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Sho Dohzono, Akinobu Suzuki, Tatsuya Koike, Shinji Takahashi, Kentaro Yamada, Hiroyuki Yasuda and Hiroaki Nakamura

OBJECTIVE

Increasing soft-tissue mass posterior to the odontoid process causes spinal cord compression. Retro-odontoid pseudotumors are considered to be associated with atlantoaxial instability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the exact mechanism by which these lesions develop has not been elucidated. The purpose of this study was to identify the relationships between retro-odontoid soft-tissue (ROST) thickness and radiological findings or clinical data in patients with RA.

METHODS

A total of 201 patients with RA who had been followed up at the outpatient clinic of the authors' institution were enrolled in this study. ROST thickness was evaluated on midsagittal T1-weighted MRI. The correlations between ROST thickness and radiographic findings or clinical data on RA were examined. The independent factors related to ROST thickness were analyzed using stepwise multiple regression analysis.

RESULTS

The average thickness of ROST was 3.0 ± 1.4 mm. ROST thickness showed an inverse correlation with disease duration (r = −0.329, p < 0.01), Steinbrocker stage (r = −0.284, p < 0.01), the atlantodental interval (ADI) in the neutral position (r = −0.326, p < 0.01), the ADI in the flexion position (r = −0.383, p < 0.01), and the ADI in the extension position (r = −0.240, p < 0.01). On stepwise multiple regression analysis, ADI in the flexion position and Steinbrocker stage were independent factors associated with ROST thickness.

CONCLUSIONS

Although the correlations were not strong, ROST thickness in patients with RA was inversely correlated with ADI and Steinbrocker stage. In other words, ROST thickness tends to be smaller as atlantoaxial instability and peripheral joint destruction worsen.

Clinical trial registration no.: UMIN000000980 (UMIN Clinical Trials Registry)

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Kazunori Hayashi, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Hidetomi Terai, Akinobu Suzuki, Masatoshi Hoshino, Koji Tamai, Shoichiro Ohyama and Hiroaki Nakamura

OBJECTIVE

Numerous reports have been published on the effectiveness and safety of correction of the coronal Cobb angle and thoracolumbar sagittal alignment in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Suboptimal sagittal alignment, such as decreased thoracic kyphosis (TK), after corrective surgery, is a possible cause of lumbar or cervical spinal degeneration and junctional malalignment; however, few reports are available on reciprocal changes outside of the fused segments, such as the cervical lordotic angle (CLA). This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the perioperative CLA and other radiographic factors or clinical results in AIS, and to identify independent risk factors of postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis.

METHODS

A total of 51 AIS patients who underwent posterior spinal fusion with the placement of pedicle screw (PS) constructs at thoracic levels were included in the study. Clinical and radiographic follow-up of patients was conducted for a minimum of 2 years, and the postoperative course was evaluated. The authors measured and identified the changes in the CLA and other radiographic parameters using whole-spine radiography, with the patient in the standing position, performed immediately before surgery, 2 weeks after surgery, and 2 years after surgery. The postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis group included patients whose CLA at 2-year follow-up was smaller than −10°. The reciprocal changes of the CLA and other parameters were also investigated. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine the associated risk factors for postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis.

RESULTS

This study comprised 48 females and 3 males (mean age 16.0 years). The mean follow-up period was 47 months (range 24–90 months). The main coronal thoracic curve was corrected from 54.6° to 16.4°, and the mean correction rate was 69.8% at 2 years. The CLA significantly increased from the mean preoperative measurement (−5.4° ± 14°) to the 2-year follow-up measurement (−1.7° ± 11°) (p = 0.019). Twelve of the 51 patients had postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis. This group exhibited significantly smaller preoperative CLA and TK measurements (p = 0.001 and 0.004, respectively) than the others. After adjusting for confounding factors, preoperative CLA less than −5° and preoperative TK less than 10° were significantly associated with postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis (p < 0.05; OR 12.5 and 8.59, respectively). However, no differences were found in the clinical results regardless of cervical hyperkyphosis.

CONCLUSIONS

The CLA increased significantly from preoperatively to 2 years after surgery. Preoperative small CLA and TK measurements were independent risk factors of postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis. However, there was no difference in the clinical outcomes regardless of cervical hyperkyphosis.

