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Xinyu Liu, Lianlei Wang, Suomao Yuan, Yonghao Tian, Yanping Zheng and Jianmin Li

OBJECT

Lumbar spondylolysis and isthmic spondylolisthesis occur most commonly at only one spinal level. The authors report on 13 cases of lumbar spondylolysis with spondylolisthesis at multiple levels.

METHODS

During July 2007–March 2012, multiple-level spondylolysis associated with spondylolisthesis was diagnosed in 13 patients (10 male, 3 female) at Qilu Hospital of Shandong University. The mean patient age was 43.5 ± 14.6 years. The duration of low-back pain was 11.7 ± 5.1 months. Spondylolysis occurred at L-2 in 2 patients, L-3 in 4 patients, L-4 in all patients, and L-5 in 5 patients. Spondylolysis occurred at 3 spinal levels in 3 patients and at 2 levels in 10 patients. All patients had spondylolisthesis at 1 or 2 levels. Japanese Orthopaedic Association and visual analog scale scores were used to evaluate preoperative and postoperative neurological function and low-back pain. All patients underwent pedicle screw fixation and interbody fusion or direct pars interarticularis repair.

RESULTS

Both low-back pain scores improved significantly after surgery (p < 0.05). Postoperative radiographs or CT scans showed satisfactory interbody fusion or pars interarticularis healing. No breakage, dislodging, or loosening of the pedicle screw hardware was observed for any patient.

CONCLUSIONS

Multiple-level lumbar spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis occurred more often in men. Most multiplelevel lumbar spondylolysis occurred at 2 spinal levels and was associated with sports, trauma, or heavy labor. Multiplelevel lumbar spondylolysis occurred mostly at L3–5; associated spondylolisthesis usually occurred at L-4 and L-5, mostly at L-4. The treatment principle was the same as that for single-level spondylolisthesis.

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Xinyu Liu, Suomao Yuan, Yonghao Tian, Lianlei Wang, Yanping Zheng and Jianmin Li

OBJECT

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a modified vertebral column resection for the treatment of thoracolumbar angular kyphosis.

METHODS

A total of 13 patients (8 male, 5 female) with thoracolumbar kyphosis (kyphotic angle > 60°) were included in this study (Group A). There were 3 patients with failure of spinal formation (Type 1 deformity), 6 patients with old thoracic or lumbar compression fracture, and 4 patients with old spinal tuberculosis (including 1 case of T3–5 vertebral malunion). The average preoperative kyphotic angle was 67.3° (range 62°–75°). Each patient underwent an expanded eggshell procedure combined with the closing-opening technique for the treatment of thoracolumbar angular kyphosis. Sixteen patients who were previously treated with a closing-opening wedge osteotomy in the same spine classification group (kyphotic angle > 60°) were used as a control group (Group B).

RESULTS

In Group A, the average (± SD) operative time was 400 ± 60 minutes, and the average blood loss was 960 ± 120 ml. There were no surgery-related complications observed during or after the operations. The average local kyphotic angle was 20.3° (range 18°–24.5°), and the average correction rate was 68.7%. In Group B, the average operative time was 470 ± 90 minutes, and the average blood loss was 2600 ± 1600 ml (range 1200–8200 ml). There were segmental vessels and spinal canal venous plexus injury in 1 case, spinal cord injury in 1 case, dural tearing in 2 cases, pleural rupture in 2 cases, and hemothorax and pneumothorax in 1 case. Each patient had more than 2 years of follow-up. At the latest follow-up examination, the average regional kyphotic angle was 19.9° ± 9.1° (range 19°–34°), and there was no significant loss of correction (p > 0.05). There was greater blood loss and a higher complication rate in Group B than in Group A (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

An expanded eggshell procedure combined with the closing-opening technique for the treatment of thoracolumbar angular kyphosis resulted in significant reduction of the kyphotic angle, few complications, and good follow-up results. However, a larger series of patients and long-term follow-up results is still required to verify the effectiveness and safety of this method.

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Jiangwei Tan, Yanping Zheng, Liangtai Gong, Xinyu Liu, Jianmin Li and Wei Du

Object

The authors report the short-term results of anterior cervical discectomy and interbody fusion performed via an endoscopic approach.

