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Jae-Sung Ahn, Ho-Jin Lee, Dae-Jung Choi, Ki-young Lee and Sung-jin Hwang

This study was performed to describe the extraforaminal approach of biportal endoscopic spinal surgery (BESS) as a new endoscopic technique for transforaminal decompression and discectomy and to demonstrate the clinical outcomes of this new procedure for the first time. Twenty-one patients (27 segments) who underwent the extraforaminal approach of BESS between March 2015 and April 2016 were enrolled according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The operative time (minutes/level) and complications after the procedure were recorded. The visual analog scale (VAS) score was checked to assess the degree of radicular leg pain preoperatively and at the time of the last follow-up. The modified Macnab criteria were used to examine the clinical outcomes at the time of the last follow-up. The mean duration of the follow-up period was 14.8 months (minimum duration 12 months). The mean operative time was 96.7 minutes for one level. The mean VAS score for radicular leg pain dropped from a preoperative score of 7.5 ± 0.9 to a final follow-up score of 2.5 ± 1.2 (p < 0.001). The final outcome according to the modified Macnab criteria was excellent in 5 patients (23.8%), good in 12 (57.2%), fair in 4 (19.0%), and poor in 0. Therefore, excellent or good results (a satisfied outcome) were obtained in 80.9% of the patients. Complications were limited to one dural tear (4.8%). The authors found that the extraforaminal approach of BESS was a feasible and advantageous endoscopic technique for the treatment of foraminal lesions, including stenosis and disc herniation. They suggest that this technique represents a useful, alternative, minimally invasive method that can be used to treat lumbar foraminal stenosis and disc herniation.

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Dong-Yun Kim, Sang-Ho Lee, Jee Soo Jang, Sang Ki Chung and Ho-Yeon Lee

Object. The objectives of this study were to: 1) describe the incidence and clinical features of intravertebral vacuum phenomenon (IVVP) in a relatively large number of cases; 2) quantitatively evaluate intravertebral instability and determine the factors affecting instability; and 3) evaluate the efficacy of percutaneous vertebroplasty in the treatment of this phenomenon.

Methods. A retrospective review was conducted of the records of 67 patients with IVVP among 652 consecutive cases of osteoporotic compression fracture. Comparisons between the IVVP group and a control group, a stable group, and an unstable group were conducted. Percutaneous vertebroplasty was performed in all patients.

There were 67 patients (10.3%) in whom there were 70 vacuum phenomena of the intravertebral space. Intravertebral vacuum phenomena occurred predominantly in the thoracolumbar junction (81%) and in patients with a longer duration of symptoms (10.6 ± 9.8 months) compared with the control group. Of 59 vertebrae for which flexion—extension radiographs were available, 26 vertebrae were categorized as stable and 33 as unstable. Twenty-one vertebrae (64%) had undergone compression fracture in the unstable group compared with nine (35%) compression fractures in the stable group. There were 28 (85%) fractures of the wedged vertebrae in the unstable group compared with 16 (61%) fractures in wedged vertebrae in the stable group. Percutaneous vertebroplasty was performed with successful clinical outcome.

Conclusions. Intravertebral vacuum phenomenon is more common than has been previously appreciated. The results of this study indicate that biomechanics, not ischemic or avascular theory, may play an important role in pathogenesis of this phenomenon. Percutaneous vertebroplasty was found to be a minimally invasive and effective procedure for the treatment of IVVP.

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Jin Sup Yeom, Moon Sang Chung, Choon-Ki Lee, Yeongho Kim, Namkug Kim and Jae Bum Lee

✓ The quality of a computerized tomography (CT) scan is significantly reduced by metal artifact caused by a pedicle screw system. The purpose of this study was to develop a method of facilitating the evaluation of pedicle screw position on CT scans obtained after screw insertion.

The authors developed an algorithm to process spiral CT scans in a personal computer. This uses a digital image enhancement technique, the curve change-based intensity transformation algorithm. This method can generate a clear image of the screw outlines while reducing metal artifact. The resulting images are displayed in arbitrary planes as well as in axial, coronal, and sagittal planes, to support better the evaluation of pedicle screw position.

The algorithm was tested using CT scans obtained in 37 patients in whom 186 pedicle screws had been placed. There were five types of screw systems, all of which were made of titanium alloys. In all cases algorithm-based determination of screw position became more convenient and more accurate than when using the conventional bone window setting. In addition, it provided better soft-tissue visualization than the bone window.

The software, by displaying clear outlines of screws and decreasing metal artifact, as well as by reconstructing the images in arbitrary planes, was more helpful in identifying the position of pedicle screws than the conventional bone window setting.

