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Chong-Suh Lee, Jin-Sung Park, Yunjin Nam, Youn-Taek Choi, and Se-Jun Park

OBJECTIVE

It has been well documented that optimal sagittal alignment is highly correlated with good clinical outcomes in adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. However, it remains to be determined whether the clinical benefit of appropriately corrected sagittal alignment can be maintained in the long term. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether appropriately corrected sagittal alignment continues to offer benefits over time with regard to clinical outcomes and mechanical failure.

METHODS

Patients older than 50 years who underwent ≥ 4-level fusion for ASD and were followed up for ≥ 5 years were included in this study. Appropriateness of sagittal alignment correction was defined as pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis ≤ 10°, pelvic tilt ≤ 25°, and sagittal vertical axis ≤ 50 mm. Two groups were created based on this appropriateness: group A (appropriate) and group IA (inappropriate). Clinical outcomes were evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and Scoliosis Research Society Outcomes Questionnaire–22 (SRS-22). The development of mechanical failures, such as rod fracture and proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK), was compared between the two groups.

RESULTS

The study included 90 patients with a follow-up duration of 90.3 months. There were 30 patients in group A and 60 patients in group IA. The clinical outcomes at 2 years were significantly better in group A than in group IA in terms of the VAS scores, ODI scores, and all domains of SRS-22. At the final follow-up visit, back VAS and ODI scores were still lower in group A than they were in group IA, but the VAS score for leg pain did not differ between the groups. The SRS-22 score at the final follow-up showed that only the pain and self-image/appearance domains and the total sum were significantly higher in group A than in group IA. The incidence of rod fracture and PJK did not differ between the two groups. The rate of revision surgery for rod fracture or PJK was also similar between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS

The clinical benefits from appropriate correction of sagittal alignment continued for a mean of 90.3 months. However, the intergroup difference in clinical outcomes between groups A and IA decreased over time. The development of rod fracture or PJK was not affected by the appropriateness of sagittal alignment.

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Jin-Sung Park, Se-Jun Park, Chong-Suh Lee, Tae-hoon Yum, and Bo-Taek Kim

OBJECTIVE

Several radiological parameters related to the aging spine have been reported as progression factors of early degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS). However, it has not been determined which factors are the most important. In this study the authors aimed to determine the risk factors associated with curve progression in early DLS.

METHODS

Fifty-one patients with early DLS and Cobb angles of 5°–15° were investigated. In total, 7 men and 44 women (mean age 61.6 years) were observed for a mean period of 13.7 years. The subjects were divided into two groups according to Cobb angle progression (≥ 15° or < 15°) at the final follow-up, and radiological parameters were compared. The direction of scoliosis, apical vertebral level and rotational grade, lateral subluxation, disc space difference, osteophyte difference, upper and lower disc wedging angles, and relationship between the intercrest line and L5 vertebra were evaluated.

RESULTS

During the follow-up period, the mean curve progression increased from 8.8° ± 3.2° to 19.4° ± 8.9°. The Cobb angle had progressed by ≥ 15° in 17 patients (33.3%) at the final follow-up. In these patients the mean Cobb angle increased from 9.4° ± 3.4° to 28.8° ± 7.5°, and in the 34 remaining patients it increased from 8.5° ± 3.1° to 14.7° ± 4.8°. The baseline lateral subluxation, disc space difference, and upper and lower disc wedging angles significantly differed between the groups. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, only the upper and lower disc wedging angles were significantly correlated with curve progression (OR 1.55, p = 0.035, and OR 1.89, p = 0.004, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Asymmetrical degenerative change in the lower apical vertebral disc, which leads to upper and lower disc wedging angles, is the most substantial factor in predicting early DLS progression.

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Jin-Sung Park, Se-Jun Park, Chong-Suh Lee, Tae-hoon Yum, and Bo-Taek Kim

OBJECTIVE

Several radiological parameters related to the aging spine have been reported as progression factors of early degenerative lumbar scoliosis (DLS). However, it has not been determined which factors are the most important. In this study the authors aimed to determine the risk factors associated with curve progression in early DLS.

METHODS

Fifty-one patients with early DLS and Cobb angles of 5°–15° were investigated. In total, 7 men and 44 women (mean age 61.6 years) were observed for a mean period of 13.7 years. The subjects were divided into two groups according to Cobb angle progression (≥ 15° or < 15°) at the final follow-up, and radiological parameters were compared. The direction of scoliosis, apical vertebral level and rotational grade, lateral subluxation, disc space difference, osteophyte difference, upper and lower disc wedging angles, and relationship between the intercrest line and L5 vertebra were evaluated.

