The Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research (JSSR) previously carried out two nationwide surveys in 1994 and 2001 on complications from spine and spinal cord surgery. More than 10 years have now elapsed since 2001. Rapidly ageing populations have major impacts on society, particularly in the medical field. The purpose of this study was therefore to examine the present situation for spine surgery in Japan.
The JSSR research team prepared a computerized questionnaire made up of two categories in order to capture clinicopathological information and surgical information. A recordable optical disc for data storage was sent to surgeons who were certified for spine surgery by JSSR. The data was analyzed.
The JSSR carried out a nationwide survey of complications of 31,380 patients. Patients aged 60 years or older comprised 63.1 % of the overall cohort. This was considerably higher than observed in previous surveys. Degenerative spinal diseases increased 79.7 %. With regard to surgical approach, the incidence of anterior surgery has decreased, while that of posterior surgery has increased compared to the earlier surveys (both p < 0.05). Spinal instrumentation was applied in 30.2 % cases, compared to 27.0 and 34.0 % cases in the 1994 and 2001 surveys, respectively. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were reported in 10.4 % and were slightly increased compared to 8.6 % in the earlier surveys (both p < 0.05). Diseases associated with a high incidence of complication included intramedullary tumor (29.3 %) and primary malignant tumor (22.0 %). The highest incidence of complication was dural tear (2.1 %), followed by neurological complication (1.4 %).
A retrospective study.
To compare clinical and radiological outcomes between bilateral C2 pedicle screwing (C2PS) and unilateral C2PS, combined with contralateral C2 laminar screwing (LS), for posterior atlantoaxial fixation.
Overview of Literature
Posterior fixation with C1 lateral mass screwing (C1LMS) and C2PS (C1LMS-C2PS method) is an accepted procedure for rigid atlantoaxial stabilization. However, conventional bilateral C2PS is not always allowed in this method due to anatomical variations of C2 pedicles and/or asymmetry of the vertebral artery. Although unilateral C2PS plus contralateral LS (C2PS+LS) is an alternative in such cases, the efficacy of this procedure has not been evaluated in controlled studies (i.e., with bilateral C2PS as a control).
Clinical and radiological records of patients who underwent the C1LMS-C2PS method, using unilateral C2PS+LS (n=9), and those treated using conventional bilateral C2PS (n=10) were compared, with a minimum two years follow-up.
Postoperative complications related to the unilateral C2PS+LS technique included one case of spontaneous spinous process fracture of C2. A C1 anterior arch fracture occurred after a fall in one patient, who underwent bilateral C2PS and C1 laminectomy. No significant differences were seen between the groups in reduction of neck pain after surgery or improvement of neurological status, as evaluated using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association score. A delayed union occurred in one patient each of the groups, with the final fusion rate being 100% in both groups.
Clinical and radiological outcomes of unilateral C2PS+LS were comparable with those of the bilateral C2PS fixation technique for the C1LMS-C2PS method.
Cervical spine; Atlantoaxial instability; Laminar screw; Pedicle screw
With the population and proportion of the elderly increasing each year, difficulties with postoperative treatment outcomes after osteoporotic hip fracture are increasing. This study focused on activities of daily living (ADL) in patients who underwent surgery for hip fracture through an investigation of living arrangements, the presence of dementia, and other complications of aging. Information from 99 patients who lived either at home or in geriatric health service facilities was collected for this trial. Most patients were over 65 years of age and female, and about half of them had dementia. The postoperative ADL score (focusing on patients’ walking ability) was significant for those living at home than for those living in facilities. In addition, patients with dementia were divided into the following two categories: an early-rising group, comprising patients who were able to use a wheelchair within 48 hours of their operation; and a late-rising group, who did not start using a wheelchair until more than 48 hours after surgery. The ADL scores for the two groups were compared. Although the preoperative ADL scores were not significantly different between the two groups, postoperative ADL scores were significantly higher in the early-rising group than in the late-rising group, especially in patients who had undergone hemiarthroplasty. These data suggest that ADL in dementia patients following hip fracture depends on the surgical procedure performed and whether they are late or early risers after surgery.
delirium; dementia; rehabilitation; elderly
Anomalies in the craniovertebral junction may be a rare cause of syncope. The mechanisms of syncope related to craniovertebral junction anomaly remain unknown.
