Spine 114 articles
Spinal metastases are common in patients older than 60 years with cancer. Because of the uncertainty of survival and the high incidence of fatal complications, however, chemotherapy and radiotherapy generally have been considered preferable and surgery a treatment of last resort for these patients. Further, the selection criteria indicating surgery and reliable prognostic factors for survival remain controversial.
Are obese patients with idiopathic scoliosis undergoing spinal surgery at higher risk for perioperative complications? This is not clearly understood. One previous study showed a greater preoperative thoracic kyphosis but no increase in perioperative complications.
A diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy is based largely on clinical examination, including provocative testing. The most common maneuver was described in 1944 by Spurling and Scoville. Since then, several modifications of the original maneuver have been proposed to improve its value in the diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy.
Congenital thoracic stenosis (CTS) occurs when the bony anatomy of the canal is smaller than expected in the general population. The diagnosis currently is made based on the clinical impression from subjective radiographic studies, and the normal values for CTS have not been established.
In spondylolisthesis, it is believed that as L5 slips on S1, the pedicle may become elongated in response to the instability in an attempt to bridge the defect. Whether patients with spondylolysis, which is largely developmental, also develop elongation of the pedicles is unknown.
Osteoporotic vertebral compressed fractures (VCFs) are the most common osteoporotic fractures. Although percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) reportedly relieves pain and improves function, a recent pooled analysis from two multicenter randomized controlled trials concluded the improvement in pain and disability treated with PVP was similar to those with sham surgery.
The benefits of postoperative mobilization include decreased incidence of pulmonary complications, pressure ulcers, and progression of deep vein thrombosis. However, the complexity of certain spinal reconstructions and the patient’s physiologic condition may preclude the possibility of early mobilization. Prolonged bed rest after spine surgery is controversial.
The incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is increasing. However, the prevalence of MRSA colonization among patients undergoing spine surgery is unclear.
Spinal Cord Injury Resulting From Injury Missed on CT Scan: The Danger of Relying on CT Alone for Collar Removal
Strict criteria have been used before removing cervical collars in patients with injuries who have midline pain or are unable to be reliably examined. This sometimes leads to prolonged immobilization in cervical collars or use of MRI to rule out injury. Several studies suggest a collar may be removed in the absence of fractures, dislocation, or pathologic subluxation on a cervical CT scan. This may avoid the morbidity of prolonged cervical immobilization or cost of advanced imaging study but risks devastating consequences from missing injuries.
Postoperative spine infections cause considerable morbidity. Patients are subjected to long-term antibiotic regimens and may require further surgery. Delivery of electric current through instrumentation can detach biofilm, allowing better antibiotic penetration and assisting in eradicating infection.