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Wen-Cheng Huang, Yu-Chun Chen, Tsung-Hsi Tu, Hsuan-Kan Chang and Chao-Hung Kuo

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Oliver Daniel Mowforth, Michelle Louise Starkey, Mark Reinhard Kotter and Benjamin Marshall Davies

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Hsuan-Kan Chang, Wen-Cheng Huang, Tsung-Hsi Tu, Li-Yu Fay, Chao-Hung Kuo, Chih-Chang Chang, Ching-Lan Wu, Jiing-Feng Lirng, Jau-Ching Wu, Henrich Cheng and Shih-Ming Hsu

OBJECTIVE

One- and two-level cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) has been compared to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in several large-scale, prospective, randomized trials that have demonstrated similar clinical outcomes. However, whether these results would be similar when treating 3-level disc herniation and/or spondylosis has remained unanswered. This study aimed to investigate the differences between 3-level CDA and ACDF.

METHODS

A series of 50 patients who underwent 3-level CDA at C3–7 was retrospectively reviewed and compared with another series of 50 patients (age- and sex-matched controls) who underwent ACDF at C3–7. Clinical outcomes were measured using the visual analog scale (VAS) for neck and arm pain, the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) scale, and the Neck Disability Index (NDI). Radiological outcomes included range of motion (ROM) at the index levels. Every patient was evaluated by CT for the presence of fusion in the ACDF group. Also, complication profiles were investigated.

RESULTS

The demographics and levels of distribution in both groups were very similar. During the follow-up period of 24 months, clinical outcomes improved (overall and respectively in each group) for both the CDA and ACDF patients when compared with the patients’ preoperative condition. There were essentially few differences between the two groups in terms of neck and arm pain VAS scores, mJOA scores, and NDI scores preoperatively and at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. After the 3-level surgery, the CDA group had an increased mean ROM of approximately 3.4°, at 25.2° ± 8.84°, compared to their preoperative ROM (21.8° ± 7.20°) (p = 0.001), whereas the ACDF group had little mobility (22.8° ± 5.90° before and 1.0° ± 1.28° after surgery; p < 0.001). The mean operative time, estimated blood loss, and complication profiles were similar for both groups.

CONCLUSIONS

In this selectively matched retrospective study, clinical outcomes after 3-level CDA and ACDF were similar during the 2-year follow-up period. CDA not only successfully preserved but slightly increased the mobility at the 3 index levels. However, the safety and efficacy of 3-level CDA requires more long-term data for validatation.

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Yu-Chun Chen, Chao-Hung Kuo, Chieh-Ming Cheng and Jau-Ching Wu

OBJECTIVE

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) has become a prevalent cause of spinal cord dysfunction among the aging population worldwide. Although great strides have been made in spine surgery in past decades, the optimal timing and surgical strategy to treat CSM have remained controversial. In this article the authors aimed to analyze the current trends in studies of CSM and to summarize the recent advances of surgical techniques in its treatment.

METHODS

The PubMed database was searched using the keywords pertaining to CSM in human studies that were published between 1975 and 2018. Analyses of both the bibliometrics and contents, including the types of papers, authors, affiliations and countries, number of patients, and the surgical approaches were conducted. A systematic review of the literature was also performed with emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of mild CSM.

RESULTS

A total of 1008 papers published during the span of 44 years were analyzed. These CSM studies mainly focused on the natural history, diagnosis, and treatment, and only a few prospective randomized trials were reported. For the authors and affiliations, there was a shift of clustering of papers toward Asian countries in the past decades. Regarding the treatment for CSM, there was an exponential growth of surgical series published, and there was a trend toward slightly more anterior than posterior approaches through the past decade. Patients with CSM had increased risks of neurological deterioration or spinal cord injury with nonoperative management. Because surgery might reduce the risks, and early surgery was likely to be correlated with better outcomes, there was a trend toward attention to mildly symptomatic CSM.

CONCLUSIONS

There is emerging enthusiasm for research on CSM worldwide, with more publications originating in Asian countries over the past few decades. The surgical management of CSM is evolving continuously toward early and anterior approaches. More prospective investigations on the optimal timing and choices of surgery are therefore needed.

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Tsung-Hsi Tu, Chu-Yi Lee, Chao-Hung Kuo, Jau-Ching Wu, Hsuan-Kan Chang, Li-Yu Fay, Wen-Cheng Huang and Henrich Cheng

OBJECTIVE

The published clinical trials of cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) have unanimously demonstrated the success of preservation of motion (average 7°–9°) at the index level for up to 10 years postoperatively. The inclusion criteria in these trials usually required patients to have evident mobility at the level to be treated (≥ 2° on lateral flexion-extension radiographs) prior to the surgery. Although the mean range of motion (ROM) remained similar after CDA, it was unclear in these trials if patients with less preoperative ROM would have different outcomes than patients with more ROM.

