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Jin Hoon Park, Sung Woo Roh, and Seung Chul Rhim

OBJECT

The optimal treatment for cervical facet dislocations is controversial, but the generally accepted process recommends an initial closed reduction with the next step determined according to the success of the closed reduction and the presence of traumatic disc herniation. This study aimed to show the efficacy of a posterior approach performed with an open reduction and pedicle screw fixation with removal of disc particles, if required, in the management of subaxial cervical dislocations.

METHODS

Between March 2012 and September 2013, 21 consecutive patients with cervical facet dislocations were enrolled. The affected levels were as follows: 4 at C3–4; 2 at C4–5; 5 at C5–6; and 10 at the C6–7 level. Seven patients had traumatic disc herniations. Closed reduction was not attempted; a prompt posterior cervical surgery was performed instead. After open reduction, pedicle screw fixation was performed. In cases with traumatic disc herniation, herniated disc fragments were excised via a posterolateral approach and successful decompressions were determined by postoperative MRI studies. Clinical outcomes were assessed using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grading system. Radiological outcomes were assessed by comparing the degree of subluxation and the angle of segmental lordosis between pre- and postoperative CT scans.

RESULTS

All patients improved neurologically. The mean segmental angles improved from 7.3° ± 8.68° to −5.9° ± 4.85°. The mean subluxation improved from 23.4% ± 16.52% to 2.6% ± 7.19%. Disc fragments were successfully removed from the 7 patients with herniated discs, as shown on MRI.

CONCLUSIONS

Open reduction followed by pedicle screw fixation or posterolateral removal of herniated disc fragments is a good treatment option for cervical facet dislocations.

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Chong-Suh Lee, Jin-Sung Park, Yunjin Nam, Youn-Taek Choi, and Se-Jun Park

OBJECTIVE

It has been well documented that optimal sagittal alignment is highly correlated with good clinical outcomes in adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. However, it remains to be determined whether the clinical benefit of appropriately corrected sagittal alignment can be maintained in the long term. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether appropriately corrected sagittal alignment continues to offer benefits over time with regard to clinical outcomes and mechanical failure.

METHODS

Patients older than 50 years who underwent ≥ 4-level fusion for ASD and were followed up for ≥ 5 years were included in this study. Appropriateness of sagittal alignment correction was defined as pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis ≤ 10°, pelvic tilt ≤ 25°, and sagittal vertical axis ≤ 50 mm. Two groups were created based on this appropriateness: group A (appropriate) and group IA (inappropriate). Clinical outcomes were evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and Scoliosis Research Society Outcomes Questionnaire–22 (SRS-22). The development of mechanical failures, such as rod fracture and proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK), was compared between the two groups.

RESULTS

The study included 90 patients with a follow-up duration of 90.3 months. There were 30 patients in group A and 60 patients in group IA. The clinical outcomes at 2 years were significantly better in group A than in group IA in terms of the VAS scores, ODI scores, and all domains of SRS-22. At the final follow-up visit, back VAS and ODI scores were still lower in group A than they were in group IA, but the VAS score for leg pain did not differ between the groups. The SRS-22 score at the final follow-up showed that only the pain and self-image/appearance domains and the total sum were significantly higher in group A than in group IA. The incidence of rod fracture and PJK did not differ between the two groups. The rate of revision surgery for rod fracture or PJK was also similar between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS

The clinical benefits from appropriate correction of sagittal alignment continued for a mean of 90.3 months. However, the intergroup difference in clinical outcomes between groups A and IA decreased over time. The development of rod fracture or PJK was not affected by the appropriateness of sagittal alignment.

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Jin-Sung Park, Se-Jun Park, Chong-Suh Lee, Tae-hoon Yum, and Bo-Taek Kim

OBJECTIVE

Several radiological parameters related to the aging spine have been reported as progression factors of early degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS). However, it has not been determined which factors are the most important. In this study the authors aimed to determine the risk factors associated with curve progression in early DLS.

METHODS

Fifty-one patients with early DLS and Cobb angles of 5°–15° were investigated. In total, 7 men and 44 women (mean age 61.6 years) were observed for a mean period of 13.7 years. The subjects were divided into two groups according to Cobb angle progression (≥ 15° or < 15°) at the final follow-up, and radiological parameters were compared. The direction of scoliosis, apical vertebral level and rotational grade, lateral subluxation, disc space difference, osteophyte difference, upper and lower disc wedging angles, and relationship between the intercrest line and L5 vertebra were evaluated.

RESULTS

During the follow-up period, the mean curve progression increased from 8.8° ± 3.2° to 19.4° ± 8.9°. The Cobb angle had progressed by ≥ 15° in 17 patients (33.3%) at the final follow-up. In these patients the mean Cobb angle increased from 9.4° ± 3.4° to 28.8° ± 7.5°, and in the 34 remaining patients it increased from 8.5° ± 3.1° to 14.7° ± 4.8°. The baseline lateral subluxation, disc space difference, and upper and lower disc wedging angles significantly differed between the groups. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, only the upper and lower disc wedging angles were significantly correlated with curve progression (OR 1.55, p = 0.035, and OR 1.89, p = 0.004, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Asymmetrical degenerative change in the lower apical vertebral disc, which leads to upper and lower disc wedging angles, is the most substantial factor in predicting early DLS progression.