We present an extremely rare case with anomaly in the craniovertebral junction and syncope, and discuss the mechanism of the syncope.
A 10-year-old Japanese boy with a congenital anomaly in the craniovertebral junction presented with recurrent syncope. A physical examination showed generalized hyperreflexia, but motor and sensory examinations were normal. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed basilar invagination and spinal cord compression at his craniovertebral junction. Three-dimensional computed tomography angiography revealed an anomalous course of his bilateral vertebral arteries, both of which showed a persistent first intersegmental artery that entered the spinal canal at the caudal portion of the C1 posterior arch. In this case, the arteries were nearly pinched between the C1 posterior arch and the pars interarticularis of the C2. C1 laminectomy and occiput-cervical fusion (O-C2) was performed using an instrumentation system. After surgery, the syncope was not observed.
Syncope can be related to compression of extracranial arteries within the neck. In this case, transient brain ischemia caused by the anomalous course of vertebral arteries that were pinched between the C1 posterior arch and the pars interarticularis of C2 in cervical motion was the suspected cause of the syncope.
Craniovertebral junction; Syncope; Vertebral artery
Gossypiboma is rare and mostly asymptomatic in chronic cases. It can be confused with other soft tissue masses.
Our patient was an 87-year-old Japanese man with a history of surgery for a lumbar lesion causing lumbar canal stenosis 19 years earlier. Computed tomography showed a soft tissue mass with osteolysis and periosteal thickening of the vertebral lamina. On magnetic resonance imaging, the mass showed heterogeneous signal intensity on T2-weighted imaging, suggesting a malignancy. At the time of biopsy, small pieces of retained surgical sponge were collected. Surgical treatment was performed to excise the soft tissue tumour.
Gossypiboma should be included in the differential diagnosis of soft tissue masses in the paraspinal region in patients with a history of previous spinal surgery.
Foreign body; Gossypiboma; Laminectomy; Malignant spinal tumour; Retained surgical sponge; Spinal surgery
Ankle fractures in patients with diabetes mellitus have long been recognized as a challenge to orthopedic surgeons. Nonunion and lengthy wound healing in high-risk patients with diabetes, particularly patients with peripheral arterial disease and renal failure, occur secondary to several clinical conditions and are often fraught with complications. Whether diabetic ankle fractures are best treated noninvasively or surgically is controversial.
A 53-year-old Japanese man fractured his right ankle. The fractured ankle was treated nonsurgically with a plaster cast. Although he remained non-weight-bearing for 3 months, radiography at 3 months showed nonunion. The nonunion was treated by Ilizarov external fixation of the ankle. The external fixator was removed 99 days postoperatively, at which time the patient exhibited anatomical and functional recovery and was able to walk without severe complications.
In patients with diabetes mellitus, severe nonunion of ankle fractures with Charcot arthropathy in which the fracture fragment diameter is very small and the use of internal fixation is difficult is a clinical challenge. Ilizarov external fixation allows suitable fixation to be achieved using multiple Ilizarov wires.
Ilizarov ring fixator; Ankle fracture; Charcot arthropathy; Nonunion; Diabetes
Alagille syndrome is a multisystem disorder, which is characterized by hypoplasia of the intrahepatic bile ducts, malformations of the cardiovascular system, eyes, and vertebral column, and abnormal facies. Several of the characteristics of Alagille syndrome may result in an especially high risk of fracture. The majority of patients suffer from chronic cholestasis, which can have a variety of adverse effects on bone metabolism. In Alagille syndrome, fractures primarily occur in the lower limb long bones in the absence of significant trauma.