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Chang-Hyun Lee, Jaebong Lee, James D. Kang, Seung-Jae Hyun, Ki-Jeong Kim, Tae-Ahn Jahng and Hyun-Jib Kim

OBJECT

Posterior cervical surgery, expansive laminoplasty (EL) or laminectomy followed by fusion (LF), is usually performed in patients with multilevel (≥ 3) cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). However, the superiority of either of these techniques is still open to debate. The aim of this study was to compare clinical outcomes and postoperative kyphosis in patients undergoing EL versus LF by performing a meta-analysis.

METHODS

Included in the meta-analysis were all studies of EL versus LF in adults with multilevel CSM in MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE, and the Cochrane library. A random-effects model was applied to pool data using the mean difference (MD) for continuous outcomes, such as the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) grade, the cervical curvature index (CCI), and the visual analog scale (VAS) score for neck pain.

RESULTS

Seven studies comprising 302 and 290 patients treated with EL and LF, respectively, were included in the final analyses. Both treatment groups showed slight cervical lordosis and moderate neck pain in the baseline state. Both groups were similarly improved in JOA grade (MD 0.09, 95% CI −0.37 to 0.54, p = 0.07) and neck pain VAS score (MD −0.33, 95% CI −1.50 to 0.84, p = 0.58). Both groups evenly lost cervical lordosis. In the LF group lordosis seemed to be preserved in long-term follow-up studies, although the difference between the 2 treatment groups was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS

Both EL and LF lead to clinical improvement and loss of lordosis evenly. There is no evidence to support EL over LF in the treatment of multilevel CSM. Any superiority between EL and LF remains in question, although the LF group shows favorable long-term results.

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Jaechan Park, Wonsoo Son, Ki-Su Park, Min Young Kim and Joomi Lee

OBJECT

The Ghajar Guide technique is used to direct a ventricular catheter at a 90° angle to the skull surface at Kocher’s point. However, the human calvaria is not completely spherical. Lateral to the sagittal midline, the calvaria slopes downward with individual variation and thereby affects the accuracy of ventricular catheter placement. Accordingly, the authors investigated the accuracy of the orthogonal catheter trajectory using radiographic simulation and examined the effect of the calvarial slope on this accuracy.

METHODS

A catheter trajectory orthogonal to the skull surface at Kocher’s point and the ideal catheter trajectory to the foramen of Monro were drawn bilaterally on coronal head images of 52 patients with hydrocephalus. The correction angle, the difference between the 2 catheter trajectories, was then measured. Meanwhile, the calvarial slope was measured around Kocher’s point by using a coronal head image. The correlation between the correction angle and factors such as the calvarial slope and bicaudate index was then assessed using a Pearson correlation analysis.

RESULTS

The ventricular catheter trajectory orthogonal to the skull at Kocher’s point in the patients with hydrocephalus led to a catheter trajectory into the ipsilateral (70.2%) or contralateral (29.8%) lateral ventricles. The correction angles ranged from −3.3° to 16.4° (mean ± SD 5.7° ± 3.7°). In 87 (83.7%) head sides, lateral deviation from the orthogonal trajectory was required to approximate the ideal trajectory, and the correction angle ranged from 2.0° to 16.4° (mean 6.7° ± 2.9°). The calvarial slope in the 104 head sides ranged from 15.6° to 32.5° (mean 24.2° ± 3.1°). Pearson correlation analysis revealed a strong positive correlation (r = 0.733) between the calvarial slope and the correction angle.

CONCLUSIONS

The accuracy of ventricular catheter placement using the Ghajar Guide technique is affected primarily by the calvarial slope around Kocher’s point. A radiographic analysis of a preoperative coronal head image can be used to estimate the accuracy of ventricular catheter placement and enable adjustment to approximate the ideal catheter trajectory.

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Chong-Suh Lee, Kyung-Chung Kang, Sung-Soo Chung, Ki-Tack Kim and Seong-Kee Shin

OBJECT

The aim of this study was to examine the results of microbiological cultures from local bone autografts used in posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and to identify their association with postoperative spinal infection.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively evaluated cases involving 328 patients who had no previous spinal surgeries and underwent PLIF for degenerative diseases with a minimum 1-year follow-up. Local bone was obtained during laminectomy, and microbiological culture was performed immediately prior to bone grafting. The associations between culture results from local bone autografts and postoperative spinal infections were evaluated.

RESULTS

The contamination rate of local bone was 4.3% (14 of 328 cases). Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (29%) was the most common contaminant isolated, followed by Streptococcus species and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus. Of 14 patients with positive culture results, 5 (35.7%) had postoperative spinal infections and were treated with intravenous antibiotics for a minimum of 4 weeks. One of these 5 patients also underwent reoperation for debridement during this 4-week period. Regardless of the microbiological culture results, the infection rate after PLIF with local bone autograft was 2.4% (8 of 328 cases), with 5 (62.5%) of 8 patients showing positive results on autograft culture.

