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Atsushi Okawa, Hirotoshi Yoshida, Hirotaka Haro and Kenichi Shinomiya

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Hirotaka Haro, Toru Domoto, Shingo Maekawa, Tadahiro Horiuchi, Hiromichi Komori and Yoshiki Hamada

✓The authors describe 2 cases of thoracic disc herniation, resulting in acute myelopathy without bladder dysfunction or progressive muscular weakness; the herniated disc apparently resorbed without surgical intervention. Thoracic disc herniations are less frequent than cervical or lumbar disc herniations and are usually associated with severe neurological deficits. In these 2 cases, the herniated discs exhibited marked decreases in size, corresponding to a favorable clinical outcome within a few months after the initiation of conservative treatment with prostaglandin E1 and/or steroids in conjunction with physical therapy. The authors conclude that thoracic herniated discs are capable of undergoing natural resorption and that conservative treatment could be indicated, even in the presence of moderate myelopathy, when the myelopathy is not accompanied by bladder dysfunction or progressive muscular weakness.

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Hiroki Oba, Jun Takahashi, Sho Kobayashi, Tetsuro Ohba, Shota Ikegami, Shugo Kuraishi, Masashi Uehara, Takashi Takizawa, Ryo Munakata, Terue Hatakenaka, Michihiko Koseki, Shigeto Ebata, Hirotaka Haro, Yukihiro Matsuyama and Hiroyuki Kato

OBJECTIVE

Unfused main thoracic (MT) curvatures occasionally increase after selective thoracolumbar/lumbar (TL/L) fusion. This study sought to identify the predictors of an unacceptable increase in MT curve (UIMT) after selective posterior fusion (SPF) of the TL/L curve in patients with Lenke type 5C adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).

METHODS

Forty-eight consecutive patients (44 females and 4 males, mean age 15.7 ± 2.5 years, range 13–24 years) with Lenke type 5C AIS who underwent SPF of the TL/L curve were analyzed. The novel “Shinshu line” (S-line) was defined as a line connecting the centers of the concave-side pedicles of the upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) and lowest instrumented vertebra (LIV) on preoperative radiographs. The authors established an S-line tilt to the right as S-line positive (S-line+, i.e., the UIV being to the right of the LIV) and compared S-line+ and S-line− groups for thoracic apical vertebral translation (T-AVT) and MT Cobb angle preoperatively, early postoperatively, and at final follow-up. The predictors for T-AVT > 20 mm at final follow-up were evaluated as well. T-AVT > 20 mm was defined as a UIMT.

RESULTS

Among the 48 consecutively treated patients, 26 were S-line+ and 22 were S-line−. At preoperative, early postoperative, and final follow-up a minimum of 2 years later, the mean T-AVT was 12.8 mm (range −9.3 to 32.8 mm), 19.6 mm (range −13.0 to 41.0 mm), and 22.8 mm (range −1.9 to 68.7 mm) in the S-line+ group, and 10.8 mm (range −5.1 to 27.3 mm), 16.2 mm (range −11.7 to 42.1 mm), and 11.0 mm (range −6.3 to 26.9 mm) in the S-line− group, respectively. T-AVT in S-line+ patients was significantly larger than that in S-line− patients at the final follow-up. Multivariate analysis revealed S-line+ (odds ratio [OR] 23.8, p = 0.003) and preoperative MT Cobb angle (OR 7.9, p = 0.001) to be predictors of a UIMT.

CONCLUSIONS

S-line+ was defined as the UIV being to the right of the LIV. T-AVT in the S-line+ group was significantly larger than in the S-line− group at the final follow-up. S-line+ status and larger preoperative MT Cobb angle were independent predictors of a UIMT after SPF for the TL/L curve in patients with Lenke type 5C AIS. Surgeons should consider changing the UIV and/or LIV in patients exhibiting S-line+ during preoperative planning to avoid a possible increase in MT curve and revision surgery.

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Hiroki Ushirozako, Tomohiko Hasegawa, Shigeto Ebata, Tetsuro Ohba, Hiroki Oba, Keijiro Mukaiyama, Satoshi Shimizu, Yu Yamato, Koichiro Ide, Yosuke Shibata, Toshiyuki Ojima, Jun Takahashi, Hirotaka Haro and Yukihiro Matsuyama

OBJECTIVE

Nonunion after posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is associated with poor long-term outcomes in terms of health-related quality of life. Biomechanical factors in the fusion segment may influence spinal fusion rates. There are no reports on the relationship between intervertebral union and the absorption of autografts or vertebral endplates. Therefore, the purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the risk factors of nonunion after PLIF and identify preventive measures.

METHODS

The authors analyzed 138 patients who underwent 1-level PLIF between 2016 and 2018 (75 males, 63 females; mean age 67 years; minimum follow-up period 12 months). Lumbar CT images obtained soon after the surgery and at 6 and 12 months of follow-up were examined for the mean total occupancy rate of the autograft, presence of a translucent zone between the autograft and endplate (more than 50% of vertebral diameter), cage subsidence, and screw loosening. Complete intervertebral union was defined as the presence of both upper and lower complete fusion in the center cage regions on coronal and sagittal CT slices at 12 months postoperatively. Patients were classified into either union or nonunion groups.

RESULTS

Complete union after PLIF was observed in 62 patients (45%), while nonunion was observed in 76 patients (55%). The mean total occupancy rate of the autograft immediately after the surgery was higher in the union group than in the nonunion group (59% vs 53%; p = 0.046). At 12 months postoperatively, the total occupancy rate of the autograft had decreased by 5.4% in the union group and by 11.9% in the nonunion group (p = 0.020). A translucent zone between the autograft and endplate immediately after the surgery was observed in 14 and 38 patients (23% and 50%) in the union and nonunion groups, respectively (p = 0.001). The nonunion group had a significantly higher proportion of cases with cage subsidence and screw loosening at 12 months postoperatively in comparison to the union group (p = 0.010 and p = 0.009, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

A lower occupancy rate of the autograft and the presence of a translucent zone between the autograft and endplate immediately after the surgery were associated with nonunion at 12 months after PLIF. It may be important to achieve sufficient contact between the autograft and endplate intraoperatively for osseous union enhancement and to avoid excessive absorption of the autograft. The achievement of complete intervertebral union may decrease the incidence of cage subsidence or screw loosening.