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Barón Zárate-Kalfópulos, Samuel Romero-Vargas, Eduardo Otero-Cámara, Victor Correa Correa and Alejandro Reyes-Sánchez

Object

The aim of this study was to describe the pelvic parameters in a sample of healthy Mexican volunteers and to compare them with previously reported data for Caucasian and Asian populations.

Methods

This was a transversal study that included a sample population of healthy Mexican volunteers. Age, sex, and lateral radiographs of the lumbosacral region with the individual standing to obtain the pelvic parameters of pelvic tilt (PT), sacral slope (SS), pelvic incidence (PI), and lumbar lordosis (LL) were recorded in each volunteer. The data were compared with those previously published for Caucasian and Asian individuals.

Results

In total, 202 Mexican individuals (81 men and 121 women; mean age 46.5 years, range 18–85 years) were included. There were statistically significant differences between the Mexican and Caucasian control group with respect to PT (11.9° vs 15.78°, respectively) and PI (51.91° vs 56.68°, respectively). Comparison with the Asian population showed statistically significant differences in relation to the Mexican group in terms of the PT (11.5° vs 15.78°), PI (47.8° vs 56.68°), and SS (36.3° vs 40.89°). The mean LL was 60.17° for the Mexican group, 52.3° for the Asian group, and 61.3° for the Caucasian group. A significant difference in LL was found between the Mexican and Asian populations (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

A comparison of the values for pelvic parameters and lumbar lordosis across the different population samples revealed statistically significant differences, which can be attributed to the ethnic origin of the individuals.

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Alejandro Urban-Baeza, Barón Zárate-Kalfópulos, Samuel Romero-Vargas, Claudia Obil-Chavarría, Luis Brenes-Rojas and Alejandro Reyes-Sánchez

OBJECT

This prospective cohort study was designed to determine the influence of depressive symptoms on patient expectations and the clinical outcomes of the surgical management of lumbar spinal stenosis.

METHODS

Patients with an age > 45 years, a diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis at one level, and an indication for decompressive surgery were included in this study. Data for all of the following parameters were recorded: age, sex, highest level of education, and employment status. Depression symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory), disability (Oswestry Disability Index), and back and leg pain (visual analog scale) were assessed before surgery and at 12 months thereafter. The reasons for surgery and patient expectations (North American Spine Society lumbar spine questionnaire) were noted before surgery. The global effectiveness of surgery (Likert scale) was assessed at the 1-year follow-up.

RESULTS

Fifty-eight patients were divided into two groups based on the presence (Group 1) or absence (Group 2) of depressive symptoms preoperatively; each group comprised 29 patients. Demographic data were similar in both groups before surgery. The main reason to undergo surgery was “fear of a worse situation” in 34% of the patients in Group 1 and “to reduce pain” in 24% of the patients in Group 2. The most prevalent expectation was to improve my social life and my mental health in both groups. Surgery had a relieving effect on the depressive symptoms in 14 patients (48%). Thus, in the postoperative period, the number of patients who were free of depressive symptoms was 43 compared with the 15 who were depressed (p = 0.001). The 15 patients with persistent depression symptoms after surgery had a worse clinical outcome compared with the 43 patients free of depression symptoms at the 1-year follow-up in terms of severe back pain (20% vs 0%, respectively), severe leg pain (40% vs 2.3%, respectively), and severe disability (53% vs 9.3%, respectively). Only 33% of patients with persistent depression symptoms after surgery chose the option “surgery helped a lot” compared with 76% of patients without depression symptoms. Moreover, in terms of expectations regarding improvement in back pain, leg pain, walking capacity, independence, physical duties, and social activities, fewer patients were “completely satisfied” in the group with persistent depression symptoms after surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgery for spinal stenosis had a relieving effect on preoperative depression symptoms at the 1-year follow-up. The persistence of depressive symptoms after surgery correlated with a worse clinical outcome and a higher rate of unmet expectations. Screening measures to detect and treat depression symptoms in the perioperative period could lead to better clinical results and increased patient satisfaction.

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Raul Lopez-Serna, Juan Luis Gomez-Amador, Juan Barges-Coll, Nicasio Arriada-Mendicoa, Samuel Romero-Vargas, Miguel Ramos-Peek, Miguel Angel Celis-Lopez, Rogelio Revuelta-Gutierrez and Lesly Portocarrero-Ortiz

Human sacrifice became a common cultural trait during the advanced phases of Mesoamerican civilizations. This phenomenon, influenced by complex religious beliefs, included several practices such as decapitation, cranial deformation, and the use of human cranial bones for skull mask manufacturing. Archaeological evidence suggests that all of these practices required specialized knowledge of skull base and upper cervical anatomy. The authors conducted a systematic search for information on skull base anatomical and surgical knowledge among Mesoamerican civilizations. A detailed exposition of these results is presented, along with some interesting information extracted from historical documents and pictorial codices to provide a better understanding of skull base surgical practices among these cultures. Paleoforensic evidence from the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan indicates that Aztec priests used a specialized decapitation technique, based on a deep anatomical knowledge. Trophy skulls were submitted through a stepwise technique for skull mask fabrication, based on skull base anatomical landmarks. Understanding pre-Columbian Mesoamerican religions can only be realized by considering them in their own time and according to their own perspective. Several contributions to medical practice might have arisen from anatomical knowledge emerging from human sacrifice and decapitation techniques.

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Samuel Romero-Vargas, José Luis Ruiz-Sandoval, Arturo Sotomayor-González, Rogelio Revuelta-Gutiérrez, Miguel Angel Celis-López, Juan Luis Gómez-Amador, Ulises García-González, Raul López-Serna, Victor García-Navarro, Diego Mendez-Rosito, Victor Correa-Correa and Sergio Gómez-Llata

Induced deformation of the cranial vault is one form of permanent alteration of the body that has been performed by human beings from the beginning of history as a way of differentiating from others. These procedures have been observed in different cultures, but were particularly widespread in Mesoamerica. The authors examined and reviewed the historical and anthropological literature of intentional deformation practices in Mayan culture. The Mayans performed different types of cranial deformations and used different techniques and instruments to deform children's heads. The most remarkable morphological alteration is seen in the flattening of the frontal bone. Some archeological investigations link deformation types with specific periods. This article provides a glance at the cultural environment of the Mayans and demonstrates the heterogeneity of this interesting cultural phenomenon, which has changed over time.