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Seung-Jae Hyun, Ki-Jeong Kim, and Tae-Ahn Jahng

OBJECTIVE

No reports have investigated how cervical reconstructive surgery affects global sagittal alignment (GSA), including the lower extremities, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The study was aimed at elucidating the effects of cervical reconstruction on GSA and HRQOL.

METHODS

Twenty-three patients who underwent reconstructive surgery for cervical kyphosis were divided into a head-balanced group (n = 13) and a trunk-balanced group (n = 10) according to the values of the C7 plumb line, T1 slope (T1S), and pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis (PI-LL). Head-balanced patients are those with a negative C7 sagittal vertical axis (SVA), a larger LL than PI, and a low T1S. Trunk-balanced patients are those with a positive SVAC7, a normal PI-LL, and a normal to high T1S. Various sagittal Cobb angles, SVA, and lower-extremity alignment parameters were measured before and after surgery using whole-body stereoradiography.

RESULTS

Cervical malalignment was corrected to achieve cervical sagittal balance and occiput-trunk (OT) concordance (center of gravity [COG]–C7 SVA < 30 mm). Significant changes in the upper cervical spine and thoracolumbar spine were observed in the head-balanced group, but no significant change in lumbopelvic alignment was observed in the trunk-balanced group. Lower-extremity alignment did not change substantially in either group. HRQOL scores improved significantly after surgery in both groups. SVACOG–C7 and SVAC2–7 were negatively and positively correlated with the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey physical component score and Neck Disability Index, respectively. The visual analog scale for back pain, Oswestry Disability Index, and PI-LL mismatch improved significantly in the head-balanced group after cervical reconstruction surgery.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with cervical kyphosis exhibited compensatory changes in the upper cervical spine and thoracolumbar spine, instead of in the lower extremities. These compensatory mechanisms resolved reciprocally in a different fashion in the head- and trunk-balanced groups. HRQOL scores improved significantly with GSA restoration and OT concordance following cervical reconstruction.

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Sang-Hyun Han, Seung-Jae Hyun, Tae-Ahn Jahng, and Ki-Jeong Kim

Spontaneous bilateral pedicle fractures of the lumbar spine are rare, and an optimal surgical treatment has not been suggested. The authors report the case of a 50-year-old woman who presented with low-back pain and right leg radiating pain of 1 year’s duration. Radiological studies revealed a spontaneous bilateral pedicle fracture of L-5. All efforts at conservative treatment failed, and the patient underwent surgery for osteosynthesis of the fractured pedicle using bilateral pedicle screws connected with a bent rod. Her low-back and right leg pain were relieved postoperatively. A CT scan performed 3 months postoperatively revealed the disappearance of the pedicle fracture gap and presence of newly formed bony trabeculation. In rare cases of spontaneous bilateral pedicle fracture of the lumbar spine, osteosynthesis of the fractured pedicle using bilateral pedicle screws and a bent rod is a motion-preserving technique that may be an effective option when conservative management has failed.

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Jong-myung Jung, Seung-Jae Hyun, Ki-Jeong Kim, and Tae-Ahn Jahng

OBJECTIVE

This study investigated the incidence and risk factors of rod fracture (RF) after multiple-rod constructs (MRCs) for adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.

METHODS

A single-center, single-surgeon consecutive series of adult patients who underwent posterior thoracolumbar fusion at 4 or more levels using MRCs after osteotomy with at least 1 year of follow-up were retrospectively reviewed. Patient characteristics, radiological parameters, operative data, and clinical outcomes (on the Scoliosis Research Society-22r questionnaire) were analyzed at baseline and follow-up.

