The most common fractures of the spine are associated with the thoracolumbar junction. The goals of treatment of thoracolumbar fracture are leading to early mobilization and rehabilitation by restoring mechanical stability of fracture and inducing neurologic recovery, thereby enabling patients to return to the workplace. However, it is still debatable about the treatment methods. Neurologic injury should be identified by thorough physical examination for motor and sensory nerve system in order to determine the appropriate treatment. The mechanical stability of fracture also should be evaluated by plain radiographs and computed tomography. In some cases, magnetic resonance imaging is required to evaluate soft tissue injury involving neurologic structure or posterior ligament complex. Based on these physical examinations and imaging studies, fracture stability is evaluated and it is determined whether to use the conservative or operative treatment. The development of instruments have led to more interests on the operative treatment which saves mobile segments without fusion and on instrumentation through minimal invasive approach in recent years. It is still controversial for the use of these treatments because there have not been verified evidences yet. However, the morbidity of patients can be decreased and good clinical and radiologic outcomes can be achieved if the recent operative treatments are used carefully considering the fracture pattern and the injury severity.
Thoracolumbar spine; Fracture; Treatment; Minimally invasive surgery
Lumbar spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis are common spinal disorders that most of the times are incidental findings or respond favorably to conservative treatment. In a small percentage of the patients, surgical intervention becomes necessary. Because too much attention has been paid to novel surgical techniques and new modern spinal implants, some of fundamental concepts have been forgotten. Identifying that small but important number of patients with lumbar spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis who would really benefit from lumbar surgery is one of those forgotten concepts. In this paper, we have developed an algorithmic approach to determine who is a good candidate for surgery due to lumbar spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis.
Spondylolysis; Spondylolisthesis; Lumbosacral Region; Surgical Procedures
Until now because there are many published journals with a variety of opinions so I will stratify these articles by giving weighted value on grade evaluation which depend on each institution (written author and co-authors) and external evaluate status (SCI, SCIE, impact factor) rather than the outcomes provided by each article. Consequently, before evaluating publicized papers, study quality assessment of each interesting paper should be performed by mean of gauging the quality of evidence. Reviewing these articles, a grade of medical literature was divided into the following 5 levels as level I (randomized controlled study), level II (non-randomized controlled study), level III (case-control study), level IV (case series), and level V (expert opinions). However, in present article I concluded only involved medical literatures with weighted value of level I and II evidence.
Scoliosis; Exercise; Orthotic devices; Braces
Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is mostly caused by osteoarthritis (spondylosis). Clinically, the symptoms of patients with LSS can be categorized into two groups; regional (low back pain, stiffness, and so on) or radicular (spinal stenosis mainly presenting as neurogenic claudication). Both of these symptoms usually improve with appropriate conservative treatment, but in refractory cases, surgical intervention is occasionally indicated. In the patients who primarily complain of radiculopathy with an underlying biomechanically stable spine, a decompression surgery alone using a less invasive technique may be sufficient. Preoperatively, with the presence of indicators such as failed back surgery syndrome (revision surgery), degenerative instability, considerable essential deformity, symptomatic spondylolysis, refractory degenerative disc disease, and adjacent segment disease, lumbar fusion is probably recommended. Intraoperatively, in cases with extensive decompression associated with a wide disc space or insufficient bone stock, fusion is preferred. Instrumentation improves the fusion rate, but it is not necessarily associated with improved recovery rate and better functional outcome.
Spinal stenosis; Lumbar vertebrae; Instrumentation; Spinal fusion
Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a safe and effective procedure for degenerative cervical spinal disease unresponsive to conservative management and its outstanding results have been reported. To increase fusion rates and decrease complications, numerous graft materials, cage, anterior plating and total disc replacement have been developed, and better results were reported from those, but still there are areas that have not been established. Therefore, we are going to analyze the treatment outcome with the various procedure through the literature review and determine the efficacy of ACDF.
Cervical vertebrae; Pathology; Fusion; Complications
The rapid increase of elderly population has resulted in increased prevalence of adult scoliosis. Adult scoliosis is divided into adult idiopathic scoliosis and adult degenerative scoliosis. These two types of scoliosis vary in patient age, curve pattern and clinical symptoms, which necessitate different surgical indications and options. Back pain and deformity are major indications for surgery in adult idiopathic scoliosis, whereas radiating pain to the legs due to foraminal stenosis is what often requires surgery in adult degenerative scoliosis. When selecting a surgical method, major symptoms and underlying medical diseases should be carefully evaluated, not only to relieve symptoms but also to minimize postoperative complications. Surgical options for adult degenerative scoliosis include: decompression alone; decompression and limited short fusion; and decompression coupled with long fusion and correction of deformity. Decompression and limited short fusion can be applied to patients with a small Cobb's angle and normal sagittal imbalance. For those with a large Cobb's angle and positive sagittal imbalance, long fusion with correction of deformity is required. When long fusion is applied, a careful decision regarding the extent of fusion level should be made when selecting L5 or S1 as the distal fusion level and T10 or the thoracolumbar junction as the proximal fusion level. For the fusion extending to the sacrum, restoration of sagittal balance and rigid fixation with additional iliac screws should be considered. Any surgical procedures for adult degenerative scoliosis are known to have relatively high occurrences of complications; therefore, risks and benefits should be meticulously considered before selecting a surgical procedure.
