Cases of over 5-level spinous process fractures are extremely rare. Thoracolumbar region of spine is superimposed on ribs; and as such additional studies such as computerized tomography are needed to diagnose fractures in this region. We report a case of 11 contiguous level thoracolumbar spinous process fractures, which has been treated conservatively.
Multilevel spinous process fractures; Thoracolumbar spine
Thoracic chordomas are very rare malignant tumours originating from notochordal remnants. These tumours develop within a vertebral body and enlarge involving the mediastinal compartment. Because of their slow-growing attitude, they become symptomatic only when they invade or compress the spinal cord and/or mediastinal organs. We present a rare case of a thoracic spine chordoma presenting with increasing paraparesis with a huge mediastinal component which was surgically debulked to decompress the spinal cord and medistinal organs.
Chordoma; Spine; Bone neoplasms; Mediastinum; Surgery
Tarlov (perineural) cysts of the nerve roots are common and usually incidental findings during magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbosacral spine. There are only a few case reports where cervical symptomatic perineural cysts have been described in the literature. We report such a case where a high cervical perineural cyst was masquerading as a cervical spinal tumor.
Tarlov's cysts; Perineural cyst; Spinal cyst; spine; Cervical spine
Osteoblastomas are rare neoplasms of the spine. The majority of the spinal lesions arise from the posterior elements and involvement of the corpus is usually by extension through the pedicles. An extremely rare case of isolated C2 corpus osteoblastoma is presented herein. A 9-year-old boy who presented with neck pain and spasmodic torticollis was shown to have a lesion within the corpus of C2. He underwent surgery via an anterior cervical approach and the completely-resected mass was reported to be an osteoblastoma. The pain resolved immediately after surgery and he had radiologic assessments on a yearly basis. He was symptom-free 4 years post-operatively with benign radiologic findings. Although rare, an osteoblastoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of neck pain and torticollis, especially in patients during the first two decades of life. The standard treatment for osteoblastomas is radical surgical excision because the recurrence rate is high following incomplete resection.
Osteoblastoma; Osteoid osteoma; C2 corpus; Anterior cervical approach
Neurogenic claudication resulting from focal hypertrophy of the ligamentum flavum in the lumbar spine due to ochronotic deposits has not been reported till date. The authors discuss one such case highlighting the pathogenesis, histological and radiological features. Salient features of management are also emphasized upon.
Spinal stenosis; Ligamentum flavum; Alkaptonuria
The diagnostic performance of helical computed tomography (CT) is excellent. However, some artifacts have been reported, such as motion, beam hardening and scatter artifacts. We herein report a case of motion-induced artifact mimicking cervical dens fracture. A 60-year-old man was involved in a motorcycle accident that resulted in cervical spinal cord injury and quadri plegia. Reconstructed CT images of the cervical spine showed a dens fracture. We assessed axial CT in detail, and motion artifact was detected.
Reconstruction; Motion artifact; Mimicking; Cervical fracture
A 63-year-old gentleman presented with a one-year duration of progressive neurogenic claudication. However, unlike most patients who presents with leg symptoms, his pain was felt in his scrotal and perianal region. This was exacerbated with walking and standing, but he had immediate relief with sitting. An magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed which showed severe central canal stenosis. An L3/4 and L4/5 surgical decompression and a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion was performed, and the patient made good recovery with immediate resolution of symptoms. Although rare, spinal stenosis should be considered a differential when approaching a patient with perianal and scrotal claudication, even in the absence of leg claudication. An MRI is useful to confirm the diagnosis. This rare symptom may be a sign of severe cauda equina compression and we recommend decompression with predictable good results.
