Cases reported "Back Pain"

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1/33. Gastrointestinal presentation of germ cell malignancy.

    OBJECTIVES: To summarize monoinstitutional experience with gastrointestinal (GI) presentations of germ cell malignancy and to review recent medical literature on this issue. methods: Retrospective review of 5 cases with advanced germ cell malignancy (testicular 2 and retroperitoneal 3) and involvement of the upper GI tract and a comparison with published observation. RESULTS: In 4 patients the duodenum and in 1 patient the distal part of the esophagus were involved in germ cell malignancy. In 3 patients grade 3 or grade 4 anemia represented the principle initial symptom. Ulceration of the upper GI tract was in 1 case complicated by an aortoduodenal fistula with rupture of the aorta. This patient and 2 other cases needed emergency surgery due to GI hemorrhage before and/or during the initial phase of chemotherapy. Our observations compare well with the literature, showing the need of multimodality therapy of these complications. CONCLUSION: In young males with a malignant tumor in the upper GI tract, the diagnosis of germ cell malignancy should be considered. Treatment of this condition requires a multimodality approach, not rarely including emergency surgery. Though these patients often belong to a poor-prognosis group, our results and the literature review show that long-term survival is possible using modern treatment principles. In particular, the risk of GI hemorrhage, during the initial phase of therapy, should not be overseen.
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2/33. Disc herniation after lumbar fusion.

    STUDY DESIGN: Eight patients with a herniated disc after lumbar spinal fusion are reported. Their clinical features, imaging studies, and management are reported. OBJECTIVES: To identify the incidence and features of disc herniation above a spinal fusion, and to describe their management. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Late complications of lumbar spinal fusions have been reported in the literature, but disc herniation has not been specifically addressed in detail. The motion segment above a spinal fusion undergoes additional stresses, as documented by increased pressure and excessive motion, resulting in degenerative changes. These factors likely predispose to disc herniation. methods: Of 601 consecutive lumbar fusion cases over an 8-year period, herniated nucleus pulposus above the fusion was diagnosed in 8 patients. The clinical findings and imaging studies were reviewed, including a myelogram computed tomography scan, a magnetic resonance image with positive documentation of the herniation, or both. The management of these cases was reviewed. RESULTS: Eight patients (1.3%) (4 men and 4 women) were identified, whose average age was 56.4 years. Nonoperative treatment failed in six patients. Two of these patients underwent simple discectomy, and the remaining four underwent discectomy and fusion. All four patients went on to fusion. The average time from disc herniation onset to fusion was 28.4 months. CONCLUSIONS: Herniated disc after lumbar spinal fusion was found in approximately 1.3% of patients. Although rare, this entity that should be considered when patients complain of recurring back pain after a lumbar spinal fusion.
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3/33. Investigation of sacroiliac disease: Comparative evaluation of radiological and radionuclide techniques.

    An attempt has been made to improve diagnostic precision in a group of diseases associated with inflammation of the sacroiliac joints, by using a 99mTechnetium stannous pyrophosphate bone scan. inflammation of these joints is associated with osteoblastic activity and is reflected by an increase in the uptake of radionuclide, which can be precisely quantitated. The uptake was markedly above the range of normal in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and also in a number of patients with possible AS, psoriasis, and Reiter's syndrome. However, patients with Grade 4 radiological changes of the sacroiliac joints frequently had normal scans. This technique may be useful in the early diagnosis of sacroiliitis, and the nosological implications of the changes in patients with Reiter's syndrome and psoriasis are of interest.
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4/33. Perispinal TNF-alpha inhibition for discogenic pain.

    OBJECTIVE: To examine the potential of etanercept, a biological inhibitor of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF), delivered by perispinal administration, for the treatment of pain associated with intervertebral disc disease. methods: charts from 20 selected patients treated at our private clinic by perispinal delivery of etanercept 25 mg for severe, chronic, treatment-resistant discogenic pain were reviewed. Therapeutic benefit was assessed clinically and was documented by changes in a validated pain instrument, the Oswestry Disability Index. The patients were treated off-label with etanercept as part of our usual practice of medicine. Five detailed case reports are presented, including three additional patients. RESULTS: Rapid, substantial and sustained clinical pain reduction was documented in this selected group of patients. The cohort of 20 patients had a mean age of 56.5 and mean duration of pain of 116 months. Nine of the patients had undergone previous spinal surgery; 17 had received an epidural steroid injection or injections (mean 3.2). This group of patients received a mean of 1.8 doses (range 1-5, median 1.0) of etanercept during the observation period. The mean length of follow-up was 230 days. Clinical improvement was confirmed by a decrease in the calculated Oswestry Disability Index from a mean of 54.85 /- 12.5 at baseline, improving to 17.2 /- 15.3 (p <0.003) at 24 days and ending at 9.8 /- 13 (p <0.003) at 230 days. CONCLUSIONS: TNF inhibition by etanercept delivered by perispinal administration may offer clinical benefit for patients with chronic, treatment-resistant discogenic pain. Further study of this new treatment modality is warranted.
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5/33. Complications of artificial disc replacement: a report of 27 patients with the SB Charite disc.