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Akira Matsumura, Takashi Namikawa, Hidetomi Terai, Tadao Tsujio, Akinobu Suzuki, Sho Dozono, Hiroyuki Yasuda and Hiroaki Nakamura

Object

The authors compared the clinical outcomes of microscopic bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach (MBDU) for the treatment of degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS) and for lumbar canal stenosis (LCS) without instability. The authors also compared postoperative spinal instability in terms of different approach sides (concave or convex) following the procedure.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed data obtained in 50 consecutive patients (25 in the DLS group and 25 in the LCS group) who underwent MBDU; the minimum follow-up period was 2 years. Patients with DLS were divided into 2 subgroups according to the surgical approach side: a concave group (23 segment) and a convex group (17 segments). The Japanese Orthopaedic Association Scale scores for the assessment of low-back pain were evaluated before surgery and at final follow-up. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association Scale scores and recovery rates were compared between the DLS and LCS groups, and between the convex and concave groups. Cobb angle and scoliotic wedging angle (SWA) were evaluated on standing radiographs before surgery and at final follow-up. Facet joint preservation (the percentage of preservation) was assessed on pre- and postoperative CT scans, compared between the LCS and DLS groups, and compared between the concave and convex groups. The influence of approach side on postoperative progression of segmental instability was also examined in the DLS group.

Results

The mean recovery rate was 58.7% in the DLS and 62.0% in the LCS group. The mean recovery rate was 58.6% in the convex group and 60.6% in the concave group. There were no significant differences in recovery rates between the LCS and DLS groups, or between the DLS subgroups. The mean Cobb angles in the DLS group were significantly increased from 12.7° preoperatively to 14.1° postoperatively (p < 0.05), and mean preoperative SWAs increased significantly from 6.2° at L3–4 and 4.1° at L4–5 preoperatively to 7.4° and 4.9°, respectively, at final follow-up (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in percentage of preservation between the DLS and LCS groups. The mean percentages of preservation on the approach side in the DLS group at L3–4 and L4–5 were 89.0% and 83.1% in the convex group, and those in the concave group were 67.3% and 77.6%, respectively. The percentage of preservation at L3–4 was significantly higher in the convex than the concave group. The mean SWA had increased in the concave group (p = 0.01) but not the convex group (p = 0.15) at final follow-up.

Conclusions

The MBDU can reduce postoperative segmental spinal instability and achieve good postoperative clinical outcomes in patients with DLS. The convex approach provides surgeons with good visibility and improves preservation of facet joints.

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Sho Dohzono, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Shinji Takahashi, Tomiya Matsumoto, Akinobu Suzuki, Hidetomi Terai and Hiroaki Nakamura

OBJECTIVE

Little is known about the relationship between sagittal spinal alignment in patients with lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSS) and objective findings such as spinopelvic parameters, lumbar back muscle degeneration, and clinical data. The purpose of this study was to identify the preoperative clinical and radiological factors that predict improvement in sagittal spinal alignment after decompressive surgery in patients with LSS.

METHODS

The records of 61 patients with LSS who underwent microendoscopic laminotomy and had pre- and postoperative clinical data collected were retrospectively reviewed. Spinopelvic parameters, including sagittal vertical axis (SVA), lumbar lordosis (LL), sacral slope, pelvic tilt, and pelvic incidence (PI), were evaluated. On T2-weighted MRI, the cross-sectional area and the percentage of fat infiltration of the paravertebral muscles (PVMs) before surgery were calculated. For patients with preoperative SVA > 40 mm (n = 30), the correlation between SVA improvement and preoperative clinical and radiographic parameters was calculated.

RESULTS

SVA improvement correlated with preoperative LL (r = −0.39) and PI –LL (r = 0.54). Multiple regression analysis showed that preoperative PI –LL (beta = 0.62; p < 0.01) and symptom duration (beta = −0.40; p < 0.05) were independently associated with SVA improvement. The percentage of fat infiltration of the PVM at L4–5 was significantly greater in patients with preoperative SVA ≥ 40 mm than in those patients with SVA < 40 mm.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative PI –LL and symptom duration were independently associated with SVA improvement in LSS patients with forward-bending posture. PVM degeneration at the lower lumbar level was significantly greater among patients with preoperative SVA ≥ 40 mm than in patients with SVA < 40 mm.

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Sho Dohzono, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Tomiya Matsumoto, Akinobu Suzuki, Hidetomi Terai and Hiroaki Nakamura

OBJECT

More information about the association between preoperative anterior translation of the C-7 plumb line and clinical outcomes after decompression surgery in patients with lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSS) would help resolve problems for patients with sagittal imbalance. The authors evaluated whether preoperative sagittal alignment of the spine affects low-back pain and clinical outcomes after microendoscopic laminotomy.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective review of prospectively collected surgical data. The study comprised 88 patients with LSS (47 men and 41 women) who ranged in age from 39 to 86 years (mean age 68.7 years). All patients had undergone microendoscopic laminotomy at Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine from May 2008 through October 2012. The minimum duration of clinical and radiological follow-up was 6 months. All patients were evaluated by Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores for low-back pain, leg pain, and leg numbness before and after surgery. The distance between the C-7 plumb line and the posterior corner of the sacrum (sagittal vertical axis [SVA]) was measured on lateral standing radiographs of the entire spine obtained before surgery. Radiological factors and clinical outcomes were compared between patients with a preoperative SVA ≥ 50 mm (forward-bending trunk [F] group) and patients with a preoperative SVA < 50 mm (control [C] group). A total of 35 patients were allocated to the F group (19 male and 16 female) and 53 to the C group (28 male and 25 female).

