Originally founded in 1885, Gwanghyewon later became the Severance Hospital (named after philanthropist Louis Severance, who supported and funded the construction of a modern hospital) and Yonsei University College of Medicine. The Department of Neurosurgery at Severance Hospital was established in 1957, and its residency program began in 1961. Currently, the Department of Neurosurgery has 34 professors and 17 fellows; specialties include vascular, functional, pediatric, tumor, skull base, and spine neurosurgery. With its state-of-the-art neurosurgical facilities and services, the Department of Neurosurgery has developed into a department of excellence within the Yonsei University Health System. In this vignette, the authors present a historic overview of the Department of Neurosurgery.
Dong Ah Shin and Dong Kyu Chin
Dong Ah Shin, Keung Nyun Kim, Hyun Cheol Shin, and Do Heum Yoon
The objective of this study was to evaluate the invasiveness of microendoscopic discectomy (MED) in comparison with microscopic discectomy (MD) by measuring serum levels of creatine phosphokinase (CPK)-MM and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)-5, and by comparing visual analog scale (VAS) scores of postoperative pain.
This study included a group of 15 patients who underwent surgery using MED and 15 patients who underwent surgery using MD, both for single-level unilateral herniated nucleus pulposus. The CPK-MM and LDH-5 levels were measured at admission and after 1, 3, and 5 days postoperatively. Pain assessment was recorded using scores raging from 0 to 10 on a subjective VAS at admission and at 1, 3, and 5 days postoperatively.
The mean CPK-MM levels were lower for the MED group than for the MD group at both 3 (576.1 ± 286.3 IU/L compared with 968.1 ± 377.8 IU/L) and 5 days (348.1 ± 231.0 IU/L compared with 721.7 ± 463.2) postoperatively (p < 0.05). The mean VAS scores for postoperative back pain were lower in the MED group than in the MD group, both at 1 (3.3 ± 2.3 compared with 5.8 ± 1.5) and 5 days (1.9 ± 1.1 compared with 3.6 ± 1.1) postoperatively (p < 0.01).
The MED procedure is less invasive than MD, and causes less muscle damage and less back pain.
Doo-Sik Kong, Kwan Park, Byoung-gook Shin, Jeong Ah Lee, and Dong-Ok Eum
The authors conducted a large retrospective study in which they evaluated the efficacy of intraoperative electromyography (EMG) monitoring of facial musculature during microvascular decompression (MVD) and assessed the predictive value of the lateral spread response (LSR) as a prognostic indicator for the treatment outcome of hemifacial spasm (HFS).
The authors undertook intraoperative monitoring during MVD in 300 consecutive patients with HFS. The patients were divided into two groups based on whether the LSR disappeared or persisted following decompression. The mean follow-up period was 35.8 months (range 12–55 months). In 263 (87.7%) of the 300 patients, the LSR was observed during intraoperative facial EMG monitoring. In 230 (87.4%) of these 263 patients, the LSR disappeared following decompression (Group I), and in the remaining 33 patients (12.5%) the LSR persisted despite decompression (Group II). At the postoperative 1-year follow-up visit, there was a significant difference in clinical outcomes between both groups (p < 0.05).
Facial EMG monitoring of the LSR is an effective tool to use when performing complete decompression, and it may be helpful in predicting outcomes.
Dong Ah Shin, Ryoong Huh, Sang Sup Chung, Jack Rock, and Samuel Ryu
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has become an important treatment alternative to surgery for a variety of spinal lesions. However, the use of SRS in the management of intradural intramedullary (IDIM) metastasis remains controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the clinical efficacy and safety of SRS for treatment of IDIM metastasis.
Nine patients with 11 IDIM metastases treated with SRS at Henry Ford Hospital were retrospectively reviewed. The mean age at presentation was 50 years, with a range of 14–71 years. There were 4 intradural extramedullary and 7 intramedullary lesions. The radiosurgery procedure used techniques of image-guided and intensitymodulated radiation. The mean treatment dose was 13.8 Gy, with a range of 10–16 Gy. All patients had clinical follow-up (except in 1 lesion), with an emphasis on initial symptoms and ambulatory status, and 8 patients (9 lesions) had imaging studies. The median follow-up duration was 10 months.
The presenting symptoms were improved in 8 (80%) of 10 evaluable lesions, unchanged in 1 case, and worsened in 1 case. Radiographic responses were seen as follows: complete response in 2 (22%) of 9; partial response in 3 (33%) of 9; stable disease in 3 (33%) of 9; and progressive disease in 1 (11%) of 9. After radiosurgery, 7 patients (78%) remained ambulatory until the last follow-up visit. The overall median survival time after SRS was 8 months, with a range of 2–19 months. No radiation toxicity was detected clinically during the follow-up period.
Despite the fact that this was a small series of patients with IDIM metastasis who had limited treatment options, SRS appears to be an effective and safe method of treating patients with these lesions.
Chang Kyu Lee, Dong Ah Shin, Seong Yi, Keung Nyun Kim, Hyun Chul Shin, Do Heum Yoon, and Yoon Ha
The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between cervical spine sagittal alignment and clinical outcomes after cervical laminoplasty in patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL).
Fifty consecutive patients who underwent a cervical laminoplasty for OPLL between January 2012 and January 2013 and who were followed up for at least 1 year were analyzed in this study. Standing plain radiographs of the cervical spine, CT (midsagittal view), and MRI (T2-weighted sagittal view) were obtained (anteroposterior, lateral, flexion, and extension) pre- and postoperatively. Cervical spine alignment was assessed with the following 3 parameters: the C2–7 Cobb angle, C2–7 sagittal vertical axis (SVA), and T-1 slope minus C2–7 Cobb angle. The change in cervical sagittal alignment was defined as the difference between the post- and preoperative C2–7 Cobb angles, C2–7 SVAs, and T-1 slope minus C2–7 Cobb angles. Outcome assessments (visual analog scale [VAS], Oswestry Neck Disability Index [NDI], 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey [SF-36], and Japanese Orthopaedic Association [JOA] scores) were obtained in all patients pre- and postoperatively.
