Spine Surgery and Related Research
Online ISSN : 2432-261X
ISSN-L : 2432-261X
Volume 3 , Issue 4
Showing 1-18 articles out of 18 articles from the selected issue
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
  • Gentaro Kumagai, Kanichiro Wada, Hitoshi Kudo, Toru Asari, Yasuyuki Is ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 277-284
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: May 31, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: We evaluated the positioning of the bony gutter (PBG) in cervical laminoplasty aided by three-dimensional (3-D) printed models, and assessed associations between PBG accuracy¸ posterior shift of the spinal cord (PSSC), and clinical results.

    Methods: Of 35 patients who underwent cervical laminoplasty for cervical myelopathy between January 2013 and September 2015, 20 were treated using a conventional free-hand technique (Group A). For the other 15 patients (Group B), surgeons also used 3-D printed models to select a PBG on the edge of the medial aspect of the zygapophyseal joint to maximize the angle of the opened lamina (AOL). We measured the PBG and AOL on axial computed tomography images, and the PSSC on midsagittal magnetic resonance imaging obtained before and 7 days after surgery. Clinical outcomes were evaluated by Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores and recovery rates, and by the incidence of postoperative radiculopathy. We compared the PBG, AOL, PSSC, and clinical outcomes between the groups.

    Results: The PBG was significantly lower in Group B than in Group A at the C4 left and right sides (P = 0.033, P < 0.0001) and C6 left side (P = 0.004), and the AOL was larger at the C4 right side, C5 left and right sides, C6 left side, and C7 right side (P = 0.040, 0.043, 0.016, 0.016, and 0.027, respectively). Group B had a higher percentage of on-target PBGs at the right sides of C4 and C5 and the left side of C7 (P = 0.005, 0.037, and 0.028), a larger PSSC at C4 and C5 (P = 0.023, 0.008), and a higher incidence of radiculopathy (P = 0.026). Groups A and B did not differ significantly in JOA score or recovery rate.

    Conclusions: Three-dimensional modeling improved PBG accuracy. However, maximizing the spinal canal increased the PSSC and subsequent radiculopathy.

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  • Kazunari Takeuchi, Toru Yokoyama, Kan-ichiro Wada, Gentaro Kumagai, Hi ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 285-294
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: May 31, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: The purpose of this study was to evaluate surgical outcomes using a new grading of postoperative epidural hematoma (EH) or epidural scar formation after posterior cervical spine surgery.

    Methods: Postoperative EH or epidural scar formation after cervical laminoplasty (LP) or posterior decompression and fusion (PDF) were graded into Grades 1-5 by magnetic resonance imaging at 24 hours, 2 weeks, 6 months, and one year after surgery. The patients were divided into the Mild group (Grades 1-3) and the Severe group (Grades 4, 5). Perioperative factors were compared between the two groups at 24 hours after surgery. Distribution of EH or scar formation was investigated according to two surgeries. The recovery rate of Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scores and the improvements of neck disability index (NDI) were compared between the two groups at one year postoperatively.

    Results: Of the postoperative factors, posterior shift of the cervical spinal cord at C4 and C7 significantly differed between the two groups. Patients in the Severe group at 24 hours after surgery (17%) increased to 41% at 2 weeks and subsequently decreased to 16% at 6 months after LP. After PDF, 3% in the Severe group at 24 hours after surgery increased to 15% at 2 weeks and then decreased to 3% at 6 months postoperatively. Only one (3%) patient remained in the Severe group at 1 year after PDF. The recovery rate of JOA score (47.5%) of the patients in the Mild group showed trend larger than that of the Severe group (34.7%) after LP. Preoperative NDI (15.6 points) significantly improved postoperatively to 12.1 points in only the Mild group after LP.

    Conclusions: The patterns of distribution of EH or scar formation did not differ between the two surgical methods. The severity of postoperative scar formation related to surgical outcomes after LP.

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  • Kazunari Takeuchi, Toru Yokoyama, Kan-ichiro Wada, Taito Itabashi, Gen ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 295-303
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: June 21, 2019
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    Introduction: This retrospective study compared rates of bony fusion and screw loosening after multilevel posterior decompression and fusion (PDF) with short monocortical screws (SMS) as a novel mid-cervical anchor versus C5 pedicle screws (PS) as a mid-cervical anchor.

