Spine Surgery and Related Research
Online ISSN : 2432-261X
Advance online publication
Showing 1-42 articles out of 42 articles from Advance online publication
  • Ryo Sugawara, Katsushi Takeshita, Yasushi Inomata, Yasuhisa Arai, Masa ...
    Article ID: 2018-0067
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: December 01, 2018
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    Introduction: The Japanese Scoliosis Society (JSS) created a longitudinal complication survey of spinal deformity surgery and established the Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) Committee in 2012. The purpose of this study was to analyze the results of the complication survey in 2014 and to report the differences in the complication rates between the years 2012 and 2014.

    Methods: A request to participate in this survey was mailed to all JSS members. The questionnaires were sent through e-mail to the members who took part in this survey, and the responses were returned through the same. Diagnosis was grouped into idiopathic scoliosis, congenital scoliosis, neuromuscular scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, pediatric kyphosis and adult spinal deformity. Complication was grouped into death, blindness, neurological deficit (motor or sensory deficit), infection, massive bleeding, hematoma, pneumonia, cardiac failure, DVT/PE, gastrointestinal perforation and instrumentation failure.

    Results: A total of 2,012 patients were reported from 71 institutes. Overall, complications were observed in 326 patients, and the complication rate increased from 10.4% in 2012 to 15.3% in 2014. The complication rate decreased from 8.8% to 3.7% in idiopathic scoliosis, 21.9% to 15.8% in neuromuscular scoliosis and 26.8% to 0% in kyphosis. The complication rate increased from 6.6% to 14.4% in congenital scoliosis, 9.3% to 12.0% in other types of scoliosis, 3.5% to 14.3% in spondylolisthesis and 21.6% to 26.0% in adult spinal deformity. The rate of neurological deficit, especially in motor deficit, increased from 3.2% to 7.7% in older patients with adult spinal deformity. Instrumentation failure was also more common in patients with adult spinal deformity (5.2% to 5.8%), especially in patients aged 40–65 years (4.4% to 9.1%).

    Conclusions: The major complication trends were an increasing rate of neurological deficit and instrumentation failure, especially in adult spinal deformity.

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  • Kazuo Saita, Yoshiro Monobe, Satoshi Ogihara, Yosuke Kobayashi, Kei Sa ...
    Article ID: 2018-0071
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: December 01, 2018
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  • Tsutomu Akazawa, Masahiro Iinuma, Shingo Kuroya, Yoshiaki Torii, Tasuk ...
    Article ID: 2018-0075
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: December 01, 2018
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    Introduction

    The purpose of this study is to investigate thoracic deformity correction and pulmonary function changes in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) five years or more after undergoing posterior spinal fusion with thoracoplasty for correction of a thoracic deformity.

    Methods

    Subjects were 57 patients with AIS who underwent posterior spinal fusion between 2004 and 2010. 24 patients who had undergone thoracoplasty at least five years earlier agreed to participate in this research. X-rays, pulmonary function tests, and thoracic cage computed tomography (CT) were performed, and the Scoliosis Research Society Outcomes Questionnaire (SRS-22) was administered. CT axial images were used at the apex of the main thoracic (MT) curve. Apical vertebral rotation was evaluated using rotation angle to the sagittal plane (RAsag). Thoracic deformities were evaluated using the rib hump index (RHi) and the posterior hemithoracic symmetry ratio (PHSr).

    Results

    There were no significant differences between the preoperative and the final observation forced vital capacity (FVC) or the preoperative and the final observation %FVC. The forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and %FEV1 were significantly improved at the final observation: FEV1 (preoperative: 1.88 L, final observation: 2.05 L, p = 0.045) and %FEV1 (preoperative: 57.1%, final observation: 66.2%, p = 0.001). FEV1/FVC was also significantly improved at the final observation (preoperative: 83.0%, final observation: 86.4%, p = 0.019). The peak expiratory flow (PEF) was significantly improved at the final observation (preoperative: 3.67 L/s, final observation: 4.38 L/s, p = 0.029). On the CT assessment for thoracic deformities, there were no significant changes in RAsag or RHi. PHSr was significantly increased at the final observation compared with the preoperative period.

    Conclusions

    With posterior spinal fusion in combination with thoracoplasty for AIS, although the correction of deformities was limited, the pulmonary function testing demonstrated the preservation of vital capacity (VC) and improvements in the forced expiratory volume in 1 s and expiratory flow.

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  • Mitsunori Yoshimoto, Noriyuki Iesato, Yoshinori Terashima, Katsumasa T ...
    Article ID: 2018-0076
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: December 01, 2018
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    Introduction. There have been several reports on surgical techniques involving microendoscopy or percutaneous endoscopy for treating lumbar foraminal stenosis (LFS). However, no studies have assessed the mid-term clinical results of endoscopic techniques in spite of their relatively long history. In this study, we report 20 consecutive cases of LFS treated by our microendoscopic technique focusing on clinical results with a follow-up of at least two years.

    Methods. Twenty consecutive cases of LFS treated with microendoscopic decompression were followed up at 1, 2, 6, and 12 months postoperatively and annually thereafter. The patients were 14 males and 6 females, and the mean age at the time of surgery was 64.7 years. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score was used as the clinical outcome index.

    Results. Of the 20 patients, 16 were monitored successfully for more than 2 years. The follow-up rate was 80.0%, and the mean follow-up period was 66.3 months. The JOA score improved from 13.8 points before surgery to 24.6 points at final follow-up. Revision fusion surgeries were performed in two cases for LFS recurrence.

    Conclusions. The microendoscopic technique effectively treats LFS.

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  • Kenyu Ito, Izumi Kadono, Takashi Okada, Aika Hishida, Kei Ando, Kazuyo ...
    Article ID: 2018-0083
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: December 01, 2018
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  • Ryosuke Hirota, Hideto Irifune, Nobuyuki Takahashi, Makoto Emori, Atsu ...
    Article ID: 2018-0049
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: November 20, 2018
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  • Tadashi Nukaga, Akihiko Hiyama, Hiroyuki Katoh, Masahiko Watanabe
    Article ID: 2018-0053
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: November 20, 2018
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  • Hirotsugu Omi, Taito Itabashi, Toshihide Nagaoki, Tetsuya Ogawa, Takas ...
    Article ID: 2018-0056
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: November 10, 2018
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    Introduction: Fluoroscopy-guided selective nerve root block (SNRB) is useful for the diagnosis and treatment of nerve root pain. However, the procedure exposes the surgeon' s hands to radiation. Therefore, the purpose of this randomized prospective study was to assess the radiation exposure per unit time of the surgeon' s fingers during performance of a lumbosacral SNRB and to calculate the annual exposure time limits for four hand-protection methods.

