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Masahiro Kanayama, Tomoyuki Hashimoto, Keiichi Shigenobu, Fumihiro Oha, and Daisuke Togawa

Object

Antimicrobial prophylaxis (AMP) reduces the rate of surgical site infection (SSI) in lumbar spine surgery, but a great deal of variation exists regarding the timing and duration of AMP. The authors had previously used prophylactic antibiotics for 5 to 7 postoperative days. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline, the AMP period was changed to the day of surgery only. In the current study, the authors compared the rate of SSI in lumbar spine surgeries between two different protocols of AMP.

Methods

Data from 1597 consecutive uninfected patients who had undergone lumbar spine surgery between January 1999 and September 2004 were reviewed. The pathophysiologies among these patients included disc herniation in 686, degenerative spondylolisthesis in 340, spinal stenosis in 259, failed lumbar surgeries in 73, degenerative scoliosis in 52, isthmic spondylolisthesis in 48, spinal trauma in 34, foraminal stenosis in 27, spinal tumor in 27, and miscellaneous in 51 patients. The rate of SSI was compared between the two AMP groups.

There were 1133 patients in the multiple-dose group, and 464 patients in the single-dose group. The rate of instrumentation surgery was not statistically different between the multiple-dose group (43%) and the single-dose group (39%). The overall rate of SSI was 0.7%. The SSI rate was 0.8% in the multiple-dose group and 0.4% in the single-dose group; the difference between the two was not significant. Regarding the organisms of SSI, resistant strains of bacteria were cultured in five (83.3%) of six patients in the multiple-dose group, whereas none was cultured in the single-dose group.

Conclusions

Data in the current study did not demonstrate a difference in the rate of SSI between the two different AMP protocols. Based on the CDC guideline, a single dose of AMP was proven to be efficacious for the prevention of SSI in lumbar spine surgeries. A shorter duration of first-generation cephalosporin use may effectively prevent the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection.

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Masahiro Kanayama, Daisuke Togawa, Chihiro Takahashi, Tomoya Terai, and Tomoyuki Hashimoto

Object

The current cross-sectional observational MR imaging study aimed to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of lumbar disc degeneration in a healthy population and to establish the baseline data for a prospective longitudinal study.

Methods

Two hundred healthy volunteers participated in this study after providing informed consent. The status of lumbar disc degeneration was assessed by 3 independent observers, who used sagittal T2-weighted MR imaging. Demographic data collected included age, sex, body mass index, episode(s) of low-back pain, smoking status, hours of standing and sitting, and Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire scores. There were 68 men and 132 women whose mean age was 39.7 years (range 30–55 years). Eighty-two individuals (41%) were smokers, and the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire scores were averaged to 0.6/24.

Results

The prevalence of disc degeneration was 7.0% in L1–2, 12.0% in L2–3, 15.5% in L3–4, 49.5% in L4–5, and 53.0% in L5–S1. A herniated disc was observed at the corresponding levels in 0.5, 3.5, 6.5, 25.0, and 35.0% of cases respectively. Spondylolisthesis was observed in < 3% of this population. Multiple logistic regression analysis demonstrated that age and hours sitting were significantly related to L4–5 disc herniation. Episode of low-back pain, smoking status, body mass index, and hours standing did not affect the prevalence of disc degeneration.

Conclusions

The current study established the baseline data of lumbar disc degeneration in a 30- to 55-year-old healthy population for a prospective longitudinal study. Hours spent sitting significantly increased the prevalence of disc herniation, but episode of low-back pain, smoking status, obesity, and standing hours were not significant risk factors.

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Ken Nagahama, Masahiro Kanayama, Daisuke Togawa, Tomoyuki Hashimoto, and Akio Minami

Object

Bisphosphonate medications are widely used for the treatment of osteoporosis, but they might disturb the healing process of spinal fusion. The object of this prospective randomized controlled study was to evaluate the effect of bisphosphonate medication on spinal fusion through radiographic, clinical, and biological assessments.

Methods

A total of 40 patients with osteoporosis who were candidates for single-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion were randomly assigned to the alendronate group (alendronate sodium 35 mg/week) or the control group (vitamin D, alfacalcidol 1 μg/day). Pedicle screw fixation and carbon polyetheretherketone cages were used for all the patients. Bone graft material was prepared as a mixture of local bone and β-tricalcium phosphate in a ratio of 2:1. Functional radiography and CT scans were used to evaluate fusion status and cage subsidence. The incidence of vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) occurring after surgery (subsequent VCFs) was assessed by means of MR imaging. Bridging bone formation was graded into 3 categories: Grade A (bridging bone through bilateral cages), Grade B (bridging bone through a unilateral cage), or Grade C (incomplete bony bridging). A solid fusion was defined as less than 5° of angular motion in flexion-extension radiographs and the presence of bridging bone through the cage (Grade A or B). Clinical outcome was evaluated by means of the Oswestry Disability Index. Bone metabolic markers (serum bone alkaline phosphatase, serum and urine Type I collagen cross-linked N-telopeptides) were measured to investigate the biological effects of alendronate on spinal fusion.

