Introduction: Development of evidence-based medicine has made a big change in diagnosis and treatment of chronic low back pain. The recent trend is assessed through a review of literature. Methods: The articles published in these 10 years are reviewed, and important points are examined. Results: In diagnosis, challenges for history taking and limit of imaging or clinical guidelines are revealed. In treatment, cognitive behavioral treatment and exercises are proved effective. Sleep disturbance has recently attracted attention as a factor associated with low back pain. Cost-effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment modalities has come to be emphasized. Conclusions: Diagnosis and treatment of chronic low back pain have been significantly changing. Multidisciplinary and multidimensional approach is essential. Chronic low back pain should be treated as a total pain, not a local pain.
Introduction: Details of surgical and general complications for patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) are still uncertain. The purpose of this study was to describe surgeries and their complications among Japanese patients with CSM. Methods: The Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research performed a nationwide survey on spine surgery and complications in 2011. Data of patients with 2,961 CSM >40 years old were included. The clinicopathological variables were basic demographic and clinical information, surgical information, and surgical and general complications. To examine the influence of age, variables were compared among three age groups: patients 40-64 (n=1,123), 65-74 (n=966), and ≥75 (n=872) years of age. Results: The study included 1,970 males and 991 females and the mean age was 64.3 years old. There were 168 anterior (5.7%) and 2,770 posterior (94.2%) approach surgeries. The vast majority of patients with CSM were treated using the posterior approach, 89.4% of whom had decompression surgery only. Anterior surgeries were more common in the younger age group, but posterior surgeries were equally distributed. The incidence of total complications including surgical/general complications was similar for the anterior (16/168; 9.5%) and posterior (295/2,770; 10.6%) approaches. No patient died on the operating table, but four patients (0.1%) died within one month after surgery. No association was detected between complications and age, comorbidity, and other surgical factors. The incidence of complications was similar for the different age groups. However general complications were predominantly observed in the older group and those who had instrumented surgery. Conclusions: The results indicate that the indication and surgical performance for patients with CSM is favorable in Japan, despite the super-aging population. Few serious complications were reported in this study. However, more detailed informed consent about surgical and, in particular, general complications is necessary for the older patients with CSM.
Purpose: This study aimed to investigate radiographic outcomes after posterior spinal fusion (PSF) for pediatric patients younger than 10 years with upper cervical disorders. Methods: Thirteen patients (mean age at surgery, 5.9 years; range, 1 to 9 years) who underwent PSF with a minimum of 2 years of follow-up (mean, 5.8 years) were included. Diagnoses were atlanto-axial instability due to congenital disorders for 11 patients and atlanto-axial rotatory fixation for 2 patients. The fusion area was occipito-cervical for 7 patients and C1/2 for 6 patients. PSF was performed using rigid screw-rod constructs for 6 patients and conventional techniques for 7 patients. Ten patients required halo immobilization after surgery. Fusion status, perioperative complications, radiographic alignment, and range of motion (ROM) from C2 to C7 were evaluated. Results: Twelve patients successfully achieved bony fusion (fusion rate, 92%), but complications occurred in 5 patients. Regarding radiographic measures (preoperative/postoperative/final follow-up), the mean atlanto-dental interval was significantly reduced (8.0 mm/2.7 mm/3.5 mm) and the C2-7 ROM was increased (from 49.4 degrees to 66.0 degrees) at the final follow-up (both comparisons, p<0.05). Sagittal alignment was unchanged. Conclusion: Use of rigid screw-rod instrumentation in the upper cervical spine with careful radiological evaluation is amenable for pediatric patients younger than 10 years. However, conventional procedures such as wiring fixation with rigid external immobilization are still alternative options for preventing serious neurological and vascular complications.
Introduction: Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) has produced satisfactory clinical outcomes; however, all previous reports have only included evaluations by surgeon-based methods. The purpose of this study was to investigate patient-based surgical outcomes and the factors associated with patient satisfaction for PLIF. Methods: Patients who underwent PLIF for lumbar spondylolisthesis were reviewed (n=443). The average follow-up period was 8 years. Surgical outcomes were assessed using an original questionnaire, a numerical rating scale (NRS), the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score, and the recovery rate. The original questionnaire consisted of five categories, with patient-evaluated score out of 100 points for surgery, satisfaction, improvement, recommendation to others, and willingness to undergo repeat surgery on a 5-point scale. According to the questionnaire responses, patient-based outcomes were divided into three groups: positive, intermediate, and negative and were compared with the NRS, SF-36, and JOA scores. Furthermore, factors associated with patient satisfaction were examined. Results: A total of 273 patients responded. Response rate was 62%. The average patient-evaluated score for surgery was 82 points. In terms of satisfaction section, positive, intermediate, and negative response rates were 82%, 7%, and 11%, respectively. With respect to other sections, positive, intermediate, and negative response rates were 87%, 7%, and 6% in improvement section; 66%, 23%, and 11% in recommending section; and 72%, 18%, and 10% in repeat section, respectively. The average pre- and postoperative JOA scores were 12 and 24, respectively. Significant correlations were detected between patient-based surgical outcomes and the NRS scores, physical component scores of the SF-36, and the JOA score. Postoperative permanent motor loss and multiple revision surgery were the major factors related to a negative response. Conclusions: High satisfaction rate to PLIF and significant correlation between patient- and surgeon-based surgical outcomes were detected. Postoperative permanent motor loss and multiple revision surgery were the major factors related to a negative response.