    Methods: We prospectively recruited patients scheduled for an SNRB and measured the radiation exposure using a ring-type passive radiation dosimetry device attached to the distal phalanx of the index finger of the hand performing the needle placement. Patients were randomly divided into the following four groups: a) the direct exposure group, b) the 0.03-mmPb glove group, c) the 0.25-mmPb glove group, and d) the forceps group (in which the needle was held using forceps such that the fingers did not enter the irradiation field).

    Results: We recruited 40 consecutive patients (16 men and 24 women), with a mean age of 69 years. In all cases, SNRB was successfully performed without complications. The average exposure per hour for each of the four groups was as follows: 0.67 ± 0.56 mSv/s in the direct exposure group, 0.12 ± 0.07 mSv/s in the 0.03-mmPb glove group, 0.019 ± 0.02 mSv/s in the 0.25-mmPb glove group, and 0.001 ± 0.004 mSv/s in the forceps group (p < 0.01). The average annual exposure time limit was 12.4 min in the direct exposure group, 67.9 min in the 0.03-mmPb glove group, 7.5 h in the 0.25-mmPb glove group, and 5.0 days in the forceps group.

    Conclusions: Using a radiation reduction glove or forceps greatly decreased the radiation exposure and increased the annual exposure time limit for SNRB.

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  • Hideaki Kashiro, Keiji Wada, Mitsuru Yui, Ryo Tamaki, Daisuke Numaguch ...
    Article ID: 2018-0065
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: November 10, 2018
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  • Shigeto Ebata, Tetsuro Ohba, Hirotaka Haro
    Article ID: 2018-0079
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: October 30, 2018
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    Introduction: The lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) surgical approach is minimally invasive and safely accesses the target region. Therefore, it is widely used in cases of lumbar spinal stenosis and spinal deformity. Intraoperative neuromonitoring is necessary to avoid nerve injury, whereas postoperative anterior thigh symptoms are not necessarily prevented.

    Technical Note: In our institute, 85 LLIF operations have been performed. The first 30 cases were excluded from the present study to avoid surgical learning curve effects; conventional monitoring was used in 30 cases, whereas a new method with a probe to monitor intramuscular potential was used in 25 other cases. Anterior thigh symptoms and motor deficits were assessed postoperatively. The location of the electromyographic threshold decrease was at the posterior part of the disc at L2-3, but at the anterior part at L4-5. Compared with conventional monitoring, the new intramuscular monitoring significantly decreased the prevalence of motor deficits of the iliopsoas at 1 day and 30 days; anterior thigh pain at 1 day, 30, and 90 days; and anterior thigh numbness at 30 and 90 days postoperatively.

    Conclusions: Compared with conventional monitoring, the new intramuscular monitoring with a less invasive probe may reduce anterior thigh symptoms.

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  • Tetsuji Inoue
    Article ID: 2018-0032
    Published: 2018
    [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 disc, 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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  • Keita Nakayama, Toshiaki Kotani, Tsuyoshi Sakuma, Shunji Kishida, Yuta ...
    Article ID: 2018-0039
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: October 19, 2018
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  • Mitsunori Yoshimoto, Makoto Emori, Atsushi Teramoto, Toshihiko Yamashi ...
    Article ID: 2018-0064
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: October 19, 2018
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  • Koji Tamai, Hidetomi Terai, Akinobu Suzuki, Hiroaki Nakamura, Kei Wata ...
    Article ID: 2018-0068
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: October 19, 2018
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    Introduction

    Approximately 3% of osteoporotic vertebral fractures develop osteoporotic vertebral collapse (OVC) with neurological deficits, and such patients are recommended to be treated surgically. However, a proximal junctional fracture (PJFr) following surgery for OVC can be a serious concern. Therefore, the aim of this study is to identify the incidence and risk factors of PJFr following fusion surgery for OVC.

    Methods

    This study retrospectively analyzed registry data collected from facilities belonging to the Japan Association of Spine Surgeons with Ambition (JASA) in 2016. We retrospectively analyzed 403 patients who suffered neurological deficits due to OVC below T10 and underwent corrective surgery; only those followed up for ≥2 years were included. Potential risk factors related to the PJFr and their cut-off values were calculated using multivariate logistic regression analysis and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.

    Results

    Sixty-three patients (15.6%) suffered PJFr during the follow-up (mean 45.7 months). In multivariate analysis, the grade of osteoporosis (grade 2, 3: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.92; p=0.001) and lower instrumented vertebra (LIV) level (sacrum: aOR 6.75; p=0.003) were independent factors. ROC analysis demonstrated that lumbar bone mineral density (BMD) was a predictive factor (area under curve: 0.72, p=0.035) with optimal cut-off value of 0.61 g/cm² (sensitivity, 76.5%; specificity, 58.3%), but that of the hip was not (p=0.228).

    Conclusion

    PJFr was found in 16% cases within 4 years after surgery; independent risk factors were severe osteoporosis and extended fusion to the sacrum. The lumbar BMD with cut-off value 0.61 g/cm² may potentially predict PJFr. Our findings can help surgeons select perioperative adjuvant therapy, as well as a surgical strategy to prevent PJFr following surgery.

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  • Izaya Ogon, Tsuneo Takebayashi, Hiroyuki Takashima, Tomonori Morita, M ...
    Article ID: 2018-0023
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: October 10, 2018
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    Introduction: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) enables detailed analysis of the composition of muscular fat tissues such as intramyocellular lipids (IMCLs) and extramyocellular lipids (EMCLs). The aim of this study was to analyze the EMCL and IMCL of the multifidus muscle (Mm) using MRS in chronic low-back pain (CLBP) patients and identify their possible correlations with age, body mass index (BMI), low-back pain (LBP) visual analog scale (VAS) score, cross-sectional area (CSA), and fat infiltration of the Mm.

    Methods: Eighty patients (32 men and 48 women; mean age, 64.7 ± 1.3 years; range, 22–83 years) with VAS scores >30 mm for CLBP were included. We analyzed the gender difference and the possible correlations of age, BMI, LBP VAS, CSA, and fat infiltration of the Mm with the IMCL and EMCL of the Mm. The subjects were divided into five groups as per their age range: <40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. We also analyzed the EMCL and IMCL of the Mm as per the fat infiltration classification.