RESULTS

Seventy-six patients were enrolled in this study. RF occurred in 9 patients (11.8%), with all cases involving partial rod breakage. Seven patients (9.2%) underwent revision surgery. There were no significant differences in baseline demographic characteristics, radiological parameters, and surgical factors between the RF and non-RF groups. Multivariable analysis revealed that interbody fusion at the L5–S1 and L4–S1 levels could significantly reduce the occurrence of RF after MRCs for ASD (adjusted odds ratios 0.070 and 0.035, respectively). The RF group had significantly worse function score (mean 2.9 ± 0.8 vs 3.5 ± 0.7) and pain score (mean 2.8 ± 1.0 vs 3.5 ± 0.8) compared with the non-RF group at last visit.

CONCLUSIONS

RF occurred in 11.8% of patients with MRCs after ASD surgery. Most RFs occurred at the lumbosacral junction or adjacent level (77%). Interbody fusion at the lumbosacral junction (L5–S1 or L4–S1 level) could significantly prevent the occurrence of RF after MRCs for ASD.

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Sanghyun Han, Seung-Jae Hyun, Ki-Jeong Kim, Tae-Ahn Jahng, and Hyun-Jib Kim

OBJECTIVE

Posterior column osteotomy (PCO) has been known to provide an angular change (AC) of approximately 10° in sagittal plane deformity. However, whether PCO can actually obtain an AC of ≥ 10° depending on the particular level in the lumbar spine and which factors can effect a gain of ≥ 10° AC after PCO remain to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to identify the factors that effect a gain of ≥ 10° AC through PCO by comparing radiographic measurements between an AC group and a control group before and after adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery.

METHODS

Forty consecutive patients who underwent multilevel PCOs for ASD at a single institution between 2012 and 2016 were included in this study. PCO was performed in 142 disc space levels in the lumbar spine. The authors defined the disc space level that obtained ≥ 10° AC in the sagittal plane by PCO as the AC group and the remaining patients as controls. The modified Pfirrmann grade, surgical level, implementation of the transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), and radiographic measurements were compared between the groups.

RESULTS

There were 67 levels in the AC group and 75 in the control group. Multivariate analysis identified the surgical level at L4–5 (OR 3.802, 95% CI 1.127–12.827, p = 0.031), performing TLIF with PCO (OR 3.303, 95% CI 1.258–8.674, p = 0.015), and a preoperative kyphotic disc space angle (OR 1.397, 95% CI 1.231–1.585, p < 0.001) as the factors that significantly effected ≥ 10° AC in the sagittal plane after PCO.

CONCLUSIONS

In ASD surgery, PCO cannot always achieve ≥ 10° AC in the sagittal plane. The factors that effected ≥ 10° AC in PCO for ASD were surgical level at L4–5, performing TLIF with PCO, and the preoperative kyphotic disc space angle.

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Chang-Hyun Lee, Jaebong Lee, James D. Kang, Seung-Jae Hyun, Ki-Jeong Kim, Tae-Ahn Jahng, and Hyun-Jib Kim

OBJECT

Posterior cervical surgery, expansive laminoplasty (EL) or laminectomy followed by fusion (LF), is usually performed in patients with multilevel (≥ 3) cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). However, the superiority of either of these techniques is still open to debate. The aim of this study was to compare clinical outcomes and postoperative kyphosis in patients undergoing EL versus LF by performing a meta-analysis.

METHODS

Included in the meta-analysis were all studies of EL versus LF in adults with multilevel CSM in MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE, and the Cochrane library. A random-effects model was applied to pool data using the mean difference (MD) for continuous outcomes, such as the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) grade, the cervical curvature index (CCI), and the visual analog scale (VAS) score for neck pain.

RESULTS

Seven studies comprising 302 and 290 patients treated with EL and LF, respectively, were included in the final analyses. Both treatment groups showed slight cervical lordosis and moderate neck pain in the baseline state. Both groups were similarly improved in JOA grade (MD 0.09, 95% CI −0.37 to 0.54, p = 0.07) and neck pain VAS score (MD −0.33, 95% CI −1.50 to 0.84, p = 0.58). Both groups evenly lost cervical lordosis. In the LF group lordosis seemed to be preserved in long-term follow-up studies, although the difference between the 2 treatment groups was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS

Both EL and LF lead to clinical improvement and loss of lordosis evenly. There is no evidence to support EL over LF in the treatment of multilevel CSM. Any superiority between EL and LF remains in question, although the LF group shows favorable long-term results.

