The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between fracture pattern and the development of acute radiculopathy after osteoporotic lumbar compression fracture.
This study included 59 patients who underwent bone cement augmentation for osteoporotic compression fracture below the L2 level, which can lead to radiculopathic radiating pain. The patients were divided into two groups according to the presence of radiculopathy (group A : back pain only; group B : back pain with newly developed radiating pain). We categorized compression fractures into three types by the position of the fracture line. The incidence of newly developed radiculopathy was examined retrospectively for each compression fracture type.
The overall incidence of newly developed leg pain (group B) was 25%, and the frequency increased with descending spinal levels (L2 : 0%, L3 : 22%, L4 : 43%, and L5 : 63%). The back pain-only group (group A) had mostly superior-type fractures. On the other hand, the back pain with radiculopathy group (group B) had mostly inferior-type fractures. Most patients in group B showed significant relief of leg pain as well as back pain after bone cement augmentation.
The incidence of a newly developed, radiating pain after osteoporotic compression fractures increased gradually from the L3 to L5 levels. Most of these fractures were of the inferior type, and the bone cement augmentation procedures seemed to be sufficient for relief of both back and radiating pain.
Fracture; Osteoporosis; Radiculopathy
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prenatal hypoxic effect on the fetal brain development.
We used the guinea pig chronic placental insufficiency model to investigate the effect of hypoxia on fetal brain development. We ligated unilateral uterine artery at 30-32 days of gestation (dg : with term defined as -67 dg). At 50 dg, 60 dg, fetuses were sacrificed and assigned to either the growth-restricted (GR) or control (no ligation) group. After fixation, dissection, and sectioning of cerebral tissue from these animals, immunohistochemistry was performed with NeuN antibody, which is a mature neuronal marker in the cerebral cortex.
The number of NeuN-immunoreactive (IR) cells in the cerebral cortex did not differ between the GR and control groups at 50 dg. However, the number of NeuN-IR cells was lesser in GR fetuses than in controls at 60 dg (p<0.05).
These findings show that chronic prenatal hypoxia affect the number of neuron in the cerebral cortex of guinea pig fetus at 60 dg. The approach used in this study is helpful for extending our understanding of neurogenesis in the cerebral cortex, and the findings may be useful for elucidating the brain injury caused by prenatal hypoxia.
Hypoxia; Cerebral cortex; Neuron
Penetrating cerebral injuries caused by foreign bodies occur rarely due to the substantial mechanical protection offered by the skull. Throughout most of history, the brain, residing in a "closed box" of bone, has not been vulnerable to external aggression. Recently, we encountered a serious penetrating craniocerebral injury caused by a nail gun. Total excision of the offending nail via emergency craniotomy was performed, but the patient's neurologic status was not improved in spite of aggressive rehabilitative treatment. Here, we report on this troublesome case in light of a review of the relevant literature.
Head; Injury; Penetrating
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
Giant cell tumor (GCT) of the spine is a rare benign tumor, but can be aggressive and can exhibit a high local recurrence rate. Furthermore, GCT of the upper thoracic spine may pose diagnostic and management difficulties. Here, we report a rare case of GCT of the upper thoracic spine with soft tissue extension to the spinal canal. The patient was managed by decompressive laminectomy and posterolateral fusion followed by an injection of polymethylmethacrylate into the vertebral lesion. The patient recovered clinically and showed radiological improvement after surgical treatment without tumor recurrence at his last follow-up of postoperative 7 years. We present this unusual case of GCT and include a review of the literature.
Giant cell tumor; Thoracic; Polymethylmethacrylate
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
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
Pneumorrhachis, which involves the entrapment of air or gas within the spinal canal, is a rare clinical entity, and the pathogenesis and etiologies of this uncommon entity are various and can present a diagnostic challenge. Usually, pneumorrhachis represents an asymptomatic epiphenomenon but it can produce symptoms associated with its underlying pathology. Here, we report a rare case of symptomatic epidural pneumorrhachis accompanying pneumothorax. Possible pathogenic mechanisms are discussed and a review of the literature is included.