    Results: CSA was larger in the male group, EMCL was higher in the female group, and there was no significant difference in IMCL between the female and male groups. There was a significant positive correlation of EMCL with age (r = 0.33, p < 0.01) and BMI (r = 0.42, p < 0.01) and a significant negative correlation of EMCL with CSA (r = -0.61, p < 0.01). There was a significant positive correlation between IMCL and VAS (r = 0.43, p < 0.01). The EMCL and CSA of the Mm decreased with age, whereas fat infiltration increased with age.

    Conclusion: These results suggest that EMCL could indicate Mm degeneration associated with aging, and IMCL could be an effective objective indicator of CLBP. The EMCL and IMCL of the Mm may be useful prognostic markers in rehabilitation strategies.

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  • Masayuki Ishikawa, Makoto Nishiyama, Michihiro Kamata
    Article ID: 2018-0047
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: October 10, 2018
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    Introduction: Controversies still exist in the surgical indications and outcomes of selective thoracic fusion (STF) for a primary thoracic curve with a compensatory large lumbar curve (King-Moe type II/Lenke 1C curve) in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Issues of the greatest concern regarding this curve type include curve criteria that indicate STF to prevent postoperative coronal decompensation and postoperative radiographic outcomes, including curve correction, coronal balance, and thoracolumbar kyphosis, after STF.

    Methods: This review comprehensively documents the issues raised in the literature regarding surgical indications and radiographic outcomes of STF for King-Moe type II/Lenke 1C curve in AIS.

    Results: Studies suggest that radiographic curve criteria indicating STF for this curve type include the preoperative dominance of the thoracic curve to the lumbar curve in the Cobb angle and the characteristics of the lumbar curve in magnitude and flexibility. Studies warn the need for a careful clinical evaluation of the thoracic and lumbar rotational prominences. Documented radiographic outcomes of importance include the postoperative behavior of the unfused lumbar curve, coronal or sagittal decompensation after STF, and factors associated with these issues.

    A comprehensive review of the literature suggests that the use of a segmental pedicle screw construct and better instrumented thoracic curve correction achieve better spontaneous lumbar curve correction. Although the causes of postoperative coronal decompensation remain multifactorial, preoperative coronal decompensation to the left and an inappropriate selection of the lowest instrumented vertebra are consistently reported to be the major causative factors.

    Conclusions: STF has been validated in general for the treatment of King-Moe type II or Lenke 1C curve in AIS; however, controversies remain regarding the surgical indications and outcomes.

    Long-term impacts of residual lumbar curve, coronal decompensation, and mild thoracolumbar kyphosis on clinical outcomes after STF, along with optimal indications and strategy for STF, should further be assessed.

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  • Tatsunori Ikemoto, Kenji Miki, Takako Matsubara, Norimitsu Wakao
    Article ID: 2018-0050
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: October 10, 2018
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    Studies have indicated that chronic low back pain (LBP) should be approached according to its morphological basis and in consideration of biopsychosocial interventions. This study presents an updated review on available psychological assessments and interventions for patients with chronic LBP. Psychosocial factors, including fear-avoidance behavior, low mood/withdrawal, expectation of passive treatment, and negative pain beliefs, are known as risk factors for the development of chronic LBP. The Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Questionnaire, STarT Back Screening Tool, and Brief Scale for Psychiatric Problems in Orthopaedic Patients have been used as screening tools to assess the development of chronicity or identify possible psychiatric problems. The Pain Catastrophizing Scale, Pain Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, and Injustice Experience Questionnaire are also widely used to assess psychosocial factors in patients with chronic pain. With regard to interventions, the placebo effect can be enhanced by preferable patient–clinician relationship. Reassurance to patients with non-specific pain is advised by many guidelines. Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on restructuring the negative cognition of the patient into realistic appraisal. Mindfulness may help improve pain acceptance. Self-management strategies with appropriate goal setting and pacing theory have proved to improve long-term pain-related outcomes in patients with chronic pain.

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  • Venkata Ramakrishna Tukkapuram, Abumi Kuniyoshi, Manabu Ito
    Article ID: 2018-0055
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: October 10, 2018
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    Cervical spine instrumentation is evolving with an aim of stabilizing traumatic and non-traumatic cases of the cervical spine with a beneficial reduction, better biomechanical strength, and a strong construct with minimal intraoperative, as well as immediate and late postoperative complications. The evolution from interspinous wiring till cervical pedicle screws has changed the outlook in treating the cervical spine pathologies with maximum 3D stability, decreasing the duration of postoperative immobilization and hospital stay. Some complications associated with the use of cervical pedicle screw can be catastrophic. This review article discusses the morphometry of cervical pedicle; indications, biomechanical superiority, tricks, and pitfalls of cervical pedicle screw; complications and technical advancements in targeting safe surgery; and future directions of cervical pedicle screw instrumentation.

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  • Taketoshi Kushida, Takashi Adachi, Yoichi Tani, Masaaki Paku, Shinichi ...
    Article ID: 2018-0057
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: October 10, 2018
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  • Tetsuro Ohba, Shigeto Ebata, Hiroki Oba, Kensuke Koyama, Hirotaka Haro
    Article ID: 2018-0018
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 25, 2018
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    Objectives: (1) To evaluate the influence of pedicle screw loosening on clinical outcomes; (2) to clarify the association between the pull-out length and screw loosening 1 year after surgery; and (3) to determine radiographically which screw parameters predominantly influence the pull-out resistance of screws.

    Methods: We analyzed 32 consecutive patients who underwent minimally invasive lumbar or thoracic spinal stabilization by intraoperative three-dimensional computed tomography (CT)-guided navigation without anterior reconstruction and were followed up for 1 year. The screw pull-out length was measured on axial CT images obtained both immediately after screw insertion and postoperatively. Loosening of screws and clinical outcomes were evaluated radiographically, clinically, and by CT 1 year after surgery.

    Results: There were no significant differences in the mean age, sex, bone mineral density, mean stabilized length, and smoking habits of patients with (+) or without (–) loosening. The Oswestry Disability Index and the lumbar visual analog scale 1 year after surgery were significantly higher in patients with loosening (+) than in those without (–). The overall pedicle screw pull-out rate was 16.2% (47/290) of screws and the overall screw loosening rate was 15.2% (44/290) of screws. Screws with loosening (+) had significantly lower (axial) trajectory angles and higher screw pull-out lengths than those without (–). Approximately 82% of loosened screws had been pulled out during rod connection.

