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Morio Matsumoto, Yoshiaki Toyama, Hirotaka Chikuda, Katsushi Takeshita, Tsuyoshi Kato, Shigeo Shindo, Kuniyoshi Abumi, Masahiko Takahata, Yutaka Nohara, Hiroshi Taneichi, Katsuro Tomita, Norio Kawahara, Shiro Imagama, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Masashi Yamazaki, and Akihiko Okawa


The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of fusion surgery in patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament in the thoracic spine (T-OPLL) and to identify factors significantly related to surgical outcomes.


The study included 76 patients (34 men and 42 women with a mean age of 56.3 years) who underwent fusion surgery for T-OPLL at 7 spine centers during the 5-year period from 2003 to 2007. The authors evaluated the patient demographic data, underlying disease, preoperative comorbidities, history of spinal surgery, radiological findings, surgical methods, surgical outcomes, and complications. Surgical outcomes were assessed using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scale score for thoracic myelopathy (11 points) and the recovery rate.


The mean JOA scale score was 4.6 ± 2.1 points preoperatively and 7.7 ± 2.5 points at the time of the final follow-up examination, yielding a mean recovery rate of 45.4% ± 39.1%. The recovery rates by surgical method were 38.5% ± 37.8% for posterior decompression and fusion, 65.0% ± 35.6% for anterior decompression and fusion via an anterior approach, 28.8% ± 41.2% for anterior decompression via a posterior approach, and 57.5% ± 41.1% for circumferential decompression and fusion. The recovery rate was significantly higher in patients without diabetes mellitus (DM) than in those with DM. One or more complications were experienced by 31 patients (40.8%), including 20 patients with postoperative neurological deterioration, 7 with dural tears, 5 with epidural hematomas, 4 with respiratory complications, and 10 with other complications.


The outcomes of fusion surgery for T-OPLL were favorable. The absence of DM correlated with better outcomes. However, a high rate of complications was associated with the fusion surgery.

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Manabu Ito, Kuniyoshi Abumi, Yoshihisa Kotani, Masahiko Takahata, Hideki Sudo, Yoshihiro Hojo, and Akio Minami

The authors present a new posterior correction technique consisting of simultaneous double-rod rotation using 2 contoured rods and polyaxial pedicle screws with or without Nesplon tapes. The purpose of this study is to introduce the basic principles and surgical procedures of this new posterior surgery for correction of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Through gradual rotation of the concave-side rod by 2 rod holders, the convex-side rod simultaneously rotates with the the concave-side rod. This procedure does not involve any force pushing down the spinal column around the apex. Since this procedure consists of upward pushing and lateral translation of the spinal column with simultaneous double-rod rotation maneuvers, it is simple and can obtain thoracic kyphosis as well as favorable scoliosis correction. This technique is applicable not only to a thoracic single curve but also to double major curves in cases of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

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Yoshihisa Kotani, Kuniyoshi Abumi, Yasuo Shikinami, Masahiko Takahata, Ken Kadoya, Tsuyoshi Kadosawa, Akio Minami, and Kiyoshi Kaneda

Object. This 2-year experimental study was conducted to investigate the efficacy of a bioactive three-dimensional (3D) fabric disc for lumbar intervertebral disc replacement. The authors used a bioresorbable spinal fixation rod consisting of a forged composite of particulate unsintered hydroxyapatite/poly-l-lactide acid (HA/PLLA) for stability augmentation. The biomechanical and histological alterations as well as possible device-related loosening were examined at 2 years postoperatively.

Methods. Two lumbar intervertebral discs (L2–3 and L4–5) were replaced with the 3D fabric discs, which were augmented by two titanium screws and a spanning bioresorbable rod (HA/PLLA). The segmental biomechanics and interface bone ingrowth were investigated at 6, 15, and 24 months postoperatively, and results were compared with the other two surgical groups (3D fabric disc alone; 3D fabric disc with additional anterior instrumentation stabilization). The 3D fabric disc and HA/PLLA—spinal segments demonstrated segmental mobility at 15 and 24 months; however, the range of motion (ROM) in flexion—extension decreased to 49 and 40%, respectively, despite statistically equivalent preserved torsional ROM. Histologically there was excellent osseous fusion at the 3D fabric disc surface—vertebral body interface. At 2 years posttreatment, no adverse tissue reaction nor aseptic loosening of the device was observed.

Conclusions. Intervertebral disc replacement with the 3D fabric disc was viable and when used in conjunction with the bioresorbable HA/PLLA spinal augmentation. Further refinements of device design to create a stand-alone type are necessary to obviate the need for additional spinal stabilization.