Methods

Thirty-six patients who underwent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) performed using endoscopic surgery were selected for this study. The indications for surgery were cervical disc herniation caused by neck injury, spondylotic myelopathy, cervical radiculopathy, and solitary ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). The involved levels included C3–4, C4–5, C5–6, and C6–7. The working channel was inserted through a 20-mm transverse incision, the protruding discs or area of OPLL were excised for complete decompression, and then an appropriate intervertebral polyetheretherketone fusion cage was implanted.

Results

The time spent in surgery was 120 minutes on average (range 50–150 minutes), and the mean blood loss was 55 ml (range 20–140 ml). There were no intraoperative complications and no symptoms of irritation in the laryngopharynx after surgery. However, postoperative hemorrhage of the incision occurred in 1 case. The follow-up period ranged from 26–50 months (mean 38.5 months). Postoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association and visual analog scale scores improved significantly.

Conclusions

Endoscopic surgery for ACDF can produce satisfactory results in patients with cervical disc herniation, cervical myelopathy, or radiculopathy. The optimal levels for this procedure are C4–5 and C5–6. Compared with a traditional approach, this technique has great advantages in terms of cosmetic results, intraoperative visualization, and postoperative recovery course. Nevertheless, every precaution should be taken to avoid possible complications, such as postoperative hemorrhage.

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Nan Lv, Ying Yu, Jinyu Xu, Christof Karmonik, Jianmin Liu and Qinghai Huang

OBJECT

Unruptured posterior communicating artery (PCoA) aneurysms with oculomotor nerve palsy (ONP) have a very high risk of rupture. This study investigated the hemodynamic and morphological characteristics of intracranial aneurysms with high rupture risk by analyzing PCoA aneurysms with ONP.

METHODS

Fourteen unruptured PCoA aneurysms with ONP, 33 ruptured PCoA aneurysms, and 21 asymptomatic unruptured PCoA aneurysms were included in this study. The clinical, morphological, and hemodynamic characteristics were compared among the different groups.

RESULTS

The clinical characteristics did not differ among the 3 groups (p > 0.05), whereas the morphological and hemodynamic analyses showed that size, aspect ratio, size ratio, undulation index, nonsphericity index, ellipticity index, normalized wall shear stress (WSS), and percentage of low WSS area differed significantly (p < 0.05) among the 3 groups. Furthermore, multiple comparisons revealed that these parameters differed significantly between the ONP group and the asymptomatic unruptured group and between the ruptured group and the asymptomatic unruptured group, except for size, which differed significantly only between the ONP group and the asymptomatic unruptured group (p = 0.0005). No morphological or hemodynamic parameters differed between the ONP group and the ruptured group.

CONCLUSIONS

Unruptured PCoA aneurysms with ONP demonstrated a distinctive morphological-hemodynamic pattern that was significantly different compared with asymptomatic unruptured PCoA aneurysms and was similar to ruptured PCoA aneurysms. The larger size, more irregular shape, and lower WSS might be related to the high rupture risk of PCoA aneurysms.

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Xinyu Liu, Suomao Yuan, Yonghao Tian, Lianlei Wang, Liangtai Gong, Yanping Zheng and Jianmin Li

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to evaluate the clinical outcomes of percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal discectomy (PETD), microendoscopic discectomy (MED), and microdiscectomy (MD) for treatment of symptomatic lumbar disc herniation (LDH).

METHODS

One hundred ninety-two patients with symptomatic LDH at L3–4 and L4–5 were included in this study. The mean (± SD) age of patients was 34.2 ± 2.6 years (range 18–62 years). The patients were divided into groups as follows: group A was treated with PETD and included 60 patients (31 men and 29 women) with a mean age of 36.2 years; group B was treated with MED and included 63 patients (32 men and 31 women) with a mean age of 33.1 years; and group C was treated with MD and included 69 patients (36 men and 33 women) with a mean age of 34.0 years. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scale for low-back pain (LBP), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), creatine phosphokinase activity 3 days after surgery, and visual analog scale (VAS) scores for LBP and leg pain were used for evaluation of clinical results.

