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Shota Takenaka, Kosuke Tateishi, Noboru Hosono, Yoshihiro Mukai and Takeshi Fuji

OBJECT

In this study, the authors aimed to identify specific risk factors for postdecompression lumbar disc herniation (PDLDH) in patients who have not undergone discectomy and/or fusion.

METHODS

Between 2007 and 2012, 493 patients with lumbar spinal stenosis underwent bilateral partial laminectomy without discectomy and/or fusion in a single hospital. Eighteen patients (herniation group [H group]: 15 men, 3 women; mean age 65.1 years) developed acute sciatica as a result of PDLDH within 2 years after surgery. Ninety patients who did not develop postoperative acute sciatica were selected as a control group (C group: 75 men, 15 women; mean age 65.4 years). Patients in the C group were age and sex matched with those in the H group. The patients in the groups were also matched for decompression level, number of decompression levels, and surgery date. The radiographic variables measured included percentage of slippage, intervertebral angle, range of motion, lumbar lordosis, disc height, facet angle, extent of facet removal, facet degeneration, disc degeneration, and vertebral endplate degeneration. The threshold for PDLDH risk factors was evaluated using a continuous numerical variable and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. The area under the curve was used to determine the diagnostic performance, and values greater than 0.75 were considered to represent good performance.

RESULTS

Multivariate analysis revealed that preoperative retrolisthesis during extension was the sole significant independent risk factor for PDLDH. The area under the curve for preoperative retrolisthesis during extension was 0.849; the cutoff value was estimated to be a retrolisthesis of 7.2% during extension.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors observed that bilateral partial laminectomy, performed along with the removal of the posterior support ligament, may not be suitable for lumbar spinal stenosis patients with preoperative retrolisthesis greater than 7.2% during extension.

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Takahiro Makino, Shota Takenaka, Gensuke Okamura, Yusuke Sakai, Hideki Yoshikawa and Takashi Kaito

Dorsal spinal cord herniation is reportedly a rare condition. Here, the authors report an unusual case of dorsal spinal cord herniation at the thoracolumbar junction presenting with scalloping of ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF). A 75-year-old woman with a 2-year history of bilateral leg dysesthesia presented with progressive gait ataxia. Neurological examination showed bilateral patellar tendon hyperreflexia with loss of vibratory sensation and proprioception in her bilateral lower extremities. CT myelography revealed a posterior kink and dorsal herniation of the spinal cord at T11–12, with OLF between T10–11 and T12–L1. In addition, scalloping of the OLF was observed at T11–12 at the site of the herniated spinal cord. This scalloping was first noted 9 years previously and had been gradually progressing. The patient underwent surgical repair of the spinal cord herniation. Subsequently, her spinal cord herniation and vibratory sensation and proprioception in both legs partly improved, but gait ataxia remained unchanged. Dorsal spinal cord herniation reportedly occurs under conditions of vulnerability of the dorsal dura mater. In this case, acquired vulnerability of the dorsal dura mater owing to previous epidural catheter placement into the thoracolumbar space may have resulted in dorsal spinal cord herniation.

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Shota Takenaka, Noboru Hosono, Yoshihiro Mukai, Toshitada Miwa and Takeshi Fuji

Object

No previous hypothesis has attempted to fully account for the occurrence of upper-limb palsy (ULP) after cervical laminoplasty. The authors propose that friction-generated heat from a high-speed drill may cause thermal injury to the nerve roots close to the drilled bone, which may then lead to ULP. The authors investigated the effect of cooling the saline used for irrigation during the drilling on the incidence of upper-limb (C-5) palsy following cervical laminoplasty.

Methods

The irrigation saline for drilling was used at room temperature (RT, average temperature of 25.6°C) in operations of 79 patients (the RT group) and cooled to an average of 12.1°C in operations of 80 patients (the low-temperature [LT] group). The authors used a hand-held dynamometer to precisely assess muscle strength presurgery and 2 weeks postsurgery.

Results

There was a 7.6% and 1.9% decrease in the strength of the deltoid muscle, a 10.1% and 4.4% decrease in the strength of the biceps brachii, a 1.3% and 0.6% decrease in the strength of the triceps brachii, and a 7.6% and 3.1% decrease in grip strength in the RT and LT groups, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that a significant predictor for decreased deltoid muscle strength was the use of irrigation saline at RT.

Conclusions

Using cooled irrigation saline during bone drilling significantly decreased the incidence of ULP and can thus be recommended as a simple method for the prevention of ULP.

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Yoshihiro Mukai, Shota Takenaka, Noboru Hosono, Toshitada Miwa and Takeshi Fuji

Object

This randomized study was designed to elucidate the time course of the perioperative development of intramuscular multifidus muscle pressure after posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and to investigate whether the route of pedicle screw insertion affects this pressure and resultant low-back pain. Although several studies have focused on intramuscular pressure associated with posterior lumbar surgery, those studies examined intramuscular pressure generated by the muscle retractors during surgery. No study has investigated the intramuscular pressure after PLIF.

