Symptomatic pseudarthrosis in ochronotic spine: case report

Abolfazl Rahimizadeh Pars Advanced and Minimally Invasive Manners Research Center, Pars Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; and

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Housain Soufiani Pars Advanced and Minimally Invasive Manners Research Center, Pars Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; and

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Valliolah Hassani Pars Advanced and Minimally Invasive Manners Research Center, Pars Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; and

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Ava Rahimizadeh Birmingham Medical School, Birmingham, United Kingdom

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In this study the authors report the first example of spinal pseudarthrosis in a patient with ochronosis, and they describe the application of posterior-only 360° surgery as an alternative approach to combined anterior-posterior surgery in the management of pseudarthrosis of an ankylosed spine, regardless of its etiology.

Spinal involvement in ochronosis produces loss of flexibility and ankylosis of thoracic and lumbar segments. Pseudarthrosis is a serious complication of the diseases that present with ankylosis of the spine. However, its occurrence in ochronotic spine has not been reported previously.

Evaluation of progressive paraparesis in a 68-year-old man with ochronosis revealed pseudarthrosis at the T11–12 level. Circumferential dural sac decompression, debridement of the disc space, interbody fusion, and screw-rod fixation were all done via a posterior-only approach. Postoperatively the patient exhibited a marked recovery in terms of pain and neurological status. At the 3-month follow-up, he was able to walk independently.

Ochronosis should be included in the etiology of pseudarthrosis. With aggravation of back pain and the appearance of neurological deficits in an already stable patient with any ankylosing disease, pseudarthrosis should be suspected. Furthermore, single-stage, 360°, posterior-only surgery may obviate the need for single-stage or staged anterior-posterior surgical intervention in patients with pseudarthrosis of the thoracic and lumbar spine.

ABBREVIATIONS

AS = ankylosing spondylitis; DISH = diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis; HGA = homogentisic acid oxidase; IBD = inflammatory bowel disease; SP = spinal pseudarthrosis.
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