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Shinya Okuda, Takenori Oda, Ryoji Yamasaki, Takafumi Maeno, and Motoki Iwasaki

One of the most important sequelae affecting long-term results is adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) after posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF). Although several reports have described the incidence rate, there have been no reports of repeated ASD. The purpose of this report was to describe 1 case of repeated ASD after PLIF. A 62-year-old woman with L-4 degenerative spondylolisthesis underwent PLIF at L4–5. At the second operation, L3–4 PLIF was performed for L-3 degenerative spondylolisthesis 6 years after the primary operation. At the third operation, L2–3 PLIF was performed for L-2 degenerative spondylolisthesis 1.5 years after the primary operation. Vertebral collapse of L-1 was detected 1 year after the third operation, and the collapse had progressed. At the fourth operation, 3 years after the third operation, vertebral column resection of L-1 and replacement of titanium mesh cages with pedicle screw fixation between T-4 and L-5 was performed. Although the patient's symptoms resolved after each operation, the time between surgeries shortened. The sacral slope decreased gradually although each PLIF achieved local lordosis at the fused segment.

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Motoki Iwasaki, Yoshiharu Kawaguchi, Tomoatsu Kimura, and Kazuo Yonenobu

Object. The authors report the long-term (more than 10-year) results of cervical laminoplasty for ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) of the cervical spine as well as the factors affecting long-term postoperative course.

Methods. The authors reviewed data obtained in 92 patients who underwent cervical laminoplasty between 1982 and 1990. Three patients were lost to follow up, 25 patients died within 10 years of surgery, and 64 patients were followed for more than 10 years. Results were assessed using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) scoring system for cervical myelopathy. The recovery rate was calculated using the Hirabayashi method. The mean neurological recovery rate during the first 10 years after surgery was 64%, which declined to 60% at the last follow-up examination (mean follow up 12.2 years). Late neurological deterioration occurred in eight patients (14%) from 5 to 15 years after surgery. The most frequent causes of late deterioration were degenerative lumbar disease (three patients), thoracic myelopathy secondary to ossification of the ligamentum flavum (two patients), or postoperative progression of OPLL at the operated level (two patients). Postoperative progression of the ossified lesion was noted in 70% of the patients, but only two patients (3%) were found to have related neurological deterioration. Additional cervical surgery was required in one patient (2%) because of neurological deterioration secondary to progression of the ossified ligament. The authors performed a multivariate stepwise analysis, and found that factors related to better clinical results were younger age at operation and less severe preexisting myelopathy. Younger age at operation, as well as mixed and continuous types of OPLL, was highly predictive of progression of OPLL. Postoperative progression of kyphotic deformity was observed in 8% of the patients, although it did not cause neurological deterioration.

Conclusions. When the incidence of surgery-related complications and the strong possibility of postoperative growth of OPLL are taken into consideration, the authors recommend expansive and extensive laminoplasty for OPLL.

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Kazuhiro Chiba, Itsuo Yamamoto, Hisashi Hirabayashi, Motoki Iwasaki, Hiroshi Goto, Kazuo Yonenobu, and Yoshiaki Toyama

Object. Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) often progresses after surgery, and this may cause late-onset neurological deterioration. There have been few studies, however, to clarify any correlation between progression and clinical outcome, partly because of the lack of studies involving reliable and reproducible methods by which detection of progression is made possible. The authors conducted a multicenter study to investigate the occurrence of postoperative progression and to elucidate the possible risk factors in a large-scale patient population, and a novel computer-assisted measurement method was used to provide the basis for future clinical studies.

Methods. The authors analyzed lateral plain radiographs obtained immediately and at 1 and 2 years after surgery in 131 patients who underwent posterior decompression at 13 institutions. The x-ray films were transformed via scanner into digital images; the length and thickness of ossifications were measured using a new computer-assisted measurement system, and the incidence of progression was determined. Odds ratios for progression according to age group and types of OPLL were determined and compared to elucidate significant risk factors of progression.