Osteoarthritis spine; Scoliosis; Lumbar vertebrae; Instrumentation; Postoperative complications
Korea's demographic profile is undergoing tremendous change as the country rapidly ages at one of the fastest rates in the world. Indeed, the country is expected to become an "aged society" in 2018 when the proportion of elderly is estimated to reach 14.3% of the total population. With the notable increase in the number of elderly individuals, the incidence of osteoporotic fractures will also likely increase. Osteoporosis is a systemic musculoskeletal disease that is characterized by the decreased bone quantity and the abnormalities of the microstructures. There are both conservative and surgical treatment modalities for the fracture: conservative treatments include pharmacological treatments and orthosis; surgical treatments include vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, and reconstructive surgery. Clinicians should consider the severity of osteoporosis, the concurrent osteoporotic fracture, the age and sex of the patient, and the underlying diseases in making a patient-tailored prescription.
Osteoporotic compression fracture; Conservative treatment; Vertebroplasty; Kyphoplasty; Reconstructive surgical procedures
The most common complication after lumbar discectomy is reherniation. As the first step in reducing the rate of recurrence, many studies have been conducted to find out the factors that may increase the reherniation risk. Some reported factors are age, sex, the type of lumbar disc herniation, the amount of fragments removed, smoking, alcohol consumption and the length of restricted activities. In this review, the factors studied thus far are summarized, excepting factors which cannot be chosen or changed, such as age or sex. Apart from the factors shown here, many other risk factors such as diabetes, family history, history of external injury, duration of illness and body mass index are considered. Few are agreed upon by all. The reason for the diverse opinions may be that many clinical and biomechanical variables are involved in the prognosis following operation. For the investigation of risk factors in recurrent lumbar disc herniation, large-scale multicenter prospective studies will be required in the future.
Herniated disc; Lumbar region; Recurrence; Risk factors
Pyogenic spondylitis and tuberculous spondylitis are common causes of spinal infection. It is difficult to differentiate tuberculous spondylitis and pyogenic spondylitis clinically and radiologically. Recently magnetic resonance imaging has been reported to be beneficial for early diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the spondylitis, and is being used extensively for diagnosis. However, the diagnosis must be considered in combination with corresponding changes in clinical manifestations, radiological findings, blood and tissue cultures and histopathological findings. Conservative treatments, including antimicrobial medications, are started initially. Surgical treatments, which include anterior or posterior approach, single-stage or two-stage surgery, with or without instrumentation, may be performed as indicated.
Pyogenic spondylitis; Tuberous spondylitis; Differential diagnosis
Ossification of the ligamentum flavum is a rare cause of thoracic myelopathy. It develops in East Asians more frequently than in people from other areas. The exact pathophysiology has not been elucidated yet; however, it largely depends on biomechanical alterations, especially changes in the tensile force. Because the spinal cord is compressed from the posterior side, the first and most common clinical manifestation is usually loss of functional gait and spastic paralysis, which develop as the spinal cord compression progresses. The choice of diagnostic imaging is T2 sagittal magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Whole spine scanning is mandatory to identify multiple areas of compression and any associated distal lumbar diseases. Fine computed tomography imaging is necessary to make a differential diagnosis and set up a precise surgical plan. Conservative treatment does not work in this disorder. Decompression surgery is the only option and prognosis after surgical treatment is better with this disorder than with other causes of thoracic myelopathy. The severity of preoperative symptoms and the time interval before surgical treatment are the most important prognostic factors.
Ossification of ligamentum flavum; Treatment; Prognostic factors
Tuberculosis is the chronic consumptive disease and currently the world's leading cause of death. Tuberculous spondylitis is a less common yet the most dangerous form of skeletal tuberculosis. The recent re-emergence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) hints at a possible resurgence of tuberculosis in the coming years. This article discusses the clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculous spondylitis, and updates material that the author has previously published on the subject. Treatment should be individualized according to different indications which is essential to recovery. A treatment model is suggested on the basis of the author's vast personal experiences.