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Young-Seop Park, Seung-Jae Hyun, Ho Yong Choi, Ki-Jeong Kim, and Tae-Ahn Jahng

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate the risk of upper instrumented vertebra (UIV) fractures associated with UIV screw fixation (unicortical vs bicortical) and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) augmentation after adult spinal deformity surgery.

METHODS

A single-center, single-surgeon consecutive series of adult patients who underwent lumbar fusion for ≥ 4 levels (that is, the lower instrumented vertebra at the sacrum or pelvis and the UIV of the thoracolumbar spine [T9–L2]) were retrospectively reviewed. Age, sex, follow-up duration, sagittal UIV angle immediately postoperatively including several balance-related parameters (lumbar lordosis [LL], pelvic incidence, and sagittal vertical axis), bone mineral density, UIV screw fixation type, UIV PMMA augmentation, and UIV fracture were evaluated. Patients were divided into 3 groups: Group U, 15 patients with unicortical screw fixation at the UIV; Group P, 16 with bicortical screw fixation and PMMA augmentation at the UIV; and Group B, 21 with bicortical screw fixation without PMMA augmentation at the UIV.

RESULTS

The mean number of levels fused was 6.5 ± 2.5, 7.5 ± 2.5, and 6.5 ± 2.5; the median age was 50 ± 29, 72 ± 6, and 59 ± 24 years; and the mean follow-up was 31.5 ± 23.5, 13 ± 6, and 24 ± 17.5 months in Groups U, P, and B, respectively (p > 0.05). There were no significant differences in balance-related parameters (LL, sagittal vertical axis, pelvic incidence–LL, and so on) among the groups. UIV fracture rates in Groups U (0%), P (31.3%), and B (42.9%) increased in sequence by group (p = 0.006). UIV bicortical screw fixation increased the risk for UIV fracture (OR 5.39; p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

Bicortical screw fixation at the UIV is a major risk factor for early UIV compression fracture, regardless of whether a thoracolumbosacral orthosis is used. To reduce the proximal junctional failure, unicortical screw fixation at the UIV is essential in adult spinal deformity correction surgery.

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Jin Pyeong Jeon, Jeong Eun Kim, Jun Hyong Ahn, Won-Sang Cho, Young Dae Cho, Young-Je Son, Jae Seung Bang, Hyun-Seung Kang, Chul-Ho Sohn, Hyun-Tai Chung, Chang Wan Oh, and Dong Gyu Kim

OBJECT

Treatment strategies for venous-predominant arteriovenous malformation (vp-AVM) remain unclear due to the limited number of cases and a lack of long-term outcomes. The purpose of this study was to report the authors’ experience with treatment outcomes with a review of the pertinent literature in patients with vp-AVM.

METHODS

Medical and radiological data from 1998 to 2011 were retrospectively evaluated. The degree of the arteriovenous (AV) shunt was categorized into 2 groups, a high- and low-flow AV shunt based on the angiographic findings.

RESULTS

Sixteen patients with a mean age of 45.3 years (range 16–78 years) and a mean follow-up of 79.9 months (range 25–264 months) were examined. Symptomatic lesions were noted in 13 patients: intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in 9, seizure in 1, and headache in 3. A high-flow shunt was observed on angiography in 13 patients. Among these 13 patients, 12 patients were symptomatic. Nine patients presenting with ICH underwent hematoma removal with additional Gamma Knife surgery (GKS; n = 4), GKS only (n = 2), or conservative treatment (n = 3). The 3 asymptomatic patients received conservative treatment, and 1 rebleeding episode was observed. Seven of 8 patients who underwent GKS as an initial or secondary treatment modality experienced a marked reduction in the AV shunt on follow-up angiography, but complete obliteration was not observed.

