Sternal splitting approach to upper thoracic lesions located anterior to the spinal cord.
The sternal splitting approach for upper thoracic lesions located anterior to the spinal cord is described. The sternal splitting approach can be effectively applied to lesions from the T-1 to T-3 levels. The aortic arch prevents procedures below this level. The approach is straight toward the T1-3 vertebral bodies and provides good surgical orientation. The sternal splitting approach was applied to five patients with metastatic spinal tumors at the C7-T3 levels and three patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament at the T1-3 levels. No postoperative neurological deterioration occurred. Two patients had postoperative hoarseness. The sternal splitting approach to the upper thoracic spine is recommended for hard lesions, extensive lesions requiring radical resection, and lesions requiring postoperative stabilization with spinal instrumentation. (+info)
Tetraparesis associated with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the cervical spine.
This is a case report of tetraparesis associated with extraordinarily severe ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) of the cervical spine. There was no history of trauma. The object of this paper is to show that OPLL can progress relentlessly to a nearly complete quadriplegia even without trauma, but that adequate decompression can produce almost complete recovery. (+info)
Laminoplasty: an evaluation of 24 cases.
Cervical expansive laminoplasty has been advocated as an alternative procedure to laminectomy for the decompression of the cervical spine. It provides favourable cord decompression and stabilisation of the cervical spine and is a simpler and safer alternative to anterior fusion and laminectomy for myelopathy and myeloradiculopathy, due to multisegmental cervical spondylosis and ossified posterior longitudinal ligament. We report our experience in 24 patients with this procedure, 12 of whom had myelopathy and another 12 had myeloradiculopathy. The earliest symptom to improve was radicular pain or paraesthesia (75%). A reduction in spasticity was seen in 21 of the 24 patients (87.5%). Eleven patients had improvement in their motor power during a follow up period ranging from 1 month to 14 months. One patient deteriorated following the procedure and developed Brown Sequard features due to under riding of the lamina on the hinged side, another had severe post operative paraesthesias, while one patient had a CT scan evidence of 'closing of the door', without being symptomatic for it. The technique of the procedure is discussed and the pertinent literature reviewed. (+info)
Surgery for ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the cervical spine.
The authors present their surgical experience with fifty seven cases of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) of the cervical spine, operated between January 1992 and January 1999. Continuous OPLL was seen in the majority of patients (40/57). Posterior decompressive surgery was performed in 18 patients, a median corpectomy and excision of the OPLL in 28 and anterior segmental decompression in 11 patients. One patient had a transient weakness of muscles supplied by the C5 myotome following a C4-C5 corpectomy. 84.2% of the patients showed improvement by at least one grade at the time of discharge. 92.8% of patients who underwent a corpectomy improved in the immediate post-operative period as compared to 90.9% of those who underwent an anterior segmental decompression and 83.3% of those who underwent a posterior decompressive procedure. 97.7% of the 44 patients followed-up between one and five years showed neurological improvement. Thirty-two patients (72.7 %) had regained normal or near normal neurological function and returned to their jobs. Good results were obtained when the surgical approach and the procedure adopted were individualised. (+info)
Spinal cord and cauda equina compression in 'DISH'.
Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) has long been regarded as a benign asymptomatic clinical entity with an innocuous clinical course. Precise information is lacking in the world literature. Authors report the results of a retrospective analysis of 74 cases of DISH. Eleven patients presented with progressive spinal cord or cauda equina compression. In nine cases ossified posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) and in two cases ossified ligamentum flavum (OLF) were primarily responsible. Surgically treated patients (eight) had far better outcome as compared to the patients managed conservatively, as they had refused surgery. 'DISH' is neither a benign condition, nor it always runs a innocuous clinical course. In fact, in about 15% of the cases, serious neurological manifestations occur, which may require a major neurosurgical intervention. (+info)
Involvement of bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2) in the pathological ossification process of the spinal ligament.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the function of bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2) in the ossification of the spinal ligament (OSL). METHODS: Total RNA was prepared from the cultured spinal ligament cells from patients with OSL and analysed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction using specific primers for BMP-2. BMP-2 mRNA expression in ligament tissues was examined by in situ hybridization. Spinal ligament cells from patients without OSL were treated with BMP-2 and examined for alkaline phosphatase activity. RESULTS: Expression of the BMP-2 gene was detected in cultured spinal ligament cells. In ligament tissues, BMP-2 mRNA was present in the chondrocyte-like cells in the fibrocartilage zone. Exogenous BMP-2 increased alkaline phosphatase activity in spinal ligament cells from patients without OSL. CONCLUSION: The BMP-2 gene is expressed in the spinal ligaments of OSL patients, and exogenous BMP-2 stimulates osteogenic differentiation of spinal ligament cells. The expression of BMP-2 in the spinal ligaments could be a clue in elucidating how heterotrophic osteogenesis develops in ligament tissue. (+info)
Thoracic cord compression due to ossified hypertrophied ligamentum flavum.
Ossified ligamentum flavum is increasingly appreciated as an important cause of thoracic myeloradiculopathy. Fifteen patients with age ranging from 30-61 years were studied. Fourteen presented with spastic paraparesis, and radiculopathy was the only complaint in one patient. Routine skiagrams and myelograms showed non-specific changes. Baseline CT and CT myelogram, however, documented the ossification of ligamentum flavum comprehensively. MRI was done in three patients. Multiple levels of the disease were seen in two cases. Four patients had ossified posterior longitudinal ligament. Thickened ligamentum flavum should be considered as an important cause of thoracic cord compression. (+info)
Decrease in serum nucleotide pyrophosphatase activity in ankylosing spondylitis.
OBJECTIVE: Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a prototype of a group of rheumatic diseases referred to as spondyloarthropathy. AS patients show marked ectopic ossification in the spine, occasionally resulting in so-called bamboo spine. Although a strong association with HLA-B27 has been reported, its aetiology remains undetermined. Another rheumatic disease, ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the spine (OPLL), demonstrates ectopic ossification of the spinal ligaments very similar to that of AS. Recently, nucleotide pyrophosphatase (NPPS) was implicated in the aetiology of OPLL: an Npps mutation was found to cause OPLL in mice, and an association between a polymorphism of the human NPPS gene and OPLL was identified. The clinical similarities between AS and OPLL led us to hypothesize that NPPS may also be implicated in the aetiology of AS. To elucidate the role of NPPS in the pathogenesis of AS, we examined serum NPPS activity and the possible association of the NPPS gene with AS. METHODS: Forty-four Japanese patients with AS, 43 patients with OPLL, and age- and sex-matched normal volunteers took part in this study. We determined serum NPPS activity using high-performance liquid chromatography and examined the association between AS and NPPS using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the NPPS gene. RESULTS: Serum NPPS activity in AS patients was significantly decreased compared with the controls (P < 0.0001). However, there was no association between AS and NPPS gene SNPs. CONCLUSION: NPPS is implicated in the pathogenesis of AS. (+info)