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Katharine D. Harper, Dayna Phillips, Joseph M. Lopez and Zeeshan Sardar

Although compartment syndrome can occur in any compartment in the body, it rarely occurs in the paraspinal musculature and has therefore only been reported in a few case reports. Despite its rare occurrence, acute paraspinal compartment syndrome has been shown to occur secondary to reperfusion injury and traumatic and atraumatic causes. Diagnosis can be based on clinical examination findings, MRI or CT studies, or through direct measurement of intramuscular pressures. Conservative management should only be used in the setting of chronic presentation. Operative decompression via fasciotomy in cases of acute presentation may improve the patient’s symptoms and outcomes. When treating acute paraspinal compartment syndrome via surgical decompression, an important aspect is the anatomical consideration. Although grouped under one name, each paraspinal muscle is enclosed within its own fascial compartment, all of which must be addressed to achieve an adequate decompression. The authors present the case of a 43-year-old female patient who presented to the emergency department with increasing low-back and flank pain after a fall. Associated sensory deficits in a cutaneous distribution combined with imaging and clinical findings contributed to the diagnosis of acute traumatic paraspinal compartment syndrome. The authors discuss this case and describe their surgical technique for managing acute paraspinal compartment syndrome.

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Zeeshan Sardar, David Alexander, William Oxner, Stephan du Plessis, Albert Yee, Eugene K. Wai, D. Greg Anderson and Peter Jarzem


Failure of fusion after a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) procedure is a challenging problem that can lead to ongoing low-back pain, dependence on pain medication, and inability to return to work. B2A is a synthetic peptide that has proven efficacy in achieving fusion in animal models and may have a better safety profile than bone morphogenetic protein. The authors undertook this study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of B2A peptide–enhanced ceramic granules (Prefix) in comparison with autogenous iliac crest bone graft (ICBG, control) in patients undergoing single-level TLIF.


Twenty-four patients with single-level degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine at L2–S1 requiring TLIF were enrolled between 2009 and 2010. They were randomly assigned to 3 groups: a control group (treated with ICBG, n = 9), a Prefix 150 group (treated with Prefix 150 μg/cm3 granules, n = 8), and a Prefix 750 group (treated with Prefix 750 μg/cm3 granules, n = 7). Outcome measures included the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), visual analog pain scale, and radiographic fusion as assessed by CT and dynamic flexion/extension lumbar plain radiographs.


At 12 months after surgery, the radiographic fusion rate was 100% in the Prefix 750 group, 78% in the control group, and 50% in the Prefix 150 group, although the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.08). At 6 weeks the mean ODI score was 41.0 for the control group, 27.7 for the Prefix 750 group, and 32.2 for the Prefix 150 group, whereas at 12 months the mean ODI was 24.4 for control, 31.1 for Prefix 750, and 29.7 for Prefix 150 groups. Complications were evenly distributed among the groups.


Prefix appears to provide a safe alternative to autogenous ICBG. Prefix 750 appears to show superior radiographic fusion when compared with autograft at 12 months after TLIF, although no statistically significant difference was demonstrated in this small study. Prefix and control groups both appeared to demonstrate comparable improvements to ODI at 12 months.

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Griffin R. Baum, Alex S. Ha, Meghan Cerpa, Scott L. Zuckerman, James D. Lin, Richard P. Menger, Joseph A. Osorio, Simon Morr, Eric Leung, Ronald A. Lehman Jr., Zeeshan Sardar and Lawrence G. Lenke


The goal of this study was to validate the Global Alignment and Proportion (GAP) score in a cohort of patients undergoing adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery. The GAP score is a novel measure that uses sagittal parameters relative to each patient’s lumbosacral anatomy to predict mechanical complications after ASD surgery. External validation is required.


Adult ASD patients undergoing > 4 levels of posterior fusion with a minimum 2-year follow-up were included. Six-week postoperative standing radiographs were used to calculate the GAP score, classified into a spinopelvic state as proportioned (P), moderately disproportioned (MD), or severely disproportioned (SD). A chi-square analysis, receiver operating characteristic curve, and Cochran-Armitage analysis were performed to assess the relationship between the GAP score and mechanical complications.


Sixty-seven patients with a mean age of 52.5 years (range 18–75 years) and a mean follow-up of 2.04 years were included. Patients with < 2 years of follow-up were included only if they had an early mechanical complication. Twenty of 67 patients (29.8%) had a mechanical complication. The spinopelvic state breakdown was as follows: P group, 21/67 (31.3%); MD group, 23/67 (34.3%); and SD group, 23/67 (34.3%). Mechanical complication rates were not significantly different among all groups: P group, 19.0%; MD group, 30.3%; and SD group, 39.1% (χ2 = 1.70, p = 0.19). The rates of mechanical complications between the MD and SD groups (30.4% and 39.1%) were less than those observed in the original GAP study (MD group 36.4%–57.1% and SD group 72.7%–100%). Within the P group, the rates in this study were higher than in the original study (19.0% vs 4.0%, respectively).


The authors found no statistically significant difference in the rate of mechanical complications between the P, MD, and SD groups. The current validation study revealed poor generalizability toward the authors’ patient population.