A 9-year-old Japanese girl with Alagille syndrome was admitted to our institution with marked hyperbilirubinemia and a pathological fracture of the femur. She had been diagnosed with biliary atresia at the age of 1 month and treated with surgical bile duct reconstruction, vitamins D and K, and ursodeoxycholic acid. However, her liver dysfunction and hyperbilirubinemia worsened. The pathological fracture of the femur was treated with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulation (LIPUS) and an Ilizarov ring fixator. Seventy-four days after surgery, the patient had anatomically and functionally recovered. There was no leg-length discrepancy and no angular malalignment of the lower extremities as measured clinically and radiographically. The range of motion of the hip, knee, and ankle of the patient’s operative leg matched the range of motion in the nonoperative leg.
To the best of our knowledge, there are no reports on use of the Ilizarov frame and LIPUS in diaphyseal femoral fractures in Alagille syndrome. This case report provides evidence that this procedure is successful for managing such diaphyseal fractures in Alagille syndrome.
Alagille syndrome; Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulation (LIPUS); Ilizarov ring fixator
Knee specimens of two osteoporotic patients who underwent unilateral knee arthroplasty for suspected osteonecrosis of the knee were examined histologically. Preoperative findings of magnetic resonance images in both patients were consistent with the diagnosis of osteonecrosis of the medial femoral condyles, although plain X-rays showed minimal degenerative changes. In both patients, preoperative bone mineral densities of the femoral condyle and proximal tibia of the affected side were lower than those of the unaffected side. Pathological examination of the resected femoral condyle and proximal tibia showed almost intact joint cartilage, healing of the collapsed subchondral bone, and significant trabecular bone loss. Histologically, no evidence of osteonecrosis, including empty lacunae of the trabecular bone, was observed. These findings indicated that subchondral bone collapse caused by osteoporosis, but not osteonecrosis, initiated the osteoarthritic change of the affected knee. This report emphasizes that there may be cases of progressive local osteoarthritis caused by fracture of subchondral bone because of osteoporosis.
Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound is a pain-free therapy performed daily at home by the patient and has been shown to promote fracture healing. Teriparatide is a parathyroid hormone preparation that activates osteoblastic bone formation and is also reported to be effective in promoting bony union.
We report the case of a 56-year-old Japanese male with a femoral shaft fracture who underwent intramedullary osteosynthesis nailing initially. He had no radiologic or clinical sign of healing 3 months later and low-intensity pulsed ultrasound was initiated at that time. He was reassessed in another 3 months, with evidence of mild bone consolidation but the fracture gap persisted. Subsequent treatment with human parathyroid hormone was initiated in combination with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound. Full fracture healing was present 6 months after beginning the combination low-intensity pulsed ultrasound and teriparatide. It is hypothesized that the potential additive effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound and teriparatide therapy ultimately triggered sufficient bone formation to support osseous union.
The case reported herein is a femoral shaft atrophic nonunion in which traditional interventions failed. Successful fracture healing was finally achieved with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound and teriparatide therapy. This is the first reported case of diaphyseal nonunion with deterioration of bone quality in long bones resolved with teriparatide and low-intensity pulsed ultrasound.
Teriparatide; Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS); Nonunion; Bone quality
Achondroplasia is a genetic disorder of bone growth. Congenital spinal stenosis is a well-known complication of this disease, but, to the best of our knowledge, no cases involving combined stenosis with congenital lumbar spinal stenosis and ossification of the ligamentum flavum in achondroplasia have been reported previously. In this report, we describe a case of a patient with congenital spinal stenosis with achondroplasia combined with ossification of the ligamentum flavum at the lumbar spine, which we treated with decompressive surgery.
A 75-year-old Japanese woman with achondroplasia was unable to walk due to a neurological deficit of the lower extremities caused by congenital spinal stenosis that resulted from achondroplasia and ossification of the ligamentum flavum at the lumbar spine. Congenital spinal stenosis was observed from L1 to L5, and ossification of the ligamentum flavum was identified from L1/2 to L3/4. A decompressive laminectomy from L1 to L5 and removal of the ossification of the ligamentum flavum were performed. The patient’s neurological symptoms improved after surgery. She could walk with T-cane at the time of her four-year follow-up examination.