METHODS

A series of consecutive patients who underwent CDA at the level of C5–6 were followed up and retrospectively reviewed. The indications for surgery were medically refractory cervical radiculopathy, myelopathy, or both, caused by cervical disc herniation or spondylosis. All patients were assigned to 1 of 2 groups: a less-mobile group, which consisted of those patients who had an ROM of ≤ 5° at C5–6 preoperatively, or a more-mobile group, which consisted of patients whose ROM at C5–6 was > 5° preoperatively. Clinical outcomes, including visual analog scale, Neck Disability Index, and Japanese Orthopaedic Association Scale scores, were evaluated at each time point. Radiological outcomes were also assessed.

RESULTS

A total of 60 patients who had follow-up for more than 2 years were analyzed. There were 27 patients in the less-mobile group (mean preoperative ROM 3.0°) and 33 in the more-mobile group (mean ROM 11.7°). The 2 groups were similar in demographics, including age, sex, diabetes, and cigarette smoking. Both groups had significant improvements in clinical outcomes, with no significant differences between the 2 groups. However, the radiological evaluations demonstrated remarkable differences. The less-mobile group had a greater increase in ΔROM than the more-mobile group (ΔROM 5.5° vs 0.1°, p = 0.001), though the less-mobile group still had less segmental mobility (ROM 8.5° vs 11.7°, p = 0.04). The rates of complications were similar in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative segmental mobility did not alter the clinical outcomes of CDA. The preoperatively less-mobile (ROM ≤ 5°) discs had similar clinical improvements and greater increase of segmental mobility (ΔROM), but remained less mobile, than the preoperatively more-mobile (ROM > 5°) discs at 2 years postoperatively.

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Chao-Hung Kuo, Timothy M. Blakely, Jeremiah D. Wander, Devapratim Sarma, Jing Wu, Kaitlyn Casimo, Kurt E. Weaver and Jeffrey G. Ojemann

OBJECTIVE

The activation of the sensorimotor cortex as measured by electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals has been correlated with contralateral hand movements in humans, as precisely as the level of individual digits. However, the relationship between individual and multiple synergistic finger movements and the neural signal as detected by ECoG has not been fully explored. The authors used intraoperative high-resolution micro-ECoG (µECoG) on the sensorimotor cortex to link neural signals to finger movements across several context-specific motor tasks.

METHODS

Three neurosurgical patients with cortical lesions over eloquent regions participated. During awake craniotomy, a sensorimotor cortex area of hand movement was localized by high-frequency responses measured by an 8 × 8 µECoG grid of 3-mm interelectrode spacing. Patients performed a flexion movement of the thumb or index finger, or a pinch movement of both, based on a visual cue. High-gamma (HG; 70–230 Hz) filtered µECoG was used to identify dominant electrodes associated with thumb and index movement. Hand movements were recorded by a dataglove simultaneously with µECoG recording.

RESULTS

In all 3 patients, the electrodes controlling thumb and index finger movements were identifiable approximately 3–6-mm apart by the HG-filtered µECoG signal. For HG power of cortical activation measured with µECoG, the thumb and index signals in the pinch movement were similar to those observed during thumb-only and index-only movement, respectively (all p > 0.05). Index finger movements, measured by the dataglove joint angles, were similar in both the index-only and pinch movements (p > 0.05). However, despite similar activation across the conditions, markedly decreased thumb movement was observed in pinch relative to independent thumb-only movement (all p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

HG-filtered µECoG signals effectively identify dominant regions associated with thumb and index finger movement. For pinch, the µECoG signal comprises a combination of the signals from individual thumb and index movements. However, while the relationship between the index finger joint angle and HG-filtered signal remains consistent between conditions, there is not a fixed relationship for thumb movement. Although the HG-filtered µECoG signal is similar in both thumb-only and pinch conditions, the actual thumb movement is markedly smaller in the pinch condition than in the thumb-only condition. This implies a nonlinear relationship between the cortical signal and the motor output for some, but importantly not all, movement types. This analysis provides insight into the tuning of the motor cortex toward specific types of motor behaviors.

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Tsung-Hsi Tu, Chao-Hung Kuo, Wen-Cheng Huang, Li-Yu Fay, Henrich Cheng and Jau-Ching Wu

OBJECTIVE

Cigarette smoking can adversely affect bone fusion in patients who undergo anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. However, there is a paucity of data on smoking among patients who have undergone cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA). The present study aimed to compare the clinical and radiological outcomes of smokers to those of nonsmokers following CDA.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the records of consecutive patients who had undergone 1- or 2-level CDA for cervical disc herniation or spondylosis and had a minimum 2-year follow-up. All patients were grouped into a smoking group, which consisted of those who had consumed cigarettes within 6 months prior to the CDA surgery, or a nonsmoking group, which consisted of those who had not consumed cigarettes at all or within 6 months of the CDA. Clinical outcomes were evaluated according to the visual analog scale for neck and arm pain, Neck Disability Index, Japanese Orthopaedic Association Scale, and Nurick Scale at each time point of evaluation. Radiological outcomes were assessed using radiographs and CT for multiple parameters, including segmental range of motion (ROM), neutral lordotic curve, and presence of heterotopic ossification (HO).