After spinal cord injury (SCI), functional and structural reorganization occurs at multiple levels of brain including motor cortex. However, the underlying mechanism still remains unclear. The current study was performed to investigate the alterations in the expression of the main regulators of neuronal development, survival and death, in the brain following thoracic contusive SCI in a mouse model.
Eight-week-old female imprinting control region mice (n=60; 30-35 g) were used in this study. We analyzed the expression levels of regulators such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) 1 in the brain following thoracic contusive SCI.
The expression of BDNF levels were elevated significantly compared with control group at 2 weeks after injury (p<0.05). The expression of NGF levels were elevated at 2, 4 weeks compared with control group, but these difference were not significant (p>0.05). The GDNF levels were elevated at 2 week compared with control group, but these differences were not significant (p>0.05). The difference of HDAC1 levels were not significant at 2, 4 and 8 weeks compared with control group (p>0.05).
These results demonstrate that the upregulation of BDNF may play on important role in brain reorganization after SCI.
Spinal cord injury; Regulators; Brain; Brain derived neurotrophic factor; Epigenetic
Perforation of the hypopharynx, which can occur after anterior cervical approach, is a very rare type of complication. If diagnosed late, it can lead to very fatal course, such as mediastinitis and hematosepsis. Therefore, a precise and prompt diagnosis is crucial. When conservative treatment alone is not expected to heal the perforated site or is likely to lead to serious complications, surgical treatment becomes necessary. This report demonstrates that surgical intervention performed immediately after an early diagnosis can lead to the successful treatment of a large perforation in the hypopharynx on a 58-year-old male patient.
Hypopharynx; Perforation; Cervical
Rhabdomyolysis is a rare but potentially life-threatening disorder caused by the release of injured skeletal muscle components into the circulation. The authors report a case of severe head injury, in which a hyperosmolar state and continuous seizure complicated by severe rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure evolved during the course of treatment resulted in a fatal outcome despite intensive supportive treatment. Our bitter experience suggests that rhabdomyolysis should be born in mind in patients with severe head injury who may develop hyperosmolar state and continuous seizure.
Rhabdomyolysis; Head injury
Pneumocephalus is a condition characterized by the presence of air in the cranium, and it is mainly caused by trauma or a neurosurgical procedure. In the absence of head trauma or a neurosurgical procedure, meningitis is an extremely rare cause of pneumocephalus. Here, the authors present a rare case of spontaneous pneumocephalus caused by pneumococcal meningitis, in which simple lateral radiography and computed tomography (CT) findings of the skull suggested the diagnosis. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis showed bacterial meningitis which later revealed streptococcus pneumonia. The patient was treated with antibiotics and responded remarkably well. Repeat CT performed after 2 weeks of treatment showed complete resolution of the intracranial gas. Here, the authors report an unusual case of a pneumocephalus caused by meningitis in the absence of head trauma or a neurosurgical procedure.
Burr hole drainage has been widely used to treat chronic subdural hematomas (SDH), and most of them are easily treated by simple trephination and drainage. However, various complications, such as, hematoma recurrence, infection, seizure, cerebral edema, tension pneumocephalus and failure of the brain to expand due to cerebro-cranial disproportion may develop after chronic SDH drainage. Among them, intracerebral hemorrhage after evacuation of a recurrent chronic SDH is very rare. Here, we report a fatal case of delayed intracerebral hemorrhage caused by coagulopathy following evacuation of a chronic SDH. Possible pathogenic mechanisms of this unfavorable complication are discussed and a review of pertinent literature is included.