RESULTS

During the follow-up period, the mean curve progression increased from 8.8° ± 3.2° to 19.4° ± 8.9°. The Cobb angle had progressed by ≥ 15° in 17 patients (33.3%) at the final follow-up. In these patients the mean Cobb angle increased from 9.4° ± 3.4° to 28.8° ± 7.5°, and in the 34 remaining patients it increased from 8.5° ± 3.1° to 14.7° ± 4.8°. The baseline lateral subluxation, disc space difference, and upper and lower disc wedging angles significantly differed between the groups. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, only the upper and lower disc wedging angles were significantly correlated with curve progression (OR 1.55, p = 0.035, and OR 1.89, p = 0.004, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

Asymmetrical degenerative change in the lower apical vertebral disc, which leads to upper and lower disc wedging angles, is the most substantial factor in predicting early DLS progression.

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Se-Jun Park, Keun-Ho Lee, Chong-Suh Lee, Joon Young Jung, Jin Ho Park, Gab-Lae Kim, and Ki-Tack Kim

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to evaluate the radiographic and clinical results of instrumentation surgery without fusion for metastases to the spine.

METHODS

Between 2010 and 2017, patients with spinal tumors who underwent instrumentation without fusion surgery were consecutively evaluated. Preoperative and postoperative clinical data were evaluated. Data were inclusive for last follow-up and just prior to death if the patient died. Instrumentation-related complications included screw migration, screw or rod breakage, cage migration, and screw loosening.

RESULTS

Excluding patients who died within 6 months, a total of 136 patients (140 operations) were recruited. The average follow-up duration was 16.5 months (median 12.4 months). The pain visual analog scale score decreased from 6.4 to 2.5 (p < 0.001) and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group scale score improved (p < 0.001). There were only 3 cases (2.1%) of symptomatic instrumentation-related complications that resulted in revisions. There were 6 cases of nonsymptomatic complications. The most common complication was screw migration or pull-out (5 cases). There were 3 cases of screw or rod breakage and 1 case of cage migration. Two-thirds of the cases of instrumentation-related complications occurred after 6 months, with a mean postoperative period of 1 year.

CONCLUSIONS

The current study reported successful outcomes with very low complication rates after nonfusion surgery for patients with spinal metastases, even among those who survived for more than 6 months. More than half of the instrumentation-related complications were asymptomatic and did not require revision. The results suggest that nonfusion surgery might be sufficient for a majority of patients with spinal metastases.

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Sang-Dae Kim, Je-On Park, Se-Hoon Kim, Young-Hen Lee, Dong-Jun Lim, and Jung-Yul Park

✓Spontaneous spinal subdural hematoma (SDH) is an uncommon cause of acute spinal cord compression. When it does occur, however, it may have disastrous results and a poor prognosis. The nontraumatic acute spinal SDH usually results from a defect in a hemostatic mechanism (such as coagulopathy or the use of anticoagulant therapy) or from iatrogenic causes (such as spinal puncture). Fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) is a nonatherosclerotic systemic arteriopathy of unknown cause that typically affects the small and medium arteries in young to middle-aged women. The authors report on their experience with a patient with an acute spontaneous spinal SDH that occurred in conjunction with FMD.

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Kyung-Chung Kang, Chong-Suh Lee, Seung-Kee Shin, Se-Jun Park, Chul-Hee Chung, and Sung-Soo Chung

Object

Thoracic ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF), a main cause of thoracic myelopathy, is an uncommon disease entity. It is seen mostly in East Asia, although the majority of reports have issued from Japan. In the present study, the clinical features and prognostic factors of thoracic OLF were examined in a large number of Korean patients.

Methods

Data from 51 consecutive patients who underwent decompressive laminectomy with or without fusion for thoracic OLF between 1998 and 2008 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were evaluated pre- and postoperatively using the modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) scale (maximum total score of 11). Patient age, sex, preoperative symptoms, duration of initial symptoms, number of involved segments, duration of follow-up, presence of dural adhesion (dural tearing), intramedullary high signal intensity, morphological classification of OLF (axial or sagittal), coexisting disease, and fusion or no fusion were also evaluated. Surgical outcomes were assessed using JOA recovery rate/outcome scores, and patient satisfaction grades and prognostic factors were analyzed.