RESULTS

The mean SVA was 81.0 mm for patients in the F group and 22.0 mm for those in the C group. At final follow-up evaluation, no significant differences between the groups were found for the JOA score improvement ratio (73.3% vs 77.1%) or the VAS score for leg numbness (23.6 vs 24.0 mm); the VAS score for low-back pain was significantly higher for those in the F group (21.1 mm) than for those in the C group (11.0 mm); and the VAS score for leg pain tended to be higher for those in the F group (18.9 ± 29.1 mm) than for those in the C group (9.4 ± 16.0 mm).

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative alignment of the spine in the sagittal plane did not affect JOA scores after microendoscopic laminotomy in patients with LSS. However, low-back pain was worse for patients with preoperative anterior translation of the C-7 plumb line than for those without.

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Masayoshi Iwamae, Akinobu Suzuki, Koji Tamai, Hidetomi Terai, Masatoshi Hoshino, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Shinji Takahashi, Shoichiro Ohyama, Yusuke Hori, Akito Yabu and Hiroaki Nakamura

OBJECTIVE

Although numbness is one of the chief complaints of patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), preoperative factors relating to residual numbness of the upper extremity (UE) and impact of the outcomes on cervical surgery are not well established. The authors hypothesized that severe preoperative UE numbness could be a risk factor for residual UE numbness after surgery and that the residual UE numbness could have a negative impact on postoperative outcomes. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the preoperative factors that are predictive of residual UE numbness after cervical surgery and demonstrate the effects of residual UE numbness on clinical scores and radiographic parameters.

METHODS

The study design was a retrospective cohort study. The authors analyzed data of 103 patients who underwent cervical laminoplasty from January 2012 to December 2014 and were followed up for more than 2 years postoperatively. The patients were divided into two groups: the severe residual-numbness group (postoperative visual analog scale [VAS] score for UE numbness > 40 mm) and the no/mild residual-numbness group (VAS score ≤ 40 mm). The outcome measures were VAS score, Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores for cervical myelopathy, physical and mental component summaries of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), radiographic film parameters (C2–7 sagittal vertical axis, range of motion, C2–7 lordotic angle, and C7 slope), and MRI findings (severity of cervical canal stenosis, snake-eye appearance, severity of foraminal stenosis). Following univariate analysis, which compared the preoperative factors between groups, the variables with p values < 0.1 were included in the multivariate linear regression analysis. Additionally, the changes in clinical scores and radiographic parameters after 2 years of surgery were compared using a mixed-effects model.

RESULTS

Among 103 patients, 42 (40.8%) had residual UE numbness. In the multivariate analysis, sex and preoperative UE pain were found to be independent variables correlating with residual UE numbness (p = 0.017 and 0.046, respectively). The severity of preoperative UE numbness did not relate to the residual UE numbness (p = 0.153). The improvement in neck pain VAS score and physical component summary of the SF-36 was significantly low in the severe residual-numbness group (p < 0.001 and 0.040, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Forty-one percent of the CSM patients experienced residual UE numbness for at least 2 years after cervical posterior decompression surgery. Female sex and preoperative severe UE pain were the predictive factors for residual UE numbness. The patients with residual UE numbness showed less improvement of neck pain and lower physical status compared to the patients without numbness.

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Sho Dohzono, Akira Matsumura, Hidetomi Terai, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Akinobu Suzuki and Hiroaki Nakamura

Object

Minimally invasive decompressive surgery using a microscope or endoscope has been widely performed for the treatment of lumbar spinal canal stenosis (LSS). In this study the authors aimed to assess outcomes following microscopic bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach (MBDU) in terms of postoperative bone regrowth and preservation of the facet joints in patients with degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis (DS) as compared with those in patients with LSS.

Methods

In the period from May 1998 to February 2007 at the authors' institution, 85 patients underwent MBDU at L4–5. Clinical outcome was evaluated before surgery and at the final follow-up using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score for low-back pain. The following radiographic parameters were assessed at the L4–5 segment before surgery and at the final follow-up: 1) percentage slip on standing lateral radiographs, 2) percentage slip on dynamic radiographs, 3) disc arc on dynamic radiographs, and 4) percentage of facet joint preservation on CT. Bone regrowth on the ventral and dorsal sides of the facet joint on CT were assessed at the final follow-up.

