Outside of the patient population with achondroplasia, neurogenic claudication is rare in the pediatric age group. Neurogenic claudication associated with posterior vertebral rim fracture is even more uncommon but nonetheless causes pain and disability in affected children and adolescents. The purpose of this study was to describe the surgical results of 3 adolescents presenting with neurogenic claudication and posterior vertebral rim fracture when treated with laminectomy alone.
The medical and operative records of the 3 pediatric patients were retrospectively reviewed. Presenting signs and symptoms and CT findings, such as the interpedicular distances between T-12 and L-5, were obtained. Perioperative results were assessed, including operative time, blood loss, length of hospital stay, and complications. Findings at latest follow-up were also recorded, including a patient satisfaction survey.
The 3 patients (1 girl and 2 boys) had a mean age of 14.7 years (range 14–15 years) and underwent follow-up for a mean of 11.3 months (range 5–18 months). Notable preoperative signs and symptoms included back pain (all patients), leg pain (all patients), leg numbness (1 patient), and leg weakness (1 patient). No patient presented with bowel and/or bladder dysfunction. The mean blood loss during laminectomy was 123 ml (range 20–300 ml), and the mean length of hospital stay was 4.3 days (range 3–6 days). On average, decompression was performed at 2.2 levels (range 2–2.5 levels). All 3 patients reported at most recent follow-up that they were “satisfied” with the surgery. There was 1 complication of instability from an iatrogenic pars fracture, which required reoperation and posterior instrumented fusion.
To the best of the authors' knowledge, this report represents the first surgical series of pediatric neurogenic claudication associated with posterior vertebral rim fractures. Pediatric neurosurgeons may infrequently encounter neurogenic claudication associated with a posterior vertebral rim fracture in children. To treat children with neurogenic claudication associated with posterior vertebral rim fractures, a simple laminectomy may be a safe and efficacious alternative to discectomy and removal of fracture fragments.