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Jeong Yoon Park, Yong Eun Cho, Sung Uk Kuh, Jun Hyung Cho, Dong Kyu Chin, Byung Ho Jin and Keun Su Kim

Object.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) and pelvic parameters in the patients with spondylolytic spondylolisthesis. Sagittal balance is the most important risk and prognostic factor in the development of ASD. The pelvic incidence angle (PIA) is an important anatomical parameter in determining the sagittal curvature of the spine and in the individual variability of the sacral slope and the lordotic curve. Thus, the authors evaluated the relationship between the pelvic parameters and the ASD.

Methods.

Among 132 patients with spondylolytic spondylolisthesis who underwent surgery at their institution, the authors selected patients in whom a one-stage, single-level, 360° fixation procedure was performed for Grade I spondylolisthesis and who underwent follow-up for more than 1 year. Parameters in 34 patients satisfied these conditions. Of the 34 patients, seven had ASD (Group 1) and 27 patients did not have ASD (Group 2). The investigators measured degree of spondylolisthesis, lordotic angle, sacral slope angle (SSA), pelvic tilt angle (PTA), PIA, and additional parameters pre-and postoperatively. The radiographic data were reviewed retrospectively.

Results.

The population consisted of nine men and 25 women whose mean age was 48.9 ± 9 years (± standard deviation) (range 28–65 years). Seven patients developed ASD after undergoing fusion. Of all the parameters, pre-and postoperative degree of spondylolisthesis, segmental lordosis, lordotic angle, SSA, preoperative PTA, and pre-operative PIA did not differ significantly between the two groups; only postoperative PTA and PIA were significantly different.

Conclusions.

The development of ASD is closely related to postoperative PIA and PTA, not preoperative PIA and PTA. The measurement of postoperative PIA can be used as a new indirect method to predict the ASD.

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Jun Jae Shin, Sang Hyun Kim, Yong Eun Cho, Samuel H. Cheshier and Jon Park

Object

Several controversial issues arise in the management of unstable hangman's fractures. Some surgeons perform external reduction and immobilize the patient's neck in a halo vest, while others perform surgical reduction and internal fixation. The nonsurgical treatments with rigid collar or halo vest immobilization present problems, including nonunion, pseudarthrosis, skull fracture, and scalp laceration and may also fail to achieve anatomical realignment of the local C2–3 kyphosis. With recent advances in surgical technique and technology, surgical intervention is increasingly performed as the primary treatment in high cervical fractures. The outcomes of such surgeries are often superior to those of conservative treatment. The authors propose that surgical intervention as a primary management for hangman's fracture may avoid risks inherent in conservative management when severe circumferential discoligamentous instability is present and may reduce the risk of catastrophic results at the fracture site.

The purposes of this study were to assess fracture healing following expedient reduction and surgical fixation and to propose a guideline for treatment of unstable hangman's fractures.

Methods

From April 2006 to December 2011, the authors treated 105 patients with high cervical fractures. This study included 23 (21.9%) of these patients (15 men and 8 women; mean age 46.4 years) with Type II, IIa, and III hangman's fractures according to the Levine and Edwards classification. The patient's age, sex, mechanism of injury, associated injuries, neurological status, and complications were ascertained. The authors retrospectively assessed the clinical outcome (Neck Disability Index), radiological findings (disc height, translation, and angulation), and bony healing.

Results

The average follow-up period was 28.9 months (range 12–63.2 months). The overall average Neck Disability Index score at the time of this study was 6.6 ± 2.3. The average duration of hospitalization was 20.3 days, and fusion was achieved in all cases by 14.8 ± 1.6 weeks after surgery, as demonstrated on dynamic radiographs and cervical 3D CT scans.

The mean pretreatment translation was 6.9 ± 3.2 mm, and the mean postoperative translation was 1.6 ± 1.8 mm (mean reduction 5.2 ± 3.1 mm). The initial angulation was 4.7° ± 5.3° and the postoperative angulation was 2.5° ± 1.8° (mean reduction 6.1° ± 5.3°). The preoperative and postoperative values for translation and angulation differed significantly (p < 0.05). The overall C2–3 disc height was 6.7 ± 1.2 mm preoperatively, whereas 3 months after surgery it was 6.4 ± 1.1 mm. These values did not differ significantly (p = 0.0963).

Conclusions

The authors observed effective reduction and bony healing in cases of unstable hangman's fractures after fixation, and all patients experienced favorable clinical outcomes with neck pain improvement. The protocols allowed for physiological reconstruction of the fractured deformities and avoided external fixation. The authors suggest that posterior reduction and screw fixation should be used as a primary treatment to promote stability of hangman's fracture in the presence of discoligamentous instability or combined fractures.

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Un Yong Choi, Jeong Yoon Park, Kyung Hyun Kim, Sung Uk Kuh, Dong Kyu Chin, Keun Su Kim and Yong Eun Cho

Object

Clinical results for unilateral pedicle screw fixation after lumbar interbody fusion have been reported to be as good as those for bilateral instrumentation. However, no studies have directly compared unilateral and bilateral percutaneous pedicle screw fixation after minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). The purpose of this study was to determine whether unilateral percutaneous pedicle screw fixation is comparable with bilateral percutaneous pedicle screw fixation in 1-segment MIS TLIF.