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Sung Ho Lee, Bong Jin Park, Hee Sup Shin, Chang Kyu Park, Bong Arm Rhee, and Young Jin Lim

OBJECTIVE

Abnormal lateral spread response (LSR) is a typical finding in facial electromyography (EMG) in patients with hemifacial spasm (HFS). Although intraoperative monitoring of LSR has been widely used during microvascular decompression (MVD), the prognostic value of this monitoring is still debated. The purpose of this study was to determine whether such monitoring exhibits prognostic value for the alleviation of LSR after treatment of HFS.

METHODS

Between January 2009 and December 2013, a total of 582 patients underwent MVD for HFS with intraoperative EMG monitoring at Kyung Hee University Hospital. The patients were categorized into 1 of 2 groups according to the presence of LSR at the conclusion of surgery (Group A, LSR free; Group B, LSR persisting). Patients were assessed for the presence of HFS 1 day, 6 months, and 1 year after surgery. Various parameters, including age, sex, symptom duration, offending vertebral artery, and offending perforating artery, were evaluated for their influence on surgical and electrophysiological results.

RESULTS

Overall, HFS was alleviated in 455 (78.2%) patients 1 day after MVD, in 509 (87.5%) patients 6 months after MVD, and in 546 (93.8%) patients 1 year after MVD. Patients in Group B were significantly younger than those in Group A (p = 0.022). Patients with a symptom duration of less than 1 year were significantly more likely to be classified in Group A than were patients whose symptoms had persisted for longer than 10 years (p = 0.023); however, analysis of the entire range of symptom durations did not reveal a significant effect (p = 0.132). A comparison of Groups A and B according to follow-up period revealed that HFS recovery correlated with LSR alleviation over a shorter period, but the same was not true of longer periods; the proportions of spasm-free patients were 80.6% and 71.1% (p = 0.021), 89.4% and 81.9% (p = 0.022), and 93.5% and 94.6% (p = 0.699) 1 day, 6 months, and 1 year after surgery in Groups A and B, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Although intraoperative EMG monitoring during MVD was beneficial for identifying the offending vessel and suggesting the most appropriate surgical end point, loss of LSR did not always correlate with long-term HFS treatment outcome. Because the HFS cure rate improved over time, revision might be considered for persistent LSR when follow-up has been performed for more than 1 year and the spasm remains despite adequate decompression.

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Jin-Myung Jung, Hyung-Jin Shin, Je G. Chi, In Sung Park, Eun Sang Kim, and Jong Woo Han

✓ The authors present the clinical, radiological, and pathological features of a malignant schwannoma occurring in the right lateral ventricle of a 40-year-old man. Metastasis to both cerebellopontine angles and to the cerebellum was found 7 months after subtotal removal of the tumor.

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Juneyoung Heo, Sukh Que Park, Sung Jin Cho, Jae Chil Chang, and Hyung-ki Park

Object

Some patients with severe brain swelling treated with decompressive craniectomy may develop hydrocephalus. Consequently, these patients require cranioplasty and a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt to relieve the hydrocephalus. However, there is no consensus as to the timing of the cranioplasty and VP shunt placement in patients requiring both. The authors assessed the results of performing cranioplasty and VP shunt placement at the same time in patients with cranial defects and hydrocephalus.

Methods

A retrospective review was performed of 51 patients who had undergone cranioplasty and VP shunt operations after decompressive craniectomy for refractory intracranial hypertension between 2003 and 2012 at the authors' institution. Patient characteristics, data on whether the operations were performed simultaneously, brain bulging, hydrocephalus, cranial defect size, and complications were analyzed.

Results

The overall complication rate was 43% (22 of 51 patients). In 32 cases, cranioplasty and VP shunt placement were performed at the same time. Complications included subdural hematoma, subdural fluid collection, and infection. The group undergoing cranioplasty and VP shunt placement at the same time had higher complication rates than the group undergoing the procedures at different times (56% vs 21%, respectively). The severity of complications was also greater in the former group. Patients with severe brain bulging had higher complication rates than did those without brain bulging (51% vs 0%, respectively). Cranial defect size, severity of hydrocephalus, indication for decompressive craniectomy, age, sex, and interval between decompressive craniectomy and subsequent operation did not affect complication rates.

Conclusions

Patients undergoing cranioplasty and VP shunt placement at the same time had higher complication rates, especially those with severe brain bulging.

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Jeong Yoon Park, Yong Eun Cho, Sung Uk Kuh, Jun Hyung Cho, Dong Kyu Chin, Byung Ho Jin, and Keun Su Kim

Object.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) and pelvic parameters in the patients with spondylolytic spondylolisthesis. Sagittal balance is the most important risk and prognostic factor in the development of ASD. The pelvic incidence angle (PIA) is an important anatomical parameter in determining the sagittal curvature of the spine and in the individual variability of the sacral slope and the lordotic curve. Thus, the authors evaluated the relationship between the pelvic parameters and the ASD.