The average patient age was 56.3 years (range 38–72 years). There were 34 male patients and 16 female patients. Cervical laminoplasty for OPLL helped alleviate radiculomyelopathy. Compared with the preoperative scores, improvement was seen in postoperative VAS and JOA scores. After laminoplasty, 35 patients had kyphotic changes, and 15 had lordotic changes. However, cervical sagittal alignment after laminoplasty was not significantly associated with clinical outcomes in terms of postoperative improvement of the JOA score (C2–7 Cobb angle: p = 0.633; C2–7 SVA: p = 0.817; T-1 slope minus C2–7 lordosis: p = 0.554), the SF-36 score (C2–7 Cobb angle: p = 0.554; C2–7 SVA: p = 0.793; T-1 slope minus C2–7 lordosis: p = 0.829), the VAS neck score (C2–7 Cobb angle: p = 0.263; C2–7 SVA: p = 0.716; T-1 slope minus C2–7 lordosis: p = 0.497), or the NDI score (C2–7 Cobb angle: p = 0.568; C2–7 SVA: p = 0.279; T-1 slope minus C2–7 lordosis: p = 0.966). Similarly, the change in cervical sagittal alignment was not related to the JOA (p = 0.604), SF-36 (p = 0.308), VAS neck (p = 0.832), or NDI (p = 0.608) scores.
Cervical laminoplasty for OPLL improved radiculomyelopathy. Cervical laminoplasty increased the probability of cervical kyphotic alignment. However, cervical sagittal alignment and clinical outcomes were not clearly related.
Sungkyu Lee, Chung Mo Nam, Do Heum Yoon, Keung Nyun Kim, Seong Yi, Dong Ah Shin, and Yoon Ha
The authors undertook this study to investigate the relationships between low-back pain (LBP) and spinal bone density. Low-back pain is a major health issue and contributes to increases in medical and economic costs. Epidemiological studies have identified individual, sociodemographic, psychosocial, and occupational risk factors for LBP. However, there have been limited studies addressing the relationships between LBP and spinal bone density.
Data were obtained from the population-based Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (K-NHANES IV, 2009). From 10,533 K-NHANES participants, the authors identified 7144 (3099 men and 4045 women) 21 years of age or older who underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and anthropometric measurements for inclusion in this study. Low-back pain patients were defined as those who had been diagnosed with LBP by a medical doctor. Chi-square tests, t-tests, and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to examine the relationships between LBP and spinal bone density.
The total prevalence of LBP in the patient sample was 17.1%. More females (21.0%) reported LBP than males (12.1%). A number of sociodemographic and medical factors—sex, age, place of residence, occupation, education, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and depression—were all associated with LBP, while LBP was not associated with income or exercise levels. Regression analyses indicated that higher lumbar spine T-scores (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.02–1.20) were associated with LBP.
Higher bone density in the lumbar spine is associated with LBP, independent of confounding factors such as sociodemographic status, education, and medical-psychiatric disorders. Cause and effect relationship between higher bone density and LBP, such as degenerative changes in spine, requires further investigation.
Jun Jae Shin, Hyeongseok Jeon, Jong Joo Lee, Hyung Cheol Kim, Tae Woo Kim, Sung Bae An, Dong Ah Shin, Seong Yi, Keung-Nyun Kim, Do-Heum Yoon, Narihito Nagoshi, Kota Watanabe, Masaya Nakamura, Morio Matsumoto, Nan Li, Sai Ma, Da He, Wei Tian, Kenny Yat Hong Kwan, Kenneth Man Chee Cheung, K. Daniel Riew, Daniel J. Hoh, Yoon Ha, and the Asia Pacific Spine Study Group (APSSG)
The purpose of this retrospective multicenter study was to compare prognostic factors for neurological recovery in patients undergoing surgery for cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) based on their presenting mild, moderate, or severe myelopathy.
The study included 372 consecutive patients with OPLL who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy between 2006 and 2016 in East Asian countries with a high OPLL prevalence. Baseline and postoperative clinical outcomes were assessed using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) myelopathy score and recovery ratio. Radiographic assessment included occupying ratio, cervical range of motion, and sagittal alignment parameters. Patient myelopathy was classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the preoperative JOA score. Linear and multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify patient and surgical factors associated with neurological recovery stratified by baseline myelopathy severity.
The mean follow-up period was 45.4 months (range 25–140 months). The mean preoperative and postoperative JOA scores and recovery ratios for the total cohort were 11.7 ± 3.0, 14.5 ± 2.7, and 55.2% ± 39.3%, respectively. In patients with mild myelopathy, only age and diabetes correlated with recovery. In patients with moderate to severe myelopathy, older age and preoperative increased signal intensity on T2-weighted imaging were significantly correlated with a lower likelihood of recovery, while female sex and anterior decompression with fusion (ADF) were associated with better recovery.
Various patient and surgical factors are correlated with likelihood of neurological recovery after surgical treatment for cervical OPLL, depending on the severity of presenting myelopathy. Older age, male sex, intramedullary high signal intensity, and posterior decompression are associated with less myelopathy improvement in patients with worse baseline function. Therefore, myelopathy-specific preoperative counseling regarding prognosis for postoperative long-term neurological improvement should include consideration of these individual and surgical factors.