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Paul Park, Juan Uribe, Tokumi Kanemura, and Dean Chou

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Yoshimoto Ishikawa, Tokumi Kanemura, Go Yoshida, Zenya Ito, Akio Muramoto, and Shuichiro Ohno

Object

The authors performed a retrospective clinical study to evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of cervical pedicle screw (CPS) placement using 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation (3D FN).

Methods

The study involved 62 consecutive patients undergoing posterior stabilization of the cervical spine between 2003 and 2008. Thirty patients (126 screws) were treated using conventional techniques (CVTs) with a lateral fluoroscopic view, whereas 32 patients (150 screws) were treated using 3D FN. Screw positions were classified into 4 grades based on the pedicle wall perforations observed on postoperative CT.

Results

The prevalence of perforations in the CVT group was 27% (34 screws): 92 (73.0%), 12 (9.5%), 6 (4.8%), and 16 (12.7%) for Grade 0 (no perforation), Grade 1 (perforation < 1 mm), Grade 2 (perforation ≥ 1 and < 2 mm), and Grade 3 (perforation ≥ 2 mm), respectively. In the 3D FN group, the prevalence of perforations was 18.7% (28 screws): 122 (81.3%), 17 (11.3%), 6 (4%), and 5 (3.3%) for Grades 0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Statistical analysis showed no significant difference in the prevalence of Grade 1 or higher perforations between the CVT and 3D FN groups. A higher prevalence of malpositioned CPSs was seen in Grade 2 or higher (17.5% vs 7.3%, p < 0.05) in the 3D FN group and Grade 3 (12.7% vs 7.3%, p < 0.05) perforations in the CVT group. The ORs for CPS malpositioning in the CVT group were 2.72 (95% CI 1.16–6.39) in Grade 2 or higher perforations and 3.89 (95% CI 1.26–12.02) in Grade 3 perforations.

Conclusions

Three-dimensional fluoroscopy-based navigation can improve the accuracy of CPS insertion; however, severe CPS malpositioning that causes injury to the vertebral artery or neurological complications can occur even with 3D FN. Advanced techniques for the insertion of CPSs and the use of modified insertion devices can reduce the risk of a malpositioned CPS and provide increased safety.

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Yoshimoto Ishikawa, Tokumi Kanemura, Go Yoshida, Akiyuki Matsumoto, Zenya Ito, Ryoji Tauchi, Akio Muramoto, Shuichiro Ohno, and Yusuke Nishimura

Object

The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the reliability and accuracy of cervical pedicle screw (CPS) placement using an intraoperative, full-rotation, 3D image (O-arm)–based navigation system and to assess the advantages and disadvantages of the system.

Methods

The study involved 21 consecutive patients undergoing posterior stabilization surgery of the cervical spine between April and December 2009. The patients, in whom 108 CPSs had been inserted, underwent screw placement based on intraoperative 3D imaging and navigation using the O-arm system. Cervical pedicle screw positions were classified into 4 grades, according to pedicle-wall perforations, by using postoperative CT.

Results

Of the 108 CPSs, 96 (88.9%) were classified as Grade 0 (no perforation), 9 (8.3%) as Grade 1 (perforations < 2 mm, CPS exposed, and < 50% of screw diameter outside the pedicle), and 3 (2.8%) as Grade 2 (perforations between ≥ 2 and < 4 mm, CPS breached the pedicle wall, and > 50% of screw diameter outside the pedicle). No screw was classified as Grade 3 (perforation > 4 mm, complete perforation). No neurovascular complications occurred because of CPS placement.

Conclusions

The O-arm offers high-resolution 2D or 3D images, facilitates accurate and safe CPS insertion with high-quality navigation, and provides other substantial benefits for cervical spinal instrumentation. Even with current optimized technology, however, CPS perforation cannot be completely prevented, with 8.3% instances of minor violations, which do not cause significant complications, and 2.8% instances of major pedicle violations, which may cause catastrophic complications. Therefore, a combination of intraoperative 3D image–based navigation with other techniques may result in more accurate CPS placement.

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Kei Ando, Shiro Imagama, Norimitsu Wakao, Kenichi Hirano, Ryoji Tauchi, Akio Muramoto, Fumihiko Kato, Yasutsugu Yukawa, Noriaki Kawakami, Koji Sato, Yuji Matsubara, Tokumi Kanemura, Yukihiro Matsuyama, and Naoki Ishiguro

Object

The purpose of this study was to provide the first evidence for the influence of an ossified anterior longitudinal ligament (OALL) on the clinical features and surgical outcomes in an ossified ligamentum flavum (OLF) in the thoracic region.

