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   2019| January-March  | Volume 10 | Issue 1  
    Online since April 9, 2019

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Treatment algorithm for spontaneous spinal infections: A review of the literature
Fabrizio Gregori, Giovanni Grasso, Giancarlo Iaiani, Nicola Marotta, Fabio Torregrossa, Alessandro Landi
January-March 2019, 10(1):3-9
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_115_18  PMID:31000972
Background: Primary spinal infections are rare pathologies with an estimated incidence of 5% of all osteomyelitis. The diagnosis can be challenging and this might result in a late identification. The etiological diagnosis is the primary concern to determine the most appropriate treatment. The aim of this review article was to identify the importance of a methodological attitude toward accurate and prompt diagnosis using an algorithm to aid on spinal infection management. Methods: A search was done on spinal infection in some databases including PubMed, ISI Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar, Ebsco, Embasco, and Scopus. Results: Literature reveals that on the basis of a clinical suspicion, the diagnosis can be formulated with a rational use of physical, radiological, and microbiological examinations. Microbiological culture samples can be obtained by a percutaneous computed tomography-guided procedure or by an open surgical biopsy. When possible, the samples should be harvested before antibiotic treatment is started. Indications for surgical treatment include neurological deficits or sepsis, spine instability and/or deformity, presence of epidural abscess and failure of conservative treatment. Conclusion: A multidisciplinary approach involving both a spinal surgeon and an infectious disease specialist is necessary to better define the treatment strategy. Based on literature findings, a treatment algorithm for the diagnosis and management of primary spinal infections is proposed.
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Lumbar rocking test: A new clinical test for predicting lumbar instability
Ashok Keshav Rathod, Bipul Kumar Garg, Varun Mukesh Sahetia
January-March 2019, 10(1):33-38
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_5_19  PMID:31000978
Purpose: Significant number of low back pain is caused by spinal instability. Clinical and radiological tests are used to diagnose lumbar instability, but the practical utility of clinical tests has not been studied extensively. Hence, it was decided to study lumbar rocking test and passive lumbar extension (PLE) clinical tests to identify their accuracy for lumbar instability, in comparison to the radiological assessment. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional prospective study was conducted in 2017 at an Indian tertiary care center, after Ethics Committee approval. No financial transection involved anywhere at any stage of the study. Patients of 30–65 years having low back pain were included following informed consent. Clinical tests conducted were rocking test and PLE tests. All patients were subjected to a neutral anteroposterior, lateral and flexion-extension X-rays of lumbosacral spine. The association between clinical tests and lumbar instability was represented by Chi-square analysis. The rest of the findings were represented as descriptive statistics. Results: Fifty patients enrolled in the study, of which 28 (56%) were females. On X-rays, the maximum angular rotation and sagittal translation were seen at L5–S1 level. 35 (70%) and 46 (92%) patients showed positive PLE and rocking test, respectively. Significant association (P < 0.05) was seen between rocking test and lumbar instability. The sensitivity of rocking test was 95.56% and positive predictive value as 93.47%. Conclusion: Clinical tests can be used effectively for the diagnosis of lumbar spine instability. Rocking test was found to be accurate and sensitive for detecting subtle lumbar instability.
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Is cervical instability the cause of lumbar canal stenosis?
Atul Goel, Ravikiran Vutha, Abhidha Shah, Survendra Rai, Abhinandan Patil
January-March 2019, 10(1):19-23
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_17_19  PMID:31000975
Aim: On the basis of an experience with 12 cases, the validity and rationale of cervical spinal stabilization for cases having both cervical and lumbar spinal canal stenosis is analyzed. Materials and Methods: From March 2017 to May 2018, 12 patients presented with a major symptom of neurogenic claudication pain generally related to lumbar canal stenosis in addition to other symptoms related to cervical myelopathy. The average age was 57 years. All patients were clinically and radiologically diagnosed to have both cervical and lumbar spinal canal stenosis. Based on the concept that degenerative spinal spondylotic myelopathy is an outcome of spinal instability, all patients underwent cervical spinal stabilization. No decompression by bone resection was done. The lumbar spine was not surgically treated. Visual analog scale, the Japanese Orthopaedic Association, and Oswestry Disability Index were used to monitor patients before and after surgery. Results: There was dramatic relief from symptoms related both to cervical and to lumbar canal stenosis in the postoperative period. During the average period of follow-up of 12 months, none of the patients have experienced recurrence of lumbar pain or needed any surgery. Conclusion: The report highlights the possibility of recovery in lumbar canal stenosis related symptoms following cervical spinal stabilization surgery for associated cervical spinal stenosis. We conclude that in select cases, cervical spinal instability may be the cause of clinical and radiological observations in cases having lumbar canal stenosis.