Introduction: Currently, excellent three-dimensional correction can be achieved with use of segmental pedicle screw fixation in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). In the majority of patients with major thoracic curves, selective thoracic fusion (STF) may be considered to maximize motion segment of the unfused lumbar spine. This study aimed to investigate the extent of spontaneous derotation of the lumbar curve following STF. Methods: AIS patients who underwent STF using posterior pedicle screw fixation were retrospectively reviewed. Angle of vertebral rotation was defined as the difference between the axial rotation angles of the apical vertebra and S1 vertebra on axial CT images. Radiographic measurements included major thoracic curve, thoracolumbar/lumbar curve (preoperative and postoperative), and side-bending curve. The relationships between the axial rotation of the lumbar spine and radiographic measurements were also analyzed. Results: Thirty patients (all females) were included. Preoperative thoracic Cobb measured 62.1±9°, which improved to 20.3±5° at 2 years postoperatively, resulting in 67% correction. Preoperative lumbar Cobb measured 38.0±9°, which spontaneously improved to 19.0±7°, indicating a 50% correction. Preoperatively, the axial rotation of apical lumbar vertebra was 10.2±5.5°, which changed to 7.0±4.8° (32% spontaneous correction). Comparing the correction between the axial rotation of the lumbar spine and other parameters, postoperative angle of axial rotation correlated well with preoperative (r=0.79) and postoperative (r=0.82) lumbar Cobb angle. Meanwhile, the improvement of axial rotation of the lumbar spine correlated with postoperative thoracic curve (r=-0.42), postoperative lumbar curve (r=-0.57), and thoracic apical translation change (r=0.43). Conclusions: In AIS patients with major thoracic curves, spontaneous axial derotation of the lumbar curves occurred with a mean correction rate of 32% after STF. A greater spontaneous derotation of the lumbar curve would be related to correction of the thoracic curve.
Introduction: Multilevel total en bloc spondylectomy (TES) is required to secure oncologically adequate resection margins. However, no useful information has been reported for spinal reconstruction after multilevel TES. Therefore, this study set out to assess the clinical and radiological outcomes of spinal reconstruction after multilevel TES. Methods: Forty-eight patients treated with multilevel TES at our institute were included in the analysis. Reconstruction was achieved with posterior pedicle screw fixation and an anterior titanium mesh cage filled with iliac autograft in all cases. Spinal shortening was performed to increase spinal stability from the reconstruction. Instrumentation failure and radiological findings were evaluated with radiography and computerized tomography (CT). Results: After excluding one patient whose general condition was deteriorating, radiological evaluations of 47 patients were performed over a period of more than a year. The follow-up time was 17 to 120 months (mean: 70.2 months). Instrumentation failure occurred in one patient (5.9%) after thoracic multilevel TES, in 4 patients (25.0%) after thoracolumbar multilevel TES, and in 3 patients (42.9%) after lumbar multilevel TES. No instrumentation failure was observed in cervicothoracic cases. Cage subsidence (>2 mm) occurred in 30 patients (63.8%). In 22 of them, subsidence appeared on the CT one month after surgery. The risk factors of instrumentation failure included a multilevel TES below the thoracolumbar level and a long span of vertebral resection. There was no instrumentation failure in any of the 11 "disc-to-disc cutting" cases. Conclusions: This study identified the risk factors of instrumentation failure after multilevel TES. There is a high risk of instrumentation failure in cases of long vertebral resection below the thoracolumbar level. On the other hand, our reconstruction method can be successful for multilevel TES above the thoracic level.
Purpose: We examined duloxetine's effectiveness in the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients who were intolerant to continuous pregabalin administration. Materials and Methods: The present study is a retrospective study of patients diagnosed with neuropathic pain with neuropathic leg pain as the chief complaint. We analyzed 20 cases in which pregabalin was changed to duloxetine because of adverse effects (16 cases) or treatment failure (4 cases). The incidence of adverse events after duloxetine administration was used as the primary endpoint, with the secondary endpoint being the leg pain level based on a numerical rating scale (NRS). Results: The incidence of adverse events after starting duloxetine was 40%. Average leg pain scores measured on the NRS were 8.4±1.4, 6.4±1.4, and 4.1±2.0 at the time of the patients' first visit, pregabalin discontinuation, and after switching to duloxetine, respectively. A significant difference in NRS scores was found between the first visit and pregabalin discontinuation and also between pregabalin discontinuation and after the switch to duloxetine (p<0.05), indicating that pain decreases over time. Furthermore, NRS scores significantly declined between the patients' first visit and after the switch to duloxetine (p<0.05). The improvement in NRS score was 20±12.8% after pregabalin administration and 23±12.0% after duloxetine administration compared with baseline scores (no significant difference between pregabalin and duloxetine; p>0.05). Conclusion: When patients with neuropathic pain are unable to tolerate pregabalin because of adverse effects, changing the medication to duloxetine may be an option.