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
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
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 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
A 31-year-old man was admitted to our hospital due to hydrocephalus with neurosarcoidosis. Ventriculo-peritoneal shunting was performed in the right lateral ventricle with intravenous methylprednisolone. Subsequently, after 4 months, additional ventriculo-peritoneal shunting in the left lateral ventricle was performed due to the enlarged left lateral ventricle and slit-like right lateral ventricle. After 6 months, he was re-admitted due to upward gaze palsy, and magnetic resonance image showed an isolated fourth ventricle with both the inlet and outlet of fourth ventricle obstructed by recurrent neurosarcoidosis. Owing to the difficulty of using an endoscope, we performed neuronavigator-guided ventriculo-peritoneal shunting via the left lateral transcerebellar approach for the treatment of the isolated fourth ventricle with intravenous methyl prednisolone. The patient was discharged with improved neurological status.
Neurosarcoidosis; Hydrocephalus; Ventriculoperitoneal shunt
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
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
Acute spontaneous subdural hematoma (SDH) of arterial origin is very rare. We report a case of acute spontaneous SDH that showed contrast media extravasation from cortical artery on angiograms. A 58-year-old male patient developed sudden onset headache and right hemiparesis. Brain CT scan demonstrated acute SDH at left convexity. The patient was drowsy mentality on admission. He had no history of head trauma. Cerebral angiography was performed and revealed a localized extravasation of the contrast media from distal cortical MCA branch. After angiography, the patient deteriorated to comatose mentality. Decompressive craniectomy for removal of SDH was performed. We verified the arterial origin of the bleeding and coagulated the bleeding focus. The histological diagnosis was aneurysmal artery. He recovered after surgery with mild disability. In a case of acute spontaneous SDH, the possibility of a cortical artery origin should be considered.
Acute subdural hematoma; Spontaneous; Cortical artery
There are few reported cases of post-operative spondylitis caused by Mycobacterium intracellulare. A 75-year-old female presented to our hospital with low back pain and paraparesis after a fall. The radiologic examination revealed compression fractures of L1, L3 and L4 and an epidural hematoma compressing the spinal cord. The dark-red epidural hematoma was urgently evacuated. Four weeks post-operatively, neurologic deficits recurred with fever. On magnetic resonance image, an epidural abscess and osteomyelitis were detected in the previous operative site. Five weeks post-operatively, revision was performed with multiple biopsies. The specimen were positive for acid-fast bacilli and traditional anti-tuberculous medications were started. Because the Polymerase Chain Reaction for non-tuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) was positive, the anti-tuberculous medications were changed to anti-NTM drugs. However, the neurologic deficits did not improve and persistent elevation of erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein were noted. Eight weeks after the revision, Mycobacterium intracellulare was detected in the specimen cultures. Despite supportive care with medication, the patient died due to multiple organ failure.
Post-operative spondylitis; Mycobacterium intracellulare
There have been very few reports in the literature of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after spinal surgery. We present a unique case of GBS following spinal fusion for thoracic vertebral fracture. The aim of this report is to illustrate the importance of early neurological assessment and determining the exact cause of a new neurological deficit that occurs after an operation.
Guillain-Barre syndrome; Spinal surgery; Vertebral fracture
Peripheral neuropathy is characterized by hyperalgesia, spontaneous burning pain, and allodynia. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of rolipram, a phosphodiesterase-4-specific inhibitor, in a segmental spinal nerve ligation model in rats.
Both the L5 and L6 spinal nerves of the left side of the rats were ligated. Phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor (rolipram) and saline (vehicle) were administered intraperitoneally. We measured mechanical allodynia using von Frey filaments and a nerve conduction study.
The mechanical allodynia, which began to manifest on the first day, peaked within 2 days. Multiple intraperitoneal injections of rolipram ameliorated the mechanical allodynia. Furthermore, an intraperitoneal administration of rolipram improved the development of pain behavior and nerve conduction velocity.
This study suggests that the phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, rolipram, alleviates mechanical allodynia induced by segmental spinal nerve ligation in rats. This finding may have clinical implications.
Peripheral nerve injury; Allodynia; Rolipram
Bone cement augmentation procedures such as percutaneous vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty have been shown to be effective treatment for acute or subacute osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of bone cement augmentation procedures for long standing osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture with late vertebral collapse and persistent back pain.
Among 278 single level osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures that were treated by vertebral augmentation procedures at our institute, 18 consecutive patients were included in this study. Study inclusion was limited to initially, minimal compression fractures, but showing a poor prognosis due to late vertebral collapse, intravertebral vacuum clefts and continuous back pain despite conservative treatment for more than one year. The subjects included three men and 15 women. The mean age was 70.7 with a range from 64 to 85 years of age. After postural reduction for two days, bone cement augmentation procedures following intraoperative pressure reduction were performed. Imaging and clinical findings, including the level of the vertebra involved, vertebral height restoration, injected cement volume, local kyphosis, clinical outcome and complications were analyzed.
The mean follow-up period after bone cement augmentation procedures was 14.3 months (range 12-27 months). The mean injected cement volume was 4.1 mL (range 2.4-5.9 mL). The unipedicular approach was possible in 15 patients. The mean pain score (visual analogue scale) prior to surgery was 7.1, which decreased to 3.1 at 7 days after the procedure. The pain relief was maintained at the final follow up. The kyphotic angle improved significantly from 21.2 ± 4.9° before surgery to 10.4 ± 3.8° after surgery. The fraction of vertebral height increased from 30% to 60% after bone cement augmentation, and the restored vertebral height was maintained at the final follow up. There were no serious complications related to cement leakage.
In the management of even long-standing osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture for over one year, bone cement augmentation procedures following postural reduction were considered safe and effective treatment in cases of non-healing evidence.
Long standing; Compression fracture; Osteoporosis; Bone cement
Lumbar disc herniation is extremely uncommon in children below 10 years of age. A 7-year-old boy is reported who presented with low back pain and left leg radiating pain. The pain started seven days prior to presentation and was attributed to performing the jumping kick without any previous warm-up. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a posterolateral disc herniation at the L3-4 level and multiple degenerative changes. The patient received conservative treatment including limitation of sports activities, anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant medications as well as physical therapy. After three months of the aggressive treatment the child was symptom free. We present here a lumbar disc herniation in one of the youngest patient.
Lumbar disc herniation; Child; Tae Kwon Do
Paraplegia following spinal epidural anesthesia is extremely rare. Various lesions for neurologic complications have been documented in the literature. We report a 66-year-old female who developed paraplegia after left knee surgery for osteoarthritis under spinal epidural anesthesia. In the recovery room, paraplegia and numbness below T4 vertebra was checked. A magnetic resonance image (MRI) scan showed a spinal thoracic intradural extramedullary (IDEM) tumor. After extirpation of the tumor, the motor weakness improved to the grade of 3/5. If a neurologic deficit following spinal epidural anesthesia does not resolve, a MRI should be performed without delay to accurately diagnose the cause of the deficit and optimal treatment should be rendered for the causative lesion.
Spinal epidural anesthesia; Spinal intradural extramedullary tumor