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Il-Nam Son, Young-Hoon Kim and Kee-Yong Ha

OBJECT

This retrospective study was designed to evaluate the clinical outcomes and radiological findings after open lumbar discectomy (OLD) in patients who were followed up for 10 years or longer.

METHODS

The authors classified 79 patients who had a mean age (± SD) of 53.6 ± 13.6 years (range 30–78 years) into 4 groups according to the length of their follow-up. Patients in Group 1 were followed up for 10–14 years, in Group 2 for 15–19 years, in Group 3 for 20–24 years, and in Group 4 for more than 25 years. In all of these patients, the clinical outcomes were assessed by using patients' self-reported scores on visual analog scales (VASs) measuring back and leg pain and by using scores from the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). In addition, 10 radiological parameters suggesting degenerative changes or instability at the operated segment were recorded at various time points and used to calculate a numeric radiological finding (NRF) score by rating a presence for each finding of spinal degeneration or instability as 1.

RESULTS

The authors observed that OLD decreased pain and disability scores in all groups. Numeric radiological findings were highest in Group 4, and a significant correlation was detected between NRFs and VAS scores of back pain (p = 0.039). In this cohort, the reoperation rate was 13.9% during a mean follow-up period of 15.3 years. Clinical outcomes tended to be most favorable in Group 1, representing patients who had OLD most recently, and they tended to deteriorate in the other 3 groups, indicating some worsening of outcomes over time. Degeneration of the spine at the operated level measured with radiographic methods tended to increase over time, but some stabilization was observed. Although spinal degeneration was stable, clinical outcomes deteriorated over time.

CONCLUSIONS

This cross-sectional assessment of a retrospective cohort indicates that outcomes after OLD deteriorate over time. Increased back pain indicated a worsening of clinical outcomes, and this worsening was correlated with radiological findings of degeneration at the operated segment.

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Keun-Ho Lee, Ki-Tack Kim, Yong-Chan Kim, Joong-Won Lee and Kee-Yong Ha

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to investigate the rate of and the risk factors for surgery-related complications demonstrated on radiography after pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) for thoracolumbar kyphosis in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 230 consecutive patients with thoracolumbar kyphosis due to AS who had undergone 1-level PSO at a single institution in the period from 2010 to 2017. The causes of surgery-related complications were divided into two types: surgical/technical failure and mechanical failure.

RESULTS

The patients consisted of 20 women and 210 men, with an average age of 43.4 years. The average follow-up period was 39.0 months. The preoperative sagittal vertical axis was 18.5 ± 69.3 cm, which improved to 4.9 ± 4.6 cm after PSO. Of the 77 patients (33.5%) who experienced minor or major surgery-related complications, 56 had complications related to surgical/technical failure (overall incidence 24.3%) and 21 had complications related to mechanical failure (overall incidence 9.1%). Fourteen patients (6.1%) underwent reoperation. However, among the 77 patients with complications, the rate of revision surgery was 18.2%. The most common radiological complications were as follows: sagittal translation in 24 patients, coronal imbalance in 20, under-correction in 8, delayed union in 8, and distal junctional failure and kyphosis in 8. The most common causes of reoperation were coronal imbalance in 4 patients, symptomatic malposition of pedicle screws in 3, and distal junctional failure in 3. Delayed union was statistically correlated with posterior sagittal translation (p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

PSO can provide acceptable radiographic outcomes for the correction of thoracolumbar kyphosis in patients with AS. However, a high incidence of surgery-related complications related to mechanical failure and surgical technique can develop. Thorough radiographic investigation before and during surgery is needed to determine whether complete ossification occurs along the anterior and posterior longitudinal ligaments of the spine.