CONCLUSIONS

Poor lesion localization makes a vp-AVM challenging to treat. Symptomatic patients with a high-flow shunt are supposedly best treated with GKS, despite the fact that only 87.5% of the vp-AVMs treated this way showed a reduction in the malformation volume, and none were cured.

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Chang-Hyun Lee, Chun Kee Chung, Jee-Soo Jang, Sung-Min Kim, Dong-Kyu Chin, Jung-Kil Lee, Seung Hwan Yoon, Jae Taek Hong, Yoon Ha, Chi Heon Kim, and Seung-Jae Hyun

OBJECTIVE

As life expectancy continues to increase, primary degenerative sagittal imbalance (PDSI) is diagnosed in an increasing number of elderly people. Although corrective surgery for this sagittal deformity is becoming more popular, the effectiveness of the procedure remains unclear. The authors aimed to collate the available evidence on the effectiveness and complications of deformity-correction surgery in patients with PDSI.

METHODS

The authors carried out a meta-analysis of clinical studies regarding deformity correction in patients with PDSI. The studies were identified through searches of the PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases. Surgery outcomes were evaluated and overall treatment effectiveness was assessed in terms of the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) in Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) values and pain levels according to visual analog scale (VAS) scores and in terms of restoration of spinopelvic parameters to within a normal range. Data are expressed as mean differences with 95% CIs.

RESULTS

Ten studies comprising 327 patients were included. The VAS and ODI values improved after deformity-correction surgery. The smallest treatment effect exceeded the MCID for VAS values (4.15 [95% CI 3.48–4.82]) but not for ODI values (18.11 [95% CI 10.99–25.23]). At the final follow-up visit, the mean lumbar lordosis angle (−38.60° [95% CI −44.19° to −33.01°]), thoracic kyphosis angle (31.10° [95% CI 24.67°–37.53°]), C-7 sagittal vertical axis (65.00 mm [95% CI 35.27–94.72 mm]), and pelvic tilt angle (30.82° [95% CI 24.41°–37.23°]) remained outside their normal ranges. Meta-regression analyses revealed a significant effect of ODI change in relation to lumbar lordosis change (p = 0.004). After a mean of 2 years after deformity correction, the mean lumbar lordosis angle and C-7 sagittal vertical axis decreased by 5.82° and 38.91 mm, respectively, and the mean thoracic kyphosis angle increased by 4.7°. The incidences of proximal junctional kyphosis and pseudarthrosis were 23.7% and 12.8%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Deformity correction substantially relieves back pain for about 2 years in adult patients with PDSI. Sufficient surgical restoration of lumbar lordosis can lead to substantial improvement in patient disability and reduced decompensation. Deformity correction represents a viable therapeutic option for patients with PDSI, but further technical advancements are necessary to achieve sufficient lumbar lordosis and reduce complication rates.

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Chang-Hyun Lee, Tae-Ahn Jahng, Seung-Jae Hyun, Chi Heon Kim, Sung-Bae Park, Ki-Jeong Kim, Chun Kee Chung, Hyun-Jib Kim, and Soo-Eon Lee

OBJECTIVE

The Dynesys, a pedicle-based dynamic stabilization (PDS) system, was introduced to overcome the drawbacks of fusion procedures. Nevertheless, the theoretical advantages of PDS over fusion have not been clearly confirmed. The aim of this study was to compare clinical and radiological outcomes of patients who underwent PDS using the Dynesys system with those who underwent posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF).

METHODS

The authors searched PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Database. Studies that reported outcomes of patients who underwent PDS or PLIF for the treatment of degenerative lumbar spinal disease were included. The primary efficacy end points were perioperative outcomes. The secondary efficacy end points were changes in the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and back and leg pain visual analog scale (VAS) scores and in range of motion (ROM) at the treated and adjacent segments. A meta-analysis was performed to calculate weighted mean differences (WMDs), 95% confidence intervals, Q statistics, and I2 values. Forest plots were constructed for each analysis group.