Methods

Sixty-three patients who underwent surgery for a 1-level thoracic OLF were identified, and preoperative symptoms, severity of symptoms and myelopathy, disease duration, MR imaging and CT findings, surgical procedure, intraoperative findings, complications, and postoperative recovery were investigated in these patients. Entities of OALLs were found on sagittal CT images to be adjacent to or at the same vertebral level as the OLF were classified into 4 types: no discernible type (Type N), one-sided (Type O), discontinuous (Type D), and continuous (Type C).

Results

The duration of symptoms was especially long for Types D and C OALLs. Patients with Type D OALLs had a significantly worse percentage of recovery, as well as worse preoperative JOA scores.

Conclusions

The authors' results showed that a Type D OALL had strong associations with preoperative severity of symptoms and surgical outcomes. These findings may allow surgeons to determine the severity of preoperative symptoms and the probable surgical outcomes from the OALL classifications. Moreover, surgery with instrumentation for Type D OALLs may produce better surgical outcomes.

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Go Yoshida, Mituhiro Kamiya, Hisatake Yoshihara, Tokumi Kanemura, Fumihiko Kato, Yasutugu Yukawa, Keigo Ito, Yukihiro Matsuyama, and Yoshihito Sakai

Object

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a fixed atlantoaxial angle on subaxial sagittal alignment, and that of atlantoaxial fixation on adjacent-segment motion and degeneration.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed 65 patients in whom atlantoaxial instability was treated with atlantoaxial fixation by C-1 lateral mass and C-2 pedicle screw fixation (30 patients, Goel-Harms [GH] group) or a combination of transarticular screw fixation and posterior wiring (35 patients, Magerl-Brooks [MB] group). Angles of Oc–C1, C1–2, C2–3, and C2–7 were determined based on an upright lateral radiograph in flexion, neutral, and extension positions. The range of motion (ROM) at Oc–C1 and C2–3 was also determined. All patients were examined before and 2 years after surgery.

Results

The mean preoperative atlantoaxial angles in the GH and MB groups were 20.9 ± 8.3° and 18.3 ± 7.2°, respectively, and the mean postoperative atlantoaxial angles in the same groups were 23.5 ± 5.6° and 29.7 ± 6.3°, respectively, with a statistically significant difference between the 2 groups (p < 0.05). The mean preoperative angles of C2–7 in the GH and MB groups were 15.4 ± 7.8° and 13.7 ± 9.5°, respectively, and after surgery, the angles were 11.8 ± 12° and 2.48 ± 12°, respectively, with a statistically significant difference between the 2 groups (p < 0.05). The postoperative angle of C1–2 showed a negative correlation with the extent of change observed in the C2–7 angle preand postoperatively in each of these 2 surgical procedures. The Oc–C1 ROM increased after surgery in both groups, but the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.38). The C2–3 ROM decreased after surgery in both groups, and the difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

Atlantoaxial fixation in a hyperlordotic position produced kyphotic sagittal alignment after surgery in both GH and MB groups. Reduction of the atlantoaxial joint can be easily achieved through screw fixation at an optimal angle, thereby ameliorating the risk for subsequent subaxial kyphosis. Degeneration of lower adjacent segments appeared to be less with this procedure compared with using a combination of transarticular screw fixation and posterior wiring.

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Hiroaki Nakashima, Yasutsugu Yukawa, Shiro Imagama, Tokumi Kanemura, Mitsuhiro Kamiya, Makoto Yanase, Keigo Ito, Masaaki Machino, Go Yoshida, Yoshimoto Ishikawa, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Naoki Ishiguro, and Fumihiko Kato

Object

The cervical pedicle screw (PS) provides strong stabilization but poses a potential risk to the neurovascular system, which may be catastrophic. In particular, vertebrae with degenerative changes complicate the process of screw insertion, and PS misplacement and subsequent complications are more frequent. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the peri- and postoperative complications of PS fixation for nontraumatic lesions and to determine the risk factors of each complication.

Methods

Eighty-four patients who underwent cervical PS fixation for nontraumatic lesions were independently reviewed to identify associated complications. The mean age of the patients was 60.1 years, and the mean follow-up period was 4.1 years (range 6–168 months). Pedicle screw malpositioning was classified on postoperative CT scans as Grade I (< 50% of the screw outside the pedicle) or Grade II (≥ 50% of the screw outside the pedicle). Risk factors of each complication were evaluated using a multivariate analysis.

