Yukitaka Nagamoto, Motoki Iwasaki, Shinya Okuda, Tomiya Matsumoto, Tsuyoshi Sugiura, Yoshifumi Takahashi and Masayuki Furuya
Surgical management of massive ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is challenging. To reduce surgical complications, the authors have performed anterior selective stabilization combined with laminoplasty (antSS+LP) for massive OPLL since 2012. This study aimed to elucidate the short-term outcome of the antSS+LP procedure.
The authors’ analysis was based on data from 14 patients who underwent antSS+LP for cervical myelopathy caused by massive OPLL and were followed up for at least 2 years after surgery (mean follow-up duration 3.3 years). Clinical outcome was evaluated preoperatively, at 6 months and 1 year postoperatively, and at the final follow-up using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scoring system for cervical myelopathy and the recovery rate of the JOA score. The following radiographic parameters were measured preoperatively, immediately after surgery, at 1 year after surgery, and at the final follow-up: the C2–7 angle, measured on lateral plain radiographs, and the segmental lordosis angle (SLA), measured on sagittal CT scans. The correlation between radiographic parameters and clinical outcomes was evaluated.
The mean JOA score increased from 10.4 before surgery to 13.6 and 13.8 at 6 months and 1 year after surgery, respectively; at the final follow-up the mean score was 13.4. This postoperative recovery was significant (p = 0.004) and was maintained until the final follow-up. No patient required revision surgery due to postoperative neurological deterioration. However, the C2–7 angle gradually deteriorated postoperatively. Similarly, the SLA was significantly increased immediately after surgery, but the improvement was not maintained. The recovery rate at the final follow-up correlated positively with the change in C2–7 angle (r = 0.60, p = 0.03) and the change in SLA (r = 0.72, p < 0.01).
AntSS+LP is safe and effective and may be an alternative to anterior decompression and fusion for the treatment of patients with massive OPLL. No postoperative neurological complications or significant postoperative exacerbation of neck pain were observed in our case series. Not only reducing intervertebral motion and decompressing the canal at the maximal compression level but also acquiring segmental lordosis at the maximal compression level are crucial factors for achieving successful outcomes of antSS+LP.
Hiroyuki Aono, Shota Takenaka, Hidekazu Tobimatsu, Yukitaka Nagamoto, Masayuki Furuya, Tomoya Yamashita, Hiroyuki Ishiguro and Motoki Iwasaki
Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is a widely accepted procedure for degenerative lumbar diseases, and there have been many reports concerning adjacent-segment disease (ASD) after PLIF. In the reports of ASD in which the fusion level was limited to 1 segment, all reports describe ASD of the L3–4 segment after L4–5 PLIF. On the basis of these reports, it is thought that ASD mainly occurs at the cranial segment. However, no report has covered ASD after L3–4 PLIF. Therefore, the authors investigated ASD after L3–4 PLIF.
In conducting a retrospective case series analysis, the authors reviewed a surgical database providing details of all spine operations performed between 2006 and 2017 at a single institution. During that period, PLIF was performed to treat 632 consecutive patients with degenerative lumbar diseases. Of these patients, 71 were treated with L3–4 PLIF alone, and 67 who were monitored for at least 2 years (mean 5.8 years; follow-up rate 94%) after surgery were enrolled in this study. Radiological ASD (R-ASD), symptomatic ASD (S-ASD), and operative ASD (O-ASD) were evaluated. These types of ASD were defined as follows: R-ASD refers to radiological degeneration adjacent to the fusion segment as shown on plain radiographs; S-ASD is a symptomatic condition due to neurological deterioration at the adjacent-segment degeneration; and O-ASD refers to S-ASD requiring revision surgery.
All patients had initial improvement of neurological symptoms after primary PLIF. R-ASD was observed in 32 (48%) of 67 patients. It occurred at the cranial segment in 12 patients and at the caudal segment in 24; R-ASD at both adjacent segments was observed in 4 patients. Thus, the occurrence of R-ASD was more significant in the caudal segment than in the cranial segment. S-ASD was observed in 10 patients (15%), occurring at the cranial segment in 3 patients and at the caudal segment in 7. O-ASD was observed in 6 patients (9%): at the cranial segment in 1 patient and at the caudal segment in 5. Thus, the rate of involvement of the caudal segment was 67% in R-ASD, 70% in S-ASD, and 83% in O-ASD.
The incidences of R-ASD, S-ASD, and O-ASD were 48%, 15%, and 9%, respectively, after L3–4 PLIF for degenerative lumbar diseases. In contrast to ASD after L4–5 PLIF, ASD after L3–4 PLIF was more frequently observed at the caudal segment than at the cranial segment. In follow-up for patients with L3–4 PLIF, surgeons should pay attention to ASD in the caudal segment.
Junko Kawabe, Masao Koda, Masayuki Hashimoto, Takayuki Fujiyoshi, Takeo Furuya, Tomonori Endo, Akihiko Okawa and Masashi Yamazaki
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) has neuroprotective effects on the CNS. The authors have previously demonstrated that G-CSF also exerts neuroprotective effects in experimental spinal cord injury (SCI) by enhancing migration of bone marrow–derived cells into the damaged spinal cord, increasing glial differentiation of bone marrow–derived cells, enhancing antiapoptotic effects on both neurons and oligodendrocytes, and by reducing demyelination and expression of inflammatory cytokines. Because the degree of angiogenesis in the subacute phase after SCI correlates with regenerative responses, it is possible that G-CSF's neuroprotective effects after SCI are due to enhancement of angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of G-CSF on the vascular system after SCI.
A contusive SCI rat model was used and the animals were randomly allocated to either a G-CSF–treated group or a control group. Integrity of the blood–spinal cord barrier was evaluated by measuring the degree of edema in the cord and the volume of extravasation. For histological evaluation, cryosections were immunostained with anti–von Willebrand factor and the number of vessels was counted to assess revascularization. Real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was performed to assess expression of angiogenic cytokines, and recovery of motor function was assessed with function tests.
In the G-CSF–treated rats, the total number of vessels with a diameter > 20 μm was significantly larger and expression of angiogenic cytokines was significantly higher than those in the control group. The G-CSF–treated group showed significantly greater recovery of hindlimb function than the control group.
These results suggest that G-CSF exerts neuroprotective effects via promotion of angiogenesis after SCI.