    Methods: We analyzed 15 consecutive patients who underwent C2-T1 PDF with C5 PS as mid-cervical anchor (PS group) and 18 consecutive patients who underwent the procedure with SMS at C4-C6 as mid-cervical anchor (SMS group). Radiological outcomes, including rates of bony fusion at each level and screw loosening, and clinical outcomes, including Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score, neck pain, neck disability index (NDI), and EuroQol 5 Dimension (EQ-5D), were compared between groups. In the SMS group, screw perforation types and appropriate screw insertion procedure were also investigated.

    Results: The fusion rate at C2/3 in the SMS group (56%) was significantly higher than that in PS group (13%; P = 0.0272). None of the patients had SMS loosening postoperatively. Clinical outcomes, including JOA score, neck pain, NDI, and EQ-5D, did not differ between the groups. In the SMS group, facet perforation was the most common type of perforation. The recommended direction for SMS insertion at C4-C6 was 35°-37° in the cranial direction and 25°-30° in the medial direction; the recommended screw length was 10 mm.

    Conclusions: SMS at C4-C6 was as effective as C5 PS as a mid-cervical anchor in PDF, according to clinical and radiological outcomes. The fusion rate at C2/3 in the SMS group was significantly higher than that in the PS group. There was no postoperative loosening of the C5 PS or C4-C6 SMS in either group.

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  • Ko Hashimoto, Toshimi Aizawa, Hiroshi Ozawa, Yasuhisa Tanaka, Takashi ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 304-311
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: July 10, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: Laminoplasty is a common surgery for cervical myelopathy. Previous studies have analyzed the reoperation rates in posterior decompression surgeries of the cervical spine. However, few studies have solely focused on midline-splitting laminoplasty (MSL) using a large number of patients. This aims to analyze the reoperation rates after MSL using the survival function method.

    Methods: Between 1988 and 2013, 4,208 MSLs were performed as a primary operation for cervical myelopathy and enrolled in our spinal surgery registration system. The Kaplan-Meier survival function method was used to analyze the rates of reoperation.

    Results: Of 4,208 patients with primary MSL, 40 underwent reoperation for neurological complications. The overall reoperation rate was 0.26%, 0.64%, 0.83%, 0.93%, and 0.95% at 1, 5, 10, 20, and >20 years, respectively. The causes of reoperation were postoperative cervical radiculopathy in 10 patients, stenosis at an adjacent level in 8, stenosis due to failed "open-door" lamina in 6, instability of the cervical spine in 4, cervical disc herniation in 3, elongation of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament in 3, spinal cord injury in 1, fracture of the cervical spine in 1, postoperative scar formation in 1, ossification of anterior longitudinal ligament in 1, and unknown in 2. The number of patients with surgical site infection (SSI) who needed surgical debridement was 34 (0.81%).

    Conclusions: Excluding reoperations for SSI, the reoperation rate of MSL was approximately 1.0% at the maximum of 26 years after surgery. MSL was determined to be a reliable surgical procedure regarding postoperative complications requiring additional surgeries.

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  • Satoshi Nori, Ryoma Aoyama, Ken Ninomiya, Satoshi Suzuki, Ukei Anazawa ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 312-318
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: August 16, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: As C7 slope increases, lordotic change of C2-C7 angle compensates for adjustments in cervical sagittal balance. However, ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) may affect the compensatory mechanism of the cervical spine. This study aims to evaluate the impact of OPLL on cervical lordotic compensation after muscle-preserving selective laminectomy (SL).

    Methods: This study involved 235 patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) and OPLL who underwent ≥ 3 consecutive levels of SL. OPLL was classified into continuous, segmental, mixed, or localized type on the basis of the criteria previously reported. In this study, based on the motion preservation at the intervertebral level, patients were divided into CSM (n = 114), OPLL segmental type (OPLL-S; n = 44), and other types of OPLL (OPLL-O; i.e., continuous, mixed, and localized; n = 77). The cervical sagittal alignment, degree of spinal cord decompression, and surgical outcomes were compared among the three groups.