In this report, we describe what is, to the best of our knowledge, the first known published case of ossification of the ligamentum flavum in congenital spinal stenosis associated with achondroplasia at the lumbar spine. Although resection of the ossification of the ligamentum flavum at the congenital spinal stenosis at the lumbar spine was technically difficult because of congenital narrowing of the spinal canal, thickening of the lamina and adhesion of the ossified ligamentum flavum, a wide laminectomy and resection of the ossification of the ligamentum flavum resulted in acceptable improvement of the patient’s neurological symptoms.
Achondroplasia; Lumbar spinal stenosis; Ossification of the ligamentum flavum
Nontraumatic anterior subluxation and dislocation of the hip joint are extremely rare. A 58-year-old woman presented to our outpatient clinic with left hip pain with a duration of 15 years. There was no history of trauma or other diseases. Her hip pain usually occurred only on walking and not at rest. Physical examinations demonstrated no tenderness in the hip joint. The range of motion of both hip joints was almost normal. Laxity of other joints was not observed. The bone mineral density of the lumbar spine and proximal femur confirmed a diagnosis of osteoporosis. A plain radiograph showed osteoarthritic changes of the hip joints, severe posterior pelvic tilt, and superior displacement of both femoral heads, especially in a standing position. Three-dimensional computed tomography (3DCT) revealed anterior subluxation of both femoral heads. Seven years after the initial visit, both hip joints showed progression to severe osteoarthritis. Although the exact cause remains unclear, lumbar kyphosis, posterior pelvic tilt, and a decrease in acetabular coverage may have influenced the current case. We should be aware of these factors when we examine patients with hip osteoarthritis.
There has been only one reported case of neuromuscular scoliosis following chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). However, no cases of scoliosis that were treated with surgery secondary to CIDP have been previously described. A 16-year-old boy with CIDP was consultant due to the progression of scoliosis with the coronal curve of 86° from T8 to T12. Posterior correction and fusion with segmental pedicle screws were performed under intraoperative spinal cord monitoring with transcranial electric motor-evoked potentials. Although the latency period was prolonged and amplitude was low, the potential remained stable. Coronal curve was corrected from 86° to 34° without neurological complications. We here describe scoliosis associated with CIDP, which was successfully treated with surgery under intraoperative spinal cord monitoring.
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy; intraoperative spinal cord monitoring; scoliosis; transcranial electric motor-evoked potentials
Trigger finger is a common disease, and operative treatments are often applied for it. Digital nerve injury is one of the complications of this surgical treatment, and paresthesia and sensory disturbance occur early after the operation. This paper presents a case of trigger finger appearing gradually as increasing digital nerve disorder after surgical treatment. In the second surgery, scar tissue covered the palmar MP joint where the A1 pulley had existed before, and palmar digital neurovascular tissue of the ulnar side was found on the inside of the scar. The ulnar digital nerve showed swelling like a neuroma, and bilateral digital nerves existed nearer to the center of the flexor pollicis longus tendon than normal digital nerves. Even when we operate on trigger finger by open release, we should create an appropriate surgical space for observation and be careful of digital nerve injury.
Posterior epidural migration of thoracic disc herniation is extremely rare but may occur in the same manner as in the lumbar spine.
A 53-year-old Japanese man experienced sudden onset of incomplete paraplegia after lifting a heavy object. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a posterior epidural mass compressing the spinal cord at the T9-T10 level. The patient underwent emergency surgery consisting of laminectomy at T9-T10 with right medial facetectomy, removal of the mass lesion, and posterior instrumented fusion. Histological examination of the mass lesion yielded findings consistent with sequestered disc material. His symptoms resolved, and he was able to resume walking without a cane 4 weeks after surgery.
Pre-operative diagnosis of posterior epidural migration of herniated thoracic disc based on magnetic resonance imaging alone may be overlooked, given the rarity of this pathology. However, this entity should be considered among the differential diagnoses for an enhancing posterior thoracic extradural mass.
Intervertebral disc herniation; Posterior migration; Thoracic spine
The development of a symptomatic herniated cervical disc before the age of 20 is extremely rare. Sporadically reported cases of patients with cervical disc herniation under the age of 20 usually have had underlying disease.