Spinal; Stenosis; Atypical; Claudication
There is no report that describes in detail the radiological and intraoperative findings of rickets with symptomatic cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. Here, we describe a case of X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets with cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament presenting unique radiological and intraoperative findings. The patient presented progressive tetraparesis. Magnetic resonance imaging studies revealed severe cervical spinal cord compression caused by ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. Computed tomography scans revealed homogeneously increased vertebral bone density. An expansive laminoplasty was performed. At surgery, homogeneously hard lamina bone was burdened in drilling and opening of the laminae. The patient's neurological symptoms were improved postoperatively. Bony fusion of the hinges occurred postoperatively. Therefore, expansive laminoplasty could be performed for symptomatic cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament with X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets. However, unusual bone characters should be taken into consideration for careful operation during surgery.
Laminoplasty; Rickets; Ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament
To report a rare case of axis brown tumor and to review literature of cervical spine brown tumor. Brown tumor is a rare bone lesion, incidence less than 5% in primary hyperparathyroidism. It is more common in secondary hyperparathyroidism with up to 13% of cases. Brown tumor reactive lesion forms as a result of disturbed bone remodeling due to long standing increase in parathyroid hormones. Cervical spine involvement is extremely rare, can be confused with serous spine lesions. To date, only four cases of cervical spine involvement have been reported. Three were due to secondary hyperparathyroidism. Only one was reported to involve the axis and was due to secondary hyperparathyroidism. This is the first reported case of axis brown tumor due to primary hyperparathyroidism. A case report of brown tumor is presented. A literature review was conducted by a Medline search of reported cases of brown tumor, key words: brown tumor, osteoclastoma and cervical lesions. The resulting papers were reviewed and cervical spine cases were listed then classified according to the level, cause, and management. Only four previous cases involved the cervical spine. Three were caused by secondary hyperparathyroidism and one was by primary hyperparathyroidism which involved the C6. Our case was the first case of C2 involvement of primary hyperparathyroidism and it was managed conservatively. Brown tumor, a rare spinal tumor that presents with high PTH and giant cells, requires a high level of suspicion.
Osteitis fibrosa cystica; Axis neoplasm; Osteoclastoma; Brown tumor; Hyperparathyroidism
An 11-year-old girl underwent T4 to L1 posterior instrumented scoliosis correction for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Postoperative clinical examination revealed left-sided Horner's syndrome which was preceded by left-sided C8 paraesthesia. The Horner's syndrome resolved after 14 hours following weaning and removal of the epidural catheter. Horner's syndrome following posterior instrumented scoliosis correction associated to epidural use is extremely rare. Surgeons must be aware of the risks of epidural placement and the need for close monitoring of associated complications. Alternative aetiology producing a Horner's syndrome must always be considered because of its devastating long term sequela if missed.
Epidural; Horner syndrome; Scoliosis
The vast majority of combat-related penetrating spinal injuries from gunshot wounds result in severe or complete neurological deficit. Treatment is based on neurological status, the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas, and local effects of any retained fragment(s). We present a case of a 46-year-old male who sustained a spinal gunshot injury from a 7.62-mm AK-47 round that became lodged within the subarachnoid space at T9-T10. He immediately suffered complete motor and sensory loss. By 24-48 hours post-injury, he had recovered lower extremity motor function fully but continued to have severe sensory loss (posterior cord syndrome). On post-injury day 2, he was evacuated from the combat theater and underwent a T9 laminectomy, extraction of the bullet, and dural laceration repair. At surgery, the traumatic durotomy was widened and the bullet, which was laying on the dorsal surface of the spinal cord, was removed. The dura was closed in a water-tight fashion and fibrin glue was applied. Postoperatively, the patient made a significant but incomplete neurological recovery. His stocking-pattern numbness and sub-umbilical searing dysthesia improved. The spinal canal was clear of the foreign body and he had no persistent CSF leak. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed contusion of the spinal cord at the T9 level. Early removal of an intra-canicular bullet in the setting of an incomplete spinal cord injury can lead to significant neurological recovery following even high-velocity and/or high-caliber gunshot wounds. However, this case does not speak to, and prior experience does not demonstrate, significant neurological benefit in the setting of a complete injury.