Results

Bridging bone formation (Grade A or B) was more frequently observed in the alendronate group at all postoperative assessment periods. At 1-year postoperative follow-up, a solid fusion was achieved in 95% of the patients in the alendronate group and 65% of those in the control group. Cage subsidence (> 2 mm) was observed in 5% of the alendronate group and 29% of the control group. No vertebral fractures were observed in the alendronate group, whereas 24% of patients in the control group showed subsequent VCFs. There was no statistically significant between-groups difference in clinical outcomes, but poor clinical results in the control group were associated with pseudarthrosis and subsequent VCFs. Biochemical analysis of bone turnover demonstrated that alendronate inhibited bone resorption from the early phase of the fusion process and also suppressed bone formation after 6 months postoperatively.

Conclusions

Favorable mechanical circumstances provided by alendronate overcame its detrimental biological effect on the healing process of spinal fusion. The authors recommend that osteoporosis patients undergoing spinal fusion take bisphosphonates throughout the postoperative period.

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Yu Yamato, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Sho Kobayashi, Tatsuya Yasuda, Daisuke Togawa, Go Yoshida, Tomohiro Banno, Shin Oe, Yuki Mihara, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Despite the significant incidence of rod fractures (RFs) following long-segment corrective fusion surgery, little is known about the optimal treatment strategy. The objectives of this study were to investigate the time course of clinical symptoms and treatments in patients with RFs following adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery and to establish treatment recommendations.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective case series of patients with RFs whose data were retrieved from a prospectively collected single-center database. The authors reviewed the cases of 304 patients (mean age 62.9 years) who underwent ASD surgery. Primary symptoms, time course of symptoms, and treatments were investigated by reviewing medical records. Standing whole-spine radiographs obtained before and after RF development and at last follow-up were evaluated. Osseous union was assessed using CT scans and intraoperative findings.

RESULTS

There were 54 RFs in 53 patients (mean age 68.5 years [range 41–84 years]) occurring at a mean of 21 months (range 6–47 months) after surgery. In 1 patient RF occurred twice, with each case at a different time and level, and the symptoms and treatments for these 2 RFs were analyzed separately (1 case of revision surgery and 1 case of nonoperative treatment). The overall rate of RF observed on radiographs after a minimum follow-up of 1 year was 18.0% (54 of 300 cases). The clinical symptoms at the time of RF were pain in 77.8% (42 of 54 cases) and no onset of new symptoms in 20.5% (11 of 54 cases). The pain was temporary and had subsided in 19 of 42 cases (45%) within 2 weeks. In 36 of the 54 cases (66.7%) (including the first RF in the patient with 2 RFs), patients underwent revision surgery at a mean of 116 days (range 5–888 days) after diagnosis. In 18 cases patients received only nonoperative treatment as of the last follow-up, including 17 cases in which the patients experienced no pain and no remarkable progression of deformity (mean 18.5 months after RF development).

CONCLUSIONS

This analysis of 54 RFs in 53 patients following corrective fusion surgery for ASD demonstrates a relationship between symptoms and alignment change. Revision surgeries were performed in a total of 36 cases. Nonoperative care was offered in 18 (33.3%) of 54 cases at the last follow-up, with no additional symptoms in 17 of the 18 cases. These data offer useful information regarding informed decision making for patients in whom an RF occurs after ASD surgery.

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Hiroki Ushirozako, Go Yoshida, Sho Kobayashi, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Yu Yamato, Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiro Banno, Hideyuki Arima, Shin Oe, Yuki Mihara, Daisuke Togawa, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Intraoperative neuromonitoring may be valuable for predicting postoperative neurological complications, and transcranial motor evoked potentials (TcMEPs) are the most reliable monitoring modality with high sensitivity. One of the most frequent problems of TcMEP monitoring is the high rate of false-positive alerts, also called “anesthetic fade.” The purpose of this study was to clarify the risk factors for false-positive TcMEP alerts and to find ways to reduce false-positive rates.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 703 patients who underwent TcMEP monitoring under total intravenous anesthesia during spinal surgery within a 7-year interval. They defined an alert point as final TcMEP amplitudes ≤ 30% of the baseline. Variations in body temperature (maximum − minimum body temperature during surgery) were measured. Patients with false-positive alerts were classified into 2 groups: a global group with alerts observed in 2 or more muscles of the upper and lower extremities, and a focal group with alerts observed in 1 muscle.

