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Koji Tamai, Kunikazu Kaneda, Masayoshi Iwamae, Hidetomi Terai, Hiroshi Katsuda, Nagakazu Shimada, and Hiroaki Nakamura

OBJECTIVE

Although minimally invasive endoscopic surgery techniques are established standard treatment choices for various degenerative conditions of the lumbar spine, the surgical indications of such techniques for specific cases, such as segments with ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) or calcification of the ligamentum flavum (CLF), remain under investigation. Therefore, the authors aimed to demonstrate the short-term outcomes of minimally invasive endoscopic surgery in patients with degenerative lumbar disease with CLF or OLF.

METHODS

This is a retrospective cohort study including consecutive patients who underwent microendoscopic posterior decompression at the authors’ institution, where the presence of OLF and CLF did not influence the surgical indication. Fifty-nine patients with OLF and 39 patients with CLF on preoperative CT were identified from the database. Subsequently, two matched control groups (one each matched to the OLF and CLF groups) were created using propensity scores to adjust for age, sex, preoperative Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score and Oswestry Disability Index, and diagnosis. The background, surgical outcomes, and changes in clinical scores were compared between the matched groups. If there was a significant difference in the improvement of clinical scores, a multivariate linear regression model was applied.

RESULTS

On performing univariate analysis, patients with OLF were found to have a higher body mass index (Mann-Whitney U-test, p = 0.001), higher incidence of preoperative motor weakness (chi-square test, p = 0.019), longer operative time (Mann-Whitney U-test, p < 0.001), and lower improvement in the JOA score (mixed-effects model, p = 0.023) than the matched controls. On performing multivariate analysis, the presence of OLF was identified as an independent variable associated with a poor recovery rate based on the JOA score (multivariate linear regression, p < 0.001). In contrast, there were no significant differences between patients with CLF and their matched controls in terms of preoperative and surgical data and postoperative improvements in clinical scores.

CONCLUSIONS

Although the perioperative surgical outcomes, including the surgical complications, and the in-hospital period did not significantly differ, the short-term improvement in the JOA score was significantly lower in patients with degenerative lumbar disease accompanied by OLF than in the patients from the matched control group. In contrast, there were no significant differences in the short-term improvement in clinical scores and perioperative outcomes between patients with CLF and their matched control group. Thus, the surgical indications of minimally invasive posterior decompression for patients with CLF can be the same as those for patients without CLF; however, the indications for patients with OLF should be further investigated in future studies, including the other surgical methods.

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Kazunori Hayashi, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Hidetomi Terai, Akinobu Suzuki, Masatoshi Hoshino, Koji Tamai, Shoichiro Ohyama, and Hiroaki Nakamura

OBJECTIVE

Numerous reports have been published on the effectiveness and safety of correction of the coronal Cobb angle and thoracolumbar sagittal alignment in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Suboptimal sagittal alignment, such as decreased thoracic kyphosis (TK), after corrective surgery, is a possible cause of lumbar or cervical spinal degeneration and junctional malalignment; however, few reports are available on reciprocal changes outside of the fused segments, such as the cervical lordotic angle (CLA). This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the perioperative CLA and other radiographic factors or clinical results in AIS, and to identify independent risk factors of postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis.

METHODS

A total of 51 AIS patients who underwent posterior spinal fusion with the placement of pedicle screw (PS) constructs at thoracic levels were included in the study. Clinical and radiographic follow-up of patients was conducted for a minimum of 2 years, and the postoperative course was evaluated. The authors measured and identified the changes in the CLA and other radiographic parameters using whole-spine radiography, with the patient in the standing position, performed immediately before surgery, 2 weeks after surgery, and 2 years after surgery. The postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis group included patients whose CLA at 2-year follow-up was smaller than −10°. The reciprocal changes of the CLA and other parameters were also investigated. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine the associated risk factors for postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis.

RESULTS

This study comprised 48 females and 3 males (mean age 16.0 years). The mean follow-up period was 47 months (range 24–90 months). The main coronal thoracic curve was corrected from 54.6° to 16.4°, and the mean correction rate was 69.8% at 2 years. The CLA significantly increased from the mean preoperative measurement (−5.4° ± 14°) to the 2-year follow-up measurement (−1.7° ± 11°) (p = 0.019). Twelve of the 51 patients had postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis. This group exhibited significantly smaller preoperative CLA and TK measurements (p = 0.001 and 0.004, respectively) than the others. After adjusting for confounding factors, preoperative CLA less than −5° and preoperative TK less than 10° were significantly associated with postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis (p < 0.05; OR 12.5 and 8.59, respectively). However, no differences were found in the clinical results regardless of cervical hyperkyphosis.

CONCLUSIONS

The CLA increased significantly from preoperatively to 2 years after surgery. Preoperative small CLA and TK measurements were independent risk factors of postoperative cervical hyperkyphosis. However, there was no difference in the clinical outcomes regardless of cervical hyperkyphosis.