RESULTS

A total of 109 patients completed at least 2 years of follow-up and were analyzed (mean follow-up 42.3 months). There were 89 patients in the nonsmoking group and 20 in the smoking group. The latter group was younger and predominantly male (both p < 0.05) compared to the nonsmoking group. The two groups had similar improvements in all clinical outcomes after CDA compared to preoperatively. Radiological evaluations were also very similar between the two groups, except for two factors. The smoking group had well-preserved segmental ROM after CDA at an average of 8.1° (both pre- and postoperation). However, while the nonsmoking group remained mobile, segmental ROM decreased significantly (8.2° to 6.9°, p < 0.05) after CDA. There was a trend toward more HO development in the nonsmoking group than in the smoking group, but the difference was without significance (59.6% vs 50.0%, p = 0.43).

CONCLUSIONS

During an average 3.5 years of follow-up after 1- and 2-level CDA, cigarette smokers and nonsmokers had similar improvements in clinical outcomes. Moreover, segmental mobility was slightly better preserved in smokers. Since smoking status did not negatively impact outcomes, CDA may be a reasonable option for selected patients who have smoked.

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Chao-Hung Kuo, Wen-Cheng Huang, Jau-Ching Wu, Tsung-Hsi Tu, Li-Yu Fay, Ching-Lan Wu and Henrich Cheng

OBJECTIVE

Pedicle screw–based dynamic stabilization has been an alternative to conventional lumbar fusion for the surgical management of low-grade spondylolisthesis. However, the true effect of dynamic stabilization on adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) remains undetermined. Authors of this study aimed to investigate the incidence of ASD and to compare the clinical outcomes of dynamic stabilization and minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF).

METHODS

The records of consecutive patients with Meyerding grade I degenerative spondylolisthesis who had undergone surgical management at L4–5 in the period from 2007 to 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were divided into two groups according to the surgery performed: Dynesys dynamic stabilization (DDS) group and MI-TLIF group. Pre- and postoperative radiological evaluations, including radiography, CT, and MRI studies, were compared. Adjacent discs were evaluated using 4 radiological parameters: instability (antero- or retrolisthesis), disc degeneration (Pfirrmann classification), endplate degeneration (Modic classification), and range of motion (ROM). Clinical outcomes, measured with the visual analog scale (VAS) for back and leg pain, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scores, were also compared.

RESULTS

A total of 79 patients with L4–5 degenerative spondylolisthesis were included in the analysis. During a mean follow-up of 35.2 months (range 24–89 months), there were 56 patients in the DDS group and 23 in the MI-TLIF group. Prior to surgery, both groups were very similar in demographic, radiological, and clinical data. Postoperation, both groups had similarly significant improvement in clinical outcomes (VAS, ODI, and JOA scores) at each time point of evaluation. There was a lower chance of disc degeneration (Pfirrmann classification) of the adjacent discs in the DDS group than in the MI-TLIF group (17% vs 37%, p = 0.01). However, the DDS and MI-TLIF groups had similar rates of instability (15.2% vs 17.4%, respectively, p = 0.92) and endplate degeneration (1.8% vs 6.5%, p = 0.30) at the cranial (L3–4) and caudal (L5–S1) adjacent levels after surgery. The mean ROM in the cranial and caudal levels was also similar in the two groups. None of the patients required secondary surgery for any ASD (defined by radiological criteria).

CONCLUSIONS

The clinical improvements after DDS were similar to those following MI-TLIF for L4–5 Meyerding grade I degenerative spondylolisthesis at 3 years postoperation. According to radiological evaluations, there was a lower chance of disc degeneration in the adjacent levels of the patients who had undergone DDS. However, other radiological signs of ASD, including instability, endplate degeneration, and ROM, were similar between the two groups. Although none of the patients in the present series required secondary surgery, a longer follow-up and a larger number of patients would be necessary to corroborate the protective effect of DDS against ASD.

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Chao-Hung Kuo, Gabrielle A. White-Dzuro and Andrew L. Ko

OBJECTIVE

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a safe and effective therapy for movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor (ET), and dystonia. There is considerable interest in developing “closed-loop” DBS devices capable of modulating stimulation in response to sensor feedback. In this paper, the authors review related literature and present selected approaches to signal sources and approaches to feedback being considered for deployment in closed-loop systems.

METHODS

A literature search using the keywords “closed-loop DBS” and “adaptive DBS” was performed in the PubMed database. The search was conducted for all articles published up until March 2018. An in-depth review was not performed for publications not written in the English language, nonhuman studies, or topics other than Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor, specifically epilepsy and psychiatric conditions.

RESULTS

The search returned 256 articles. A total of 71 articles were primary studies in humans, of which 50 focused on treatment of movement disorders. These articles were reviewed with the aim of providing an overview of the features of closed-loop systems, with particular attention paid to signal sources and biomarkers, general approaches to feedback control, and clinical data when available.

CONCLUSIONS

Closed-loop DBS seeks to employ biomarkers, derived from sensors such as electromyography, electrocorticography, and local field potentials, to provide real-time, patient-responsive therapy for movement disorders. Most studies appear to focus on the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Several approaches hold promise, but additional studies are required to determine which approaches are feasible, efficacious, and efficient.