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Hyung-Youl Park, Young-Hoon Kim, Sang-Il Kim, Sung-Bin Han and Kee-Yong Ha

OBJECTIVE

Few studies have addressed that dynamic sagittal imbalance can develop distal to the spinal fusion and cause sagittal malalignment, unlike proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) in the proximal portion. The purpose of this study was to investigate risk factors between the 2 different types of postoperative sagittal imbalance after long fusion to the sacrum for the treatment of degenerative sagittal imbalance (DSI).

METHODS

Eighty patients who had undergone surgical correction for DSI were included. Radiographic measurements included spinopelvic parameters on whole-spine plain radiographs and degeneration of paravertebral muscles on MRI. Univariate and multivariate analyses for clinical and radiological factors were conducted for respective risk factors. In subgroup analyses, the 2 different types of postoperative sagittal imbalance were directly compared.

RESULTS

Forty patients (50%) developed postoperative sagittal imbalance; of these patients, 22 (55.0%) developed static proximal kyphosis from PJK, and 18 patients (45.0%) developed dynamic sagittal imbalance without PJK. The independent risk factors in proximal kyphosis were greater postoperative pelvic tilt (HR 1.11) and less change in sacral slope (SS) (HR 1.09), whereas there were more fusion levels (HR 3.11), less change in SS (HR 1.28), and less change in thoracic kyphosis (HR 1.26) in dynamic sagittal imbalance. Directly compared with the proximal kyphosis group, dynamic sagittal imbalance was more commonly found in patients who had less correction of sagittal parameters as well as fatty atrophy of the paravertebral muscles. Clinical outcomes in the dynamic sagittal imbalance group were superior to those in the proximal kyphosis group.

CONCLUSIONS

Optimal correction of sagittal alignment should be considered in long instrumented fusion for DSI, because insufficient correction might cause one of 2 different types of postoperative sagittal imbalance at different sites of decompression. Dynamic sagittal imbalance compared with proximal kyphosis was significantly associated with less correction of sagittal alignment, in conjunction with more fusion levels and degeneration of the paravertebral muscles.

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Jun-Yeong Seo, Kee-Yong Ha, Tae-Hyok Hwang, Ki-Won Kim and Young-Hoon Kim

Object

In this paper the authors' goal was to determine the factors associated with the progression of degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS).

Methods

Twenty-seven patients (3 men and 24 women; mean age 64.9 years) with more than 10° of lumbar scoliosis at baseline were monitored for a mean period of 10 years. The radiological evaluation included measurement of the scoliosis angle using the Cobb method, the direction of the scoliosis, the relationship between the intercrest line and the L-5 vertebra, lateral listhesis, segmental angle, distance from the center of the sacral line to the apical vertebra, degenerative listhesis anteriorly or posteriorly or both, and lordosis angle. In addition, the lateral osteophyte difference, disc index, and severity of osteoporosis were measured. The pain and disability outcomes were assessed using the visual analog scale and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) relative to severity of the angle of scoliosis.

Results

The mean initial and final scoliosis angles were 14° ± 5.4° and 25° ± 8.5°, respectively. The initial disc index at the L-3 vertebra (Spearman ρ = 0.7, p < 0.001), the sum of the segmental wedging angles above and below the L-3 vertebra (ρ = 0.6, p < 0.001), and the initial disc index at the apical vertebra (ρ = 0.6, p < 0.001) were correlated with the last follow-up angle of the scoliosis. By contrast, there was no statistically significant correlation between the initial segmental angles at L2–3 and L3–4 and the final follow-up scoliosis angle (ρ = 0.2, p = 0.67; and ρ = 0.1, p = 0.22; respectively). When the authors separated the patients into 3 groups according to the sum of the segmental angles above and below L-3 (< 5°, 5° to 10°, and > 10°), they found that 3 (42.9%) of 7, 8 (66.7%) of 12, and 6 (75.0%) of 8 patients in the 3 groups showed increases of greater than 10° in scoliosis angle. The mean distance from the center of the sacral line to the apical vertebra was 36.0 ± 9.7 mm, and the distance correlated with the measurement of the last follow-up angle of the scoliosis (ρ = 0.6, p < 0.001). The mean angle of the scoliosis was significantly greater when the intercrest line passed through the L-5 or L4–5 disc space than when the line passed through the L-4 vertebral body (31.4° ± 7.9° vs 21.8° ± 6.7°, p = 0.01). The ODI correlated with the measurement of the angle of the scoliosis (ρ = 0.6, p < 0.001). Age, sex, osteoporosis, the direction of the scoliosis, listhesis of coronal and sagittal planes, the lateral osteophyte difference, and the vertebral body index did not correlate with curve progression.

