurological symptoms of patient were improved postoperatively. In this article we discuss the surgical and pathological aspects of rare case of spinal totally ossified metaplastic meningioma.
Ossified spinal tumor; Metaplastic meningioma; Grossly total resection
Hydrocephalus is a well-known complication of head injury, but an uncommon complication of a spinal lesion. Here, we present a rare case of acute obstructive hydrocephalus secondary to a cervical fracture and dislocation. A 60-year-old female patient was transferred to the emergency department with quadriplegia and respiratory difficulty. Imaging studies showed a cervical fracture and dislocation at the C3-4 level. She required intubation and mechanical ventilation. Twenty-four hours after admission, her mental status had deteriorated and both pupils were dilated. Computed tomography of the brain showed acute hydrocephalus; therefore, extraventricular drainage (EVD) was performed. After the EVD, her mental status recovered and she became alert, but she remained quadriplegic and dependent on the ventilator. Two months after injury, she died because of respiratory failure caused by pneumonia.
Hydrocephalus; Cervical; Fracture
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological results of instrumented posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) using an unilateral cage.
Seventeen patients with unilateral radiculopathy who underwent bilateral percutaneous screw fixation with a single fusion cage inserted on the symptomatic side for treatment of focal degenerative lumbar spine disease were prospectively enrolled in this study. Their clinical results, radiological parameters, and related complications were assessed 10 days, 3 months, and 12 months postoperatively.
There was no pseudarthrosis, instrumented fusion failure, significant cage subsidence, or retropulsion in any patient. The surgery restored the disc space height and maintained it as of 12 months postoperatively and did not exacerbate the lumbar lordotic and scoliotic angles. All patients had excellent or good outcomes according to the modified MacNab's criteria. The mean pain score according to the visual analogue scale was 7.5 preoperatively but had improved to 2.5 when reassessed 3 months postoperatively. The improvement was maintained as of 12 months postoperatively.
In cases of uncomplicated unilateral radiculopathy, PLIF using a single cage can be an effective and safe procedure with the advantage of preserving the posterior elements of the contralateral side. A shorter operative time and greater cost-effectiveness than for PLIF using bilateral cages can be expected.
Spine; Fusion; Cage; Unilateral
Synovial cysts are recognized as an uncommon cause of radicular and myelopathic symptoms. They are most frequently found in the lumbar region. The cervical spine or cervicothoracic junction is a rare location for a degenerative intraspinal synovial cyst as compared with the lumbar spine. At given cervical spinal levels, synovial cysts probably share clinical features with disc herniation and stenosis. However, the pathogenesis of synovial cysts remains still controversial. Here, we report a rare case of a synovial cyst in the lower cervical spine presented as Brown-Séquard syndrome and include a brief review of the literature. To the best of our knowledge, no previous report has been issued in the English literature on a synovial cyst presenting with Brown-Séquard syndrome. Neurologic function recovered completely after complete removal of the cyst and expansive laminoplasty.
Brown-Séquard syndrome; Synovial cyst; Cervical
Discal cyst is rare and causes indistinguishable symptoms from lumbar disc herniation. The clinical manifestations and pathological features of discal cyst have not yet been completely known. Discal cyst has been treated with surgery or with direct intervention such as computed tomography (CT) guided aspiration and steroid injection. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the percutaneous endoscopic surgery for lumbar discal cyst over at least 6 months follow-up.
All 8 cases of discal cyst with radiculopathy were treated by percutaneous endoscopic surgery by transforaminal approach. The involved levels include L5-S1 in 1 patient, L3-4 in 2, and L4-5 in 5. The preoperative magnetic resonance imaging and 3-dimensional CT with discogram images in all cases showed a connection between the cyst and the involved intervertebral disc. Over a 6-months period, self-reported measures were assessed using an outcome questionaire that incorporated total back-related medical resource utilization and improvement of leg pain [visual analogue scale (VAS) and Macnab's criteria].
All 8 patients underwent endoscopic excision of the cyst with additional partial discectomy. Seven patients obtained immediate relief of symptoms after removal of the cyst by endoscopic approach. There were no recurrent lesions during follow-up period. The mean preoperative VAS for leg pain was 8.25±0.5. At the last examination followed longer than 6 month, the mean VAS for leg pain was 2.25±2.21. According to MacNab' criteria, 4 patients (50%) had excellent results, 3 patients (37.5%) had good results; thus, satisfactory results were achieved in 7 patients (87.5%). However, one case had unsatisfactory result with persistent leg pain and another paresthesia.
The radicular symptoms were remarkably improved in most patients immediately after percutaneous endoscopic cystectomy by transforaminal approach.