    Results: The OPLL-O group had a larger postoperative C7 slope (p = 0.020), larger pre- (p = 0.021) and postoperative (p = 0.001) C2-C7 sagittal vertical axis, and greater pre- (p = 0.034) and postoperative (p = 0.002) C7 slope minus C2-C7 angle. Narrower postoperative spinal cord clearance (PSCC) from OPLL (p < 0.001) and more residual spinal cord compression (p < 0.001) were observed in the OPLL-O group. Correlation between postoperative C7 slope minus C2-C7 angle and PSCC was detected (r = −0.238, p < 0.001). The recovery rate of the Japanese Orthopedic Association score was slightly lower in the OPLL-O group (p < 0.001), and it was correlated with postoperative residual spinal cord compression (r = −0.305, p < 0.001).

    Conclusions: OPLL-O limits cervical lordotic compensation, resulting in cervical sagittal balance mismatch. It affects the degree of spinal cord decompression, which might be related to surgical outcome.

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  • Hideaki Nakajima, Kenzo Uchida, Masakazu Takayasu, Takahiro Ushida
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 319-326
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: February 28, 2019
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    Introduction: In this study, we defined chronic neuropathic pain (NeP) in patients with diseases associated with spinal cord damage, such as spinal cord-related pain syndrome, and performed a nationwide survey investigating the prevalence, actual status, and features of this syndrome in Japan in order to gather basic information needed for planning control measures.

    Methods: In this nationwide epidemiologic survey, a mail-in questionnaire was sent to 3,206 institutions throughout Japan certified by the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (2,065 institutions) and the Japan Neurosurgical Society (1,141 institutions). The survey included the number of patients, frequency, and type of allodynia, concomitant diseases, and types of and responses to treatment.

    Results: Valid responses were obtained from 552 institutions on 3,401 patients. Of these, 1,719 (50.5%) patients experienced no pain, and thus the study involved the analysis of data of the remaining 1,682 patients with pain. The most frequent underlying conditions were cervical spondylotic myelopathy (26.7%), spinal cord injury (17.4%), and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) of the cervical spine (14.1%). Among the 1,682 patients, 62.5% reported at-level pain, among which 43.0% presented with allodynia. On the other hand, 38.7% presented with below-level pain. The majority of patients (73.4%) used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants (46.6%). The effectiveness of treatment was significantly higher in patients using anticonvulsants (31.1%) than in those using other medications. About a third of the patients stopped the treatment for either lack of effect or adverse effects.

    Conclusions: The characteristics of NeP in patients with spinal cord-related pain syndrome varied according to its level in relation to the affected spinal segment (at-level and/or below-level). Unfortunately, medications are sometimes ineffective and have potential adverse effects. Further classification of allodynia is needed for effective symptom-based treatment.

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  • Ken Nagahama, Manabu Ito, Yuichiro Abe, Eihiro Murota, Shigeto Hiratsu ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 327-334
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: December 28, 2018
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: Lumbar interbody fusion is used to treat degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis with instability. We developed a device that safely expands a percutaneous path through Kambin's triangle and used it via a new technique: percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (PETLIF). We report in this study the details and outcomes of this procedure after a one year follow-up.

    Methods: Twenty-five patients requiring interbody fusion for degenerative spondylolisthesis of the L4 vertebra were enrolled in this study. The procedure involved percutaneous posterior pedicle screw placement to correct spondylolisthesis. After the exterior of the L5 vertebra superior articular protrusion was shaved with a percutaneous endoscopic drill in order to expand the safe zone, the oval sleeve was inserted through Kambin's triangle and was rotated to expand the disk height and create a path toward the vertebral disk. The interbody cage was inserted against the J-shaped nerve retractor, with the exiting nerve root retracted. Indirect decompression of spinal canal stenosis was expected because the vertebral body spondylolisthesis had been corrected and the interbody distance was expanded. Thus, no direct decompression was performed posterolaterally.