Results

There were 18 men and 33 women with a mean age of 60.9 years (range 38–80 years). A mean preoperative JOA score of 5.5 improved to a mean score of 7.4 at the last follow-up (mean 52 months after surgery). The mean duration of the initial symptoms was 34.5 months (range 0.1–240 months) prior to surgery. The most common symptoms were motor dysfunction (80%); sensory deficit (67%); and pain, numbness, and claudication (59%) in the lower extremities. Knee hyperreflexia appeared in 69% of the patients. There were a total of 130 ossified segments, and the mean number of segments per patient was 2.6. Ninety-two (71%) of 130 segments were located below T-8. Recovery outcomes were good (18 patients), fair (16 patients), unchanged (11 patients), or worse (6 patients). Thirty-one patients (61%) were satisfied with their operations. Patients with a beak type of OLF on sagittal MR images experienced a higher recovery rate and a better satisfaction grade than did those with a round OLF. The patients with higher preoperative JOA scores demonstrated significantly higher JOA scores postoperatively (p < 0.001), and the preoperative JOA score had a significant correlation with the recovery rate in patients exhibiting mainly motor dysfunction (p = 0.040, r = 0.330).

Conclusions

Of the thoracic OLF studies published to date, the present analysis involves the largest Korean population. The most common symptoms of thoracic OLF were motor dysfunction and sensory deficit in the lower extremities, although pain, numbness, and claudication were observed in some patients and were notably accompanied by knee hyperreflexia. At a minimum of 2 years after surgery for thoracic OLF, operative outcomes were generally good, and the prognostic factors affecting good surgical outcomes included a beak type of OLF and a preoperative JOA score > 6.

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Yong Hwy Kim, Chiman Jeon, Young-Bem Se, Sang Duk Hong, Ho Jun Seol, Jung-II Lee, Chul-Kee Park, Dong Gyu Kim, Hee-Won Jung, Doo Hee Han, Do-Hyun Nam, and Doo-Sik Kong

OBJECTIVE

The endoscopic endonasal approach for treating primary skull base malignancies involving the clivus is a formidable task. The authors hypothesized that tumor involvement of nearby critical anatomical structures creates hurdles to endoscopic gross-total resection (GTR). The aim of this study was to retrospectively review the clinical outcomes of patients who underwent an endoscopic endonasal approach to treat primary malignancies involving the clivus and to analyze prognostic factors for GTR.

METHODS

Between January 2009 and November 2015, 42 patients underwent the endoscopic endonasal approach for resection of primary skull base malignancies involving the clivus at 2 independent institutions. Clinical data; tumor locations within the clivus; and anatomical involvement of the cavernous or paraclival internal carotid artery, cisternal trigeminal nerve, hypoglossal canal, and dura mater were investigated to assess the extent of resection. Possible prognostic factors affecting GTR were also analyzed.

RESULTS

Of the 42 patients, 37 were diagnosed with chordomas and 5 were diagnosed with chondrosarcomas. The mean (± SD) preoperative tumor volume was 25.2 ± 30.5 cm3 (range 0.8–166.7 cm3). GTR was achieved in 28 patients (66.7%) and subtotal resection in 14 patients (33.3%). All tumors were classified as upper (n = 17), middle (n = 17), or lower (n = 8) clival tumors based on clival involvement, and as central (24 [57.1%]) or paramedian (18 [42.9%]) based on laterality of the tumor. Univariate analysis identified the tumor laterality (OR 6.25, 95% CI 1.51–25.86; p = 0.011) as significantly predictive of GTR. In addition, the laterality of the tumor was found to be a statistically significant predictor in multivariate analysis (OR 41.16, 95% CI 1.12–1512.65; p = 0.043).

CONCLUSIONS

An endoscopic endonasal approach can provide favorable clinical and surgical outcomes. However, the tumor laterality should be considered as a potential obstacle to total removal.

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Dae Won Kim, Won Sik Eum, Sang Ho Jang, Jinseu Park, Dong-Hwa Heo, Seung-Hoon Sheen, Hae-Ran Lee, Haeyong Kweon, Seok-Woo Kang, Kwang-Gill Lee, Se Youn Cho, Hyoung-Joon Jin, Yong-Jun Cho, and Soo Young Choi

Object

To improve the safety of dura repair in neurosurgical procedures, a new dural material derived from silk fibroin was evaluated in a rat model with a dura mater injury.

Methods

The authors prepared new, transparent, artificial dura mater material using silk fibroin from the silkworm, Bombyx mori. The cytotoxic and antiinflammatory effects of the artificial dura mater were examined in vitro and in vivo by histological examination, western blotting, and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analyses.

Results

The novel artificial dura mater was not cytotoxic. However, it efficiently reduced cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression as well as the expression of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor–α. Cerebrospinal fluid leakage did not occur after repair of the brain of craniotomized rats with the artificial dura mater material.

Conclusions

The new artificial dura mater described in this study appears to be safe for application in neurosurgical procedures and can efficiently inhibit inflammation without side effects or CSF leakage. Although the long-term effects of this artificial dura mater material need to be validated in larger animals, the results from this study indicate that it is suitable for application in neurosurgery.