    Conclusion: A lower axial trajectory and an increased screw pull-out length after rod reduction are crucial risk factors for screw loosening.

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  • Daisuke Numaguchi, Keiji Wada, Mitsuru Yui, Ryo Tamaki, Ken Okazaki
    Article ID: 2018-0019
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 25, 2018
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    Introduction: The incidence of remote cerebellar hemorrhage (RCH) in patients with a dural tear during spinal surgery is unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of RCH and the causative factors in these patients.

    Methods: Two hundred and thirty-nine patients underwent spinal surgery at our institution between March 2015 and September 2016. Eleven of these patients needed dural suturing intraoperatively. All patients underwent CT of the head on the first postoperative day and were categorized according to whether they had RCH or not. The mean values for the amount of intraoperative bleeding, maximum perioperative blood pressure, postoperative drainage volume, and complaints of headache during the first 24 h postoperatively were compared between the two groups using the Welch's two-sample t-test and Fisher's exact test. The follow-up duration was 12 months.

    Results: There were four patients in the RCH group and seven in the non-RCH group. The incidence of RCH was 36.4%. There were three cerebellar hemorrhages and one interhemispheric fissure hemorrhage in the RCH group. The mean intraoperative bleeding volume was 284 mL in the RCH group and 569 mL in the non-RCH group. The mean respective values for maximum perioperative blood pressure and postoperative drainage volume were 132 mmHg and 547 mL in the RCH group and 144 mmHg and 567 mL in the non-RCH group; none of the differences was statistically significant. However, complaints of headache in the first 24 h postoperatively were significantly more common in the RCH group than in the non-RCH group (100% vs. 14.3%; p = 0.01). All patients with intracranial bleeding had recovered 3 months after surgery.

    Conclusions: The incidence of RCH following a dural tear during spinal surgery was 36.4%. There was a significant association between RCH and increased reporting of headache during the first 24 h postoperatively.

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  • Tsuyoshi Goto, Toshinori Sakai, Kosuke Sugiura, Hiroaki Manabe, Masato ...
    Article ID: 2018-0020
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 25, 2018
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    Purpose: In past biomechanical studies, repetitive motion of lumbar extension, rotation, or a combination of both, frequently seen in batting or pitching practice in baseball, shooting practice in soccer, and spiking practice in volleyball, have been considered important risk factors of lumbar spondylolysis. However, clinically, these have been identified in many athletes performing on a running track or on the field, which requires none of the practices described above. The purpose of this study was to verify how much impact running has on the pathologic mechanism of lumbar spondylolysis.

    Methods: In study 1, 89 consecutive pediatric patients diagnosed with lumbar spondylolysis at a single outpatient clinic between January 2012 and February 2017 were retrospectively analyzed. In study 2, motion analysis was performed on 17 male volunteers who had played on a soccer team without experiencing low back pain or any type of musculoskeletal injury. A Vicon motion capture system was used to evaluate four movements: maximal effort sprint (Dash), comfortable running (Jog), instep kick (Shoot), and inside kick (Pass).

    Results: In study 1, 13 of the 89 patients with lumbar spondylolysis were track and field athletes. In study 2, motion analysis revealed that the hip extension angle, spine rotation angle, and hip flexion moment were similar in Dash and Shoot during the maximum hip extension phase. The pelvic rotation angle was significantly greater in the kicking conditions than in the running conditions.

    Conclusions: Kinematically and kinetically, the spinopelvic angles in Dash were considered similar to those in Shoot. Dash could cause mechanical stress at the pars interarticularis of the lumbar spine, similar to that caused by Shoot, thus leading to spondylolysis.

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  • Yusuke Hori, Shinji Takahashi, Hidetomi Terai, Masatoshi Hoshino, Hiro ...
    Article ID: 2018-0025
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 25, 2018
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    Introduction: Despite ongoing improvements in both dialysis and surgical techniques, spinal surgery in patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD) is a challenge to surgeons because of the high mortality rate. However, no previous studies have examined clinical outcomes after lumbar surgery in HD patients. The purpose of this study is to compare clinical outcomes and complication rates after lumbar spinal surgery in patients with or without hemodialysis.

    Methods: This retrospective, matched cohort study was conducted to compare surgical outcomes between HD vs non-HD patients who underwent lumbar surgery at our hospital. Controls were individually matched to cases at a ratio of 1:2. Clinical outcomes, complications, and mortality rates were compared between the two groups.

    Results: Twenty-nine patients in the HD group and 57 in the non-HD group were included in the current study. Five patients in the HD group died during the follow-up period, whereas no patients died in the non-HD group (mortality rate, 17.2% vs. 0%, P = 0.003). Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores were significantly less improved in the HD group than in the non-HD group (11.9 vs. 14.2 preoperatively, P = 0.001; 19.9 vs. 25.1 at final follow-up, P < 0.001). Five patients underwent repeat surgery in the HD group, which was significantly higher than the non-HD group (17.2% vs. 3.5%, P = 0.041).

    Conclusions: The current study indicates that patients undergoing HD had poor outcomes after lumbar spinal surgery. Moreover, 5 of 29 patients died within a mean 2.4-years follow-up. The indications for lumbar spine surgery in HD patients must be carefully considered because of poor surgical outcomes and high mortality rate.

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  • Ryoma Aoyama, Tateru Shiraishi, Junichi Yamane, Ken Ninomiya, Kazuya K ...
    Article ID: 2018-0034
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 25, 2018
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    Introduction: The purpose of this study was to elucidate the duration for which the dural tube continues to expand after muscle-preserving cervical laminectomy and the extent to which the expansion affects surgical outcomes.

    Methods: We analyzed 83 patients with cervical myelopathy who underwent muscle-preserving selective laminectomy of three consecutive laminae between C4 and C6. On the lateral radiographs, parameters considered were C2–7 Cobb angles, range of flexion–extension neck motions, and C2–7 sagittal vertical axis. Neck alignment was classified into four types with lateral radiographs. Anteroposterior (AP) diameter of the dural tube was measured at mid-level of the C5 vertebral body on T2 sagittal image. Expansion ratio (ER) was defined as the extent of expansion at a particular time divided by the final extent of expansion of the dural tube diameter. Operative outcomes were examined using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores.