RESULTS

Of the 274 retrieved articles, 7 (which involved 506 participants [Dynesys, 250; PLIF, 256]) met the inclusion criteria. The Dynesys group showed a competitive advantage in mean surgery duration (20.73 minutes, 95% CI 8.76–32.70 minutes), blood loss (81.87 ml, 95% CI 45.11–118.63 ml), and length of hospital stay (1.32 days, 95% CI 0.23–2.41 days). Both the Dynesys and PLIF groups experienced improved ODI and VAS scores after 2 years of follow-up. Regarding the ODI and VAS scores, no statistically significant difference was noted according to surgical procedure (ODI: WMD 0.12, 95% CI −3.48 to 3.72; back pain VAS score: WMD −0.15; 95% CI −0.56 to 0.26; leg pain VAS score: WMD −0.07; 95% CI −0.47 to 0.32). The mean ROM at the adjacent segment increased in both groups, and there was no substantial difference between them (WMD 1.13; 95% CI −0.33 to 2.59). Although the United States is the biggest market for Dynesys, no eligible study from the United States was found, and 4 of 8 enrolled studies were performed in China. The results must be interpreted with caution because of publication bias. During Dynesys implantation, surgeons have to decide the length of the spacer and cord pretension. These values are debatable and can vary according to the surgeon's experience and the patient's condition. Differences between the surgical procedures were not considered in this study.

CONCLUSIONS

Fusion still remains the method of choice for advanced degeneration and gross instability. However, spinal degenerative disease with or without Grade I spondylolisthesis, particularly in patients who require a quicker recovery, will likely constitute the main indication for PDS using the Dynesys system.

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Tackeun Kim, O-Ki Kwon, Jae Seung Bang, Heeyoung Lee, Jeong Eun Kim, Hyun-Seung Kang, Won-Sang Cho, and Chang Wan Oh

OBJECTIVE

Brain arteriovenous malformation (BAVM) is a rare cerebrovascular disease that causes intracranial hemorrhage. Although several reports have demonstrated the epidemiological features of BAVM in Western countries, no epidemiological investigations regarding BAVM have been reported in Korea. The authors aimed to investigate the national epidemiology of ruptured BAVM in a Korean population.

METHODS

The authors used data from the National Health Insurance Service–National Sample Cohort (NHIS-NSC). The original cohort included approximately 1 million individuals (2% of the Korean population) with 12-year claim data (2002–2013). To construct an initial cohort for investigation, the authors selected 1,016,820 registered individuals in 2005. Subjects with a history of cerebrovascular disease (code I6xx) and BAVM (Q282) between 2002 and 2004 were washed-out to identify incident cases. During the 9-year follow-up (2005–2013), the incidence of BAVM was calculated using the earliest date of diagnosis of ruptured or unruptured BAVM. Direct standardization was applied to the crude incidence. Mortality and disability were evaluated using registration data. Related diagnostic procedures were also analyzed.

RESULTS

A total of 8,802,696 person-years of observation were noted. During observation, 308 patients were diagnosed with a ruptured BAVM. The crude incidence of ruptured BAVM was 3.5 per 100,000 person-years. There was no sex difference in incidence. The mortality rate for patients with a ruptured BAVM 1 month after diagnosis was 12.7%. At 1-year and 5-year follow-up examinations, mortality rates were 17.2% and 22.1%, respectively. Severe disability–free survival rates of patients with ruptured AVMs were 75.3% and 69.8% at 1-year and 5-year follow-up, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

The standardized incidence of ruptured BAVMs was 3.6 per 100,000 person-years in Korea. Ruptured BAVMs resulted in high mortality and disability rates.