Results

Three hundred ninety cervical PSs and 24 lateral mass screws were inserted. The incidence of PS misplacement was 19.5% (76 screws); in terms of malpositioning, 60 screws (15.4%) were classified as Grade I and 16 (4.1%) as Grade II. In total, 33 complications were observed. These included postoperative neurological complications in 11 patients in whom there was no evidence of screw misplacement (C-5 palsy in 10 and C-7 palsy in 1), implant failure in 11 patients (screw loosening in 5, broken screws in 4, and loss of reduction in 2), complications directly attributable to screw insertion in 5 patients (nerve root injury by PS in 3 and vertebral artery injury in 2), and other complications in 6 patients (pseudarthrosis in 2, infection in 1, transient dyspnea in 1, transient dysphagia in 1, and adjacent-segment degeneration in 1). The multivariate analysis showed that a primary diagnosis of cerebral palsy was a risk factor for postoperative implant failure (HR 10.91, p = 0.03) and that the presence of preoperative cervical spinal instability was a risk factor for both Grade I and Grade II screw misplacement (RR 2.12, p = 0.03), while there were no statistically significant risk factors for postoperative neurological complications in the absence of evidence of screw misplacement or complications directly attributable to screw insertion.

Conclusions

In the present study, misplacement of cervical PSs and associated complications occurred more often than in previous studies. The rates of screw-related neurovascular complications and neurological deterioration unrelated to PSs were high. Insertion of a PS for nontraumatic lesions is surgically more challenging than that for trauma; consequently, experienced surgeons should use PS fixation for nontraumatic cervical lesions only after thorough preoperative evaluation of each patient's cervical anatomy and after considering the risk factors specified in the present study.

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Yukihiro Matsuyama, Yoshihito Sakai, Yoshito Katayama, Shiro Imagama, Zenya Ito, Norimitsu Wakao, Koji Sato, Mitsuhiro Kamiya, Yasutsugu Yukawa, Tokumi Kanemura, Makoto Yanase, and Naoki Ishiguro

Object

The authors investigated the outcome of intramedullary spinal cord tumor surgery, focusing on the effect of preoperative neurological status on postoperative mobility and the extent of tumor excision guided by intraoperative spinal cord monitoring prospectively.

Methods

Intramedullary spinal cord tumor surgery was performed in 131 patients between 1997 and 2007. The authors compared the pre- and postoperative neurological status and examined the type of surgery in 106 of these patients. A modified McCormick Scale (Grades I–V) was used to assess ambulatory ability (I = normal ambulation; II = mild motor sensory deficit, independent without external aid; III = independent with external aid; IV = care required; and V = wheelchair required). The type of surgery was classified into 4 levels: total resection, subtotal resection, partial resection, and biopsy.

Results

The 106 patients consisted of 47 females and 59 males, whose average age was 42.5 years (range 6–75 years). The mean follow-up period was 7.3 years (range 2.5 months–21 years). The tumor types included astrocytoma (12 cases), ependymoma (46 cases), hemangioblastoma (16 cases), cavernous hemangioma (17 cases), and others (15 cases overall: gangliocytoma, 1; germ cell tumor, 1; lymphoma, 3; neurinoma, 1; meningioma, 1; oligodendroglioma, 1; sarcoidosis, 2; glioma, 1; and unknown, 4). Initial total excision, subtotal resection, partial resection, biopsy, and duraplasty were performed in 59, 12, 22, 12, and 1 patients, respectively. According to the preoperative McCormick Scale, ambulatory status was classified as Grades I, II, III, IV, and V in 41(38%), 30 (28%), 14 (13%), 19 (19%), and 2 (2%) patients, respectively. Thirty-three (31%) of 106 patients suffered postoperative neurological deterioration. The number of patients who did not lose ambulatory ability or who achieved an ambulatory status of Grade I or II postoperatively was 33 (80%), 21 (70%), 10 (71%), 8 (42%), and 1 (50%) in patients with preoperative Grades I, II, III, IV, and V, respectively. Total excision was performed in 31 (79%) of 39 patients with preoperative Grade I, 12 (40%) of 30 patients with Grade II, 7 (50%) of 14 patients with Grade III, and 9 of 21 patients (38%) with Grade IV or V, indicating that the rate of total excision was significantly higher in patients with Grade I status.

Conclusions

The postoperative ambulatory ability was excellent in patients with a good preoperative neurological status. Total excision in patients with Grade I or II ambulation was associated with a good prognosis for postoperative mobility. However, the rate of postoperative deterioration was 31.5%, which is relatively high, and patients should be fully informed of this concern prior to intramedullary spinal cord tumor surgery.