Methods

Forty patients with L4–5 degenerative spondylolisthesis were randomly assigned to undergo either the mini-open PLIF procedure with pedicle screw insertion between the multifidus and longissimus muscles (n = 20) or the conventional PLIF procedure via a midline approach only (n = 20). Intramuscular pressure was measured 5 times (at 30 minutes and at 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours after surgery) with an intraoperatively installed sensor. Concurrently, the FACES Pain Rating Scale score for low-back pain and the total dose of postoperative analgesics were recorded.

Results

With the patients in the supine position, for both groups the mean pressure values were consistently 40–50 mm Hg, which exceeded the critical capillary pressure of the muscle. With the patients in the lateral decubitus position, the pressure decreased over time (from 14 to 9 mm Hg in the mini-open group and from 20 to 10 mm Hg in the conventional group). Among patients in the mini-open group, the pressure was lower, but the difference was not statistically significant. Postoperative pain and postoperative analgesic dosages were also lower .

Conclusions

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate postoperative intramuscular pressure after PLIF. Although the results did not demonstrate a significant difference in the intramuscular pressure between the 2 types of PLIF, mini-open PLIF was associated with less pain after surgery. Clinical trial registration no.: UMIN000010069 (www.umin.ac.jp/ctr/index.htm).

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Shota Takenaka, Yoshihiro Mukai, Noboru Hosono, Kosuke Tateishi and Takeshi Fuji

Vertebral cystic lesions may be observed in pseudarthroses after lumbar fusion surgery. The authors report a rare case of pseudarthrosis after spinal fusion, accompanied by an expanding vertebral osteolytic defect induced by cellulose particles. A male patient originally presented at the age of 69 years with leg and low-back pain caused by a lumbar isthmic spondylolisthesis. He underwent a posterior lumbar interbody fusion, and his neurological symptoms and pain resolved within a year but recurred 14 months after surgery. Radiological imaging demonstrated a cystic lesion on the inferior endplate of L-5 and the superior endplate of S-1, which rapidly enlarged into a vertebral osteolytic defect. The patient underwent revision surgery, and his low-back pain resolved. A histopathological examination demonstrated foreign body–type multinucleated giant cells, containing 10-μm particles, in the sample collected just below the defect. Micro–Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy revealed that the foreign particles were cellulosic, presumably originating from cotton gauze fibers that had contaminated the interbody cages used during the initial surgery. Vertebral osteolytic defects that occur after interbody fusion are generally presumed to be the result of infection. This case suggests that some instances of vertebral osteolytic defects may be aseptically induced by foreign particles. Hence, this possibility should be carefully considered in such cases, to help prevent contamination of the morselized bone used for autologous grafts by foreign materials, such as gauze fibers.

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Hiroyuki Aono, Shota Takenaka, Hidekazu Tobimatsu, Yukitaka Nagamoto, Masayuki Furuya, Tomoya Yamashita, Hiroyuki Ishiguro and Motoki Iwasaki

OBJECTIVE

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is a widely accepted procedure for degenerative lumbar diseases, and there have been many reports concerning adjacent-segment disease (ASD) after PLIF. In the reports of ASD in which the fusion level was limited to 1 segment, all reports describe ASD of the L3–4 segment after L4–5 PLIF. On the basis of these reports, it is thought that ASD mainly occurs at the cranial segment. However, no report has covered ASD after L3–4 PLIF. Therefore, the authors investigated ASD after L3–4 PLIF.

METHODS

In conducting a retrospective case series analysis, the authors reviewed a surgical database providing details of all spine operations performed between 2006 and 2017 at a single institution. During that period, PLIF was performed to treat 632 consecutive patients with degenerative lumbar diseases. Of these patients, 71 were treated with L3–4 PLIF alone, and 67 who were monitored for at least 2 years (mean 5.8 years; follow-up rate 94%) after surgery were enrolled in this study. Radiological ASD (R-ASD), symptomatic ASD (S-ASD), and operative ASD (O-ASD) were evaluated. These types of ASD were defined as follows: R-ASD refers to radiological degeneration adjacent to the fusion segment as shown on plain radiographs; S-ASD is a symptomatic condition due to neurological deterioration at the adjacent-segment degeneration; and O-ASD refers to S-ASD requiring revision surgery.

RESULTS

All patients had initial improvement of neurological symptoms after primary PLIF. R-ASD was observed in 32 (48%) of 67 patients. It occurred at the cranial segment in 12 patients and at the caudal segment in 24; R-ASD at both adjacent segments was observed in 4 patients. Thus, the occurrence of R-ASD was more significant in the caudal segment than in the cranial segment. S-ASD was observed in 10 patients (15%), occurring at the cranial segment in 3 patients and at the caudal segment in 7. O-ASD was observed in 6 patients (9%): at the cranial segment in 1 patient and at the caudal segment in 5. Thus, the rate of involvement of the caudal segment was 67% in R-ASD, 70% in S-ASD, and 83% in O-ASD.

CONCLUSIONS

The incidences of R-ASD, S-ASD, and O-ASD were 48%, 15%, and 9%, respectively, after L3–4 PLIF for degenerative lumbar diseases. In contrast to ASD after L4–5 PLIF, ASD after L3–4 PLIF was more frequently observed at the caudal segment than at the cranial segment. In follow-up for patients with L3–4 PLIF, surgeons should pay attention to ASD in the caudal segment.