CONCLUSIONS

The incidence of contamination of local bone autograft during PLIF was considerable, and positive culture results were significantly associated with postoperative spinal infection. Special attention focused on the preparation of local bone for autograft and its microbiological culture will be helpful for the control of postoperative spinal infection.

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Dae-Jean Jo, Eun-Min Seo, Ki-Tack Kim, Sung-Min Kim and Sang-Hun Lee

Spondyloptosis is complete dislocation of the L-5 vertebral body on the sacrum anteriorly. Its optimal treatment is still controversial. In particular, choosing the optimal surgical technique is difficult in the osteoporotic elderly patient given the high incidence of instrumentation failure, pseudarthrosis, progressive slippage, and severe sagittal imbalance. The authors of this report used partial reduction and pedicular transvertebral screw fixation of the lumbosacral junction for the treatment of spondyloptosis in an osteoporotic elderly patient.

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Gun-Ha Kim, Joo Hee Seo, Seema Schroff, Po-Ching Chen, Ki Hyeong Lee and James Baumgartner

OBJECTIVE

Hemispherectomy can produce remarkable seizure control of medically intractable hemispheric epilepsy in children, but some patients continue to have seizures after surgery. A frequent cause of treatment failure is incomplete surgical disconnection of the abnormal hemisphere. This study explores whether intraoperative 3-T MRI with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) during hemispherectomy can identify areas of incomplete disconnection and allow complete disconnection during a single surgery.

METHODS

The charts of 32 patients with epilepsy who underwent hemispherectomy between January 2012 and July 2014 at the Florida Hospital for Children were reviewed. Patients were grouped as having had curative or palliative hemispherectomy. To assess the completeness of disconnection when the surgeon considered the operation completed, intraoperative 3-T MRI-DTI was performed. If incomplete disconnection was identified, additional surgery was performed until MRI-DTI sequences confirmed satisfactory disconnection. Seizure outcome data were collected via medical records at last follow-up.

RESULTS

Of 32 patients who underwent hemispherectomy, 23 had curative hemispherectomy and 9 had palliative hemispherectomy. In 11 of 32 surgeries, the first intraoperative MRI-DTI sequences suggested incomplete disconnection and additional surgery followed by repeat MRI-DTI was performed. Complete disconnection was accomplished in 30 of 32 patients (93.8%). Two of 32 disconnections (6.3%) were incomplete on postoperative imaging. Cross-sectional results showed that 21 of 23 patients (91.3%) who had curative hemispherectomy remained free of seizures (International League Against Epilepsy Class 1) at a median follow-up of 1.7 years (range 0.4–2.9 years). The longitudinal seizure freedom after curative hemispherectomy was 95.2% (SE 0.05) at 6 months, 90.5% (SE 0.06) at 1 year, and 90.5% (SE 0.05) at 2 years.

CONCLUSIONS

Intraoperative 3-T MRI-DTI sequences can identify incomplete disconnection during hemispherectomy and allow higher rates of complete disconnection in a single surgery. Higher rates of complete disconnection seem to achieve better seizure-free outcome following modified functional hemispherectomy.

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Chang Sub Lee, Ji Hoon Phi, Seung-Ki Kim, Byung-Kyu Cho and Kyu-Chang Wang

Object

Congenital dermal sinus (CDS) usually develops in the midline of the body as a single tract. To date, only a few patients with multiple CDS tracts and ostia have been reported. The authors analyzed the clinical features of patients with spinal CDS and multiple ostia and proposed a novel hypothesis for the pathogenesis of the atypical CDS.

Methods

Five patients with spinal CDS and multiple ostia were included. The clinical, radiological, and operative features of these patients were reviewed retrospectively.

Results

Three patients demonstrated bilateral paramedian ostia at the same or a very similar spinal level. One patient showed a paramedian and a midline ostium. One patient had 2 unilateral paramedian ostia at different spinal levels. The layers of the internal ending of CDS tracts were diverse. Complete removal of the tracts was possible in all patients. Two patients had dermoid tumors. All patients had an associated anomaly, such as a lumbosacral lipoma or the Currarino triad. The authors propose a “zipping error” hypothesis for the formation of dual ostia located at the spinal level of primary neurulation. An associated anomaly such as a lumbosacral lipoma may contribute to the formation of dual ostia.

Conclusions

Unilateral or bilateral dual ostia may be present in patients with CDS, especially when an associated anomaly is present. The atypical CDS may develop from aberrant neural tube closure.

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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.