Methods.

Among 132 patients with spondylolytic spondylolisthesis who underwent surgery at their institution, the authors selected patients in whom a one-stage, single-level, 360° fixation procedure was performed for Grade I spondylolisthesis and who underwent follow-up for more than 1 year. Parameters in 34 patients satisfied these conditions. Of the 34 patients, seven had ASD (Group 1) and 27 patients did not have ASD (Group 2). The investigators measured degree of spondylolisthesis, lordotic angle, sacral slope angle (SSA), pelvic tilt angle (PTA), PIA, and additional parameters pre-and postoperatively. The radiographic data were reviewed retrospectively.

Results.

The population consisted of nine men and 25 women whose mean age was 48.9 ± 9 years (± standard deviation) (range 28–65 years). Seven patients developed ASD after undergoing fusion. Of all the parameters, pre-and postoperative degree of spondylolisthesis, segmental lordosis, lordotic angle, SSA, preoperative PTA, and pre-operative PIA did not differ significantly between the two groups; only postoperative PTA and PIA were significantly different.

Conclusions.

The development of ASD is closely related to postoperative PIA and PTA, not preoperative PIA and PTA. The measurement of postoperative PIA can be used as a new indirect method to predict the ASD.

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Subum Lee, Junghan Seo, Moon Kyu Lee, Sang Ryong Jeon, Sung Woo Roh, Seung Chul Rhim, and Jin Hoon Park

OBJECTIVE

The small diameter of cervical pedicles and a large transverse cervical pedicle angle are challenges that have led spinal surgeons to investigate how they could achieve a wider safety trajectory and reduce the insertion angle during cervical pedicle screw (CPS) placement. In this paper, the authors detail the advantages of using a curved pedicle probe and a laterally located entry point for overcoming these challenges.

METHODS

From March 2012 to May 2016, the authors performed posterior cervical fusions using CPSs on 119 consecutive patients. The lateral mass screw conversion and the CPS breach rate were analyzed. Using preoperative CT, it was determined that θlat is similar to the anatomical pedicle angle, and θmed is the minimally acceptable medial angle. The actual insertion medial angle (θins) was determined by postoperative CT. To identify how much of the medial angle on θins could be reduced from the anatomical pedicle angle (θlat), and how much closer to θmed, (θins−θmed) / (θlat−θmed) was calculated. To verify shifting of the entry point and widening of the trajectory, the mean df/Df (i.e., shifted facet point/planned facet point) values were analyzed.

RESULTS

The total number of planed CPSs was 759, the conversion rate was 4.61% (35/759), and the accuracy rate was 95.9% (694/724). The authors could calculate that θins could be expected near the 90%, 80%, 80%, 80%, and 110% value of θlat on C-3, C-4, C-5, C-6, and C-7 levels, respectively, with the (θins−θmed) / (θlat−θmed) equation. The mean df/Df values were 0.64, 0.62, 0.63, 0.63, and 1.24 on the C3–7 levels, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Through the use of a curved pedicle probe and a laterally located starting point, the planned and laterally located entry point medial shift was made during CPS placement. The entry point shift yielded a wider, safe trajectory and reduced the burden of making a large medial angle, similar to an anatomical cervical pedicle lateral angle, for safe CPS placement without creating a funnel-shaped hole.

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Jin-Young Hwang, Seong-Won Min, Young-Tae Jeon, Jung-Won Hwang, Sang-Heon Park, Jin-Hee Kim, and Sung-Hee Han

OBJECT

Spinal cord ischemia remains a serious complication of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm surgery. Coenzyme Q10, a potent antioxidant, has been reported to exert a neuroprotective effect. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of coenzyme Q10 pretreatment on spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion injury.

METHODS

Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with either 300 mg/kg coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 group, n = 12) or saline (control and sham groups, n = 12 for each group) for 5 days before ischemia. Spinal cord ischemia was induced in the control and CoQ10 groups. Neurological function was assessed using the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan (BBB) motor rating scale until 7 days after reperfusion, and then the spinal cord was harvested for histopathological examinations and an evaluation of malondialdehyde level.

RESULTS

On post-reperfusion Day 1, the CoQ10 group showed higher BBB scores compared with those in the control group, although the difference was not significant. However, on Day 2, the CoQ10 group showed a significantly higher BBB score than the control group (14.0 [10.3–15.0] vs 8.0 [5.0–9.8], median [IQR], respectively; p = 0.021), and this trend was maintained until Day 7 (17.5 [16.0–18.0] vs 9.0 [6.5–12.8], respectively; p < 0.001). Compared with the control group, the CoQ10 group had more normal motor neurons (p = 0.003), fewer apoptotic changes (p = 0.003) and a lower level of tissue malondialdehyde (p = 0.024).

CONCLUSIONS

Pretreatment with 300 mg/kg coenzyme Q10 resulted in significantly improved neurological function and preservation of more normal motor neurons.