Conclusions. This is the first multicenter study to investigate the incidence of OPLL progression after posterior decompression by using a standardized measurement method. The rate of postoperative progression at 2 years was 56.5%, which was comparable with results reported in other studies. Progression occurred more frequently in younger-age rather than in older-age patient populations at both 1 and 2 years postoperatively. Mixed-type and continuous-type OPLL progressed more frequently than the segmental-type lesion at 2 years. The results of the present study could serve as basis for future studies to assess the efficacy of drug therapy to prevent OPLL progression.

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Yukitaka Nagamoto, Motoki Iwasaki, Shinya Okuda, Tomiya Matsumoto, Tsuyoshi Sugiura, Yoshifumi Takahashi, and Masayuki Furuya

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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).

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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Yasuji Kato, Motoki Iwasaki, Takeshi Fuji, Kazuo Yonenobu, and Takahiro Ochi

Object. This retrospective study was performed to assess the long-term results of cervical laminectomy in treating ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) of the cervical spine.

Methods. The authors reviewed medical records in 44 of 52 patients who underwent cervical laminectomy between 1970 and 1985 (mean follow up 14.1 years). The neurological recovery rate after laminectomy was 44.2% after 1 year and 42.9% after 5 years. The surgical outcome was maintained after 5 years but worsened between 5 and 10 years postsurgery: the recovery rate at the last follow-up review was 32.8%. Using multivariate stepwise analysis, the preoperative factors that affected clinical results were found to be the age at operation, the severity of preexisting myelopathy, and a history of trauma. Late neurological deterioration was observed in 10 (23%) of 44 patients. The earliest deterioration occurred at 1 year and the latest was at 17 years postsurgery (mean 9.5 years). The most frequent cause of deterioration was trauma due to a fall (six patients), followed by ossification of the ligamentum flavum (three patients). Postoperative spread of the OPLL was noted in 70% of the patients, but it was clearly the cause of neurological deterioration in only one of them. After laminectomy, postoperative progression of kyphotic deformity was observed in 47% of patients, but these changes did not cause neurological deterioration.

Conclusions. The authors recommend early surgical decompression for OPLL because the outcome is better for younger patients and for those with a higher score as measured by the Japanese Orthopedic Association's system.

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Tomiya Matsumoto, Shinya Okuda, Takafumi Maeno, Tomoya Yamashita, Ryoji Yamasaki, Tsuyoshi Sugiura, and Motoki Iwasaki

OBJECTIVE

The importance of spinopelvic balance and its implications for clinical outcomes after spinal arthrodesis has been reported in recent studies. However, little is known about the relationship between adjacent-segment disease (ASD) after lumbar arthrodesis and spinopelvic alignment. The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship between spinopelvic radiographic parameters and symptomatic ASD after L4–5 single-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF).

METHODS

This was a retrospective 1:5 matched case-control study. Twenty patients who had undergone revision surgery for symptomatic ASD after L4–5 PLIF and had standing radiographs of the whole spine before primary and revision surgeries were enrolled from 2005 to 2012. As a control group, 100 age-, sex-, and pathology-matched patients who had undergone L4–5 PLIF during the same period, had no signs of symptomatic ASD for more than 3 years, and had whole-spine radiographs at preoperation and last follow-up were selected. Mean age at the time of primary surgery was 68.9 years in the ASD group and 66.7 years in the control group. Several radiographic spinopelvic parameters were measured as follows: sagittal vertical axis (SVA), thoracic kyphosis (TK), sacral slope (SS), pelvic tilt (PT), pelvic incidence (PI), lumbar lordosis (LL), and segmental lordosis at L4–5 (SL) in the sagittal view, and C7–central sacral vertical line (C7-CSVL) in the coronal view. Radiological parameters were compared between the groups.