Conclusions

The findings of this study demonstrated that the progression of DLS was affected by the relationship between the intercrest line and the L-5 vertebra. When L-5 was deep seated, progression of DLS was found. Asymmetrical change in the disc space above and below the L-3 or apical vertebra may also be an important predictor of curve progression.

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Jin Wook Kim, Hee-Won Jung, Yong Hwy Kim, Chul-Kee Park, Hyun-Tai Chung, Sun Ha Paek, Dong Gyu Kim and Sang Hyung Lee

OBJECTIVE

A thorough investigation of the long-term outcomes and chronological changes of multimodal treatments for petroclival meningiomas is required to establish optimal management strategies. The authors retrospectively reviewed the long-term clinical outcomes of patients with petroclival meningioma according to various treatments, including various surgical approaches, and they suggest treatment strategies based on 30 years of experience at a single institution.

METHODS

Ninety-two patients with petroclival meningiomas were treated surgically at the authors’ institution from 1986 to 2015. Patient demographics, overall survival, local tumor control rates, and functional outcomes according to multimodal treatments, as well as chronological change in management strategies, were evaluated. The mean clinical and radiological follow-up periods were 121 months (range 1–368 months) and 105 months (range 1–348 months), respectively.

RESULTS

A posterior transpetrosal approach was most frequently selected and was followed in 44 patients (48%); a simple retrosigmoid approach, undertaken in 30 patients, was the second most common. The initial extent of resection and following adjuvant treatment modality were classified into 3 subgroups: gross-total resection (GTR) only in 13 patients; non-GTR treatment followed by adjuvant radiosurgery or radiation therapy (non-GTR+RS/RT) in 56 patients; and non-GTR without adjuvant treatment (non-GTR only) in 23 patients. The overall progression-free survival rate was 85.8% at 5 years and 81.2% at 10 years. Progression or recurrence rates according to each subgroup were 7.7%, 12.5%, and 30.4%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ preferred multimodal treatment strategy, that of planned incomplete resection and subsequent adjuvant radiosurgery, is a feasible option for the management of patients with large petroclival meningiomas, considering both local tumor control and postoperative quality of life.

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Dong-Gune Chang, Jae Hyuk Yang, Jung-Hee Lee, Jin-Hyok Kim, Seung-Woo Suh, Kee-Yong Ha and Se-Il Suk

OBJECTIVE

There have been no reports on the long-term radiographic outcomes of posterior vertebral column resection (PVCR) in patients with congenital scoliosis. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the surgical outcomes and complications after PVCR and its long-term effects on correcting this deformity in children with congenital scoliosis.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 45 patients with congenital scoliosis who were younger than 18 years at the time of surgery and who underwent PVCR and fusion with pedicle screw fixation (PSF). The mean age of the patients at the time of surgery was 11.3 years (range 2.4–18.0 years), and the mean length of follow-up was 12.8 years (range 10.1–18.2 years).

RESULTS

The mean Cobb angle of the main curve was 46.5° before PVCR, 13.7° immediately after PVCR, and 17.6° at the last follow-up. For the compensatory cranial curve, PVCR corrected the preoperative Cobb angle of 21.2° to 9.1° postoperatively and maintained it at 10.9° at the last follow-up. For the compensatory caudal curve, the preoperative Cobb angle of 23.8° improved to 7.7° postoperatively and was 9.8° at the last follow-up. The authors noted 22 complications, and the overall incidence of complications was 48.9%.

