2019 Volume 3 Issue 1 Pages 43-48
Introduction: We describe 5 patients who underwent operative treatment for arachnoid web (AW) and discuss the postoperative clinical outcome in each case. AW is an extremely rare disease that causes cord compression and syringomyelia in the thoracic spine. To date, 14 cases only of AW have been reported, and the effect of surgical intervention on clinical and radiologic outcomes is unknown.
Methods: Five patients who underwent surgical treatment for AW were retrospectively reviewed. The clinical outcomes were evaluated using the thoracic Japanese Orthopaedic Association (T-JOA) score. Preoperative and postoperative images were reviewed.
Results: All the patients presented with spastic gait and numbness in the lower extremities. Two patients also presented with bladder-bowel dysfunction (BBD). AW, or the so-called "scalpel" sign, was seen dorsally in the thoracic spine on magnetic resonance imaging in all the patients. Syringomyelia adjacent to the web was observed in 4 patients. Fenestration and web resection without instrumentation was performed in all the cases. Overall, significant improvement was seen in locomotion and the total T-JOA score postoperatively. However, numbness in the lower extremities improved in 2 patients but was unchanged in 3 cases. BBD was ameliorated in 1 patient but remained unchanged in the other patient.
Conclusions: Our experience suggests that surgical treatment, including the another patient and resection of the web, can correct the flow dynamics of cerebrospinal fluid and allow neurologic recovery, in particular locomotion, in patients with AW.