    Results: The mean follow-up period, surgery time, and blood loss were 22.7 months, 125.4 min, and 64.8 mL, respectively. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association score improved from 13.3 to 28.0. The Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire score improved from 10.3 to 3.3. All items were evaluated both preoperatively and one year postoperatively. Bone fusion was observed one year postoperatively in 22 out of 25 patients.

    Conclusions: These results demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of PETLIF for treating degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. This minimally invasive procedure is useful and has wide applicability. To obtain safe and favorable results, necessary surgical techniques must be mastered, and surgical equipment, including that for neural monitoring, is required.

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  • Kazuki Fujimoto, Kazuhide Inage, Yawara Eguchi, Sumihisa Orita, Toru T ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 335-341
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: February 28, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: Limb muscle mass measurement using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is considered the gold standard for the diagnosis of sarcopenia. Moreover, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is also recognized as a beneficial tool considering its high correlation with DXA. However, it remains to be elucidated whether DXA and BIA can accurately measure trunk lean mass.

    The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between DXA and BIA measurements of trunk muscle mass and the cross-sectional area (CSA) of trunk muscles measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and to compare measures of trunk muscle mass obtained using DXA and BIA in patients with low back pain (LBP).

    Methods: In total, 65 patients participated in the study. The correlation between DXA and BIA measurements and the CSA of trunk and paraspinal muscles at the L4-5 level were calculated. In addition, the correlation between DXA and BIA measurements of trunk muscle mass and the differences between these two measurements were determined.

    Results: The correlation coefficient between DXA and BIA trunk muscle mass measurement and trunk muscle CSA was 0.74 and 0.56 for men and 0.69 and 0.44 for women, respectively. DXA and BIA measurement values showed a significantly moderate correlation with the CSA of the erector spinae (ES) and psoas major (PM). The multifidus (MF) CSA did not correlate with measurements of DXA and BIA in both men and women. Although DXA and BIA measurements were significantly correlated, a significant difference between these two measurements was found. BIA overestimated the trunk muscle mass significantly compared with DXA.

    Conclusions: Trunk muscle mass measured with DXA and BIA was correlated with the CSA of most trunk muscles. Although the measurement of DXA and BIA showed a high correlation, BIA overestimated trunk muscle mass compared with DXA. Both DXA and BIA are beneficial for measuring trunk muscle mass.

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  • Tadatsugu Morimoto, Motoki Sonohata, Hirohito Hirata, Makoto Shiraki, ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 342-347
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: February 28, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: A transverse process of L5 (L5TP) fracture may be associated with the presence and/or severity of a pelvic fracture. However, there is little evidence to support this view. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between L5 TP fracture and the presence and/or severity of a pelvic fracture on radiograph and CT.

    Methods: A total of 146 patients (82 women and 64 men; age range, 5-97 years) who were treated for pelvic fractures were evaluated. The site of pelvic fractures, presence of an L5 TP fracture with radiograph and CT, associated injuries and the need for blood transfusion, surgical intervention, and mortality were investigated retrospectively. According to the Burgess and Young classification, there were 42 unstable fractures. For each parameter, correlations between the parameters were evaluated using a chi-squared test and a logistic regression analysis. A p-value <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

    Results: The sensitivity of L5 TP fractures on radiograph and CT were 51% and 95%, respectively (p < 0.0001). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that, of the L5 TP fractures patients on radiograph, the odds ratios for sacral fractures were 4.5 (95% confident interval [CI], 1.1-17.9); based on CT, the odds ratios for sacral fractures and the need for blood transfusion were 18.2 (95%CI, 5.1-64.9) and 3.2 (95%CI, 1.1-9.1), respectively.

    Conclusions: This study demonstrated that L5 TP fractures on radiograph and/or CT could indicate a high risk of sacral fracture and need for blood transfusion.

    When an L5TP fracture is diagnosed on initial radiograph or CT in the emergency setting, it is necessary to conduct further investigations for pelvic ring fractures and to alert the attending staff to the high-risk fracture.

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  • Yutaka Nakamura, Yutaka Machida, Hiroki Hanawa, Masayoshi Kanai, Satos ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 348-353
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: February 28, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: This study aimed to determine impacts on walking ability of spinal deformity and imbalance as distinct from movement disorders in Parkinson's disease (PD).