    Results: The mean age was 62.3 years, and the mean follow-up period was 2 years and 9 months. AP diameter of the dural tube had been expanding until 1-year after surgery. ER in cases with kyphosis was lower at 6 months than that in cases without kyphosis, indicating that the speed of dural expansion was slower in cases with kyphosis. There was no correlation between the extent of expansion of the dural tube and neurological recovery.

    Conclusions: The dural tube continued to expand for approximately 1-year after surgery. The dural tube of patients with kyphosis slowly expanded possibly because of the hardness of the dura mater. A small extent of dural expansion does not necessarily indicate bad surgical outcomes.

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  • Sho Dohzono, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Akiko Tamura, Kazunori Hayashi, Hidetom ...
    Article ID: 2018-0037
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 25, 2018
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  • Yuyu Ishimoto, Mamoru Kawakami, Elizabeth Curtis, Cyrus Cooper, Nichol ...
    Article ID: 2018-0051
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: August 25, 2018
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    Introduction: Musculoskeletal diseases and spinal malalignment are associated with poorer quality of life (QOL) in the elderly. However, to date, few general population cohort studies have focused on these conditions together. Our objectives were to clarify the associations between musculoskeletal degenerative diseases and/or spinal malalignment with QOL measures in a group of Japanese older adults.

    Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed data from 334 individuals recruited from the local population (120 men, 214 women; mean age 62.7 years; range 40–75). Low back pain (LBP) was assessed by questionnaire, and lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) was diagnosed using a validated lumbar spinal stenosis support tool. Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) was diagnosed by the presence of clinical knee pain plus radiographic KOA. Spinal radiographs were used to assess the degree of lumbar lordosis (LL) and sagittal vertical alignment (SVA). QOL assessment was performed using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). A score of 12 was used as a cut-off point for poor QOL.

    Results: Overall, 107 (32.0%) participants had an ODI > 12 (cases), and the remaining 227 individuals were designated controls. LBP, LSS, KOA, and LL were associated with poorer QOL, both in basic models and models adjusted for age, sex, and BMI. Associations persisted after adjustment for other musculoskeletal outcomes.

    Conclusion: In a free-living Japanese population, the poor QOL odds are increased by LBP, LSS, KOA, and certain spinal radiographic features, loss of LL, and increased SVA. Poor QOL odds were greatest in those diagnosed with LSS or KOA. From spinal radiographs, decreased LL and increased SVA were also predictors of poor QOL.

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  • Chikara Ushiku, Kota Suda, Satoko Matsumoto, Miki Komatsu, Masahiko Ta ...
    Article ID: 2018-0009
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 25, 2018
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    Introduction: Cervical spinal cord injury without bone injury (SCIWOBI) is a common cervical injury in the elderly population and is most likely to occur at the C3/C4 level. Respiratory dysfunction (RD) related to the damage of the spinal respiratory center, which is close to the C4 segment, is one of the greatest obstacles in improving the activities of daily living of patients with severe paralysis. We evaluated the time course of RD and motor function in cervical SCIWOBI to identify effective medical strategies.

    Methods: We followed 54 patients (49 men, 5 women; mean age: 65 years old) who were treated for SCIWOBI at our medical center from 2011 to 2014. The patients were evaluated within 72 hours of injury and were monitored for at least 12 weeks. All patients began respiratory-muscle training the day after admission regardless of whether they were treated conservatively or surgically. The percent vital capacity (%VC), forced expiratory volume (FEV) in one second/forced vital capacity ratio (FEV 1.0%), and American Spinal Injury Association motor score (MS) were recorded at admission and again at weeks 4 and 12. We calculated the %VC rate of change and the MS improvement rate over the entire period.

    Results: Fifty patients (92.6%) had restrictive ventilatory impairment at admission. The %VC correlated with the upper- and lower-limb MSs at admission, and the %VC and upper- and lower-limb MSs had improved by weeks 4 and 12 after the injury. The %VC rate of change was significantly correlated with the rate of improvement in lower-limb MS throughout the entire period.

    Conclusions: Lung capacity decreased in SCIWOBI owing to respiratory-muscle paralysis and upper- and lower-limb motor paralyses. Lung capacity improved as the lower limbs recovered their motor function. Respiratory rehabilitation should be continued for at least 12 weeks after SCIWOBI.

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  • Toshinori Sakai, Tsuyoshi Goto, Kosuke Sugiura, Hiroaki Manabe, Fumita ...
    Article ID: 2018-0012
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 25, 2018
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    Introduction. Although there has been a dramatic improvement in the outcomes of conservative treatment to achieve bony healing due to advances in diagnostic and therapeutic tools, in some patients, the results continue to be unfavorable. The purpose of this study was to investigate the outcomes of conservative treatment in pediatric patients with stress fractures occurring in the lamina that are discontinuous due to a contralateral pars defect or spina bifida occulta (SBO).

    Methods. The medical records at our outpatient clinic for 103 consecutive patients (83 boys, 20 girls) with lumbar spondylolysis (LS) were reviewed to identify those who had presented with a stress fracture and a contralateral pars defect or with SBO at the affected lamina level.

    Results. Twelve patients (11 boys, 1 girl) of mean age 12.3 (range 8–16) years were identified. Except for1 stress structure that occurred at L4, all the stress fractures occurred at L5. Six patients had a pars defect, 5 had SBO, and 1 had both. Two of the 6 patients with a contralateral pars defect had early LS, 3 had progressive LS, and 1 had a pedicle fracture. The fracture healed in1 (50%) of the 2 patients with early LS and in the patient with the pedicle fracture, but did not heal in any of the patients with progressive LS. Two of the 5 patients with SBO at the affected lamina level had early LS and 3 had progressive LS. The bony healing rate was 100% in the 2 patients with early LS and 66.7% in the 3 patients with progressive LS. The fracture healed in the patient with progressive LS and both a pars defect and SBO at the affected lamina.

    Conclusion Contralateral pars defect remains an unfavorable factor for bony healing discontinuous laminar stress fractures.

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  • Yohei Ishihara, Masutaro Morishita, Jiro Miyaki, Koji Kanzaki, Tomoaki ...
    Article ID: 2018-0022
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 25, 2018
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    Introduction: This study aimed to compare the clinical and radiological results of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) with a boomerang-shaped cage and traditional posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) according to fused level and elucidate whether TLIF could replace PLIF at all lumbar levels.