Case 1: A 19-year-old Asian man visited our clinic and presented with progressive pain in his upper left scapula and weakness of the left deltoid and biceps brachii muscles. C5 radiculopathy by soft disc herniation at C4-C5 without calcification was diagnosed. Microsurgical posterior foraminotomy was performed and he recovered completely eight weeks after the surgery.
Case 2: A 15-year-old Asian man presented with difficulty in lifting his arm and neck pain on the right side. Neurological examination showed weakness of the right deltoid and biceps brachii muscles. A magnetic resonance imaging scan demonstrated a herniated intervertebral disc in the right C4-C5 foramen. The patient was treated conservatively and put under observation only, and had completely recovered eight weeks after admission.
Although extremely rare, symptomatic cervical disc herniations may occur even in the younger population under the age of 20 without any trauma or underlying disease. Favorable outcomes can be achieved by conventional treatments for cervical disc herniation.
We presented a case in which massive hydroxyapatite accumulation was observed around the artificial hip joint. A 66-year-old female showed a massive accumulation of fluid in and around the hip joint, and milk-like aspirate was obtained. Her aspirate culture was negative, and sediment analysis by X-ray diffraction showed that its component was hydroxyapatite. Since pain was mild, the patient was treated conservatively. To our knowledge, this is the first case in which liquid hydroxyapatite (milk of calcium) was accumulated around the artificial hip joint.
We demonstrate for the first time therapeutic effects of vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) on pregnancy-associated osteoporosis with multiple vertebral fractures in four cases. Due to its safety, vitamin K2 presents itself as a treatment option for women with pregnancy-associated osteoporosis. Desirably, future controlled studies should verify these findings.
Pregnancy-associated osteoporosis; vertebral fracture; vitamin K2
We present a rare case of osteosarcoma involving the patella. A 30-year-old Japanese woman first consulted our out-patient clinic with a 2-year history of knee pain. Radiographs showed an enlargement of the patella with irregular distribution of both osteolytic and sclerotic lesions. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated soft tissue extension at the anterior part of the patella. Incisional biopsy showed abundant osteoid formation by spindle-shaped malignant cells, and the histological diagnosis was conventional osteosarcoma. The patient underwent preoperative chemotherapy, but there was no response. Furthermore, she developed a pathological fracture during chemotherapy. She underwent above-the-knee amputation with postoperative chemotherapy. She developed multiple metastases in the thoracic vertebrae 20 months after the surgery. At the most recent examination, she remains alive with multiple spinal metastases without paralysis 4 years after the surgery.
Osteosarcoma; patella; treatment
A retrospective study.
To examine the efficacy and safety for a posterior-approach circumferential decompression and shortening reconstruction with a titanium mesh cage for lumbar burst fractures.
Overview of Literature
Surgical decompression and reconstruction for severely unstable lumbar burst fractures requires an anterior or combined anteroposterior approach. Furthermore, anterior instrumentation for the lower lumbar is restricted through the presence of major vessels.
Three patients with an L1 burst fracture, one with an L3 and three with an L4 (5 men, 2 women; mean age, 65.0 years) who underwent circumferential decompression and shortening reconstruction with a titanium mesh cage through a posterior approach alone and a 4-year follow-up were evaluated regarding the clinical and radiological course.
Mean operative time was 277 minutes. Mean blood loss was 471 ml. In 6 patients, the Frankel score improved more than one grade after surgery, and the remaining patient was at Frankel E both before and after surgery. Mean preoperative visual analogue scale was 7.0, improving to 0.7 postoperatively. Local kyphosis improved from 15.7° before surgery to -11.0° after surgery. In 3 cases regarding the mid to lower lumbar patients, local kyphosis increased more than 10° by 3 months following surgery, due to subsidence of the cages. One patient developed severe tilting and subsidence of the cage, requiring additional surgery.
The results concerning this small series suggest the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of this treatment for unstable lumbar burst fractures. This technique from a posterior approach alone offers several advantages over traditional anterior or combined anteroposterior approaches.