    Methods: Thirty-two patients (15 males, 17 females; mean age 72.5 years) were analyzed. Three, thirteen, eleven, and five were at Hoehn-Yahr stages I, II, III, and IV, respectively. In addition to various spinal imbalance and deformity classifications the following were assessed: Cobb angle (CA) for scoliosis, thoracic kyphosis (TK) at T2-12, thoracolumbar kyphosis (TLK) at T12-L2, lumbar lordosis (LL) at L1-S1, pelvic tilt (PT), pelvic incidence (PI), and sagittal vertical axis (SVA). The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test was used to measure walking ability. Patients were evaluated using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part III, and bone mineral density (BMD) scans.

    Results: Nineteen patients (59%) had spinal deformity and imbalance within the following classifications: thoracic scoliosis, 1; thoracic kyphosis, 2; lumbar scoliosis, 15; Pisa syndrome, 3; camptocormia, 2. Mean values were 20.0° CA for scoliosis, 42.3° TK, 14.8° TLK, 26.7° LL, 20.8° PT, 48.8° PI, and 66.4 mm SVA. The mean TUG score was 13.9s. The UPDRS III mean was 36.6±24.5 points. Mean BMD was 0.856 g/cm2 at lumbar L2-4 and 0.585 g/cm2 at the femoral neck. UPDRS part III (P<0.001), LL (P<0.05), and femoral neck BMD (P<0.05) significantly correlated to TUG test results.

    Conclusions: Distinct from the movement disorders of PD (UPDRS III), loss of normal LL and loss of BMD at the femoral neck were shown to be correlated with diminished walking ability (TUG test) in PD patients. When UPDRS improved in response to L-dopa, walking ability improved. In addition to any PD-specific interventions that contribute to the maintenance of ambulation, interventions specific to the restoration of LL, as well as early treatment for osteoporosis may positively affect HRQOL in PD.

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  • Masahiro Inoue, Sumihisa Orita, Kazuhide Inage, Miyako Suzuki, Kazuki ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 354-360
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: March 22, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: Wearable accelerometers can be used to evaluate waking and sleeping movements. Although a correlation between accelerometer data captured at the wrist and waist has been reported, it has not been evaluated in patients with low back pain. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate correlations between movement measured at the wrist and waist, using wearable accelerometers, in patients with low back pain.

    Methods: Twenty patients with chronic low back pain and 20 healthy volunteers were enrolled. Two identical accelerometers were simultaneously worn by each participant, one on the nondominant wrist and the other at the waist, for 1 week. We compared the mean number of active movements and mean total amount of movement between the wrist and the waist to evaluate daytime and sleep activities. During sleep, we also evaluated sleep efficiency and time awake after sleep onset.

    Results: In daytime activity, the mean number of active movements and mean total amount of movement was greater for the wrist than for the waist, and the amount of waist movements relative to wrist movements was significantly lower in patients with low back pain than in healthy volunteers (p < 0.05). Despite these differences, the mean number of active movements and mean total amount of movement at the wrist and waist were strongly correlated in both groups. During sleep, although there was no difference in either measured sleep efficiency at the wrist or waist or time awake after sleep onset, measurements were strongly correlated in both groups.

    Conclusions: A strong correlation between movement data at the wrist and waist during both daytime activities and sleep was identified in patients with low back pain. Therefore, a wearable accelerometer worn on the wrist can reliably measure the movement of patients with low back pain, simplifying data capture for clinical and research purposes and improving patient comfort.

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  • Naobumi Hosogane, Kenya Nojiri, Satoshi Suzuki, Haruki Funao, Eijiro O ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 361-367
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: March 22, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: The prevalence of patients with osteoporosis continues to increase in aging societies, including Japan. The first choice for managing osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVF) is conservative treatment. Failure in conservative treatment for OVF may lead to non-union or vertebral collapse, resulting in neurological deficit and subsequently requiring surgical intervention. This multicenter nationwide study in Japan was conducted to comprehensively understand the outcomes of surgical treatments for OVF non-union.