Gunshot wound; Foreign body; Spinal cord injury; Laminectomy; Recovery of function
Few reports have described the involvement of syringomyelia associated with diastematomyelia in the etiology of neurological deficits. We reported a case with syringomyelia associated with diastematomyelia. A female patient with diastematomyelia was followed up clinically over 14 years. At the age of 8, she developed clubfoot deformity with neurological deterioration. Motor function of the right peroneus demonstrated grade 2 in manual muscle tests. Continuous intracanial bony septum and double cords with independent double dura were observed at upper thoracic spine. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a tethering of the spinal cord and syringomyelia distal to the level of diastematomyelia. Extirpation of the osseum septum and duralplasty were performed surgically. She grew without neurological deterioration during 7 years postoperatively. A long-term followed up case with syringomyelia that was possibly secondary to the tethering of the spinal cord associated with diastematomyelia, and effective treatment with extirpation of the osseum septum and duralplasty was described.
Diastematolyelia; Syringomyelia; Tethered cord syndrome
Anterior exposure for cervical chordomas remains challenging because of the anatomical complexities and the restoration of the dimensional balance of the atlanto-axial region. In this report, we describe and analyze the transmandibular transoral approach and multilevel spinal reconstruction for upper cervical chordomas. We report two cases of cervical chordomas (C2 and C2-C4) that were treated by marginal en bloc resection with a transmandibular approach and anterior-posterior multilevel spinal reconstruction/fixation. Both patients showed clinical improvement. Postoperative imaging was negative for any residual tumor and revealed adequate reconstruction and stabilization. Marginal resection requires more extensive exposure to allow the surgeon access to the entire pathology, as an inadequate tumor margin is the main factor that negatively affects the prognosis. Anterior and posterior reconstruction provides a rigid reconstruction that protects the medulla and decreases axial pain by properly stabilizing the cervical spine.
Transmandibular approach; Chordoma; Neurosurgical instrumentation; Spinal neoplasms
We report a very rare case of negative pressure pulmonary edema (NPPE) that occurred immediately after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). The patient was a 25-year-old man who sustained a facet fracture-dislocation of C5 during a traffic accident. After ACDF, he developed NPPE and needed mechanical ventilation. Fortunately, he recovered fully within 24 hours. NPPE is a rare postoperative complication that may occur after cervical spine surgery. The aims of this report are to present information regarding the diagnosis and emergent treatment of NPPE, and to review the previous literature regarding this serious complication.
Negative pressure pulmonary edema; Complication; Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion; cervical discectomy and fusion; Airway; Prevertebral soft tissue swelling; Cervical spine
A 44-year-old male presented with symptoms of spinal cord compression secondary to metastatic prostate cancer. An urgent decompression at the cervical-thoracic region was performed, and there were no complications intraoperatively. Three hours postoperatively, the patient developed acute bilateral lower-limb paralysis (motor grade 0). Clinically, he was in class 3 hypovolemic shock. An urgent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed, showing no epidural hematoma. He was managed aggressively with medical therapy to improve his spinal cord perfusion. The patient improved significantly, and after one week, he was able to regain most of his motor functions. Although not commonly reported, spinal cord ischemia post-surgery should be recognized early, especially in the presence of hypovolemic shock. MRI should be performed to exclude other potential causes of compression. Spinal cord ischemia needs to be managed aggressively with medical treatment to improve spinal cord perfusion. The prognosis depends on the severity of deficits, and is usually favorable.
Spinal cord ischemia; Hypovolemic shock
Thoracic ossification of the ligamentum flavum (T-OLF) is a relatively rare spinal disorder that generally requires surgical intervention, due to its progressive nature and the poor response to conservative therapy. The prevalence of OLF has been reported at 3.8%-26%, which is similar to that of cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). The progression of OPLL after cervical laminoplasty for the treatment of OPLL is often shown in long-term follow-up. However, there have been no reports on the progression of OLF following surgery. We report a case of thoracic myelopathy secondary to the progressive relapse of OLF following laminectomy.