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Clinical presentation and outcome after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for degenerative cervical disc disease
Ninad N Srikhande, V A. Kiran Kumar, NA Sai Kiran, Amrita Ghosh, Ranabir Pal, Luis Rafael Moscote-Salazar, V Anil Kumar, Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, Amit Agrawal
January-March 2019, 10(1):28-32
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_87_18  PMID:31000977
Background: Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a well-described surgical approach for symptomatic degenerative cervical disc disease which does not respond to conservative management. In the present study, we assessed clinical presentation and outcomes of ACDF. Materials and Methods: The present study was conducted from October 1, 2015, to October 31, 2017, in the Department of Neurosurgery, Narayana Medical College and Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, among 100 consecutive adult patients who underwent single- or two-level ACDF for degenerative cervical disc disease. Results: The mean age was 47.2 ± 12.8 years (range: 20–74 years). Majority of the patients were male (86/100). Presenting symptoms were neck pain (77%), limb weakness (73%), paresthesias (53%), radicular pain (49%), stiffness in limbs (16%), and bladder involvement (13%). Fusion was done with stand-alone titanium cage/bone graft or titanium cage/bone graft with anterior cervical plate. At the time of discharge, significant improvement in preoperative symptoms (neck pain [47/77-61%], radicular pain [31/49-63%], limb weakness [53/73-72.6%], paresthesias [44/53-83%], stiffness in limbs [13/16-81%], and bladder symptoms [8/13-61%]) was reported by majority of these patients. Majority of these patients also reported improvement in preoperative sensory deficits at the time of discharge. Postoperative complications were hoarseness of voice (22%), dysphagia (16%), deterioration of motor power (8%), and postoperative hematoma (7%). Conclusions: A significant proportion of patients with degenerative cervical disc disease show remarkable recovery after ACDF.
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Symptomatic extradural spinal arachnoid cyst: More than a simple herniated sac
Suyash Singh, Kamlesh Singh Bhaisora, Jayesh Sardhara, Kuntal Kanti Das, Gagandeep Attri, Anant Mehrotra, Arun Kumar Srivastava, Awadesh Kumar Jasiwal, Sanjay Behari
January-March 2019, 10(1):64-71
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_12_19  PMID:31000984
Introduction and Study Design: Spinal arachnoid cyst is an uncommon entity, presenting with radiculopathy or paraparesis. These cysts are usually found in intradural extramedullary region; and the extradural region is a rare location. The exact pathogenesis in the existence of these cysts in the extradural region is still debated. In this article, we have retrospectively analyzed the clinical profile of the rare extradural arachnoid cyst (EDAC). Methodology: In this study, 19 patients of EDAC operated at our institute between January 2006 to June 2016 are analyzed. All patients with the Oswestry disability index score of >20 were managed surgically (open laminectomy and cyst excision). The clinical outcome was assessed at using 5-point satisfaction scale and McCormick grading. Results: All 13 operated patients had EDACs with communication with the intradural compartment. In 11 (84.6%) patients, cyst wall was excised completely, in 2 (15.3%) patients underwent partial excision of cyst wall; dural communication was closed in all patients (n = 13). None of the patients had clinical deterioration or radiological recurrence till the last follow-up. Mean follow-up was 52.2 months (range 1–160); all patients were satisfied after surgery (median score was 3). Discussion: Symptomatic EDACs account <2% of all spinal tumors. The EDACs have communication with the intradural compartment. In our article, we have discussed the approach and management of EDAC, including minimally invasive percutaneous procedures. Conclusion: One should aim for preoperative or intraoperative localization of dural communication and try to disconnect the extradural cyst from the intradural connection to prevent recurrence. Surgical treatment is complete excision of the cyst.