Chronic subdural hematoma; Complication; Intracerebral hemorrhage
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
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma rarely originates from bone, and even more infrequently from a vertebral body. Lymphoblastic lymphoma is a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and results from an abnormality in adaptive immune cells. A 27-year-old man presented with a two-month history of night sweats, weight loss, and severe back pain. Radiological studies demonstrated an osteolytic lesion compressing the subarachnoid space at the T11 level. Posterolateral fusion with decompression was performed and a pathologic examination confirmed lymphoblastic lymphoma of the B-cell precursor type. To our knowledge, this is the first report of solitary lymphoblastic lymphoma from B-cell precursors in of the thoracic spine. Herein, we discuss the presenting symptoms and the management of this rare case of lymphoblastic lymphoma.
Lymphoblastic lymphoma; Spine
Isolated tuberculosis of the coccyx is extremely rare. A 35-year-old man presented with a 3-month history of coccygeal and gluteal pain. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging revealed osseous destruction and a large enhancing mass involving the coccyx with anterior and posterior extension. Pathologic examination of the surgical specimen revealed necrosis, chronic granulomatous inflammation, and multinucleated giant cells consistent with tuberculosis. This case highlights the importance of considering tuberculosis as a diagnosis even though unusual sites are involved.
The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of bone cement-augmented short segment fixation using percutaneous screws for thoracolumbar burst fractures in a background of severe osteoporosis.
Sixteen patients with a single-level thoracolumbar burst fracture (T11-L2) accompanying severe osteoporosis treated from January 2008 to November 2009 were prospectively analyzed. Surgical procedures included postural reduction for 3 days and bone cement augmented percutaneous screw fixation at the fracture level and at adjacent levels without bone fusion. Due to the possibility of implant failure, patients underwent implant removal 12 months after screw fixation. Imaging and clinical findings, including involved vertebral levels, local kyphosis, canal encroachment, and complications were analyzed.
Prior to surgery, mean pain score (visual analogue scale) was 8.2 and this decreased to a mean of 2.2 at 12 months after screw fixation. None of the patients complained of pain worsening during the 6 months following implant removal. The percentage of canal compromise at the fractured level improved from a mean of 41.0% to 18.4% at 12 months after surgery. Mean kyphotic angle was improved significantly from 19.8° before surgery to 7.8 at 12 months after screw fixation. Canal compromise and kyphotic angle improvements were maintained at 6 months after implant removal. No significant neurological deterioration or complications occurred after screw removal in any patient.
Bone cement augmented short segment fixation using a percutaneous system can be an alternative to the traditional open technique for the management of selected thoracolumbar burst fractures accompanied by severe osteoporosis.
Burst fracture; Fusion; Percutaneous
Osseous bridging between lumbar transverse processes is an uncommon condition that may cause low back pain. In most cases, its etiology is alleged to be trauma to the back and only rarely has a congenital origin been indicated. Furthermore, most reported cases involved adults, the majority of whom were middle-aged. Here, the authors describe the case of the youngest girl reported to date with congenital transverse process bridging. As far as the authors' knowledge, there has been no report of congenital bridging of transverse processes in children or adolescents in Korea.
Low back pain; Transverse process; Osseous bridging
Alcoholic neuropathy is characterized by allodynia (a discomfort evoked by normally innocuous stimuli), hyperalgesia (an exaggerated pain in response to painful stimuli) and spontaneous burning pain. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of rolipram, a phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, against alcohol-induced neuropathy in rats.
Allodynia was induced by administering 35% v/v ethanol (10 g/kg; oral gavage) to Spraue-Dawley rats for 8 weeks. Rolipram and saline (vehicle) were administered intraperitoneally. Mechanical allodynia was measured by using von Frey filaments. Somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) was proposed as complementary measure to assess the integrity of nerve pathway.
The ethanol-induced mechanical allodynia began to manifest from 3 week, and then peaked within 1 week. Beginning from 3 week, latency significantly started to increased in control group. In rolipram treated rats, the shorter latency was sustained until 8 weeks (p<0.05). The mechanical allodynia, which began to manifest on the 3 weeks, intraperitoneal injections of rolipram sustained statistical difference until 8 weeks, the final week of the study (p<0.05).