    Methods: The study investigated 128 patients with lumbar spondylolisthesis who underwent a single-level TLIF or traditional PLIF. Intraoperative blood loss, operative time, and recovery rate were analyzed. Percent slip, disc height, and local lordosis at the fused level were measured using X-ray images from preoperation to the final follow-up.

    Results: No significant differences in recovery rate were observed at any level. The operative time and intraoperative blood loss were significantly less in the TLIF group at the L4/5 and L5/S1 levels. There were no significant differences in disc height or local lordosis at the L3/4 and L4/5 levels, and a satisfactory level of maintenance after the operation was achieved in both groups. However, at the L5/S1 level, postoperative maintenance after TLIF could not be achieved, and the obtained disc height and local lordosis in TLIF significantly decreased.

    Conclusions: Compared with traditional PLIF, TLIF was a less invasive procedure with a shorter operative time and lesser blood loss. TLIF could obtain similar local lordosis and disc height as PLIF at the L3/4 and L4/5 levels. At the L5/S1 level, the postoperative maintenance of local lordosis and disc height after TLIF was inferior to that after PLIF. On the basis of our results, we do not recommend performing TLIF at only the L5/S1 level.

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  • Takashi Hirai, Takashi Taniyama, Toshitaka Yoshii, Koichi Mizuno, Miki ...
    Article ID: 2018-0027
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 25, 2018
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    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. BBD was ameliorated in 1 patient but remained unchanged in the other patient.

    Conclusions: Our experience suggests that surgical treatment, including fenestration and resection of the web, can correct the flow dynamics of cerebrospinal fluid and allow neurologic recovery, in particular locomotion, in patients with AW.

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  • Toshio Nakamae, Kiyotaka Yamada, Yasuyuki Tsuchida, Nobuo Adachi, Yosh ...
    Article ID: 2018-0035
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: July 25, 2018
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    Introduction:

    Spinal lesions in synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, and osteitis (SAPHO) syndrome generally have a good prognosis and rarely cause structural destruction or neurological deterioration. We described a surgical case of posterior instrumented surgery without anterior reconstruction and bone graft in a patient with SAPHO syndrome with destructive spondylitis and reviewed the literature on surgical treatment for this entity.

    Case Report:

    We describe the case of a 73-year-old male who presented with palmoplantar pustulosis. He experienced progressive low back and leg pain for the past 3 months. Destructive spondylitis and lumbar canal stenosis were detected with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and aspiration biopsy was used to exclude pyogenic spondylitis and spinal tumors. He underwent posterior decompression and fixation surgery without anterior reconstruction and bone grafting. Low back and leg pain improved after surgery. Postoperative radiography and computed tomography showed boney bridge between vertebral bodies, and MRI showed the decrease of bone marrow edema.

    Conclusions:

    Posterior fusion without anterior reconstruction produced a bony bridge between the vertebral bodies. Taking the pathophysiology of SAPHO syndrome into consideration, anterior reconstructed fusion for patients with SAPHO syndrome might not be needed.

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  • Hiroaki Nakashima, Tokumi Kanemura, Kei Ando, Kazuyoshi Kobayashi, Min ...
    Article ID: 2018-0003
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: June 29, 2018
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    Background: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the first-line treatment for acute lumbar radicular pain accompanying lumbar disc herniation (LDH), but their effects are minimal. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pregabalin (PGB) as an alternative therapy for this condition.

    Methods: Patients with acute lumbar radicular pain accompanying LDH were randomly administered either NSAIDs plus PGB (30 patients) or NSAIDs alone (30 patients) for up to 4 weeks. The primary outcome was leg pain at 2 and 4 weeks. Secondary outcomes were reduction in sleep disturbances and patient global impressions of change (PGIC) at 2 and 4 weeks.

    Results: Four patients in the NSAIDs plus PGB group were deemed ineligible and excluded from the study. Fewer sleep disturbances were reported by patients administered NSAIDs plus PGB compared with the NSAID monotherapy group at both 2 and 4 weeks. Additionally, the NSAIDs plus PGB group showed greater improvement in pain than the NSAID monotherapy group at 4 weeks, although this difference was not significant. PGIC was also significantly better in the NSAIDs plus PGB group than in the NSAID monotherapy group at 4 weeks. The incidence of adverse events was significantly greater in the NSAIDs plus PGB group than in the NSAID monotherapy group.

    Conclusions: The combination of NSAIDs plus PGB is more effective against sleep disturbance than NSAIDs alone in patients with acute LDH, although the control of sciatic pain is minimal. Patients reported satisfactory recoveries could also be obtained, and thus, this combination therapy could be a good option for the conservative treatment of acute lumbar radicular pain, including LDH.

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  • Kazunari Takeuchi, Toru Yokoyama, Kan-ichiro Wada, Hitoshi Kudo
    Article ID: 2018-0008
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: June 29, 2018
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    Introduction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between postoperative enlargement of the dural sac cross-sectional area at the symptomatic level and neurological improvements after laminoplasty.

    Methods. The cross-sectional areas of the dural sac at the symptomatic level before and after laminoplasty and the expansion ratio (post-/preoperative cross-sectional area) were measured using magnetic resonance imaging in patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) (n = 25) and patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) (n = 49). The relationships between the expansion ratio and the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score, JOA Cervical Myelopathy Evaluation Questionnaire (JOACMEQ), and postoperative laminae morphology were investigated.

    Results. In the OPLL group, the expansion ratio was significantly positively correlated with the postoperative JOA score (P = 0.025), recovery rate of the JOA score (P = 0.026), and postoperative change in lower extremity sensory function according to the JOA score (P = 0.0375); furthermore, patients whose JOACMEQ responses indicated positive outcomes for lower extremity function had a significantly larger expansion ratio than patients with negative results (P = 0.027). In the CSM group, the expansion ratio showed no correlation with the JOA and JOACMEQ scores. The expansion ratio was significantly positively correlated with the width between bilateral gutters in both CSM (P = 0.025) and OPLL (P = 0.0451). In the OPLL group, the expansion ratio in those with a gutter position of less than 0.8 was significantly smaller than that those with a gutter position of more than 0.8 (P = 0.0156). However, there was no correlation between the gutter position and the recovery rate of the JOA score.

    Conclusions. In OPLL, insufficient enlargement of the cross-sectional area of the dural sac at the symptomatic level leads to poor neurological improvements after laminoplasty.