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Diffusion tensor imaging as an additional postoperative prognostic predictor factor in cervical myelopathy patients: An observational study
Sunil Bhosale, Pramod Ingale, Sudhir Srivastava, Nandan Marathe, Prajakta Bhide
January-March 2019, 10(1):10-13
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_77_18  PMID:31000973
Introduction: Multiple investigation modalities have been invented for diagnosis and for planning management of degenerative cervical myelopathy, which include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography scan, and plain X-rays. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) of the spinal cord is a special variety of MRI where diffusion of water molecules across and along the tracts is mapped. The changes in anisotropy at the stenotic level can be a postoperative prognostic factor. The aim of this study was to establish postoperative prognostic predictive value of DTI in cases of degenerative cervical myelopathy. Materials and Methods: The study included 30 indoor patients in a tertiary care hospital diagnosed with degenerative compressive cervical myelopathy based on both clinical and radiological parameters with complete clinical data including follow-up. All patients with medical neurological diseases, cases who underwent repeat surgery, cases who developed surgical site infection, and those patients who were lost to follow-up were excluded from the study. The patients underwent operative decompression through either anterior or posterior approach with or without fixation with titanium implants as per indication. All patients underwent pre- and postoperative DTI. The fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were noted in both pre- and postoperative imaging. Epidemiological data such as age and sex were noted. Pre- and postoperative modified Japanese Orthopedic Association (mJOA) scores were calculated. Results: There was a significant improvement in FA values postoperatively. Preoperatively, both FA and ADC values showed a significant correlation with preoperative Neurological status of the patient while postoperatively only FA values were found to be significantly correlated. The regression equations for determining postoperative mJOA score based on preoperative FA and ADC values revealed mJOA = 9.77 + 12.1 (FA), mJOA = 14.2 + 2408.4 (ADC), and mJOA = 9.54 + 11.2 (FA) +1575.5 (ADC). This means that postoperative mJOA score, i.e., postoperative clinical status improvement can be determined using DTI variables which are an objective preoperative data. However, relative strength of prediction for FA value is 66.7% and for ADC value is 28.7%. Conclusion: DTI tractography of the spinal cord will be a helpful objective prognostic factor for patients in whom surgery is planned. However, a study with larger subject size is required to increase the accuracy of determination of regression coefficient.
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Cranially migrated lumbar intervertebral disc herniations: A multicenter analysis with long-term outcome
Sait Ozturk, Hakan Cakin, Fatih Demir, Serdal Albayrak, Bekir Akgun, Yahya Turan, Fatih Serhat Erol, Metin Kaplan
January-March 2019, 10(1):57-63
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_15_19  PMID:31000983
Objective: Risk factors of cranial migration were investigated in patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH) that migrated in the cranial direction and the long-term outcomes are discussed in this study. Materials and Methods: Patients who underwent surgery for LDH at four different centers between 2012 and 2017 were studied. Extraligamentous discs were located in the lateral part of the posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) within the spinal canal of the axial plane, and subligamentous discs were located under the PLL. The extent of cranial migration was calculated as a percentage of the height of the migrated corpus. Based on the extent of cranial migration, partial hemilaminectomy or hemilaminectomy was performed at different rates in each patient and the amount of laminectomy performed was recorded. During surgery, all free fragments were attempted to be removed. The appropriate technique was decided intraoperatively, and the surgery was performed on an individual patient basis. Results: Of 1289 patients who underwent surgery for LDH, 654 (50.73%) had caudal migration, 576 (44.68%) had migration at the level of the disc, and 59 (4.57%) had cranial migration. Analysis of 59 patients with cranial migration according to the localization of the disc fragment revealed that 31 had extraligamentous and 28 had subligamentous fragments (P = 0.024). Conclusions: Extraligamentous intervertebral disc fragments migrate more cranially than subligamentous intervertebral fragments. The anatomy of the PLL that varies along the corpus is the main reason for the weakness of the resistance of the disc material to the dorsolateral region, direction of discrete force vectors, and orientation of the disc fragment due to torsional vertebral movements.