Methods

This was a prospective randomized study of 53 patients who underwent unilateral or bilateral percutaneous pedicle screw fixation after MIS TLIF for 1-segment lumbar degenerative disc disease. Twenty-six patients were assigned to a unilateral percutaneous pedicle screw fixation group and 27 patients were assigned to a bilateral percutaneous pedicle screw fixation group. Operative time, blood loss, clinical outcomes (that is, Oswestry Disability Index [ODI] and visual analog scale [VAS] scores), complication rates, and fusion rates were assessed using CT scanning 2 years after surgical treatment.

Results

The 2 groups were similar in age, sex, preoperative diagnosis, and operated level, and they did not differ significantly in the length of follow-up (27.5 [Group 1] vs 28.9 [Group 2] months) or clinical results. Both groups showed substantial improvements in VAS and ODI scores 2 years after surgical treatment. The groups differed significantly in operative time (unilateral 84.2 minutes; bilateral 137.6 minutes), blood loss (unilateral 92.7 ml; bilateral, 232.0 ml), fusion rate (unilateral 84.6%; bilateral 96.3%), and postoperative scoliotic change (unilateral 23.1%; bilateral 3.7%).

Conclusions

Unilateral and bilateral screw fixation after MIS TLIF produced similar clinical results. Although perioperative results were better with unilateral screw fixation, the long-term results were better with bilateral screw fixation, suggesting bilateral screw fixation is a better choice after MIS TLIF.

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Min Ho Kong, Henry J. Hymanson, Kwan Young Song, Dong Kyu Chin, Yong Eun Cho, Do Heum Yoon and Jeffrey C. Wang

Object

The authors conducted a retrospective observational study using kinetic MR imaging to investigate the relationship between instability, abnormal sagittal segmental motion, and radiographic variables consisting of intervertebral disc degeneration, facet joint osteoarthritis (FJO), degeneration of the interspinous ligaments, ligamentum flavum hypertrophy (LFH), and the status of the paraspinal muscles.

Methods

Abnormal segmental motion, defined as > 10° angulation and > 3 mm of translation in the sagittal plane, was investigated in 1575 functional spine units (315 patients) in flexion, neutral, and extension postures using kinetic MR imaging. Each segment was assessed based on the extent of disc degeneration (Grades I–V), FJO (Grades 1–4), interspinous ligament degeneration (Grades 1–4), presence of LFH, and paraspinal muscle fatty infiltration observed on kinetic MR imaging. These factors are often noted in patients with degenerative disease, and there are grading systems to describe these changes. For the first time, the authors attempted to address the relationship between these radiographic observations and the effects on the motion and instability of the functional spine unit.

Results

The prevalence of abnormal translational motion was significantly higher in patients with Grade IV degenerative discs and Grade 3 arthritic facet joints (p < 0.05). In patients with advanced disc degeneration and FJO, there was a lesser amount of motion in both segmental translation and angulation when compared with lower grades of degeneration, and this difference was statistically significant for angular motion (p < 0.05). Patients with advanced degenerative Grade 4 facet joint arthritis had a significantly lower percentage of abnormal angular motion compared to patients with normal facet joints (p < 0.001). The presence of LFH was strongly associated with abnormal translational and angular motion. Grade 4 interspinous ligament degeneration and the presence of paraspinal muscle fatty infiltration were both significantly associated with excessive abnormal angular motion (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

This kinetic MR imaging analysis showed that the lumbar functional unit with more disc degeneration, FJO, and LFH had abnormal sagittal plane translation and angulation. These findings suggest that abnormal segmental motion noted on kinetic MR images is closely associated with disc degeneration, FJO, and the pathological characteristics of interspinous ligaments, ligamentum flavum, and paraspinal muscles. Kinetic MR imaging in patients with mechanical back pain may prove a valuable source of information about the stability of the functional spine unit by measuring abnormal segmental motion and grading of radiographic parameters simultaneously.

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Jin Wook Kim, Sung-Hye Park, Sung-Sup Park, Kyu-Chang Wang, Byung-Kyu Cho, So Yeon Kim, Eun Kyung Ra, Chae-Yong Kim and Seung-Ki Kim

✓Fetus-in-fetu is a very rare condition in which one fetus is contained within another. About 100 cases have been reported, and in most of these the fetus was located in the retroperitoneum. The authors describe an extremely rare case of an intracranial fetus-in-fetu in an extraaxial location. This is the eighth intracranial fetus-in-fetu to be reported, the first intracranial extraaxial case, and involves the oldest documented patient with this condition.

Histopathological analysis of the mass revealed a degenerated amnionic membranelike tissue, well-differentiated extremities (including fingerlike structures), skin, matured lungs, well-formed intestines, cerebellar and cerebral tissue, and a notochord with ganglion cells. DNA analysis using short tandem repeat polymorphisms confirmed that the fetus-in-fetu mass and the host infant had heterozygous alleles and were of identical sex and genotype.