RESULTS

There were no significant differences in mean preoperative JOA score, ODI score, and VAS scores for LBP and leg pain among groups A, B, and C. Incision length, duration of the operation, blood loss, creatine phosphokinase, length of hospital stay, and postoperative incision pain according to the VAS were best in the PETD group (p < 0.05). The number of seconds of intraoperative fluoroscopy was highest in the PETD group (p < 0.05), whereas there was no difference between the MED and MD groups. Three cases from the MED group and 2 cases from the MD group had an intraoperative durotomy. No CSF leakage was observed after surgery. One case from the MED group and 3 cases from the MD group had incision infections. There were no neurological deficits related to the surgeries in any of the groups. Fifty-five (91.6%), 59 (93.7%), and 62 patients (89.9%) had at least 2 years of follow-up in groups A, B, and C, respectively. At the last follow-up, JOA scores, VAS scores of LBP and leg pain, and ODI scores were significantly better than preoperative correlates in all groups. There were no differences among the 3 groups in JOA scores, JOA recovery rate, ODI scores, and VAS scores for leg pain. The VAS score for LBP was best in the PETD group (p < 0.05). No lumbar instability was observed in any group. Three cases (5.5%) in the PETD group had recurrent LDH, and 2 recurrent cases (3.4%) were confirmed in the MED group.

CONCLUSIONS

PETD, MED, and MD were all reliable techniques for the treatment of symptomatic LDH. With a restricted indication, PETD can result in rapid recovery and better clinical results after at least 2 years of follow-up.

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Tao Li, Jianmin Li, Zhen Wang, Baodong Liu, Dunfu Han and Pengyun Wang

Object

Percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) combined with brachytherapy using the interstitial implantation of 125I seeds has previously yielded encouraging clinical results in the treatment of metastatic vertebral tumors. However, the bone cement injection volume is very small due to the osteolytic damage to the metastatic vertebrae, and the ideal spatial distribution of the 125I seeds is difficult to achieve. In the current study, the authors present a clinical method for puncture needle insertion to achieve a greater bone cement injection volume and a more ideal spatial distribution of the 125I seeds.

Methods

Twenty-nine patients with osteolytic metastatic vertebral tumors were divided into 2 groups and were treated with either PVP combined with multineedle interstitial implantation of 125I seeds, or PVP combined with single-needle interstitial implantation of 125I seeds. Clinical efficacy was evaluated according to a visual analog scale (VAS) of pain, the Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS), and the Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST).

Results

Back pain was significantly alleviated in all patients after surgery. Compared with the preoperative scores, the VAS scores were significantly decreased in both groups at 1 week and 3 months postoperatively (p < 0.05), but there were no significant intergroup differences (p > 0.05). The postoperative quality of life was improved in both groups; the KPS scores increased significantly compared with the preoperative scores (p < 0.05), and the postoperative KPS scores were significantly different between the 2 groups (p < 0.05). No intergroup differences were observed in pain alleviation, but the bone cement injection volume was significantly greater in the multineedle group than in the single-needle group (p < 0.05). The clinical benefit rate and disease control rate at 3 months after the operation were both significantly better for the multineedle group (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

The outcomes of PVP combined with multineedle interstitial implantation of 125I seeds in patients with osteolytic metastatic vertebral tumors appeared to be better than the outcomes of PVP combined with single-needle interstitial implantation of 125I seeds. These better outcomes may be the result of the greater bone cement injection volume and the more ideal spatial distribution of the 125I seeds.

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Xinyu Liu, Yanguo Wang, Xiaojuan Wu, Yanping Zheng, Long Jia, Junyan Li, Kai Zhang, Jianmin Li and Bin Wei

Object

In this paper, the authors assessed the effects of different surgical approaches and reconstructive methods on the spinous process after lumbar surgery in sheep.

Methods

A total of 41 healthy, adult sheep weighing 38–40 kg were used in this study. The animals were randomly divided into 4 groups (10 animals per group and 1 control). Animals in Group A underwent a spinous process–splitting procedure to expose the lamina. Animals in Group B had bilateral multifidus muscles stripped and the spinous process excised. All animals in Group C underwent unilateral stripping of the multifidus muscle from the spinous process (Group C1) as well as spinous process splitting at the bottom to expose the contralateral lamina attached to the multifidus muscle (Group C2). To mimic the laminoplasty procedure, the multifidus muscles were stripped bilaterally in Group D. For all groups, the surgical level (L-6), length of incision (4 cm), the retracting distance, and time (40 minutes) remained constant. Ten months after surgery, the atrophy rate of the cross-sectional areas (CSAs) of the multifidus muscle, MR imaging findings, and histological changes of the muscle tissue were evaluated. Normal multifidus muscles taken from a healthy sheep at the L-6 level and the preoperative data of MR imaging in experimental animals provided control data (Group E).