    Disc prosthesis surgery is rapidly becoming an option in treating patients with symptomatic degenerative disc disease. Only short-term and midterm results are described in the literature. Most operated patients belong to the age group of 30-50 years. In these active patients, complications can be expected to increase with longer follow-up, similar to total joint replacements in the extremities. Reported here is a series of 27 patients from another institution, who presented with unsatisfactory results or complications after SB Charite disc replacement. The objective of this work was to describe the possible short- and long-term unsatisfactory results of disc prosthesis surgery. Twenty-seven patients were seen in a tertiary university referral center with persisting back and leg complaints after having received a Charite disc prosthesis. All patients were operated on in a neighboring hospital. Most patients were operated on at the L4-L5 and /or the L5-S1 vertebral levels. The patients were evaluated with plain radiography, some with flexion-extension x-rays, and most of them with computed tomography scans. The group consisted of 15 women and 12 men. Their mean age was 40 years (range 30-67 years) at the time of operation. The patients presented to us a mean of 53 months (range 11-127 months) following disc replacement surgery. In two patients, an early removal of a prosthesis was required and in two patients a late removal. In 11 patients, a second spinal reconstructive salvage procedure was performed. Mean follow-up for 26 patients with mid- and long-term evaluation was 91 months (range 15-157 months). Early complications were the following: In one patient, an anterior luxation of the prosthesis after 1 week necessitated removal and cage insertion, which failed to unite. In another patient with prostheses at L4-L5 and L5-S1, the prosthesis at L5-S1 dislocated anteriorly after 3 months and was removed after 12 months. abdominal wall hematoma occurred in four cases. Retrograde ejaculation with loss of libido was seen in one case and erection weakness in another case. A temporary benefit was experienced by 12 patients, while 14 patients reported no benefit at all. Main causes of persistent complaints were degeneration at another level in 14, subsidence of the prosthesis in 16, and facet joint arthrosis in 11. A combination of pathologies was often present. Slow anterior migration was present in two cases, with compression on the iliac vessels in one case. polyethylene wear was obvious in one patient 12 years after operation. In eight cases, posterior fusion with pedicle screws was required. In two cases, the prosthesis was removed and the segment was circumferentially fused. These procedures resulted in suboptimal long-term results. In this relatively small group of patients operated on with a Charite disc prosthesis, most problems arose from degeneration of other lumbar discs, facet joint arthrosis at the same or other levels, and subsidence of the prosthesis. It is to be expected that many more patients will be seen with late problems some years after this operation as the survivorship will decrease with time.
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6/33. Two anaphylactic deaths after chemonucleolysis.

    Chemonucleolysis is a procedure for treatment of low back pain due to discogenic disease in which the drug chymopapain is injected into lumbar disks to produce chemical dissolution of the nucleus pulposus. More than 15,000 cases have been treated by chemonucleolysis world-wide. anaphylaxis after the injection of chymopapain occurs in about 1% of such cases. The two cases described in this paper are the only known deaths due to anaphylaxis. Both patients suddenly became hypotensive after injection of chymopapain into a disk. One patient died shortly after this, whereas the second patient died of the complications of prolonged shock.
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7/33. The pitfalls in early diagnosis of childhood spinal compression.

    Thirty-one children under the age of 13 years with spinal cord and cauda equina compression are presented. Some of these cases are used to illustrate the problems encountered in the early recognition of compressive lesions involving the spinal cord and cauda equina in the paediatric age group.
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8/33. The significance of low back pain in older adults.

    A retrospective study of the practice of an orthopedic surgeon at a university teaching hospital was done to evaluate the significance of low back pain in older adults. All 259 patients in a 3-year period 50 years of age and over whose presenting complaint was low back pain or sciatica or both were identified and classified by final diagnosis. A comparison was similarly identified and classified. Systemic disease, particularly cancer, was much more prevalent in the older group. It was demonstrated that a simple screening routine consisting of measuring the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and serum concentrations of alkaline phosphatase and calcium would identify all cases of unsuspected malignant disease--that is, at least one of the values would be abnormal in every case.
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9/33. Observations on the analgesic effects of needle puncture (acupuncture).

    The present study was undertaken in order to investigate the analgesic effect of needle puncture in a small self-selected group of patients with chronic or acute pain, and to examine the factors which determine success or failure of this treatment modality. We have found that in chronic painful conditions, needle puncture may be very effective in producing at least transient analgesia. It also can produce permanent relief of acute (self-limited) pains. Needle puncture was not helpful in the management of pain resulting from nerve damage. High score on psychometric indicators of anxiety and depression is a significant predictor os successful needle puncture analgesia in patients with chronic pain. Comparison of our results to studies of counterirritation indicate that the analgesia produced by needle puncture involves a mechanism similar to that of counterirritation-induced analgesia.
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10/33. Occult spinal cord abnormalities in children referred for orthopedic complaints.

    This study reviews spinal cord abnormalities found in children initially referred for an orthopedic problem. Over a 5-year period in an academic pediatric orthopedic referral clinic, 167 children aged 3 months to 18 years (average, 9.4 years) underwent spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and had records available for review. The patients were divided into 7 major groups based on the primary indication for the MRI. The frequency of spinal cord pathology was as follows: 3 of 35 patients with atypical idiopathic scoliosis, 1 of 19 with neuromuscular scoliosis, 6 of 18 with congenital scoliosis, 1 of 50 with unexplained back pain, 3 of 17 with gait abnormality, 5 of 14 with limb pain or weakness, and 4 of 8 with rigid or recurrent foot deformity. spine MRI was not very helpful in evaluating children who had some degree of back pain without neurological signs or symptoms. However, the spine MRI was helpful in evaluating children with atypical idiopathic scoliosis or congenital scoliosis, gait abnormality, limb pain or weakness, or rigid or recurrent foot deformities. Given the high frequency of occult spinal cord abnormality in children with severe foot deformity, the use of screening spine MRI may be especially useful in this group.
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