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Chang Kyu Lee, Dong Ah Shin, Seong Yi, Keung Nyun Kim, Hyun Chul Shin, Do Heum Yoon, and Yoon Ha

OBJECT

The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between cervical spine sagittal alignment and clinical outcomes after cervical laminoplasty in patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL).

METHODS

Fifty consecutive patients who underwent a cervical laminoplasty for OPLL between January 2012 and January 2013 and who were followed up for at least 1 year were analyzed in this study. Standing plain radiographs of the cervical spine, CT (midsagittal view), and MRI (T2-weighted sagittal view) were obtained (anteroposterior, lateral, flexion, and extension) pre- and postoperatively. Cervical spine alignment was assessed with the following 3 parameters: the C2–7 Cobb angle, C2–7 sagittal vertical axis (SVA), and T-1 slope minus C2–7 Cobb angle. The change in cervical sagittal alignment was defined as the difference between the post- and preoperative C2–7 Cobb angles, C2–7 SVAs, and T-1 slope minus C2–7 Cobb angles. Outcome assessments (visual analog scale [VAS], Oswestry Neck Disability Index [NDI], 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey [SF-36], and Japanese Orthopaedic Association [JOA] scores) were obtained in all patients pre- and postoperatively.

RESULTS

The average patient age was 56.3 years (range 38–72 years). There were 34 male patients and 16 female patients. Cervical laminoplasty for OPLL helped alleviate radiculomyelopathy. Compared with the preoperative scores, improvement was seen in postoperative VAS and JOA scores. After laminoplasty, 35 patients had kyphotic changes, and 15 had lordotic changes. However, cervical sagittal alignment after laminoplasty was not significantly associated with clinical outcomes in terms of postoperative improvement of the JOA score (C2–7 Cobb angle: p = 0.633; C2–7 SVA: p = 0.817; T-1 slope minus C2–7 lordosis: p = 0.554), the SF-36 score (C2–7 Cobb angle: p = 0.554; C2–7 SVA: p = 0.793; T-1 slope minus C2–7 lordosis: p = 0.829), the VAS neck score (C2–7 Cobb angle: p = 0.263; C2–7 SVA: p = 0.716; T-1 slope minus C2–7 lordosis: p = 0.497), or the NDI score (C2–7 Cobb angle: p = 0.568; C2–7 SVA: p = 0.279; T-1 slope minus C2–7 lordosis: p = 0.966). Similarly, the change in cervical sagittal alignment was not related to the JOA (p = 0.604), SF-36 (p = 0.308), VAS neck (p = 0.832), or NDI (p = 0.608) scores.

CONCLUSIONS

Cervical laminoplasty for OPLL improved radiculomyelopathy. Cervical laminoplasty increased the probability of cervical kyphotic alignment. However, cervical sagittal alignment and clinical outcomes were not clearly related.

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Seong Yi, Do Heum Yoon, Hyun Chul Shin, Keung Nyun Kim, and Sang Won Lee

✓ Spondylocostal dysostosis is a rare congenital segmental costovertebral malformation. Neural tube defects associated with it have been reported several times, and a genetic cause has been proposed. The authors report on the first patient with both spondylocostal dysostosis and an intrathoracic myelomeningocele in whom surgical treatment was successful.

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Sungkyu Lee, Chung Mo Nam, Do Heum Yoon, Keung Nyun Kim, Seong Yi, Dong Ah Shin, and Yoon Ha

Object

The authors undertook this study to investigate the relationships between low-back pain (LBP) and spinal bone density. Low-back pain is a major health issue and contributes to increases in medical and economic costs. Epidemiological studies have identified individual, sociodemographic, psychosocial, and occupational risk factors for LBP. However, there have been limited studies addressing the relationships between LBP and spinal bone density.

Methods

Data were obtained from the population-based Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (K-NHANES IV, 2009). From 10,533 K-NHANES participants, the authors identified 7144 (3099 men and 4045 women) 21 years of age or older who underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and anthropometric measurements for inclusion in this study. Low-back pain patients were defined as those who had been diagnosed with LBP by a medical doctor. Chi-square tests, t-tests, and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to examine the relationships between LBP and spinal bone density.

Results

The total prevalence of LBP in the patient sample was 17.1%. More females (21.0%) reported LBP than males (12.1%). A number of sociodemographic and medical factors—sex, age, place of residence, occupation, education, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and depression—were all associated with LBP, while LBP was not associated with income or exercise levels. Regression analyses indicated that higher lumbar spine T-scores (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.02–1.20) were associated with LBP.

Conclusions

Higher bone density in the lumbar spine is associated with LBP, independent of confounding factors such as sociodemographic status, education, and medical-psychiatric disorders. Cause and effect relationship between higher bone density and LBP, such as degenerative changes in spine, requires further investigation.

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Jun Jae Shin, Hyeongseok Jeon, Jong Joo Lee, Hyung Cheol Kim, Tae Woo Kim, Sung Bae An, Dong Ah Shin, Seong Yi, Keung-Nyun Kim, Do-Heum Yoon, Narihito Nagoshi, Kota Watanabe, Masaya Nakamura, Morio Matsumoto, Nan Li, Sai Ma, Da He, Wei Tian, Kenny Yat Hong Kwan, Kenneth Man Chee Cheung, K. Daniel Riew, Daniel J. Hoh, Yoon Ha, and the Asia Pacific Spine Study Group (APSSG)

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this retrospective multicenter study was to compare prognostic factors for neurological recovery in patients undergoing surgery for cervical ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) based on their presenting mild, moderate, or severe myelopathy.

METHODS

The study included 372 consecutive patients with OPLL who underwent surgery for cervical myelopathy between 2006 and 2016 in East Asian countries with a high OPLL prevalence. Baseline and postoperative clinical outcomes were assessed using the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) myelopathy score and recovery ratio. Radiographic assessment included occupying ratio, cervical range of motion, and sagittal alignment parameters. Patient myelopathy was classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the preoperative JOA score. Linear and multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify patient and surgical factors associated with neurological recovery stratified by baseline myelopathy severity.

RESULTS

The mean follow-up period was 45.4 months (range 25–140 months). The mean preoperative and postoperative JOA scores and recovery ratios for the total cohort were 11.7 ± 3.0, 14.5 ± 2.7, and 55.2% ± 39.3%, respectively. In patients with mild myelopathy, only age and diabetes correlated with recovery. In patients with moderate to severe myelopathy, older age and preoperative increased signal intensity on T2-weighted imaging were significantly correlated with a lower likelihood of recovery, while female sex and anterior decompression with fusion (ADF) were associated with better recovery.

CONCLUSIONS

Various patient and surgical factors are correlated with likelihood of neurological recovery after surgical treatment for cervical OPLL, depending on the severity of presenting myelopathy. Older age, male sex, intramedullary high signal intensity, and posterior decompression are associated with less myelopathy improvement in patients with worse baseline function. Therefore, myelopathy-specific preoperative counseling regarding prognosis for postoperative long-term neurological improvement should include consideration of these individual and surgical factors.