RESULTS

False-positive alerts occurred in 100 cases (14%), comprising 60 cases with global and 40 cases with focal alerts. Compared with the 545 true-negative cases, in the false-positive cases the patients had received a significantly higher total propofol dose (1915 mg vs 1380 mg; p < 0.001). In the false-positive cases with global alerts, the patients had also received a higher mean propofol dose than those with focal alerts (4.5 mg/kg/hr vs 4.2 mg/kg/hr; p = 0.087). The cutoff value of the total propofol dose for predicting false-positive alerts, with the best sensitivity and specificity, was 1550 mg. Multivariate logistic analysis revealed that a total propofol dose > 1550 mg (OR 4.583; 95% CI 2.785–7.539; p < 0.001), variation in body temperature (1°C difference; OR 1.691; 95% CI 1.060–2.465; p < 0.01), and estimated blood loss (500-ml difference; OR 1.309; 95% CI 1.155–1.484; p < 0.001) were independently associated with false-positive alerts.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative total propofol dose > 1550 mg, larger variation in body temperature, and greater blood loss are independently associated with false-positive alerts during spinal surgery. The authors believe that these factors may contribute to the false-positive global alerts that characterize anesthetic fade. As it is necessary to consider multiple confounding factors to distinguish false-positive alerts from true-positive alerts, including variation in body temperature or ischemic condition, the authors argue the importance of a team approach that includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, and medical engineers.

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Hideyuki Arima, Yu Yamato, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Daisuke Togawa, Go Yoshida, Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiro Banno, Shin Oe, Hiroki Ushirozako, Tomohiro Yamada, Yuh Watanabe, Koichiro Ide, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Extensive corrective fusion surgery was performed on elderly patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD) to improve abnormal posture. Varying improvements in postoperative walking function were expected owing to differences in muscular strength and bone quality between patients in their 40s and those over 75 years of age. The purpose of this study was to compare preoperative and postoperative gait posture and physical functionality in elderly patients with ASD who underwent extensive corrective fusion to the thoracic spine.

METHODS

A prospectively maintained surgical database was reviewed for patients with ASD who underwent corrective fusion surgery (thoracic spine to pelvis) between 2011 and 2016. The cohort was divided into three age groups: nonelderly (40–64 years), young-old (65–74 years), and old-old (> 75 years). Patients underwent a 4-m walk test preoperatively and 2 years postoperatively to measure gait-trunk tilt angle and walking speed (meters per minute).

RESULTS

Among 291 patients with ASD who underwent corrective fusion surgery, 56 patients (14 men and 42 women; mean age 68.8 years) were included. Mean preoperative gait-trunk tilt angle (12.9° vs 5.2°, p < 0.01) and walking speed (41.2 m/min vs 45.7 m/min, p < 0.01) significantly improved postoperatively. Intergroup analysis revealed that the mean preoperative gait-trunk tilt angles in the nonelderly (n = 13), young-old (n = 28), and old-old (n = 15) groups were 11.9°, 10.0°, and 19.3°, respectively; postoperatively, these improved to 4.5°, 4.5°, and 7.2°, respectively. Mean preoperative walking speeds of 47.9, 40.0, and 37.7 m/min improved to 52.4, 44.8, and 41.5 m/min postoperatively in the nonelderly, young-old, and old-old groups, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in degree of improvement in gait-trunk tilt angle and walking speed among groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Extensive corrective fusion surgery improved the postoperative walking posture of patients with ASD. Statistical analysis of gait measurements demonstrated intergroup equivalence, indicating comparable improvement in physical functionality in elderly and middle-aged patients after corrective fusion surgery.

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Tatsuya Yasuda, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Yu Yamato, Daisuke Togawa, Sho Kobayashi, Go Yoshida, Tomohiro Banno, Hideyuki Arima, Shin Oe, and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of position on lumbar lordosis (LL) in adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients.

METHODS

The authors evaluated the radiographic data of ASD patients who underwent posterior corrective fusion surgery from the thoracic spine to L5, S1, or the ilium for the treatment of ASD of the lumbar spine. The spinopelvic parameters were measured in the standing position preoperatively. LL was also evaluated in the supine position preoperatively and in the prone position on the surgical frame. Changes in LL were compared between groups.

RESULTS

Eighty-five patients were included. The average LL in standing, supine, and prone positions was 11.8°, 24.3°, and 24.0°, respectively. LL increased significantly from standing to supine or prone position (p < 0.001). In 80 patients (94.1%), the difference between supine LL and prone LL was within 5°. Change in LL from standing to prone position was significantly higher in the severe deformity group.

CONCLUSIONS

The lordotic effect of intraoperative prone positioning was remarkable in patients with severe deformities. LL in the supine position was approximately the same as that in the prone position. Therefore, assessing preoperative supine lateral lumbar radiographs enables one to plan corrective spinal surgeries in ASD patients.