Results

The MR imaging and histological scores of multifidus muscles from sheep in Groups A, B, C1, C2, and D were significantly decreased, and the atrophy rates were significantly higher than those from sheep in Group E (p < 0.05). The postoperative MR imaging and histological scores obtained in Groups A and C2 were highest and the atrophy rates were lowest, while animals from Group B had the highest atrophy rate and lowest MR imaging and histological scores among all experimental groups (p < 0.05). The scores for animals in Groups A and C2, in which the muscles were not stripped from the spinous process, achieved lower atrophy rates and higher MR imaging and histological scores than those for sheep in Groups C1 and D, in which the muscles were stripped (p < 0.05). The groups in which the spinous process was reconstructed after detachment of the muscles (Groups C1 and D) had lower atrophy rates and higher MR imaging and histological scores than Group B (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

The multifidus muscle can be effectively protected by reducing the extent of muscle detachment and reconstructing the posterior bone-ligament complex. A spinous process–splitting procedure is a useful method to reduce postoperative muscle atrophy.

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Qiao Zuo, Pengfei Yang, Nan Lv, Qinghai Huang, Yu Zhou, Xiaoxi Zhang, Guoli Duan, Yina Wu, Yi Xu, Bo Hong, Rui Zhao, Qiang Li, Yibin Fang, Kaijun Zhao, Dongwei Dai and Jianmin Liu

OBJECTIVE

The authors compared the contemporary perioperative procedure-related complications between coiling with stent placement and coiling without stent placement for acutely ruptured aneurysms treated in a single center after improvement of interventional skills and strategy.

METHODS

In an institutional review board–approved protocol, 133 patients who underwent coiling with stent placement and 289 patients who underwent coiling without stent placement from January 2012 to December 2014 were consecutively reviewed retrospectively. Baseline characteristics, procedure-related complications and mortality rate, angiographic follow-up results, and clinical outcomes were compared between the two groups. Univariate analysis and logistic regression analysis were performed to determine the association of procedure-related complications of coiling with stent placement with potential risk factors.

RESULTS

The coiling/stent group and coiling/no-stent group were statistically comparable with respect to all baseline characteristics except for aneurysm location (p < 0.001) and parent artery configuration (p = 0.024). The immediate embolization results and clinical outcomes between the two groups showed no significant differences (p = 0.807 and p = 0.611, respectively). The angiographic follow-up results of the coiling in stent group showed a significant higher occlusion rate and lower recurrence rate compared with the coiling/no-stent group (82.5% vs 66.7%, 3.5% vs 14.5%, p = 0.007). Procedure-related intraoperative rupture and thrombosis, postoperative early rebleeding and thrombosis, and external ventricular drainage–related hemorrhagic event occurred in 3.0% (4 of 133), 2.3% (3 of 133), 1.5% (2 of 133), 0.7% (1 of 133), and 0.8% (1 of 133) of the coiling/stent group compared with 1.0% (3 of 289), 1.4% (4 of 289), 1.4% (4 of 289), and 0.7% (2 of 289) of the coiling/no-stent group, respectively (p = 0.288, p = 0.810, p = 1.000, p = 0.315, and p = 1.000, respectively). One patient presented with coil protrusion in the group of coiling without stent. The procedure-related mortality was 1.5% (2 of 133) in the coiling/stent group and 0.7% in the coiling/no-stent group (p = 0.796). Multivariable analysis showed no significant predictors for the total perioperative procedure-related complications, hemorrhagic complications, or ischemic complications.

CONCLUSIONS

The perioperative procedure-related complications and mortality rate did not differ significantly between the coiling/stent group and the coiling/no-stent group for patients with acutely ruptured aneurysms. Considering the better angiographic follow-up results, coiling with stent placement might be a feasible, safe, and promising option for treatment in the acute phase of selected wide-necked ruptured intracranial aneurysms.