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  • Yoichiro Hatta, Hitoshi Tonomura, Masateru Nagae, Ryota Takatori, Yasu ...
    Article ID: 2017-0097
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: May 29, 2018
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    Introduction. Favorable short-term outcomes have been reported following muscle-preserving interlaminar decompression (MILD), a less invasive decompression surgery for lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSCS). However, there are no reports of mid- to long-term outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes five or more years after treatment of LSCS with MILD.

    Methods. Subjects were 84 cases with LSCS (44 males; mean age, 68.7 years) examined five or more years after MILD. All patients had leg pain symptoms, with claudication and/or radicular pain. The patients were divided into three groups depending on the spinal deformity: 44 cases were without deformity (N group); 20 had degenerative spondylolisthesis (DS group); and 20 had degenerative scoliosis (DLS group). The clinical evaluation was performed using Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scores, and revision surgeries were examined. Changes in lumbar alignment and stability were evaluated using plain radiographs.

    Results. The overall JOA score recovery rate was 65.5% at final follow-up. The recovery rate was 69.5% in the N group, 65.2% in the DS group, and 54.0% in the DLS group, with the rate of the DLS group being significantly lower. There were 16 revision surgery cases (19.0%): seven in the N group (15.9%), three in the DS group (15.0%) and six in the DLS group (30.0%). There were no significant differences between pre- and postoperative total lumbar alignment or dynamic intervertebral angle in any of the groups, slip percentage in the DS group, or Cobb angle in the DLS group.

    Conclusions. The mid-term clinical results of MILD were satisfactory, including in cases with deformity, and there was no major impact on radiologic lumbar alignment or stability. The clinical outcomes of cases with degenerative scoliosis were significantly less favorable and the revision rate was high. This should be taken into consideration when deciding on the surgical procedure.

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  • Masatoshi Morimoto, Toshinori Sakai, Tsuyoshi Goto, Kosuke Sugiura, Hi ...
    Article ID: 2017-0099
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: May 29, 2018
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION

    Introduction: Recent advances in diagnostic imaging, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have allowed early diagnosis of lumbar spondylolysis (LS). However, few outpatient clinics are equipped with such imaging apparatuses and must rely on plain radiographs for the diagnosis of LS. The aim of this retrospective study was to identify how accurately fracture lines can be detected on plain radiographs in patients with LS.

    Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of LS were staged as early, progressive, or terminal. We evaluated whether fracture lines could be detected on plain radiographs and compared the detection rates under the following conditions: two directions including anteroposterior and lateral views (2 views), four directions including both oblique views (4 views), four directions including dynamic lateral views (4-D views), and all six directions (6 views).

    Results: In early LS, the fracture line detection rate was 11.4% using 2 views, 20.5% using 4 views and 4-D views, and 22.7% using 6 views. In progressive LS, the fracture line detection rate was 54.2% using 2 views, 70.8% using 4-D views, 75.0% using 4 views, and 79.2% using 6 views. The respective detection rates for terminal LS were 85.0%, 100%, 100%, and 100%.

    Conclusions: Although terminal LS was diagnosed accurately on plain radiographs in all patients, the detection rates were only 22.7% and 79.2% in patients with early and progressive LS, respectively. These results suggest that plain radiographic films can no longer be considered adequate for early and accurate diagnosis of LS. Advanced imaging procedures, such as MRI in the early diagnosis or CT for persistent cases, are recommended to obtain an accurate diagnosis of early stage LS in pediatric patients requiring conservative treatment to achieve bony healing.

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  • Laxmikant Dagdia, Terufumi Kokabu, Manabu Ito
    Article ID: 2017-0100
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: May 29, 2018
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    Although adult spinal deformity (ASD) has become a global health problem, the classification system and optimal surgical treatment for ASD is yet to be standardized worldwide. A significant part of the population, as high as 10%, in industrialized societies will be aged above 65 years within the next 10 years. Herein, a systematic review of the scientific literature related to the classification and treatment of ASD was conducted wherein historical to the most recent classifications of ASD were reviewed. By discussing the benefits and limitations of the previous classification systems and considering the factors affecting the clinical outcomes of surgical treatment of ASD, this article would like to propose future directions for the development of a new classification system for ASD.

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  • Hirosuke Nishimura, Shinjiro Fukami, Kenji Endo, Hidekazu Suzuki, Yasu ...
    Article ID: 2018-0005
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: May 29, 2018
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    This was a study of the case of a 60-year-old woman who presented with a six-month history of headache and numbness radiating to the right arm. MRI revealed a fusiform intramedullary spinal tumor spanning C2 to C5 at the hospital where she first presented. As her right upper limb weakness had presented gradually, she visited our hospital after one and a half years. Neurological examination revealed muscle weakness in the right deltoid, but no sensory disturbance.

    The patient underwent a C2-C6 total laminectomy and posterior midline myelotomy from the posterior median fissure of the spinal cord. The intraoperative histological diagnosis was glioma.

    Pathological findings in low magnification demonstrated clusters of small uniform nuclei embedded in a dense and fibrillary matrix in hematoxylin-eosin staining (H.E.). On immunohistochemical staining, the tumor cells were weakly positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), but negative for the epithelial membrane antigen (EMA). The histopathological findings were consistent with the diagnosis of a subependymoma. However, the MIB-1 labeling index was of moderately high level up to approximately 8%.

    In this case, we performed total resection because the tumor had rapidly increased in size and was of atypical form in histological findings.

    It should be minded that some of subependymomas have a possibility of rapidly increasing in size with progressing neurological deficits.

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  • Hiroaki Manabe, Toshinori Sakai, Fumitake Tezuka, Kazuta Yamashita, Yo ...
    Article ID: 2018-0015
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: May 29, 2018
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    Introduction: C4 radiculopathy due to cervical spondylosis has rarely been reported as a cause of hemidiaphragmatic paralysis.

    Case Report: A 70-year-old man presented with hemidiaphragmatic paralysis due to right C3-C4 foraminal stenosis. The diagnosis was made preoperatively from findings on plain chest radiographs, respiratory function tests, and electrophysiologic tests. All the patient's test results and symptoms improved immediately after surgical treatment for cervical spondylosis.

    Conclusions: Although it may be difficult to make a correct diagnosis based only on radiological findings at the cervical spine, we should be aware of the existence of this entity and pay close attention to chest radiographs.