Tuberculous spondylitis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Gunshot wound (GSW) to the spine which was earlier common in the military population is now being increasingly noted in civilians due to easy availability of firearms of low velocity either licensed or illegal combined with an increased rate of violence in the society. Contributing to 13% to 17% of all spinal injuries, the management of complex injury to the spine produced by a GSW remains controversial. Surgery for spinal cord injuries resulting from low velocity GSWs is reserved for patients with progressive neurologic deterioration, persistent cerebrospinal fluid fistulae, and sometimes for incomplete spinal cord injuries. Surgery may also be indicated to relieve active neural compression from a bullet, bone, intervertebral disk, or a hematoma within the spinal canal. Spinal instability rarely results from a civilian GSW. Cauda equina injuries from low velocity GSWs have a better overall outcome after surgery. In general, the decision to perform surgery should be made on consideration of multiple patient factors that can vary over a period of time. Although there have been plenty of individual case reports regarding GSW to the spine, a thorough review of unique mechanical and biological factors that affect the final outcome has been lacking. We review the key concepts of pathogenesis and management of GSW to the spine and propose an algorithm to guide decision making in such cases.
Gunshot spine; Gunshot wound spine; Bullet injury spine
For about 20 years, vertebroplasty has been used to achieve relief from pain and improve function in eligible patients affected by vertebral fractures. The procedure is also performed in patients with tumours of the vertebral body. The aim of this study was to investigate, by means of a literature review, correlations between vertebroplasty and the need for rehabilitation after patients with tumour-related vertebral fractures were operated on. This review was based on literature from the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (PubMed), using the following Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms: "vertebroplasty," "surgical procedures minimally invasive," "bone neoplasm," "spine," "postoperative care," "rehabilitation," and "exercise." In total, 14 citations were retrieved: potentially relevant studies were identified by searching titles and abstracts, and then the full text of the selected articles was reviewed. From this review, the postoperative course of vertebroplasty today does not strictly indicate the need for rehabilitation.
Spine; Bone neoplasm; Surgical procedures, minimally invasive; Vertebroplasty; Postoperative care
The intravertebral vacuum cleft (IVC) sign in vertebral compression fracture patients has obtained much attention. The pathogenesis, image character and efficacy of surgical intervention were disputed. Many pathogenesis theories were proposed, and its image characters are distinct from malignancy and infection. Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) or percutaneous kyphoplasty (PKP) have been the main therapeutic methods for these patients in recent years. Avascular necrosis theory is the most supported; PVP could relieve back pain, restore vertebral body height and correct the kyphotic angulation (KA), and is recommended for these patients. PKP seems to be more effective for the correction of KA and lower cement leakage. The Kümmell's disease with IVC sign reported by modern authors was incomplete consistent with syndrome reported by Dr. Hermann Kümmell.
Intravertebral vacuum cleft; Pathogenesis; Vertebroplasty; Kyphoplasty; Kümmell's disease
Patient safety regarding wrong site surgery has been one of the priority issues in surgical fields including that of spine care. Since the wrong-side surgery in the DM foot patient was reported on a public mass media in 1996, the wrong-site surgery issue has attracted wide public interest as regarding patient safety. Despite the many wrong-site surgery prevention campaigns in spine care such as the operate through your initial program by the Canadian Orthopaedic Association, the sign your site program by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeon, the sign, mark and X-ray program by the North American Spine Society, and the Universal Protocol program by the Joint Commission, the incidence of wrong-site surgery has not decreased. To prevent wrong-site surgery in spine surgeries, the spine surgeons must put patient safety first, complying with the hospital policies regarding patient safety. In the operating rooms, the surgeons need to do their best to level the hierarchy, enabling all to speak up if any patient safety concerns are noted. Changing the operating room culture is the essential part of the patient safety concerning spine surgery.
Patient safety; Wrong-site surgery; Spine
The spinal column is involved in less than 1% of all cases of tuberculosis (TB). Spinal TB is a very dangerous type of skeletal TB as it can be associated with neurologic deficit due to compression of adjacent neural structures and significant spinal deformity. Therefore, early diagnosis and management of spinal TB has special importance in preventing these serious complications. In order to extract current trends in diagnosis and medical or surgical treatment of spinal TB we performed a narrative review with analysis of all the articles available for us which were published between 1990 and 2011. Althoug h the development of more accurate imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging and advanced surgical techniques have made the early diagnosis and management of spinal TB much easier, these are still very challenging topics. In this review we aim to discuss the diagnosis and management of spinal TB based on studies with acceptable design, clearly explained results and justifiable conclusions.
Spinal tuberculosis; Diagnosis; Therapeutics; Drug therapy
In accordance with extending survival periods of cancer patients, number of consecutively developing metastatic spinal tumor is also increasing. There have been improvements in the treatment results of metastatic spine tumor by virtue of the developments in diagnostic radiology, chemotherapy, adjuvant treatment, operative device and technique, discrete preoperative plan, and standardized operation. Accordingly, surgical indication has also increased. Clinically, in case of metastatic spine tumor, treatment of tumor itself should be focused on pain relief, preservation of neurologic function, prevention of pathologic fracture, prevention of pathologic fracture, and correction of spinal instability for improving quality of life, rather than for extension of survival. Additionally, etiology of spinal tumor, correct diagnosis and subsequent treatment principles should be thoroughly understood before establishing treatment plans for effective treatments.
