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Patrick Shih, Ryan J. Halpin, Aruna Ganju, John C. Liu and Tyler R. Koski

Recurrent tethered cord syndrome (TCS) can lead to significant progressive disability in adults. The diagnosis of TCS is made with a high degree of clinical suspicion. In the adult population, many patients receive inadequate care unless they are seen at a multidisciplinary clinic. Successful detethering procedures require careful intradural dissection and meticulous wound and dural closure. With multiple revision procedures, vertebral column shortening has become an appropriate alternative to surgical detethering.

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Patrick A. Sugrue, Jamal McClendon Jr., Ryan J. Halpin, John C. Liu, Tyler R. Koski and Aruna Ganju

Object

Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is a complex multifactorial disease process combining both metabolic and biomechanical factors. The role for surgical intervention and choice of anterior or posterior approach is controversial. The object of this study was to review the literature and present a single-institution experience with surgical intervention for OPLL.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective review of their institutional experience with surgical intervention for cervical OPLL. They also reviewed the English-language literature regarding the epidemiology, pathophysiology, natural history, and surgical intervention for OPLL.

Results

Review of the literature suggests an improved benefit for anterior decompression and stabilization or posterior decompression and stabilization compared with posterior decompression via laminectomy or laminoplasty. Both anterior and posterior approaches are safe and effective means of decompression of cervical stenosis in the setting of OPLL.

Conclusions

Anterior cervical decompression and reconstruction is a safe and appropriate treatment for cervical spondylitic myelopathy in the setting of OPLL. For patients with maintained cervical lordosis, posterior cervical decompression and stabilization is advocated. The use of laminectomy or laminoplasty is indicated in patients with preserved cervical lordosis and less than 60% of the spinal canal occupied by calcified ligament in a “hill-shaped” contour.

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Chris J. Neal, Jamal McClendon Jr., Ryan Halpin, Frank L. Acosta, Tyler Koski and Stephen L. Ondra

Object

Spinopelvic balance is based on the theory that adjacent segments of the spine are related and influenced by one another. By understanding the correlation between the thoracolumbar spine and the pelvis, a concept of spinopelvic balance can be applied to adult deformity. The purpose of this study was to develop a mathematical relationship between the pelvis and spine and apply it to a population of adults who had undergone spinal deformity surgery to determine whether patients in spinopelvic balance have improved health measures.

Methods

Using values published in the literature, a mathematical relationship between the spine and pelvis was derived where pelvic incidence (PI) was divided by the sum of the lumbosacral lordosis (LL; T12–S1) plus the main thoracic kyphosis (TK; T4–12). The result was termed the spinopelvic constant (r): r = PI/(LL + TK). This was performed in patients in 2 age groups previously defined in the literature as “adult” (18–60 years of age) and “geriatric” (> 60 years). The equation was then constructed to relate an individual's measured PI to his or her predicted thoracolumbar curvature (LL + TK)p based on the age-specific spinopelvic constant: (LL + TK)p = r/PI. A retrospective review was then performed using cases involving patients who had undergone spine deformity surgery and were enrolled in our spinal deformity database. Sagittal balance, PI, and the sum of the main thoracic and lumbar curves were measured. The difference between the predicted sum of the regional curves (LL + TK)p, based on the individual's measured PI and the age-specific spinopelvic constant, and the measured sum of the regional curves (LL + TK)m was then calculated to determine the degree of spinopelvic imbalance. Health status measures were then compared.

Results

Using the formula r = PI/(TK = LL) and normative values in the literature, the adult spinopelvic constant was calculated to be −2.57, and the geriatric constant −5.45. For the second portion of the study, 41 patients met inclusion criteria (13 classified as nongeriatric adults and 28 as geriatric patients). Application of these constants found a statistically significant decline in almost all outcome categories when the spinopelvic balance showed at least 10° of kyphosis more than predicted. While not statistically significant, the trend was that better outcomes were associated with a spinopelvic balance within 0 to +10° of the predicted value. The final analysis compared and separated outcomes from sagittal balance and spinopelvic balance. For patients to be considered in sagittal balance, they must be within 50 mm (± 50 mm) of neutral. For patients to be considered in spinopelvic balance, they must be within ± 10° of predicted spinopelvic balance. Patients in both sagittal and spinopelvic balance have statistically significant better outcomes than those in neither sagittal nor spinopelvic balance. Except for the mean SF-12 PCS (12-Item Short-Form Health Survey Physical Component Summary), there were no significant differences between those that were either in sagittal or spinopelvic balance, but not the other.

Conclusions

Restoring a normative relationship between the spine and the pelvis during adult deformity correction may play an important role in determining surgical outcomes in these patients independent of sagittal balance.

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Patrick C. Hsieh, Stephen L. Ondra, Andrew W. Grande, Brian A. O'Shaughnessy, Karin Bierbrauer, Kerry R. Crone, Ryan J. Halpin, Ian Suk, Tyler R. Koski, Ziya L. Gokaslan and Charles Kuntz IV

Recurrent tethered cord syndrome (TCS) has been reported to develop in 5–50% of patients following initial spinal cord detethering operations. Surgery for multiple recurrences of TCS can be difficult and is associated with significant complications. Using a cadaveric tethered spinal cord model, Grande and colleagues demonstrated that shortening of the vertebral column by performing a 15–25-mm thoracolumbar osteotomy significantly reduced spinal cord, lumbosacral nerve root, and terminal filum tension. Based on this cadaveric study, spinal column shortening by a thoracolumbar subtraction osteotomy may be a viable alternative treatment to traditional surgical detethering for multiple recurrences of TCS.

In this article, the authors describe the use of posterior vertebral column subtraction osteotomy (PVCSO) for the treatment of 2 patients with multiple recurrences of TCS. Vertebral column resection osteotomy has been widely used in the surgical correction of fixed spinal deformity. The PVCSO is a novel surgical treatment for multiple recurrences of TCS. In such cases, PVCSO may allow surgeons to avoid neural injury by obviating the need for dissection through previously operated sites and may reduce complications related to CSF leakage. The novel use of PVCSO for recurrent TCS is discussed in this report, including surgical considerations and techniques in performing PVCSO.