    Methods: This multicenter, retrospective study included 403 patients (89 males, 314 females, mean age 73.8 ± 7.8 years, mean follow-up 3.9 ± 1.7 years) with neurological deficit due to vertebral collapse or non-union after OVF at T10-L5 who underwent fusion surgery with a minimum 1-year follow-up. Radiological and clinical outcomes at baseline and at the final follow-up (FU) were evaluated.

    Results: OVF was present at a thoracolumbar junction such as T12 (124 patients) and L1 (117 patients). A majority of OVF occurred after a minor trauma, such as falling down (55.3%) or lifting objects (8.4%). Short segment fusion, including affected vertebra, was conducted (mean 4.0 ± 2.0 vertebrae) with 256.8 minutes of surgery and 676.1 g of blood loss. A posterior approach was employed in 86.6% of the patients, followed by a combined anterior and posterior (8.7%), and an anterior (4.7%) approach. Perioperative complications and implant failures were observed in 18.1% and 41.2%, respectively. VAS scores of low back pain (74.7 to 30.8 mm) and leg pain (56.8 to 20.7 mm) improved significantly at FU. Preoperatively, 52.6% of the patients were unable to walk and the rate of non-ambulatory patients decreased to 7.5% at FU.

    Conclusions: This study demonstrated that substantial improvement in activity of daily living (ADL) was achieved by fusion surgery. Although there was a considerable rate of complications, fusion surgery is beneficial for elderly OVF patients with non-union.

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  • Hiroki Ushirozako, Go Yoshida, Daisuke Togawa, Takao Omura, Tomohiko H ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 368-376
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: April 05, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction: There is currently a lack of translatable, preclinical models of low back pain (LBP). Chymopapain, a proteolytic enzyme used to treat lumbar intervertebral disc (IVD) herniation, could induce discogenic LBP. The current study developed a behavioral model of discogenic LBP in nonhuman primates. Significant brain activation is observed in clinical LBP. Thus, the current study also sought to define brain activation over time in a macaque with discogenic LBP.

    Methods: Responses to pressure applied to the back at L4/L5 were measured in eight adult male Macaca fasciculata using a pressure algometer. The nucleus pulpous of the IVD between L4 and L5 was aspirated and chymopapain (1 mg/mL) was injected under fluoroscopic guidance (n = 2). In two macaques, the nucleus pulpous was only aspirated. Brain activation in response to pressure applied to the lower back was assessed using a 3.0T magnetic resonance imaging scanner in four macaques before and 1, 3, 9, and 14 days after treatment.

    Results: The mean (±SD) response pressure before treatment was 1.4 ± 0.1 kg. One day after chymopapain treatment, the response pressure decreased to 0.6 ± 0.05 kg (P < 0.01), suggestive of pressure hypersensitivity. Over time, the pressure thresholds following chymopapain treatment gradually returned to normal. Following aspiration only, the response pressure was 1.4 ± 0.05 kg, which was not significantly different from the uninjured controls. There was activation of the secondary somatosensory cortex and insular cortex one and three days after chymopapain treatment; there was no activation following aspiration only.

    Conclusions: Enzymatic treatment of the nucleus pulpous leads to acute LBP and pressure-evoked activation in pain-related brain areas. The current model of discogenic LBP parallels clinical LBP and could be used to further elaborate the mechanism of acute LBP.

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  • Hiroshige Jinnouchi, Ko Matsudaira, Akihiko Kitamura, Hironobu Kakihan ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 377-384
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: April 26, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS
    Supplementary material

    Introduction: Chronic low back pain (CLBP), defined as low back pain persisting for at least 3 months, leads to limitations in the activities of daily living and decreased quality of life. Individualized self-exercise education could be a preferable treatment option, especially in community-dwelling people with CLBP. Previous studies, however, did not directly compare the effects of therapist-led self-exercise education and material-only education, and there are only a few studies investigating the effects of low-dose (comprising a few sessions) self-exercise education on CLBP. We present a protocol of community-based, randomized study to evaluate the effects of low-dose (comprising a few sessions), therapist-led self-exercise education on CLBP.