Thoracic ossification of ligamentum flavum; Progressive relapse
Hereditary multiple exostoses (HME) is a benign hereditary disorder characterized by multiple osteochondromas. Osteochondroma appears occasionally in the spinal column as a part of HME. A 37-year-old man presented with a history of HME and cervical compressive myelopathy caused by intraspinal osteochondroma arising from the lamina of the C5 and disc herniation at the C5-6. He was treated by open-door laminoplasty at the C5 and C6 with excision of the tumor. The neurological symptoms were immediately relieved after surgery. Magnetic resonance images demonstrated a sufficient decompression of the spinal cord with a spontaneous regression of the herniated disc at one year after surgery. There was no recurrence of the tumor and no appearance of kyphosis and segmental instability of the cervical spine on postoperative imaging studies for three years after surgery. The patient could be successfully treated by laminoplasty with excision of the tumor and without removal of the herniated disc.
Herniated disc; Osteochondroma; Hereditary multiple exostoses; Decompression; Regression
Myxopapillary ependymoma in childhood typically occurs in the central nervous system. There are few surgical cases of myxopapillary ependymoma of the cauda equina in children. We report a case of myxopapillary ependymoma of the cauda equina in a 5-year-old boy, who presented with leg pain and abnormal gait. Subtotal resection surgery was performed. Following the subtotal tumor resection, follow-up magnetic resonance imaging evaluation showed a recurrent tumor. As a result, we performed a second subtotal tumor resection and followed with postoperative radiation therapy. No further evidence of the disease has been noted elsewhere in the patient in over ten years of follow-up. Myxopapillary ependymoma of the cauda equina in a young boy was improved by subtotal tumor resection and postoperative radiation therapy.
Myxopapillary ependymoma; Child; Radiation therapy; Cauda equina
Microsurgery techniques are useful innovations towards minimizing the insult of canal stenosis. Here, we describe the trumpet laminectomy microdecompression (TLM) technique, advantages and disadvantages. Sixty-two TLM patients with lumbar disc herniation, facet hypertrophy or yellow ligament or intracanal granulation tissue. The symptoms are low back pain, dysesthesia and severe pain on both legs. Spine levels operated Th11-S1; the patients who had trumpet-type fenestration, 62.9% had hypertrophy of the facet joint, 11.3% had intracanal granulation tissue, 79.1% had hypertrophy of the yellow ligament and 64.5% had disc herniation. The average of procedure duration was 68.9 min and intraoperative blood loss was 47.4 mL. Intraoperative complications were found in 3.2% of patients, with dural damage but without cerebrospinal fluid leakage. The TLM can be performed for all ages and all levels of spinal canal stenosis, without the complication of spondilolistesis. The TLM has a shorter duration, with minimal intraoperative blood loss.
Disc herniation; Facet joint hypertrophy; Intracanal granulation tissue; Lumbal canal stenosis; Trumpet laminectomy microdecompressionn
Acute calcific tendinitis of the longuscolli is a self-limiting inflammatory condition caused by calcium hydroxyapatite deposition in the longuscolli tendon. Although several case reports have described its radiological presentation, few reports provide detailed chronological accounts through symptomatic and radiologic resolution. A 59-year-old woman presented with severe neck pain and stiffness of a few days duration as well as moderate discomfort when swallowing. Lateral radiographs revealed a large calcium deposit anterior to the C1.C2 joint and swelling of the prevertebral soft tissue from C1 to C5. CT and magnetic resonance imaging showed fluid in the retropharyngeal gap.A soft collar and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug were prescribed, without antibiotics. At 4 months after presentation, the calcium deposit and all symptoms had resolved completely. Although this disease is comparatively rare, physicians should keep it in mind when a patient presents with acute severe neck pain.
