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Jeong-Wook Choi, Jung-Kil Lee, Kyung-Sub Moon, Hyuk Hur, Yeon-Seong Kim and Soo-Han Kim

✓Disc herniations of the upper lumbar spine (L1–2 and L2–3) have a frequency of 1 to 2% of all disc herniations. During posterior discectomy after laminectomy, significant manipulation of the exiting nerve root is unavoidable because of the narrow lamina and the difficulty in mobilizing the nerve root. The authors adopted a transdural approach in patients with calcified central disc herniation at the L1–2 level to reduce the risk of nerve root injury.

Four patients suffering from radiating pain together with back pain were treated using the transdural approach. Pre-operative neuroimaging studies revealed severe central disc herniation with calcification at the L1–2 level. After laminectomy or laminotomy, the incised dura mater was tacked, and the cauda equina rootlets were gently retracted. An intentional durotomy was performed over its maximal bulging of the ventral dura. After meticulous dissection of dense adhesions between the disc herniation and the dural sac, adequate decompression with removal of calcified disc fragments and osteophytes was accomplished.

Clinical symptoms improved in all patients. Postoperative permanent cerebrospinal fluid leakage and pseudomeningocele were not observed, and no patient had a progressive lumbar deformity at an average follow-up of 53 months. Transient mild motor weakness and sensory change were observed in two patients postoperatively; however, these symptoms resolved completely within 1 week.

The posterior transdural approach offers an alternative in central calcified upper lumbar disc herniation when root retraction is dangerous.

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Dong Gyu Kim, Je G. Chi, Sung Hye Park, Kee Hyun Chang, Sun Ho Lee, Hee-Won Jung, Hyun Jib Kim, Byung-Kyu Cho, Kil Soo Choi and Dae Hee Han

✓ A retrospective analysis of seven patients with intraventricular neurocytoma is presented. Patient age at diagnosis ranged from 15 to 38 years (mean 24.6 years) and the male:female ratio was 6:1. Raised intracranial pressure due to hydrocephalus was the main cause of the clinical manifestations. An isodense mass with multiple intratumoral cysts and homogeneous contrast enhancement was the characteristic computerized tomography finding. The lesions commonly involved the lateral ventricle with or without extension to the third ventricle. Cerebral angiography showed homogeneous vascular staining in five patients. Magnetic resonance images revealed a mass isointense with the cerebral cortex on both T1 and T2-weighted images. Gadolinium-diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid-enhanced images showed homogeneous enhancement. Total removal of the tumor was possible in four patients. Pathologically, six cases were initially diagnosed as oligodendroglioma and the remaining case as ependymoma. However, immunohistochemical studies demonstrated strong positivity for neuron-specific enolase in all seven cases and for synaptophysin in five cases. On electron microscopy, three cases showed well-defined neurosecretory granules and 10-nm microtubules in their cytoplasm and cytoplasmic processes. One patient developed a recurrent tumor 18 months after surgery. The remaining six patients are free of recurrent tumors at 2 to 62 months after surgery. It is suggested that neurocytoma must be included in the differential diagnosis of intraventricular lesions, and that electron microscopic and immunohistochemical studies should be undertaken.

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Chang-Hyun Lee, Chun Kee Chung, Jee-Soo Jang, Sung-Min Kim, Dong-Kyu Chin, Jung-Kil Lee, Seung Hwan Yoon, Jae Taek Hong, Yoon Ha, Chi Heon Kim and Seung-Jae Hyun

OBJECTIVE

As life expectancy continues to increase, primary degenerative sagittal imbalance (PDSI) is diagnosed in an increasing number of elderly people. Although corrective surgery for this sagittal deformity is becoming more popular, the effectiveness of the procedure remains unclear. The authors aimed to collate the available evidence on the effectiveness and complications of deformity-correction surgery in patients with PDSI.

METHODS

The authors carried out a meta-analysis of clinical studies regarding deformity correction in patients with PDSI. The studies were identified through searches of the PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases. Surgery outcomes were evaluated and overall treatment effectiveness was assessed in terms of the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) in Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) values and pain levels according to visual analog scale (VAS) scores and in terms of restoration of spinopelvic parameters to within a normal range. Data are expressed as mean differences with 95% CIs.

RESULTS

Ten studies comprising 327 patients were included. The VAS and ODI values improved after deformity-correction surgery. The smallest treatment effect exceeded the MCID for VAS values (4.15 [95% CI 3.48–4.82]) but not for ODI values (18.11 [95% CI 10.99–25.23]). At the final follow-up visit, the mean lumbar lordosis angle (−38.60° [95% CI −44.19° to −33.01°]), thoracic kyphosis angle (31.10° [95% CI 24.67°–37.53°]), C-7 sagittal vertical axis (65.00 mm [95% CI 35.27–94.72 mm]), and pelvic tilt angle (30.82° [95% CI 24.41°–37.23°]) remained outside their normal ranges. Meta-regression analyses revealed a significant effect of ODI change in relation to lumbar lordosis change (p = 0.004). After a mean of 2 years after deformity correction, the mean lumbar lordosis angle and C-7 sagittal vertical axis decreased by 5.82° and 38.91 mm, respectively, and the mean thoracic kyphosis angle increased by 4.7°. The incidences of proximal junctional kyphosis and pseudarthrosis were 23.7% and 12.8%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Deformity correction substantially relieves back pain for about 2 years in adult patients with PDSI. Sufficient surgical restoration of lumbar lordosis can lead to substantial improvement in patient disability and reduced decompensation. Deformity correction represents a viable therapeutic option for patients with PDSI, but further technical advancements are necessary to achieve sufficient lumbar lordosis and reduce complication rates.