Cases reported "Spinal Stenosis"

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1/5. Spontaneously stabilized severe dysplastic spondylolisthesis without operation: long-term follow-up of a preteenage patient.

    Surgical management is the accepted treatment choice for grade III or IV spondylolisthesis, and many satisfactory clinical and radiologic follow-up results have been reported. Very little, however, has been written about long-term results in preteenage patients in whom dysplastic spondylolisthesis has been treated nonoperatively, especially in those who have > or =50% displacement of the fifth lumbar vertebra on the sacrum. We report an unusual case of spontaneous stabilization of severe dysplastic spondylolisthesis in an 8-year-old girl who presented with grade III spondylolisthesis of L5-S1 and was followed up for >14 years in the absence of surgical intervention. On presentation, she complained of a restriction in forward bending and tightness of hamstrings, but she was undisturbed in her daily activities. Initial radiographs showed severe dysplastic spondylolisthesis; however, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed at age 9 years showed that the amount of listhesis was much less than that seen in the initial radiograph. Routine radiographic follow-ups were chosen over early operative measures until she became a teenager. There was no change in the slip, and unusually a gradual ossification of the cartilaginous promontory of the S1 and the posterior lip of the L5 was observed. At 22 years old, the patient is asymptomatic and not conscious of her cosmetic appearance. Surgical treatment has generally been indicated for patients with grade III or IV spondylolisthesis, because slippage progression has been noted in most reported cases. However, MRI may be a tool for predicting which dysplastic spondylolisthesis cases are more likely to progress and therefore circumvent surgical intervention, while maintaining an excellent outcome.
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2/5. Burst fracture of the fifth lumbar vertebra.

    Burst fracture of the fifth lumbar vertebra is a rare injury. We report the cases of seven patients who were treated conservatively by immobilization for six to eight weeks in a body-jacket cast that included one lower extremity to the knee. The patients were allowed to walk ten to fourteen days after the injury. A thoracolumbosacral orthosis was worn for an additional three months. No patient had an injury to the sacral root. Two patients had mild lower lumbar motor-root deficits that resolved within one year. All patients had an occasional backache, and two had intermittent radicular-type pain in the distribution of the fifth lumbar or first sacral-nerve root. The degree of compromise of the spinal canal could not be directly related to the degree of neurological deficit; that is, a large compromise of the spinal canal did not necessarily result in a major loss of neurological function. There was no early or late loss of lordosis between the cephalad end-plate of the fourth lumbar vertebra and the cephalad aspect of the sacrum, and there were no signs of progressive collapse of the vertebral body in any patient. In our series, the burst fractures of the fifth lumbar vertebra were stable injuries that caused minimum neurological deficits, and treatment by immobilization in a body-jacket cast was effective.
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3/5. Complications in the surgical treatment of lumbar stenosis.

    The authors analyze the complications which may occur in the surgical treatment of lumbar stenosis. They report 4 cases of cauda equina syndrome and 8 dural tears in 96 patients aged from 21 to 81 years submitted to multiple bilateral laminectomy. Based on a review of the patients some considerations on surgery for the treatment of lumbar stenosis are discussed. The advanced age of the patients, hypertension, diabetes, vasculopathies in general, severe neurological deficit dating back some time contraindicate surgery. When surgery is indicated a correct preoperative evaluation by MRI from T12 to the sacrum is required to determine the extent of the laminectomy and a safe and accurate intra- and postoperative bleeding control is mandatory. Dural laceration may be repaired by a thoracolumbar fascia patch.
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4/5. Cotrel-Dubousset pedicle screw system for various spinal disorders. Merits and problems.

    Eighty-five consecutive patients with various spinal disorders who underwent surgery using the Cotrel-Dubousset pedicle screw system at Kantoh Rosai Hospital between August 1986 and November 1989 were studied. The group included 52 men and 33 women, ranging in age from 19 to 76 years, with an average age of 53 years. The postoperative follow-up period was from 15 to 54 months, with an average of 33 months. The diagnoses were lumbar degenerative disorders in 69 cases (spondylolisthesis in 32, lumbar degenerative spinal canal stenosis without spondylolisthesis in 21, and "unstable lumbar spine" in 16), spinal trauma in 9, spinal deformities in 5 (scoliosis in 3 and kyphosis in 2), and tumor in 2 (1 spinal cord tumor and 1 vertebral tumor). The Cotrel-Dubousset pedicle screw system proved not only to be useful in fixing an unstable spine from the lower thoracic vertebra to the sacrum, as is the case with the other pedicle screw systems, but also to have great advantages for use in various spinal disorders, including reduction of slipped vertebra, correction of spinal deformity combined with a hook system, and for anterior spinal instrumentation. Postoperative clinical results were good in most of the cases, but pseudarthrosis considerably affected the results in a few cases. Therefore, great care must be taken, both strategically and technically, to prevent pseudarthrosis.
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5/5. Partial cauda equina compromise: result of sacral stenosis.

    Although partial or complete cauda equina compromise due to lumbar stenosis is a recognized entity, cauda equina compromise due to sacral stenosis is extremely uncommon. We present a patient with a three-week history of right thigh and buttock pain who developed right scrotal and buttock numbness, urinary retention, and difficulty with bowel evacuation. The patient had diminished sensation to right buttock and anus pinprick with decreased anal sphincter tone and absent bulbocavernosus reflex. Lumbosacral spine films revealed only minimal degenerative changes, while lumbar myelogram showed L4-L5 and L5-S1 ventral extradural defects. Only a drop of pantopaque descended caudally below the level of the L5-S1 interspace. Operatively, significant stenosis and thickening of the posterior sacrum with compromise of the lower sacral nerve roots was noted. Bilateral sacral laminectomy was performed and the symptoms resolved postoperatively. This case illustrates an unusual clinical entity: partial cauda equina compromise due to sacral stenosis.
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