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Hiroaki Nakashima, Shiro Imagama, Yasutsugu Yukawa, Tokumi Kanemura, Mitsuhiro Kamiya, Makoto Yanase, Keigo Ito, Masaaki Machino, Go Yoshida, Yoshimoto Ishikawa, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Nobuyuki Hamajima, Naoki Ishiguro, and Fumihiko Kato

Object

Postoperative C-5 palsy is a significant complication resulting from cervical decompression procedures. Moreover, when cervical degenerative diseases are treated with a combination of decompression and posterior instrumented fusion, patients are at increased risk for C-5 palsy. However, the clinical and radiological features of this condition remain unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to clarify the risk factors for developing postoperative C-5 palsy.

Methods

Eighty-four patients (mean age 60.1 years) who had undergone posterior instrumented fusion using cervical pedicle screws to treat nontraumatic lesions were independently reviewed. The authors analyzed the medical records of some of these patients who developed postoperative C-5 palsy, paying particular attention to their plain radiographs, MRI studies, and CT scans. Risk factors for postoperative C-5 palsy were assessed using multivariate logistic regression analysis. The cutoff values for the pre- and postoperative width of the intervertebral foramen (C4–5) were determined by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.

Results

Ten (11.9%) of 84 patients developed postoperative C-5 palsy. Seven patients recovered fully from the neurological complications. The pre- and postoperative C4–5 angles showed significant kyphosis in the C-5 palsy group. The pre- and postoperative diameters of the C4–5 foramen on the palsy side were significantly smaller than those on the opposite side in the C-5 palsy group and those bilaterally in the non–C5 palsy group. Risk factors identified by multivariate logistic regression analysis were as follows: 1) ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (relative risk [RR] 7.22 [95% CI 1.03–50.55]); 2) posterior shift of the spinal cord (C4–5) (RR 1.73 [95% CI 1.00–2.98]); and 3) postoperative width of the C-5 intervertebral foramen (RR 0.33 [95% CI 0.14–0.79]). The cutoff values of the pre- and postoperative widths of the C-5 intervertebral foramen for C-5 palsy were 2.2 and 2.3 mm, respectively.

Conclusions

Patients with preoperative foraminal stenosis, posterior shift of the spinal cord, and additional iatrogenic foraminal stenosis due to cervical alignment correction were more likely to develop postoperative C-5 palsy after posterior instrumentation with fusion. Prophylactic foraminotomy at C4–5 might be useful when preoperative foraminal stenosis is present on CT. Furthermore, it might be useful for treating postoperative C-5 palsy. To prevent excessive posterior shift of the spinal cord, the authors recommend that appropriate kyphosis reduction should be considered carefully.

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Ryoji Tauchi, Shiro Imagama, Hidefumi Inoh, Yasutsugu Yukawa, Tokumi Kanemura, Koji Sato, Yoshihito Sakai, Mitsuhiro Kamiya, Hisatake Yoshihara, Zenya Ito, Kei Ando, Akio Muramoto, Hiroki Matsui, Tomohiro Matsumoto, Junichi Ukai, Kazuyoshi Kobayashi, Ryuichi Shinjo, Hiroaki Nakashima, Masayoshi Morozumi, and Naoki Ishiguro

Object

Cervical spondylosis that causes upper-extremity muscle atrophy without gait disturbance is called cervical spondylotic amyotrophy (CSA). The distal type of CSA is characterized by weakness of the hand muscles. In this retrospective analysis, the authors describe the clinical features of the distal type of CSA and evaluate the results of surgical treatment.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective review of 17 consecutive cases involving 16 men and 1 woman (mean age 56.3 years) who underwent surgical treatment for the distal type of CSA. The condition was diagnosed on the basis of cervical spondylosis in the presence of muscle impairment of the upper extremity (intrinsic muscle and/or finger extension muscles) without gait disturbance, and the presence of a compressive lesion involving the anterior horn of the spinal cord, the nerve root at the foramen, or both sites as seen on axial and sagittal views of MRI or CT myelography. The authors assessed spinal cord or nerve root impingement by MRI or CT myelography and evaluated surgical outcomes.

Results

The preoperative duration of symptoms averaged 11.8 months. There were 14 patients with impingement of the anterior horn of the spinal cord and 3 patients with both anterior horn and nerve root impingement. Twelve patients were treated with laminoplasty (plus foraminotomy in 1 case), 3 patients were treated with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, and 2 patients were treated with posterior spinal fixation. The mean manual muscle testing grade was 2.4 (range 1–4) preoperatively and 3.4 (range 1–5) postoperatively. The surgical results were excellent in 7 patients, good in 2, and fair in 8.

Conclusions

Most of the patients in this series of cases of the distal type of CSA suffered from impingement of the anterior horn of the spinal cord, and surgical outcome was fair in about half of the cases.