Lumbar discal cyst; Percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal cystectomy
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of implant removal of percutaneous short segment fixation after vertebral fracture consolidation in terms of motion preservation.
Between May 2007 and January 2011, 44 patients underwent percutaneous short segment screw fixation due to a thoracolumbar burst fracture. Sixteen of these patients, who underwent implant removal 12 months after screw fixation, were enrolled in this study. Motor power was intact in all patients, despite significant vertebral height loss and canal compromise. The patients were divided into two groups by degree of osteoporosis : Group A (n=8), the non-osteoporotic group, and Group B (n=8), the osteoporotic group. Imaging and clinical findings including vertebral height loss, kyphotic angle, range of motion (ROM), and complications were analyzed.
Significant pain relief was achieved in both groups at final follow-up versus preoperative values. In terms of vertebral height loss, both groups showed significant improvement at 12 months after screw fixation and restored vertebral height was maintained to final follow-up in spite of some correction loss. ROM (measured using Cobb's method) in flexion and extension in Group A was 10.5° (19.5/9.0°) at last follow-up, and in Group B was 10.2° (18.8/8.6°) at last follow-up. Both groups showed marked improvement in ROM as compared with the screw fixation state, which was considered motionless.
Removal of percutaneous implants after vertebral fracture consolidation can be an effective treatment to preserve motion regardless of osteoporosis for thoracolumbar burst fractures.
Fusion; Percutaneous; Removal
Intraspinal neurocysticercosis is an uncommon manifestation that may present as an isolated lesion. Furthermore, acute hydrocephalus caused by isolated intraspinal neurocysticercosis without concomitant cerebral involvement is extremely rare.
A 64-year-old man presented with a history of severe headache, an unsteady gait, and occasional urinary incontinence. Magnetic resonance imaging of the thoraco-lumbar spine revealed multiple, cystic, contrast-enhancing intraspinal lesions. A computed tomographic scan of the brain showed marked ventricular dilatation but no intraparenchymal lesions or intraventricular cysticercal lesions. This case of acute hydrocephalus was found to be caused by isolated intraspinal neurocysticercosis and was treated by ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement and surgical removal of the intraspinal lesions (which were histologically confirmed as neurocysticercosis), followed by administration of dexamethasone and albendazole.
Isolated spinal neurocysticercosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of acute hydrocephalus when no explanation is found in the brain, particularly in geographical regions endemic for cysticercosis.
Spinal; Neurocysticercosis; Hydrocephalus
Although anterior approaches to the cervical spine are popular and safe, they cause some of complications. Esophageal perforation after anterior spinal fusion is a rare but potentially life-threatening complication. We present a rare case of delayed esophageal perforation caused by a cervical screw placed via the anterior approach. A 43-year-old man, who had undergone surgery for complete cord injury at another orthopedic department 8 years previously, was admitted to our institute due to painful neck swelling and dysphagia. Radiological studies revealed a protruding screw and esophageal perforation. The perforation was found during surgery and was successfully repaired. This case emphasizes the need for careful long-term follow-up to check for delayed esophageal perforation in patients that have undergone anterior cervical spine plating.
Anterior cervical surgery; Esophageal perforation
Intracranial calcifications are relatively common computed tomographic findings in the field of neurosurgery, and cysticercosis, tuberculosis, HIV, and cryptococcus are acquired intracranial infections typically associated with calcifications. However, intracranial calcification caused by a bacterial brain abscess is rare. Here, we present a rare case of intracranial calcification caused by a bacterial brain abscess, from which staphylococcus hominis was isolated. To the best of our knowledge, no previous report has been published on intracranial calcification caused by bacterial brain abscess after decompressive craniectomy for traumatic brain injury. In this article, the pathophysiological mechanism of this uncommon entity is discussed and relevant literature reviewed.
Brain abscess; Calcification
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a transforaminal suprapedicular approach, semi-rigid flexible curved probe, and 3-dimensional reconstruction computed tomography (3D-CT) with discogram in the endoscopic treatment of non-contained lumbar disc herniations.
The subjects were 153 patients with difficult, non-contained lumbar disc herniations undergoing endoscopic treatment. The types of herniation were as follows : extraforaminal, 17 patients; foraminal, 21 patients; high grade migration, 59 patients; and high canal compromise, 56 patients. To overcome the difficulties in endoscopic treatment, the anatomic structures were analyzed by 3D reconstruction CT and the high grade disc was extracted using a semi-rigid flexible curved probe and a transforaminal suprapedicular approach.