CONCLUSIONS

Posterior vertebral column resection is an effective procedure for managing congenital scoliosis in patients younger than 18 years. Use of PVCR and fusion with PSF for congenital scoliosis achieved rigid fixation and satisfactory deformity correction that was maintained over the long term. However, the authors note that PVCR is a technically demanding procedure and entails risks for major complications and excessive blood loss.

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Kee-Yong Ha, Jun-Yeong Seo, Soon-Eok Kwon, Il-Nam Son, Ki-Won Kim and Young-Hoon Kim

Object

The authors undertook this study to investigate the validity of the rationale for posterior dynamic stabilization using the Device for Intervertebral Assisted Motion (DIAM) in the treatment of degenerative lumbar stenosis.

Methods

A cohort of 31 patients who underwent single-level decompression and DIAM placement for degenerative lumbar stenosis were followed up for at least 2 years and data pertaining to their cases were analyzed prospectively. Of these patients, 7 had retrolisthesis. Preoperative and postoperative plain lumbar radiographs obtained in all patients and CT images obtained in 14 patients were analyzed. Posterior disc heights; range of motion (ROM) of proximal, distal, and implant segments; lordotic angles of implant segments; percentage of retrolisthesis; and cross-sectional area and heights of intervertebral foramina on CT sagittal images were analyzed. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using visual analog scale scores and Oswestry Disability Index scores.

Results

The mean values for posterior disc height before surgery, at 1 week after surgery, and at the final follow-up visits were 6.4 ± 2.0 mm, 9.7 ± 2.8 mm, and 6.8 ± 2.5 mm, respectively. The mean lordotic angles at the implant levels before surgery, at 1 week after surgery, and at the final follow-up visits were 7.1° ± 3.3°, 4.1° ± 2.7°, and 7.0° ± 3.7°, respectively. No statistically significant difference was found between the preoperative values and values from final follow-up visits for posterior disc height and lordotic angles at implant levels (p = 0.17 and p = 0.10, respectively). There was no statistically significant difference between the preoperative and final follow-up visit values for intervertebral foramen cross-sectional area and heights on CT images. The ROMs of proximal and distal segments also showed no significant decrease (p = 0.98 and p = 0.92, respectively). However, the ROMs of implant segments decreased significantly (p = 0.02). The average 31.4-month improvement for all clinical outcome measures was significant (p < 0.001).

Conclusions

Based on radiological findings, the DIAM failed to show validity in terms of the rationale of indirect decompression, but it did restrict motion at the instrumented level without significant change in adjacent-segment ROM. The clinical condition of the patients, however, was improved, and improvement was maintained despite progressive loss of posterior disc height after surgery.

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Jae-Hyuk Shin, Kee-Yong Ha, Ki-Won Kim, Jun-Seok Lee and Min-Wook Joo

Only 6 cases of pyogenic spondylitis following vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty have been reported, and their causes remained unclear. The authors report on 4 cases of delayed pyogenic spondylitis (DPS) following vertebroplasty or ky-phoplasty for osteoporotic compression fractures and metastatic disease.

Four patients presented with DPS after vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty and underwent surgical treatment. Clinical history, laboratory examination, and MR imaging confirmed the diagnosis of DPS. Anterior debridement, reconstruction, and posterior instrumented fusion were performed.

The mean interval for the delayed occurrence of pyogenic spondylitis after surgery was 12.3 months. The infections were primarily bacterial in origin, but most patients also suffered diverse medical comorbidities. Despite successful treatment of the infections, comorbidity was and is a factor that compromises good results.

Medical comorbidities associated with compromised immunity may increase susceptibility to DPS after vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. In cases of incapacitating back pain after a pain-free period following either of these surgeries, evaluation of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein level and examination of contrast-enhanced MR imaging studies are essential to rule out delayed vertebral infection. Surgical treatment requires cement removal and anterior reconstruction with or without additional posterior instrumented fusion.