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Is central atlantoaxial instability the nodal point of pathogenesis of “idiopathic” dorsal spinal kyphoscoliosis?
Atul Goel
January-March 2019, 10(1):1-2
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_18_19  PMID:31000971
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Effectiveness of titanium plate usage in laminoplasty
Arya Nick Shamie, Hamed Yazdanshenas
January-March 2019, 10(1):14-18
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_122_18  PMID:31000974
Background: Laminoplasty is an established technique for the treatment of cervical stenosis. However, the usage of plates to maintain patency of the laminoplasty door has not been well reported. This study plans to compare the clinical outcomes of laminoplasty with the usage of Sofamor-Danek laminoplasty plates versus techniques without plate usage. Materials and Methods: This study conducted a 2-year medical record review of all patients with multilevel cervical myelopathy who were treated with laminoplasty at UCLA or Cedars-Sinai medical center. Of 46 patients 18 had sufficient documentation to assess clinical outcome, 11 of which had placement of laminoplasty plates. Clinical outcomes were assessed using Odom's scoring criteria. Results: Blood loss and hospital stay are decreased with plate usage during laminoplasty. Average Estimated Blood Loss (EBL) was 160 cc with plate and 380 cc without. Hospital stay was 4.8 days with plate and 5.6 days without. There were no complications during any of the laminoplasty procedures regardless of instrumentation. All patients demonstrated improvement in symptoms after laminoplasty, with 73% of patients in the plate cohort having Odom Scores of “Excellent” versus 44% in the nonplate group. All patients, regardless of technique, showed improvement in symptoms. Conclusions: Laminoplasty with plate utilization is an effective treatment for cervical myelopathy. The similarity in outcomes and complications between these two similar cohorts suggests plate usage in laminoplasty is an attractive alternative to other methods. We hope that future efforts will continue to demonstrate the effectiveness and perhaps superiority of plate utilization in laminoplasty.
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Proposal of a new anatomical landmark to identify the disc space in endoscopic lumbar discectomy
Keyvan Mostofi, Morad Peyravi, Babak Gharaei Moghaddam, Reza Karimi Khouzani
January-March 2019, 10(1):39-41
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_103_18  PMID:31000979
Introduction: In endoscopic lumbar discectomy for posterolateral disc herniation, we determined some anatomical landmarks for improved disc space access. These landmarks are based on the beginning of the insertion of the ligamentum flavum (LF) to vertebral lamina. Materials and Methods: In 978 patients operated by posterolateral disc herniation, we measured prospectively the distance between the beginning of the insertion of the LF and space disc rostrally. Results: The distance between the beginning of the insertion of the LF and space disc was broader at the level of L3–L4, with an average of 14 mm. At L4–L5, the average distance was 13.5. At L5–S1, the average distance was 12 mm. Conclusion: Knowing the accurate distance between the insertion of LF and disc space contributes to reducing the average duration of the surgical procedure to avoid empirical search of disc space by a surgeon and avoiding unnecessary and excessive LF and bone removal.
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Is cast an option in the treatment of thoracolumbar vertebral fractures?
Alessandro Rava, Federico Fusini, Pasquale Cinnella, Alessandro Massè, Massimo Girardo
January-March 2019, 10(1):51-56
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_8_19  PMID:31000982
Background: Thoracolumbar vertebral fractures are common in high-energy trauma and often are associated to other concomitant injuries. Currently, brace and Closed Reduction and Casting (CRC) are the two conservative treatments proposed by literature. Despite CRC was widely used in the past, today brace is preferred. The aim of our study is to evaluate clinical and radiographic outcomes of thoracolumbar type A fractures, not associated with other injuries, treated with CRC. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all patients treated from 2008 to 2015, with a mean age of 26.69 years (range 15–45). All patients were affected by AO type A fracture: 26 type A1, 17 type A2, and 21 type A3. All patients were evaluated by X-ray, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Radiological evaluations included vertebral kyphosis (VK), segmental kyphosis (SK), regional kyphosis (RK) angle, and vertebral ratio (VR) measures. Patients were clinically assessed through visual analog scale, Oswestry Disability Index, Roland–Morris Disability Questionnaire, and Short Form 36 Health Survey. Results: Seventy-four patients (41 males and 33 females) were included in the study. At follow-up (mean 28.48 months ± 5.16), we found significant improvements in VK (P = 0.000013), SK (P = 0.000455), and RK (P = 0.000016). No significant differences were observed in VR (P = 0.26). Good clinical results were reported in patients in all scores and 90.7% of patients returned to work. Conclusions: Closed reduction and casting is still a reliable treatment option in selected thoracolumbar fractures without spinal cord involvement. A correct fracture evaluation, patient compliance, and motivation are essentials. Level of evidence: IV.
