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Sei Shibuya, Yoji Kawaguchi, Nobuo Arima, Tetsuji Yamamoto, Hiroaki Dobashi and Michiaki Tokuda

✓Tumoral calcinosis commonly occurs in the articular soft tissues of the extremities but rarely in the spine. The authors performed surgery to treat lumbar tumoral calcinosis in a patient with scleroderma, in whom symptoms of neurological dysfunction had manifested.

This 49-year-old woman presented with low-back pain and gait disturbance. Seven years before presentation, scleroderma had been diagnosed, and the patient had received medical treatment ever since. Imaging revealed tumoral calcinosis centered at the bilateral facet joints between L-3 and L-4, marked stenosis of the spinal canal, L-3 spondylolisthesis, and intervertebral instability. Surgery was performed to excise the lesion en bloc. After neural decompression, posterolateral fusion and pedicle screw fixation were undertaken. Symptoms improved after surgery.

In this case, the underlying scleroderma that predisposes to calcinosis and facet joint degeneration due to lumbar spondylolisthesis were probably factors leading to the development of tumoral calcinosis in the lumbar spine.

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Ikuko Yamaguchi, Sei Shibuya, Nobuo Arima, Shiro Oka, Yoshiaki Kanda and Tetsuji Yamamoto

✓ Retroodontoid or periodontoid pseudotumor unassociated with rheumatoid arthritis or hemodialysis is clinically rare. The authors report three cases of retroodontoid pseudotumor that they treated surgically. All patients exhibited myelopathy of the upper cervical spinal cord. Plain radiography depicted atlantoaxial instability in two of the three patients. Spinal cord compression caused by a mass lesion in all patients was clearly demonstrated on magnetic resonance images. In two patients, the mass lesion was not limited to the retroodontoid region and expanded continuously to the cranial base. Posterior laminectomy of the atlas and occipitocervical fusion were performed. After surgery, the pseudotumor disappeared in two cases and was clearly reduced in one case, and neurological symptoms also improved. Retroodontoid pseudotumor is a lesion for which symptomatic improvement can be expected with posterior decompression and fusion, even without direct tumor excision.