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Dong-Hun Kang, Woong Yoon, Byung Hyun Baek, Seul Kee Kim, Yun Young Lee, Joon-Tae Kim, Man-Seok Park, Yong-Won Kim, Yong-Sun Kim and Yang-Ha Hwang

OBJECTIVE

The optimal front-line thrombectomy choice for primary recanalization of a target artery remains unknown for patients with acute large-vessel occlusion (LVO) and an underlying intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS). The authors aimed to compare procedural characteristics and outcomes between patients who received a stent-retriever thrombectomy (SRT) and patients who received a contact aspiration thrombectomy (CAT), as the front-line approach for treating LVO due to severe underlying ICAS.

METHODS

One hundred thirty patients who presented with acute LVO and underlying severe ICAS at the occlusion site were included. Procedural characteristics and treatment outcomes were compared between patients treated with front-line SRT (n = 70) and those treated with front-line CAT (n = 60). The primary outcomes were the rate of switching to an alternative thrombectomy technique, time from groin puncture to initial reperfusion, and duration of the procedure. Initial reperfusion was defined as revealing the underlying culprit stenosis with an antegrade flow after thrombectomy.

RESULTS

The rate of switching to an alternative thrombectomy after failure of the front-line technique was significantly higher in the CAT group than in the SRT group (40% vs 4.3%; OR 2.543, 95% CI 1.893–3.417, p < 0.001). The median time from puncture to initial reperfusion (17 vs 31 minutes, p < 0.001) and procedure duration (39 vs 75.5 minutes, p < 0.001) were significantly shorter in the SRT group than in the CAT group. In the binary logistic regression analysis, a longer time from puncture to initial reperfusion was an independent predictor of a 90-day poor (modified Rankin Scale score 3–6) functional outcome (per 1-minute increase; OR 1.029, 95% CI 1.008–1.050, p = 0.006).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ results suggest that SRT may be more effective than CAT for identifying underlying culprit stenosis and therefore considered the optimal front-line thrombectomy technique in acute stroke patients with LVO and severe underlying ICAS.

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Dong-Hun Kang, Woong Yoon, Seul Kee Kim, Byung Hyun Baek, Yun Young Lee, Yong-Won Kim, Yong-Sun Kim, Yang-Ha Hwang, Joon-Tae Kim and Man Seok Park

OBJECTIVE

The optimal treatment strategy for patients with emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) due to underlying severe intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis (ICAS) is unclear. The purpose of this study was to compare treatment outcomes from intracranial angioplasty with or without stenting and intraarterial infusion of a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor in patients with ELVO due to severe ICAS, and to investigate predictors of outcome after endovascular therapy in such patients.

METHODS

A total of 140 consecutive patients with ELVO attributable to severe ICAS underwent endovascular therapy at two stroke centers (A and B). Intracranial angioplasty/stenting was primarily performed at center A and intraarterial infusion of glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor (tirofiban) at center B. Data from both centers were prospectively collected into a database and retrospectively analyzed.

RESULTS

Overall, successful reperfusion was achieved in 95% (133/140) of patients and a good outcome in 60% (84/140). The mortality rate was 7.9%. Symptomatic hemorrhage occurred in 1 patient. There were no significant differences in the rates of successful reperfusion, symptomatic hemorrhage, 3-month modified Rankin scale score 0–2, and mortality between the two centers. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed the only independent predictor of good outcome was a history of previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) (odds ratio 0.254, 95% confidence interval 0.094–0.689, p = 0.007).

CONCLUSIONS

Both intracranial angioplasty/stenting and intraarterial infusion of a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor are effective and safe in the treatment of underlying severe ICAS in acute stroke patients with ELVO. In addition, a lack of a history of stroke/TIA was the only independent predictor of good outcome after endovascular therapy in such patients.