This study suggests that rolipram might alleviate mechanical allodynia induced by alcohol in rats, which clearly has clinical implication.
Alcoholic neuropathy; Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor; Rolipram
Bacterial meningitis is rarely complicated by an intradural spinal abscess, and recurrent meningitis is an uncommon presentation of a spinal intramedullary abscess. Here, we report a 63-year-old patient with recurrent meningitis as the first manifestation of an underlying spinal intramedullary abscess. To the best of our knowledge, no previous report has been issued on recurrent meningitis accompanied by a spinal intramedullary abscess in an adult. In this article, the pathophysiological mechanism of this uncommon entity is discussed and the relevant literature reviewed.
Spinal; Intramedullary abscess; Meningitis
There has been no report of bilateral pedicle stress fractures involving two vertebrae. The authors describe a unique case of spondylolisthesis accompanying a bilateral pedicle stress fracture involving two vertebrae. De novo development of spondylolisthesis at the L5-S1 vertebrae accompanying a bilateral pedicle stress fracture at L4 and L5 was observed in a 70-year-old woman. The patient's medical history was unremarkable and she did not have any predisposing factors except severe osteoporosis. Interbody fusion with bone cement augmented screw fixation was performed. Surgical treatment resulted in good pain management and improved functional recovery.
Spondylolisthesis; Bilateral pedicle fracture; Osteoporosis
Oblique basal skull fractures resulting from lateral crushing injuries involving both clivus and occipital condyle are rare due to their deep locations. Furthermore, these fractures may present clinically with multiple cranial nerve injuries because neural exit routes are restricted in this intricate region. The authors present an interesting case of basal skull fractures involving the clivus and occipital condyle and presenting with sixth and contralateral twelfth cranial nerve deficits. Clinico-anatomic correlations and the courses of cranial nerve deficits are reiterated. To the authors' knowledge, no other report has been previously issued on concomitant sixth and contralateral twelfth cranial nerve palsies following closed head injury.
Basal skull fracture; Cranial nerve palsy
The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of screw fixation without bone fusion for unstable thoracolumbar and lumbar burst fracture.
Nine patients younger than 40 years underwent screw fixation without bone fusion, following postural reduction using a soft roll at the involved vertebra, in cases of burst fracture. Their motor power was intact in spite of severe canal compromise. The surgical procedure included postural reduction for 3 days and screw fixations at one level above, one level below and at the fractured level itself. The patients underwent removal of implants 12 months after the initial operation, due to possibility of implant failure. Imaging and clinical findings, including canal encroachment, vertebral height, clinical outcome, and complications were analyzed.
Prior to surgery, the mean pain score (visual analogue scale) was 8.2, which decreased to 2.2 at 12 months after screw fixation. None of the patients complained of worsening of pain during 6 months after implant removal. All patients were graded as having excellent or good outcomes at 6 months after implant removal. The proportion of canal compromise at the fractured level improved from 55% to 35% at 12 months after surgery. The mean preoperative vertebral height loss was 45.3%, which improved to 20.6% at 6 months after implant removal. There were no neurological deficits related to neural injury. The improved vertebral height and canal compromise were maintained at 6 months after implant removal.
Short segment pedicle screw fixation, including fractured level itself, without bone fusion following postural reduction can be an effective and safe operative technique in the management of selected young patients suffering from unstable burst fracture.
Screw fixation; Burst fracture; Bone fusion
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
Simultaneous intracranial and spinal subdural hematomas are extremely rare. In most cases, they are attributed to major or minor trauma and iatrogenic causes, such as those resulting from spinal puncture. To the best of the authors' knowledge, there has been only two reports of spontaneous concomitant intracranial and spinal subdural hematomas in a patient receiving anticoagulant therapy who had an absence of evident trauma history. We report on a case of spontaneous concomitant intracranial and spinal subdural hematomas that occurred in association with anticoagulant therapy and present a review of the relevant literature.
Cranial; Spinal; Subdural hematoma; Anticoagulant therapy