Spine; Metastasis; Neoplasm
Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is most commonly found in men, in the elderly, and in Asian patients. The disease can start with mild or no symptoms, but some patients progress slowly to develop symptoms of myelopathy. An accurate diagnosis through the use plain radiograph, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging findings is very important to monitor the development of symptoms and to make decisions regarding a treatment plan. When symptoms are mild and non-progressive, conservative treatments and periodic observations are good enough, but once symptoms of myelopathy are present and neurologic symptoms are progressive, the treatment of choice is surgery to relieve spinal cord compression. Surgical management of OPLL continues to be controversial. Each surgical technique has some advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of operation should be decided carefully with various considerations. The patient's neurological condition, location and extent of pathology, cervical kyphosis, presence or absence of accompanied instability, and the individual surgeon's experience must be an important factors that should be considered before surgery.
Cervical spine; Ossification; Posterior longitudinal ligament
Pain is perceived and then it is operated on in the cerebral cortex by several processes such as transduction, transmission, modulation and perception. We have to know the exact mechanism of pain. The purpose of this review is to explain the mechanisms of pain and to discuss the definitions of the terms related to pain. We also review the mechanisms of the analgesic effect of the pharmaceuticals we use to control pain.
Spondylogenic pain; Pathogenesis; Treatment
There are a number of reports on Smith-Petersen osteotomy (SPO), pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) and vertebral column resection (VCR). However, there are few systematic reviews of all three kinds of osteotomies. Literature review and author's experience of SPO, PSO and VCR osteotomy will be described. Various surgical techniques can be applied according to the disease entity and magnitude of the deformity. The most appropriate methods for deformity correction should be chosen and the potential complications should be considered. Before attempting an osteotomy of the spine for a spinal deformity, sufficient surgical experience and a thorough understanding of the anatomy of the spine and adjacent structures are needed. In addition, a well-organized team with the other departments is essential.
Spinal osteotomy; Smith-Petersen osteotomy; Pedicle subtraction osteotomy; Vertebral column resection
The intervertebral disc is characterized by a tension-resisting annulus fibrosus and a compression-resisting nucleus pulposus composed largely of proteoglycan. The most important function of the annulus and nucleus is to provide mechanical stability to the disc. Degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine is a serious health problem. Although the three joint complex model of the degenerative process is widely accepted, the etiological basis of this degeneration is poorly understood. With the recent progress in molecular biology and modern biological techniques, there has been dramatic improvement in the understanding of aging and degenerative changes of the disc. Knowledge of the pathophysiology of the disc degeneration can help in the appropriate choice of treatment and to develop tissue engineering for biological restoration of degenerated discs.
Lumbar spine; Degenerative disc; Pathophysiology
Comprehensive literature review.
To document the criteria for fusion utilized in these studies to determine if a consensus on the definition of a solid fusion exists.
Overview of Literature
Numerous studies have reported on fusion rates following anterior cervical arthrodesis. There is a wide discrepancy in the fusion rates in these studies. While factors such as graft type, Instrumentation, and technique play a factor in fusion rate, another reason for the difference may be a result of differences in the definition of fusion following anterior cervical spine surgery.
A comprehensive English Medline literature review from 1966 to 2004 using the key words "anterior," "cervical," and "fusion" was performed. We divided these into two groups: newer studies done between 2000 and 2004, and earlier studies done between 1966 and 2000. These articles were then analyzed for the number of patients, follow-up period, graft type, and levels fused. Moreover, all of the articles were examined for their definition of fusion along with their fusion rate.
In the earlier studies from 1966 to 2000, there was no consensus for what constituted a solid fusion. Only fifteen percent of these studies employed the most stringent definition of a solid fusion which was the presence of bridging bone and the absence of motion on flexion and extension radiographs. On the other hand, the later studies (2000 to 2004) used such a definition a majority (63%) of the time, suggesting that a consensus opinion for the definition of fusion is beginning to form.
Our study suggests that over the past several years, a consensus definition of fusion is beginning to form. However, a large percentage of studies are still being published without using stringent fusion criteria. To that end, we recommend that all studies reporting on fusion rates use the most stringent criteria for solid fusion following anterior cervical spine surgery: the absence of motion on flexion/extension views and presence of bridging trabeculae on lateral x-rays. We believe that a universal adoption of such uniform criteria will help to standardize such studies and make it more possible to compare one study with another.
Cervical; Fusion; Arthrodesis; Pseudoarthrosis