Calcific tendinitis of the longuscolli; Conservative treatment
The diagnosis of pituitary carcinoma cannot be made easily histologically, and most cases of pituitary carcinoma are diagnosed only after the clinical detection of metastasis. Distant metastasis of pituitary tumor occurs in 0.1% to 0.2% of cases and has been reported in the liver, bone and central nervous system, with only one case of metastasis to the cauda equine reported. This study describes a rare case of the drop metastasis of adrenocorticotropic hormone-producing pituitary adenocarcinoma to the cauda equina, causing cauda equina syndrome.
Drop metastasis; Adrenocorticotropic hormone; Pituitary carcinoma; Cauda equine
A 44-year-old woman with progressive cervical myelopathy and central cord syndrome was noted to have an extensive cervical intramedullary contrast-enhancing lesion on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The lesion resembled a spinal astrocytoma or ependymoma that required surgical intervention. She was subsequently diagnosed to have neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a rare idiopathic inflammatory demyelinating disorder, when the clinical examination revealed left optic atrophy. This was confirmed by a test showing seropositivity for NMO-immunoglobulin (IgG). Disease control was achieved with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive therapy. We report a rare case of a patient with NMO who had MRI features that could have easily led to the condition being misdiagnosed as a spinal cord tumor. The importance of careful history taking, awareness of typical radiological findings and the usefulness of serum NMO-IgG as a diagnostic tool are emphasized.
Neuromyelitis optica; Intramedullary spinal cord neoplasms; Demyelinating disorders; Magnetic resonance imaging
Osteoblastomas are bone forming lesions arising mainly from posterior elements of the vertebra. They are commonly encountered in the cervical and lumbar regions. We present a case of a thoracic osteoblastoma which is extra osseous and is not communicating with any part of the vertebra present intraforaminally. This is a rare presentation of an osteoblastoma. Imaging studies do not accurately diagnose the osteiod lesion. The size of the lesion and cortical erosion seen on the computed tomography scan help in differentiating the osteoid osteoma and osteoblastoma, but they are less sensitive and specific. Thus a histopathology is the investigation of choice to diagnose the osteoblastoma. Early and adequate removal of mass prevents malignant transformation, metastasis, and recurrence. In our case we excised the pars interarticularis unilaterally, removed the osteoid mass intact, and performed unilateral instrumented fusion. There was no recurrence and solid fusion was seen at 3 years follow up.
Thoracic osteoblastoma; Intraforaminal; Extra osseous; Unilateral fusion
Pyogenic spondylitis is a frequently observed disease in orthopedics, and the number of cases is increasing. Some patients with pyogenic spondylitis suffer from vertebral destruction due to infection. The disease is typically treated with antibiotics, bed rest, spinal support, and lesion curettage; however, vigorous drug therapy against vertebral body destruction by pyogenic spondylitis has not been attempted. In this report, a case of pyogenic spondylitis with spinal destruction caused by infection and treated with once-weekly teriparatide administration is presented. Vertebral body erosion in cortical and cancellous areas by the infection was rapidly repaired after 6 weeks of once-weekly teriparatide treatment. Treatment with once-weekly teriparatide appears to be a new strategy for patients with severe osteoporosis suffering from pyogenic spondylitis.
Bone density; Pyogenic spondylitis; Teriparatide; Percutaneous pedicle screws; Quality of life
This article presents a 56-year-old obese female who presented with back pain and progressive weakness in her lower limbs for three months. She was bed-ridden for one week before reporting to our hospital. Plain radiographs showed vertical striations in multiple vertebrae classical of haemangioma. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) spine revealed multiple thoracic and lumbar vertebral haemangiomas. Extra osseous extension of haemangioma at T12 was causing spinal cord compression. Two-stage surgery was performed with absolute alcohol (ethanol) injection followed by pedicle screw fixation and decompression with tricortical iliac crest bone graft into the vertebral body. Postoperatively rapid neurological improvement was seen. After three weeks, she could walk independently. One year later, computed tomography showed complete incorporation of bone graft and maintained vertebral body height. MRI showed complete resolution of the cord edema at T12. These findings indicated diminished vascularity of the tumor.
Haemangioma; Two stage surgery; Ethanol; Tricortical iliac crest bone graft