Results

The cases of 47 patients (23 with DS at L-4 and 24 with LSS at L4–5 without instability) who had a follow-up of at least 2 years were retrospectively reviewed. The improvement ratio in the JOA score, that is, the percentage improvement as indicated by the difference between preoperative and postoperative JOA scores, was not significantly different between patients with DS and LSS. The percentage slip had progressed at the latest follow-up in both groups (1.4% and 1.1%, respectively), and there was no significant difference between the 2 groups. The percentage of facet joint preservation in the DS and LSS groups was 72.8% and 83.4%, respectively, on the approach side and 95.5% and 96.5% on the contralateral side. Facet joint preservation was significantly less on the approach side than on the contralateral side in both groups. The average amount of bone regrowth on the dorsal and ventral sides of the facet joint was 3.4 and 0.9 mm, respectively, in the DS group and 2.0 and 1.0 mm in the LSS group. The difference between the 2 groups was not significant. Facet joint preservation and bone regrowth were not correlated with clinical outcomes.

Conclusions

Microscopic bilateral decompression via a unilateral approach can prevent postoperative spinal instability because of good preservation of the posterior elements including the facet joints, which is thought to be the main reason for the relatively small amount of bone regrowth after surgery.

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Tetsuo Hayashi, Elizabeth L. Lord, Akinobu Suzuki, Shinji Takahashi, Trevor P. Scott, Kevin Phan, Haijun Tian, Michael D. Daubs, Keiichiro Shiba and Jeffrey C. Wang

OBJECTIVE

The efficacy of some demineralized bone matrix (DBM) substances has been demonstrated in the spinal fusion of rats; however, no previous comparative study has reported the efficacy of DBM with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). There is an added cost to the products with stem cells, which should be justified by improved osteogenic potential. The purpose of this study is to prospectively compare the fusion rates of 3 different commercially available DBM substances, both with and without hMSCs.

METHODS

Posterolateral fusion was performed in 32 mature athymic nude rats. Three groups of 8 rats were implanted with 1 of 3 DBMs: Trinity Evolution (DBM with stem cells), Grafton (DBM without stem cells), or DBX (DBM without stem cells). A fourth group with no implanted material was used as a control group. Radiographs were obtained at 2, 4, and 8 weeks. The rats were euthanized at 8 weeks. Overall fusion was determined by manual palpation and micro-CT.

RESULTS

The fusion rates at 8 weeks on the radiographs for Trinity Evolution, Grafton, and DBX were 8 of 8 rats, 3 of 8 rats, and 5 of 8 rats, respectively. A significant difference was found between Trinity Evolution and Grafton (p = 0.01). The overall fusion rates as determined by micro-CT and manual palpation for Trinity Evolution, Grafton, and DBX were 4 of 8 rats, 3 of 8 rats, and 3 of 8 rats, respectively. The Trinity Evolution substance had the highest overall fusion rate, however no significant difference was found between groups.

CONCLUSIONS

The efficacies of these DBM substances are demonstrated; however, the advantage of DBM with hMSCs could not be found in terms of posterolateral fusion. When evaluating spinal fusion using DBM substances, CT analysis is necessary in order to not overestimate fusion.

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Tetsuo Hayashi, Michael D. Daubs, Akinobu Suzuki, Trevor P. Scott, Kevin H. Phan, Monchai Ruangchainikom, Shinji Takahashi, Keiichiro Shiba and Jeffrey C. Wang

OBJECT

Most studies of Modic changes (MCs) have focused on investigating the relationship between MCs and lowback pain, whereas the kinematic characteristics and degenerative disc disease associated with MCs are not well understood. To the authors' knowledge, no previous study has reported on the kinematics of MCs. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the relationship of MCs to segmental motion and degenerative disc disease.

METHODS

Four hundred fifty symptomatic patients underwent weight-bearing lumbar kinematic MRI in the neutral, flexion, and extension positions. Segmental displacement and intervertebral angles were measured in 3 positions using computer analysis software. Modic changes, disc degeneration, disc bulging, spondylolisthesis, angular motion, and translational motion were recorded, and the relationship of MCs to these factors was analyzed using a logistic regression model. To control the influence of disc degeneration on segmental motion, angular and translational motion were analyzed according to mild and severe disc degeneration stages. The motion characteristics and disc degeneration among types of MCs were also evaluated.

RESULTS

Multivariate analysis revealed that age, disc degeneration, angular motion, and translational motion were factors significantly related to MCs. In the severe disc degeneration stage, a significant decrease of angular motion and significant increase of translational motion were found in segments with MCs, indicating that a disorder of the endplate had an additional effect on segmental motion. Disc degeneration increased and angular motion decreased significantly and gradually as the type of MC increased. Translational motion was significantly increased with Type 2 MCs.

CONCLUSIONS

Age, disc degeneration, angular motion, and translational motion were significantly linked to MCs in the lumbar spine. The translational motion of lumbar segments increased with Type 2 MCs, whereas angular motion decreased as the type of MC increased, indicating that Type 2 MCs may have translational instability likely due to degenerative changes. A disorder of the endplates could play an important role in spinal instability.