Lumbar spine; Burst fracture; Posterior approach
Although lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) occurs almost universally with aging, little is known regarding its actual prevalence and relationships to chronic low back pain (CLBP) in the general population. The presence of CLBP in subjects with LSS may have negative impacts on spinal alignment and mobility. This study evaluated the prevalence of LSS using a self-administered, self-reported history questionnaire in 630 community-dwelling individuals ≥50 years old. Subjects with LSS were further divided into LSS+CLBP and LSS alone groups, and spinal alignment and mobility were compared using a computer-assisted device. Prevalence of LSS was 10.8% in this cohort. Subjects in the LSS+CLBP group (n = 46) showed a significantly more kyphotic lumbar spinal alignment with limited lumbar extension (P < .05), resulting in a stooped trunk compared to subjects in the LSS alone group (n = 22). However, no significant difference in spinal mobility was seen between groups.
This case report describes an enchondroma of the distal phalanx of the right little finger in a 37-year-old woman with Camurati-Engelmann disease. Curettage of the tumor and artificial bone grafting were performed in May 2004. Surgical treatment resulted in a good clinical outcome with no evidence of recurrence at 5-year follow-up. The genetic relationships between Camurati-Engelmann disease and benign chondroid tumors are discussed.
Camurati-Engelmann; diaphyseal dysplasia; diagnosis; enchondroma; progressive
Lower acute kyphosis (LAK) is a postural deformity caused by severe osteoporotic vertebral collapse at the thoracolumbar junction. Corrective surgery is indicated for severe cases, but no case report using a fresh-frozen femoral head allograft was found in the English literature.
A 69-year-old Japanese woman with severe LAK with osteoporotic vertebral fractures from T11 to L2 complained of severe back pain and difficulty in walking. The rigid kyphosis measured 74° from T10 to L3. The patient underwent an anterior release and interbody fusion using a fresh-frozen femoral head allograft (T11-L3) and a posterior instrumented fusion (T10-L3). Postoperatively, kyphosis was corrected to 28°, and the patient's symptoms were alleviated. The allograft bone was fully incorporated 1 year postoperatively. A new vertebral fracture at T10 occurred after 2 years, resulting in a slight loss of correction. A kyphosis angle of 35° at 2 years was maintained at 12 years (age, 81 years). She remained free of back pain and able to walk without a cane over the 12-year follow-up.
For treatment of severe osteoporotic LAK, anterior reconstruction is essential to obtain good spinal alignment and prevent recurrence. A fresh-frozen femoral head allograft, in combination with rigid posterior instrumented fixation, fulfills this function.
In this report, we present a 68-year-old man with rice body formation in the flexor tendon sheath of the fingers without any inflammatory diseases such as tuberculosis or rheumatoid arthritis. The patient visited our institute in March 2004 with a one-month history of swelling and pain of the right distal forearm. Laboratory data were within normal limits, and the rheumatoid factor was negative. He had no history of tuberculosis, and the tuberculin reaction was weakly positive. Magnetic resonance (MR) images showed a mass measuring 6 cm×4 cm around the flexor tendons of the forearm. Many rice bodies had been erupted from a small hole of the fibrous wall of the mass at the time of incisional biopsy performed in June 2004. Histological diagnosis was synovitis with fibrous loose bodies. In July 2004, spontaneous ruptures of the right fourth and fifth flexor tendons occurred. Open repair was performed in August 2004. The patient regained good function of the operated fingers with no evidence of recurrence at the latest follow-up in March 2009.
Diagnosis; MRI; rice body; tendon; tenosynovitis
We report a rare case of Langerhans cell histiocytosis involving the sternum. The patient was a 12-year-old girl presenting with anterior chest pain and swelling. Radiographs and computed tomography showed an osteolytic lesion in the sternum. Technetium bone scintigraphy revealed increased uptakes in the sternum, the greater trochanter of the right femur, and the right distal tibia. Incisional biopsy for the sternum lesion was performed, and the histopathologic diagnosis was Langerhans cell histiocytosis. She was treated with chemotherapy and the symptoms disappeared.
Bone; Langerhans cell histiocytosis; radiograph; sternum