    Methods: Forty-eight participants with CLBP (men and women, aged 40-74 years) will be allocated to therapeutic self-exercise education programs, either a therapist-led group (2-week therapist's consultation and material use) or material-only group (material use only), in a randomized controlled trial. Pain intensity (NRS, numeric rating scale), pain disability (RDQ, Roland-Morris disability questionnaire), pain self-efficacy (PSEQ, pain self-efficacy questionnaire), and quality of life score (EQ-5D, European quality of life-5 dimensions) will be measured at baseline and at 4, 12, and 24 weeks. We will apply a repeated-measures design with mixed-effect models to estimate group differences from the baseline.

    Ethics/Trial registration number: The protocol was approved by the Ethics Committees of the Osaka Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Osaka University. The trial registration number is registered on the University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN000024537).

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  • Tadashi Nukaga, Daisuke Sakai, Jordy Schol, Kaori Suyama, Tomoko Nakai ...
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 385-391
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: August 16, 2019
    JOURNALS OPEN ACCESS
    Supplementary material

    Introduction: Intervertebral disc degeneration is strongly associated with low back pain. Cell transplantation has been extensively studied as a treatment option for intervertebral disc degeneration. It is often necessary to perform cell culture prior to cell transplantation; however, during cell expansion, the cells tend to dedifferentiate and lose their potency. Although the ability to suppress dedifferentiation by ROCK inhibitor (ROCKi) has recently been reported for chondrocytes, its effects on nucleus pulposus cells are still largely unknown.

    Methods: Rat nucleus pulposus cells were cultured with or without the addition of ROCKi (Y-27632), and cell proliferation; CD24 positivity; expression of SOX9, COL2A1, Aggrecan, and COL1A1; and cell redifferentiation ability in pellet culture were evaluated.

    Results: Although the addition of ROCKi tended to slightly increase the cell proliferative capacity, no significant differences were observed between treated and untreated conditions. The addition of ROCKi showed a trend of minimally increased COL2A1, ACAN, and SOX9 expression. Increases in COL1A1 expression was slightly suppressed by ROCKi. In pellet culture, strong increase in type II collagen deposition was observed by the addition of ROCKi. The addition of ROCKi did not significantly change the levels of CD24 positivity. The supplementation of ROCKi did not significantly enhance nucleus pulposus cell marker expression during monolayer expansion. However, ROCKi addition did result in an increased type II collagen deposition in 3D pellet culture.

    Conclusions: Taken together, the results suggest a minimal effect by ROCKi on nucleus pulposus cell phenotype maintenance.

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CASE REPORT
  • Tetsuji Inoue
    2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 392-395
    Published: October 27, 2019
    Released: October 27, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: October 19, 2018
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    Introduction: Conus medullaris syndrome (CMS) is a rare pathology. The conus medullaris is located at the end of the spinal cord and continues to the cauda equina. Conus medullaris lesions can cause variable symptoms and neurological deficits, usually involving the lower extremities; CMS that does not affect the lower limbs is extremely rare. No reports have described isolated CMS caused by intradural disc herniation (IDH). This report describes a case of CMS without lower extremity involvement associated with IDH at L1/2.

    Case Report: A 52-year-old man with a 10-year history of lower back pain complained of dysuria and lumbago with no leg symptoms at his first visit to the urology department. Neurological examination revealed mild perineal hypoalgesia; however, motor function and lower extremity sensation were normal with except for left ankle dorsiflexion weakness (manual muscle test, 4/5). Magnetic resonance imaging revealed conus medullaris compression by a mass, continuous with the L1/2 disc, and severe spinal canal stenosis at vertebral levels L3/4 and L4/5. Postmyelographic computed tomography indicated direct conus medullaris compression by an intradural and extramedullary mass continuous with the L1/2 disc. Without recovery of his dysuria, the patient underwent surgery, including partial laminectomy of the L1/2, incision of the dura mater, and removal of the herniated disc. Immediately after surgery, his dysuria completely resolved. More than one year postoperatively, the patient remained active with no change in his neurological condition.

    Conclusions: Although CMS without lower limb symptoms is extremely rare, we experienced an isolated case of CMS associated with IDH causing direct conus medullaris compression. Without lower extremity involvement, the CMS diagnosis was relatively easy. Surgical treatment for CMS without lower extremity involvement caused by IDH was effective.

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