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Masayoshi Iwamae, Akinobu Suzuki, Koji Tamai, Hidetomi Terai, Masatoshi Hoshino, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Shinji Takahashi, Shoichiro Ohyama, Yusuke Hori, Akito Yabu, and Hiroaki Nakamura

OBJECTIVE

Although numbness is one of the chief complaints of patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), preoperative factors relating to residual numbness of the upper extremity (UE) and impact of the outcomes on cervical surgery are not well established. The authors hypothesized that severe preoperative UE numbness could be a risk factor for residual UE numbness after surgery and that the residual UE numbness could have a negative impact on postoperative outcomes. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the preoperative factors that are predictive of residual UE numbness after cervical surgery and demonstrate the effects of residual UE numbness on clinical scores and radiographic parameters.

METHODS

The study design was a retrospective cohort study. The authors analyzed data of 103 patients who underwent cervical laminoplasty from January 2012 to December 2014 and were followed up for more than 2 years postoperatively. The patients were divided into two groups: the severe residual-numbness group (postoperative visual analog scale [VAS] score for UE numbness > 40 mm) and the no/mild residual-numbness group (VAS score ≤ 40 mm). The outcome measures were VAS score, Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores for cervical myelopathy, physical and mental component summaries of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), radiographic film parameters (C2–7 sagittal vertical axis, range of motion, C2–7 lordotic angle, and C7 slope), and MRI findings (severity of cervical canal stenosis, snake-eye appearance, severity of foraminal stenosis). Following univariate analysis, which compared the preoperative factors between groups, the variables with p values < 0.1 were included in the multivariate linear regression analysis. Additionally, the changes in clinical scores and radiographic parameters after 2 years of surgery were compared using a mixed-effects model.

RESULTS

Among 103 patients, 42 (40.8%) had residual UE numbness. In the multivariate analysis, sex and preoperative UE pain were found to be independent variables correlating with residual UE numbness (p = 0.017 and 0.046, respectively). The severity of preoperative UE numbness did not relate to the residual UE numbness (p = 0.153). The improvement in neck pain VAS score and physical component summary of the SF-36 was significantly low in the severe residual-numbness group (p < 0.001 and 0.040, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Forty-one percent of the CSM patients experienced residual UE numbness for at least 2 years after cervical posterior decompression surgery. Female sex and preoperative severe UE pain were the predictive factors for residual UE numbness. The patients with residual UE numbness showed less improvement of neck pain and lower physical status compared to the patients without numbness.

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Masayoshi Iwamae, Akinobu Suzuki, Koji Tamai, Hidetomi Terai, Masatoshi Hoshino, Hiromitsu Toyoda, Shinji Takahashi, Shoichiro Ohyama, Yusuke Hori, Akito Yabu, and Hiroaki Nakamura

OBJECTIVE

Although numbness is one of the chief complaints of patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), preoperative factors relating to residual numbness of the upper extremity (UE) and impact of the outcomes on cervical surgery are not well established. The authors hypothesized that severe preoperative UE numbness could be a risk factor for residual UE numbness after surgery and that the residual UE numbness could have a negative impact on postoperative outcomes. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the preoperative factors that are predictive of residual UE numbness after cervical surgery and demonstrate the effects of residual UE numbness on clinical scores and radiographic parameters.

METHODS

The study design was a retrospective cohort study. The authors analyzed data of 103 patients who underwent cervical laminoplasty from January 2012 to December 2014 and were followed up for more than 2 years postoperatively. The patients were divided into two groups: the severe residual-numbness group (postoperative visual analog scale [VAS] score for UE numbness > 40 mm) and the no/mild residual-numbness group (VAS score ≤ 40 mm). The outcome measures were VAS score, Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores for cervical myelopathy, physical and mental component summaries of the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), radiographic film parameters (C2–7 sagittal vertical axis, range of motion, C2–7 lordotic angle, and C7 slope), and MRI findings (severity of cervical canal stenosis, snake-eye appearance, severity of foraminal stenosis). Following univariate analysis, which compared the preoperative factors between groups, the variables with p values < 0.1 were included in the multivariate linear regression analysis. Additionally, the changes in clinical scores and radiographic parameters after 2 years of surgery were compared using a mixed-effects model.

RESULTS

Among 103 patients, 42 (40.8%) had residual UE numbness. In the multivariate analysis, sex and preoperative UE pain were found to be independent variables correlating with residual UE numbness (p = 0.017 and 0.046, respectively). The severity of preoperative UE numbness did not relate to the residual UE numbness (p = 0.153). The improvement in neck pain VAS score and physical component summary of the SF-36 was significantly low in the severe residual-numbness group (p < 0.001 and 0.040, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Forty-one percent of the CSM patients experienced residual UE numbness for at least 2 years after cervical posterior decompression surgery. Female sex and preoperative severe UE pain were the predictive factors for residual UE numbness. The patients with residual UE numbness showed less improvement of neck pain and lower physical status compared to the patients without numbness.