RESULTS

No significant change was found between pre- and postoperative radiographic parameters in each group. In terms of preoperative radiographic parameters, the ASD group had significantly lower LL (40.7° vs 47.2°, p < 0.01) and significantly higher PT (27° vs 22.9°, p < 0.05) than the control group. SVA ≥ 50 mm was observed in 10 of 20 patients (50%) in the ASD group and in 21 of 100 patients (21%, p < 0.01) in the control group. PI-LL ≥ 10° was noted in 15 of 20 patients (75%) in the ASD group and in 40 of 100 patients (40%, p < 0.01) in the control group on preoperative radiographs. Postoperatively, the ASD group had significantly lower TK (22.5° vs 30.9°, p < 0.01) and lower LL (39.3° vs 48.1°, p < 0.05) than the control group had. PI-LL ≥ 10° was seen in 15 of 20 patients (75%) in the ASD group and in 43 of 100 patients (43%, p < 0.01) in the control group.

CONCLUSIONS

Preoperative global sagittal imbalance (SVA > 50 mm and higher PT), pre- and postoperative lower LL, and PI-LL mismatch were significantly associated with ASD. Therefore, even with a single-level PLIF, appropriate SL and LL should be obtained at surgery to improve spinopelvic sagittal imbalance. The results also suggest that the achievement of the appropriate LL and PI-LL prevents ASD after L4–5 PLIF.

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Shinya Okuda, Takenori Oda, Ryoji Yamasaki, Takamitsu Haku, Takafumi Maeno, and Motoki Iwasaki

Object

The management of isthmic spondylolisthesis remains controversial, especially with respect to reduction. There have been no reports regarding appropriate slip reduction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the following issues: 1) surgical outcomes of posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) with total facetectomy for low-dysplastic isthmic spondylolisthesis, including postoperative complications; 2) effects of slip reduction on surgical outcomes; and 3) appropriate slip reduction.

Methods

A total of 106 patients who underwent PLIF with total facetectomy for low-dysplastic isthmic spondylolisthesis and who were followed for at least 2 years were reviewed. The average follow-up period was 8 years. Surgical outcomes, including the scores assessed using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association scoring system, the recovery rate, and postoperative complications were investigated. As for radiographic evaluations, pre- and postoperative slip and disc height, instrumentation failure, and fusion status were also examined.

Results

The pre- and postoperative average Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores were 14 (range 3–25) and 25 (range 11–29) points, respectively. The average recovery rate was 73% (range 0%–100%). The average pre- and postoperative slip was 24% and 10%, respectively. A significant correlation between postoperative slip and clinical outcomes was found; clinical outcomes were better in proportion to slip reduction. Although no statistical difference was detected in clinical outcomes between postoperative slip of less than 10% and from 10% to 20%, patients with postoperative slip of more than 20% showed significantly worse clinical outcomes. Postoperative complications included neurological deficits in 7 patients (transient motor loss in 6 and permanent motor loss in 1), instrumentation failures in 7, adjacent-segment degeneration in 5, and nonunion in 4. Instrumentation failures occurred significantly more often in patients with more slip reduction, although slip reduction did not affect the other postoperative complications. All patients with instrumentation failure showed postoperative slip reduction within 10%.

Conclusions

The use of PLIF with total facetectomy for low-dysplastic isthmic spondylolisthesis appears to produce satisfactory clinical outcomes, with an average of 73% recovery rate and few postoperative complications. Although clinical outcomes were better in proportion to slip reduction, excessive reduction caused instrumentation failure, and patients with less reduction demonstrated worse clinical outcomes. Appropriate reduction resulted in a postoperative slip ranging from 10% to 20%.

