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   Table of Contents - Current issue
January-June 2019
Volume 2 | Issue 1
Page Nos. 1-110

Online since Friday, January 11, 2019

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Publish or perish p. 1
Anil K Jain, Manish Chadha
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Symposium on cervical spondylo-myelopathy p. 4
T Ajoy Prasad Shetty, Ankur Nanda
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Natural history, prevalence, and pathophysiology of cervical spondylotic myelopathy p. 5
Gomatam Raghavan Vijay Kumar, Dibyendu Kumar Ray, Rupant Kumar Das
This study is a narrative review performed to summarize the current knowledge about the epidemiology, natural history and pathogenesis of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). A comprehensive search was undertaken to look at all available articles between January 1, 1956 to May 1, 2018, on PubMed and the Cochrane Collaboration Library. The natural history of CSM is variable. The main determinants of the clinical course of CSM are the extent of neurological impairment, age, cervical instability, abnormalities of cord conduction, canal diameter, congenitally stenotic spinal canal and the extent of involvement and tract disruption on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) imaging. There is little data on the true incidence and prevalence of CSM across the globe and none from India. The pathoanatomic basis of CSM is cord compression, either dynamic or static. The biological events that are thought to play a significant role in the development of CSM are ischemia, derangement of the blood-spinal cord barrier, chronic neuronal inflammation, and apoptosis. Emerging knowledge about the molecular biology holds promise for potential intervention, both for prevention and for cure, of this common and debilitating condition.
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Clinical spectrum and importance of evaluation systems in degenerative cervical myeloradiculopathy p. 13
Ganesh Swaminathan, Vetrivel Muralidharan, Baylis Vivek Joseph
Degenerative cervical myelopathy includes facet joint arthropathy and/or intervertebral disc prolapse, as well as aberration (hypertrophy, calcification, or ossification) in the ligamentum flavum, and/or posterior longitudinal ligament. Cervical spondylotic myelopathy and ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament are two major conditions under this spectrum. Patients with degenerative changes of the cervical spine can present with wide spectrum of symptoms and signs ranging from axial neck pain, radiculopathy or myelopathy. A combination of history, physical examination, and provocative tests such as Spurling's sign, shoulder abduction test, neck distraction test, Valsalva maneuver, Elvey's upper limb tension/brachial plexus tension test increase the likelihood of diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy. Myelopathy can manifest in the early stage as subtle changes in the upper limb dexterity or mild walking difficulty and in late stage with severe spasticity and flexor spasms. Clinicians are increasingly using quantitative or semi-quantitative scales of neurological impairment. However, there is no gold standard evaluation systems that can reliably assess disease severity.
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Imaging in cervical myelopathy p. 20
Rajavelu Rajesh, Shanmuganathan Rajasekaran, Sri Vijayanand
This is a narrative review. The objective of this study is to provide an overview on the imaging modalities and their utilization in cervical myelopathy (CM). Using PubMed, studies published on the “imaging modalities in CM,” “cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) imaging,” “computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in CM,” “imaging in ossified posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL),” “dural ossification in OPLL,” “diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in CSM,” and “dynamic MRI, functional MRI, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in CSM” were evaluated. The review addresses the evaluation of CM with various imaging modalities ranging from radiographs, CT, and MRI to advanced imaging techniques such as DTI and MRS. Each investigation contributes specific detail to the disease process in a different dimension. Specific parameters for CSM and OPLL, and their influence on outcome are discussed. Imaging in CM plays an important role in analyzing the cause of myelopathy, defining the level of the lesion, parameters to assess the time of intervention and to predict the outcome.
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Anterior surgical options for cervical spondylotic myelopathy p. 33
Andrei Fernandes Joaquim, John Alex Sielatycki, K Daniel Riew
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is one of the most common among causes of spinal cord dysfunction worldwide. In this article, we provide a broad narrative review of the options to treat CSM from an anterior approach to the cervical spine. Anterior procedures are effective and safe, especially for one or two level disease (although can be used up to 7-8 levels). This approach can be used in patients with lordotic, neutral, or kyphotic cervical spine alignment and provide excellent access for direct neural decompression. The most common adverse effects of anterior cervical operations are dysphagia and dysphonia, but fortunately, these are mild and transient in the majority of cases. Severe complications, such as vertebral arterial injury, spinal cord injury or airway compromise, are rare but must be taken into consideration, especially when additional risk factors are present (multilevel procedures, revision surgeries, older, and infirm patients). The primary anterior cervical procedures for treating CSM are anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF), anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF), oblique cervical corpectomy, and cervical disc arthroplasty. A combination (hybrid) of ACDF and ACCF is also utilized as an option to allow for wide decompression, deformity correction, and provide more surface area of exposed, and bleeding cancellous bone. More recently, the senior author (KDR) has utilized a hemi-corpectomy and fusion hybrid technique which will be described in this text. Advantages and disadvantages of each of these options are discussed in detail, as well as the need for posterior instrumentation supplementation in selected patients; such as those with concomitant cervical deformity, poor bone quality, or those at risk for pseudarthrosis following multilevel arthrodeses. The management of patients with cervical spinal cord compression without myelopathy or with mild symptoms is also discussed.