The mean follow-up was 18.3 months. The mean visual analogue scale (VAS) of the patients prior to surgery was 9.48, and the mean postoperative VAS was 1.63. According to Macnab's criteria, 145 patients had excellent and good results, and thus satisfactory results were obtained in 94.77% cases.
In a posterolateral endoscopic lumbar discectomy, the difficult, non-contained disc is considered to be the most important factor impeding the success of surgery. By applying a semi-rigid flexible curved probe and using a transforaminal suprapedicular approach, good surgical results can be obtained, even in high grade, non-contained disc herniations.
Intervertebral disc herniation; Percutaneous discectomy; Posterolateal approach
The purpose of this study was to compare the results of three types of short segment screw fixation for thoracolumbar burst fracture accompanying osteopenia.
The records of 70 patients who underwent short segment screw fixation for a thoracolumbar burst fracture accompanying osteopenia (-2.5< mean T score by bone mineral densitometry <-1.0) from January 2005 to January 2008 were reviewed. Patients were divided into three groups based on whether or not bone fusion and bone cement augmentation procedure 1) Group I (n=26) : short segment fixation with posterolateral bone fusion; 2) Group II (n=23) : bone cement augmented short segment fixation with posterolateral bone fusion; 3) Group III (n=21) : bone cement augmented, short segment percutaneous screw fixation without bone fusion. Clinical outcomes were assessed using a visual analogue scale and modified MacNab's criteria. Radiological findings, including kyphotic angle and vertebral height, and procedure-related complications, such as screw loosening or pull-out, were analyzed.
No significant difference in radiographic or clinical outcomes was noted between patients managed using the three different techniques at last follow up. However, Group I showed more correction loss of kyphotic deformities and vertebral height loss at final follow-up, and Group I had higher screw loosening and implant failure rates than Group II or III.
Bone cement augmented procedure can be an efficient and safe surgical techniques in terms of achieving better outcomes with minimal complications for thoracolumbar burst fracture accompanying osteopenia.
Burst fracture; Osteopenia; Fusion
Screw fixation via the paraspinal muscle sparing approach and by percutaneous screw fixation are known to diminish the risk of complications, such as, iatrogenic muscle injury as compared with the conventional midline approach. The purpose of this study was to evaluate tissue injury markers after these less traumatic screw fixation techniques for the treatment of L4-L5 spondylolisthesis.
Twenty-two patients scheduled for posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) at the L4-L5 segment for spondylolisthesis were prospectively studied. Patients were divided into two groups by screw fixation technique (Group I: paraspinal muscle sparing approach and Group II: percutaneous screw fixation). Levels of serum enzymes representing muscle injury (CK-MM and Troponin C type 2 fast), pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-8), and anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1ra) were analyzed using ELISA techniques on the day of the surgery and 1, 3, and 7 days after the surgery.
Serum CK-MM, Troponic C type 2 fast (TNNC2), and IL-1ra levels were significantly elevated in Group I on postoperative day 1 and 3, and returned to preoperative levels on postoperative day 7. No significant intergroup difference was found between IL-8 levels despite higher concentrations in Group I on postoperative day 1 and 3.
This study shows that percutaneous screw fixation procedure is the preferable minimally invasive technique in terms of minimizing muscle injury associated with L4-L5 spondylolisthesis.
Paraspinal muscle sparing approach; Percutaneous screw fixation; Tissue injury
This study was performed to describe the clinical presentation, surgical outcome in patients with symptomatic myelopathy caused by ossification of the yellow ligament (OYL).
The authors reviewed consequent 12 patients in whom posterior decompressive laminectomies were performed for OYL from 1999 to 2005. Diagnostic imagings including simple radiographs, computed tomography and magnetic resonance images were performed in each case. The patients were reviewed to evaluate the clinical presentation, surgical outcome and complications of the operation.
In all patients, OYL was located in the lower thoracic region and all patients presented with numbness on both limbs and pain. Among them, 5 patients presented with gait disturbance due to paraparesis and two patients had sphincter dysfunction. Decompressive laminectomy through a posterior approach using microscope resulted in improvement of symptoms in all patients, but, recovery was incomplete in a half of the patients. The mean postoperative Japanese orthopaedics association (JOA) score was 7.9 when compared with 4.9 in preoperative assessment and the mean recovery rate was 65%. Dural tear was noticed in four patients, so dural repair was performed, but there were no neurological deficits related to neural injury.
OYL is an uncommon cause of myelopathy but it can lead to debilitating thoracic myelopathy. Careful decompressive laminectomy can achieve favorable results.
Ossification; Yellow ligament; Decompressive laminectomy