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Junichi Kushioka, Tomoya Yamashita, Shinya Okuda, Takafumi Maeno, Tomiya Matsumoto, Ryoji Yamasaki, and Motoki Iwasaki

OBJECTIVE

Tranexamic acid (TXA), a synthetic antifibrinolytic drug, has been reported to reduce blood loss in orthopedic surgery, but there have been few reports of its use in spine surgery. Previous studies included limitations in terms of different TXA dose regimens, different levels and numbers of fused segments, and different surgical techniques. Therefore, the authors decided to strictly limit TXA dose regimens, surgical techniques, and fused segments in this study. There have been no reports of using TXA for prevention of intraoperative and postoperative blood loss in posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF). The purpose of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of high-dose TXA in reducing blood loss and its safety during single-level PLIF.

METHODS

The study was a nonrandomized, case-controlled trial. Sixty consecutive patients underwent single-level PLIF at a single institution. The first 30 patients did not receive TXA. The next 30 patients received 2000 mg of intravenous TXA 15 minutes before the skin incision was performed and received the same dose again 16 hours after the surgery. Intra- and postoperative blood loss was compared between the groups.

RESULTS

There were no statistically significant differences in preoperative parameters of age, sex, body mass index, preoperative diagnosis, or operating time. The TXA group experienced significantly less intraoperative blood loss (mean 253 ml) compared with the control group (mean 415 ml; p < 0.01). The TXA group also had significantly less postoperative blood loss over 40 hours (mean 321 ml) compared with the control group (mean 668 ml; p < 0.01). Total blood loss in the TXA group (mean 574 ml) was significantly lower than in the control group (mean 1080 ml; p < 0.01). From 2 hours to 40 hours, postoperative blood loss in the TXA group was consistently significantly lower. There were no perioperative complications, including thromboembolic events.

CONCLUSIONS

High-dose TXA significantly reduced both intra- and postoperative blood loss without causing any complications during or after single-level PLIF.

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Hiroyuki Aono, Shota Takenaka, Hidekazu Tobimatsu, Yukitaka Nagamoto, Masayuki Furuya, Tomoya Yamashita, Hiroyuki Ishiguro, and Motoki Iwasaki

OBJECTIVE

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.

METHODS

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.

RESULTS

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.

CONCLUSIONS

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.

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Hiroyuki Aono, Tetsuo Ohwada, Noboru Hosono, Hidekazu Tobimatsu, Kenta Ariga, Takeshi Fuji, and Motoki Iwasaki

Object

Neurological deterioration due to spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) is a rare but significant complication of spinal surgery. The frequency of hematoma evacuation after spinal surgery is reportedly 0.1%–3%. The objective of this study was to investigate the symptomatology of SEH and the frequency of evacuation for each surgical procedure after spinal decompression surgery.

Methods

This is a retrospective study of 26 patients who underwent SEH evacuation after spinal decompression surgery between 1986 and 2005. During this period, 6356 spinal decompression surgeries were performed. The factors studied were the frequency of SEH evacuation for each surgical procedure, symptoms, time to SEH evacuation, comorbidities, and neurological recovery.

Results

The frequency of SEH evacuation was 0.41% (26 of 6356) for all operations. The frequency for each surgical procedure was 0% (0 of 1568) in standard lumbar discectomy, 0.50% (8 of 1614) in lumbar laminectomy, 0.67% (8 of 1191) in posterior lumbar interbody fusion, 4.46% (5 of 112) in thoracic laminectomy, 0.44% (4 of 910) in cervical laminoplasty, and 0.21% (1 of 466) in cervical anterior spinal fusion. Nine patients had comorbidities involving hemorrhage. Spinal epidural hematoma evacuation was performed between 4 hours and 8 days after the initial operation. Whereas severe paralysis was observed within 24 hours in most patients undergoing cervical and/or thoracic surgery, half of the patients undergoing lumbar surgery had symptoms of SEH such as leg pain or bladder dysfunction after suction drain removal. The shorter the period to evacuation, the better were the results of neurological recovery.

Conclusions

Postoperative SEH was most frequent after thoracic laminectomy. In cervical and thoracic surgeries, symptoms of SEH were noted within 24 hours, mostly severe paralysis, and almost half of the lumbar surgery patients had symptoms after suction drain removal.