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Posterior surgical options for spondylotic cervical myelopathy p. 42
Shankar Acharya, Nikhil Jain
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is a common presentation in the middle-aged to elderly population. The cause of myelopathy is multifactorial, and cervical spondylosis is the most common cause. This review looks into the treatment options, timing of the surgery, and the advantages and disadvantages of the various posterior approaches for multilevel spondylotic myelopathy. CSM is a disabling disorder that should be addressed in its early phases. There are limited surgical options available, and each procedure has its advantages and disadvantages. Since the neurological and functional outcomes are the same for all well-performed decompressions, the choice of surgical approach depends on various other factors. Posterior approaches are good for multilevel disease as they make the surgery simpler, shorter and with reduced complications in comparison to multilevel anterior surgeries.
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Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament: Etiology, prevalence, progression, and surgical strategies p. 52
Yoshiharu Kawaguchi
Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is characterized by replacement of the ligamentous tissue by ectopic new bone formation. OPLL often causes narrowing of the spinal canal and has been recognized as a cause of cervical myelopathy and/or radiculopathy. Although a clear inheritance of OPLL has not been identified, there is a strong genetic background for OPLL. A recent genome-wide association study using all Japan cohort reported that there were 6 susceptible loci for OPLL. In addition, there were several studies to seek the biomarkers of OPLL. OPLL is frequently found in the cervical spine. However, 53.4% had OPLL not only in the cervical spine, but also in other spinal regions in patients with cervical OPLL. Further, 65.2% with cervical OPLL had ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) especially at the levels of the thoracic and the lumbar spine. There is no effective conservative treatment. Surgical decompression is considered in patients with severe and/or progressive myelopathy. Early surgical decompression of the spinal cord is recommended in patients with apparent myelopathy. Operative methods are divided into two procedures, anterior decompressive surgery and posterior decompressive surgery. The choice of the surgical procedure is determined according to several factors, such as local pathology of OPLL and spinal alignment.
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Clinical predictors of complications and outcomes in degenerative cervical myeloradiculopathy p. 59
Jamie R F Wilson, Fan Jiang, Michael G Fehlings
Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is the leading cause of adult spinal cord dysfunction worldwide, and surgical decompression remains the mainstay treatment to arrest the progression of neurological deterioration. A number of clinical factors can predict and influence the outcomes of surgery, including patient demographics, baseline myelopathy severity, duration of symptoms, imaging characteristics, and types of surgical approach. Understanding the influence and relationship of these factors on surgical outcomes allows the treating clinician the ability to provide the patient with realistic expectations when discussing surgical intervention for DCM.
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The spine clinics – Cervical spondylotic myelopathy – Clinical scenarios p. 68
Ankur Nanda, KR Renjith, Abhinandan Mallepally, C S Vishnu Prasath, Ajoy P Shetty
This section of the symposium deals with different case scenarios related to cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) which in our daily clinical practice not only act as diagnostic challenges but also test our decision-making abilities. These cases have been handled by different experts and hence help the readers in providing a wider perspective to the problem of cervical myelopathy and its management. This section ends with comments by the authors on key takeaway points from each case scenario, and some literature supported recommendations for the management of CSM.