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  • Shigeru Hirabayashi, Tomoaki Kitagawa, Iwao Yamamoto, Kazuaki Yamada, ...
    Article ID: 2018-0016
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: May 29, 2018
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    Postoperative C5 palsy (C5 palsy) is defined as de novo or aggravating muscle weakness mainly at the C5 region with slight or no sensory disturbance after cervical spine surgery. The features of C5 palsy are as follows: 1) one-half of patients are accompanied by sensory disturbance or intolerable pain at the C5 region; 2) 92% of patients have hemilateral palsy; 3) almost all palsy occurs within a week after surgery; 4) the incidence is almost the same between the anterior and posterior approaches to the cervical spine; 5) the prognosis is relatively good even in patients with severe muscle weakness. Even now, the precise causes of C5 palsy have not yet been revealed. From the viewpoint of the kinds of nerve tissue involved, the uncertain causes of C5 palsy are divided into two theories: 1) the segmental spinal cord disorder theory and 2) the nerve root injury theory. In the former, the segmental spinal cord, particularly the anterior horn cells, is thought to be chemically damaged because of preoperative ischemia and/or the aggression of reactive oxygen during postoperative reperfusion. By contrast, in the latter, the anterior rootlet and/or nerve root are believed to be mechanically damaged because of compression force and/or distraction force. In this theory, the features of C5 palsy can be well explained from anatomical viewpoints. Additionally, various countermeasures have been proposed, such as the intermittent relaxation of the tension of the hooks to the multifidus muscles during surgery; prophylactic foraminotomy to decompress C5 nerve root; prevention of excessive posterior shift of the spinal cord, which may cause the tethering effect of the nerve root; and prevention of excessive postoperative lordotic alignment of the cervical spine. These countermeasures have been proved effective, and may support the nerve root injury theory as the main conjectured theory on the causes of C5 palsy.

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  • Ryunosuke Fukushi, Satoshi Kawaguchi, Goichi Watanabe, Keiko Horigome, ...
    Article ID: 2018-0017
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: May 29, 2018
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    Introduction: Vertebral fractures associated with ankylosing spinal disorders pose significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Notably, the ankylosed spine remains in ankylosis after fracture treatment, and the underlying susceptibility to further fractures still remains. Nevertheless, information is scarce in the literature concerning patients with ankylosing spinal disorders who have multiple episodes of vertebral fractures.

    Case report: Case 1 involves an 83-year-old male patient with diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (ankylosis from C2 to L4) who had three episodes of vertebral fractures. The first episode involved a C5–C6 extension-type fracture, which was treated with posterior segmental screw instrumentation. Five years later, the patient sustained a three-column fracture at the L1 vertebra following another fall. The fracture was managed with percutaneous segmental screw instrumentation. One year and two months postoperatively, the patient fell again and had a refracture of the healed L1 fracture. The patient was treated with a hard brace, and the fracture healed. Case 2 involves a 76-year-old female patient with ankylosing spondylitis (ankylosis from C7 to L2) who had two episodes. At the first episode, she suffered paraplegia due to a T8 vertebra fracture. The patient was treated with laminectomy and posterior segmental screw instrumentation. The patient recovered well and had all the hardware removed at 10 months postoperatively. Five years later, she had another fall and suffered a three-column fracture at L1. The patient underwent percutaneous segmental screw instrumentation. The patient required revision surgery with L1 laminectomy and L1 right pediclectomy for persistent right inguinal pain. At one-year follow-up, the patient recovered well, and the fracture healed.

    Conclusion: The abovementioned cases show that an age older than 75 years and a long spinal ankylosis from the cervical spine to the lumbar spine may serve as risk factors for the repetition of vertebral fractures associated with ankylosed spinal disorders.

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  • Tatsuto Takeuchi, Keiichi Shigenobu
    Article ID: 2018-0010
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: April 27, 2018
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    Introduction: Spinal subdural abscess (SSA) or empyema is a rare pathology and its exact incidence is unknown. Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus) is the most frequently responsible organism. The patients with SSA may have one or more predisposing immunosuppressive conditions. However, here we report a rare case of SSA following food intoxication without any significant comorbidities.

    Case report: A 42-year-old healthy man presenting with fever, severe low back pain (LBP), and trunk motion restriction was transferred to our hospital. He had been treated for an unknown fever after food intoxication in another hospital. Eighteen days earlier, he and his colleagues together ate raw horse meat and briefly boiled chicken breast. They all had food intoxication on the following day. Subsequently, our patient began to have a high fever and severe LBP. Laboratory data showed leukocytosis of 16,000/mm3. Also, the C-reactive protein was elevated to 26 mg/dL. The blood culture result was consistent with S aureus. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed focal epidural fluid collection that appeared contiguous with the subdural fluid collection through a dural defect in the axial plane on T2-weighted (T2W) images. An emergent surgery was performed. Frank pus was expressed from the epidural space as well as from the subdural space through the defect. The pus later grew S aureus. The patient was started on antibiotic therapy postoperatively. The patient completely recovered 1 month after surgery.

    Conclusion: SSA following food intoxication is a very rare case. SSA can be identified with a small dural defect and the intrathecal fluid collection compressing the cauda equina in the axial plane on T2W magnetic resonance images. Having suspicion of epidural abscess and likewise subdural abscess and making an early diagnosis using MRI and an emergent surgery are important when the clinician notices a febrile patient with severe LBP and trunk motion stiffness.

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  • Sean M. Rider, Shuichi Mizuno, James D. Kang
    Article ID: 2017-0095
    Published: 2018
    [Advance publication] Released: April 07, 2018
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    Intervertebral disc degeneration is a well-known cause of disability, the result of which includes neck and back pain with associated mobility limitations. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the known molecular mechanisms through which intervertebral disc degeneration occurs as a result of complex interactions of exogenous and endogenous stressors. This review will focus on some of the identified molecular changes leading to the deterioration of the extracellular matrix of both the annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus. In addition, we will provide a summation of our current knowledge supporting the role of associated DNA and intracellular damage, cellular senescence's catabolic effects, oxidative stress, and the cell's inappropriate response to damage in contributing to intervertebral disc degeneration. Our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms through which intervertebral disc degeneration occurs provides us with abundant insight into how physical and chemical changes exacerbate the degenerative process of the entire spine. Furthermore, we will describe some of the related molecular targets and therapies that may contribute to intervertebral repair and regeneration.

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