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Effect of posterior fusion surgery on idiopathic scoliosis in Iran
Masih Falahatian, Mohammad Farid Masaeli
January-March 2019, 10(1):24-27
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_121_18  PMID:31000976
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Superficial anterior atlanto-occipital ligament: Anatomy of a forgotten structure with relevance to craniocervical stability
Shogo Kikuta, Joe Iwanaga, Koichi Watanabe, R Shane Tubbs
January-March 2019, 10(1):42-45
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_110_18  PMID:31000980
Introduction: The superficial anterior atlanto-occipital ligament (SAAOL) is a narrowband located anterior to the anterior atlanto-occipital membrane. Nearly forgotten, it has not been well described in older anatomical textbooks and is missing in the current anatomical literature. As all of the binding structures of the craniocervical junction (CCJ) are important in maintaining stability, this study aims to clarify the anatomy and potential function of the SAAOL. Materials and Methods: The CCJ from ten fresh-frozen cadavers was studied. These specimens were derived from three males and seven females, and the age at death ranged from 57 to 91 years (mean, 79.8 years). The length, width, and thickness of the SAAOL were measured. In five specimens, the force to failure was recorded. Results: The SAAOL was found between the anterior tubercle of the atlas and the occiput and located as central thick fibers in front of the anterior atlanto-occipital membrane in 9 (90%) specimens. In one specimen, the vertical band to the occipital bone did not attach to the anterior tubercle of the atlas, but extended to the anterior aspect of the axis. The mean length, width, and thickness of the SAAOL were 19.8, 6.2, and 0.6 mm, respectively. The force to failure for the ligament was 38.8 N. Conclusion: The SAAOL was a constant structure of the anterior atlanto-occipital joint. This ligament seems to be a secondary stabilizer of the CCJ by limiting the extension of CCJ. Knowledge of this ligament may help in further understanding of craniocervical stability.
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Planning C2 pedicle screw placement with multiplanar reformatted cervical spine computed tomography
Casey T Davidson, Patrick F Bergin, Elliot T Varney, LaRita C Jones, Marion S Ward
January-March 2019, 10(1):46-50
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_116_18  PMID:31000981
Object: Careful preoperative planning with thin-slice computed tomography (CT) scan is useful for hardware placement at C2. Prior studies have shown considerable variability in the proportion of C2 vertebrae considered safe for pedicle screw placement, depending on the imaging technique used. Our work sought to more carefully define that proportion using a refined imaging technique on a large number of submillimeter CT scans. Materials and Methods: We reviewed 150 submillimeter cervical spine studies randomly selected from CT scans performed at a Level 1 trauma center. OsiriX™ image analysis software was used to propagate a 5-mm cylinder through the plane of the pedicle on paracoronal reformatted CT scans. Hounsfield unit attenuation was used to determine whether the cylinder violated the pedicle. Binomial data were generated to determine the proportion of pedicles that would allow safe screw placement. Results: We analyzed 300 pedicles in 150 patients. Using a standard C2 pedicle starting point, 32% of pedicles were breached by the 5-mm diameter cylinder. When screw trajectory was adjusted by moving the cylinder to fit the pedicle isthmus, establishing an optimized starting point, only 14% of pedicles were breached. Average pedicle length was 27.3 mm for screws that would have crossed the isthmus versus 13.2 mm for screws that would have stopped short due to potential breach. Conclusions: Findings of the current work suggest that preoperative imaging analysis or navigation can be useful adjuncts when anatomical variants are present.
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“Only fixation”: Can it be the single remedy for all?
Asifur Rahman
January-March 2019, 10(1):72-74
DOI:10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_119_18  PMID:31000985
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