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Cell-based treatment strategies for intervertebral disc degeneration: An overview on potentials and shortcomings p. 81
Prasanthi Sampara, Rajkiran Reddy Banala, Satish Kumar Vemurit, AV Gurava Reddy, G P V Subbaiah
The intervertebral discs (IVDs) are the cushioning pads of fibrocartilage, which are immeasurably vital for the uprightness of vertebral column and for its function. IVD provides flexibility, tensile strength to the spine, and also cope up with varied types of biomechanical stresses. IVD degeneration (IVDD) is one of the musculoskeletal disorders mostly seen in older population, and it is the foremost cause of low back pain and consequences of IVDD are disc herniation, spinal stenosis, and degenerative lumbar scoliosis. Yet the therapeutic options are restricted and the treatments given remain unsatisfactory putting more economical burden on world's population. IVDD is considered as a multifactorial disorder, due to the involvement of factors such as genetic inheritance, alterations in cellular composition, and anabolic and catabolic reactions, which could initiate degenerative process in the IVD. However, our conception on IVD genesis and the etiopathology of IVDD have given us an opportunity for exploring and formulate appropriate therapies to tackle IVDD. The cell therapy gives scope for sustained matrix synthesis, controlled inflammation, and prevention of osteophyte formation in IVD. The present review focuses on the existing issues related to current therapeutic approaches and about latest evidence on cell therapy-based regeneration of IVD and maintaining the microenvironment of cellular matrix which holds a promise for future therapeutic applications.
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The median labio-mandibulo-glossotomy approach to the upper cervical spine: A personal series and tips and pearls p. 92
K Venugopal Menon, Hood Al Saqri, Renjit Kumar, Maruti Kambali
Background: Wide exposure to the anterior part of the upper cervical spine is difficult due to anatomical constraints. The Labio-Mandibulo-Glossotomy (LMG) approach is considered a difficult approach with high morbidity. The objective of this study is to describe the authors experience with the approach and it's outcomes in six cases and offer tips and pearls to the surgical access. Methods: This is a retrospective review of a small series of six cases that were operated for upper cervical lesions by the LMG approach. Two had mandible fractures that needed fixation and in the others osteotomy of the mandible was performed. The patients were followed up for minimum two years or death (in malignancy). We specifically looked for cosmetic or functional problems related to osteotomy, glossotomy, and, hospital and ICU stay duration. Surgical access is described in detail. Results: The hospital stay was similar to other major spine trauma or tumour surgeries at our center (median 14 days) and mean ICU stay 2.8 days. There were no long-term issues related to the access. Several tips and tricks are offered to minimize intra and post-operative problems. Conclusions: The LMG approach, though apparently formidable, is quite a safe and simple procedure with few residual complications.
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A novel surgical technique for hydatid cyst involving cervicothoracic anterior epidural space p. 99
Bharat R Dave, Degulmadi Devanand, Ganesh Deshmukh
Spinal hydatid cyst comprises <1% of the total cases of hydatid disease. There is very little literature on the involvement of anterior epidural space by hydatid cyst and its management. This report presents a unique presentation of spinal hydatidosis in cervicothoracic anterior epidural space and a novel technique in surgical management.
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Sacral chordoma with degenerative spondylolisthesis and upper lumbar disc herniation p. 102
Shakti A Goel, Hitesh N Modi, Yatin J Desai, Bhavin Patel
Sacral chordoma is a rare condition requiring multidisciplinary approach for management. Here, we report a 72-year-old male patient who was diagnosed with sacral chordoma with L2–L3 disc herniation and L5–S1 degenerative spondylolisthesis and L1 body fracture. The patient was first managed by discectomy L2–L3 with D12–L3 decompression and fixation. Sacral chordoma excision was done 10 months later. The chordoma was excised by anterior laparoscopic resection and mobilization of tissues from the tumor followed by posterior sacrectomy with L5–S1 decompression and extension of fixation in a single stage. Proline mesh was used to support the colon posteriorly. This was further complicated by proximal junction fracture due to fall which was further managed by proximal extension of the rod-screw construct. The patient became symptom free without any radiotherapy or chemotherapy and is able to walk independently, two years following the primary surgery without recurrence of tumor.
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Lumbar disc herniation in ochronosis p. 108
Subbiah Jayakumar, Sathish Devadoss, Annamalai Devadoss
Alkaptonuria is a rare metabolic, autosomal recessive disorder caused by the deficiency of homogentisic acid oxidase and it is characterized by bluish-black discoloration of cartilages, skin (Ochronosis), degenerative changes in the articular, extra-articular cartilages, intervertebral disc, other tissues causing pain in the joints and spinal column. Although intervertebral disc degeneration is common in these patients, those presenting with symptoms severe enough to warrant surgery are rare. Only a few patients have been treated surgically. We present a case of alkaptonuria presenting with radiculopathy and lumbar disc herniation. The case presented demonstrates that although lumbar disc herniation is rare in alkaptonuria, it should be sought in such patients and surgical treatment yields good functional outcome.
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