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Shota Takenaka, Kosuke Tateishi, Noboru Hosono, Yoshihiro Mukai and Takeshi Fuji

OBJECT

In this study, the authors aimed to identify specific risk factors for postdecompression lumbar disc herniation (PDLDH) in patients who have not undergone discectomy and/or fusion.

METHODS

Between 2007 and 2012, 493 patients with lumbar spinal stenosis underwent bilateral partial laminectomy without discectomy and/or fusion in a single hospital. Eighteen patients (herniation group [H group]: 15 men, 3 women; mean age 65.1 years) developed acute sciatica as a result of PDLDH within 2 years after surgery. Ninety patients who did not develop postoperative acute sciatica were selected as a control group (C group: 75 men, 15 women; mean age 65.4 years). Patients in the C group were age and sex matched with those in the H group. The patients in the groups were also matched for decompression level, number of decompression levels, and surgery date. The radiographic variables measured included percentage of slippage, intervertebral angle, range of motion, lumbar lordosis, disc height, facet angle, extent of facet removal, facet degeneration, disc degeneration, and vertebral endplate degeneration. The threshold for PDLDH risk factors was evaluated using a continuous numerical variable and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. The area under the curve was used to determine the diagnostic performance, and values greater than 0.75 were considered to represent good performance.

RESULTS

Multivariate analysis revealed that preoperative retrolisthesis during extension was the sole significant independent risk factor for PDLDH. The area under the curve for preoperative retrolisthesis during extension was 0.849; the cutoff value was estimated to be a retrolisthesis of 7.2% during extension.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors observed that bilateral partial laminectomy, performed along with the removal of the posterior support ligament, may not be suitable for lumbar spinal stenosis patients with preoperative retrolisthesis greater than 7.2% during extension.

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Shota Takenaka, Yoshihiro Mukai, Noboru Hosono, Kosuke Tateishi and Takeshi Fuji

Vertebral cystic lesions may be observed in pseudarthroses after lumbar fusion surgery. The authors report a rare case of pseudarthrosis after spinal fusion, accompanied by an expanding vertebral osteolytic defect induced by cellulose particles. A male patient originally presented at the age of 69 years with leg and low-back pain caused by a lumbar isthmic spondylolisthesis. He underwent a posterior lumbar interbody fusion, and his neurological symptoms and pain resolved within a year but recurred 14 months after surgery. Radiological imaging demonstrated a cystic lesion on the inferior endplate of L-5 and the superior endplate of S-1, which rapidly enlarged into a vertebral osteolytic defect. The patient underwent revision surgery, and his low-back pain resolved. A histopathological examination demonstrated foreign body–type multinucleated giant cells, containing 10-μm particles, in the sample collected just below the defect. Micro–Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy revealed that the foreign particles were cellulosic, presumably originating from cotton gauze fibers that had contaminated the interbody cages used during the initial surgery. Vertebral osteolytic defects that occur after interbody fusion are generally presumed to be the result of infection. This case suggests that some instances of vertebral osteolytic defects may be aseptically induced by foreign particles. Hence, this possibility should be carefully considered in such cases, to help prevent contamination of the morselized bone used for autologous grafts by foreign materials, such as gauze fibers.