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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 6 | Pages 851 - 855
1 Aug 2000
Newey ML Sen PK Fraser RD

We studied 32 patients with central cord syndrome who were managed conservatively. Six were under 50 years of age (group 1), 16 between 50 and 70 years (group 2) and ten over 70 years (group 3).

At the time of discharge all patients in group 1 could walk independently and had good bladder control compared with 11 (69%) and 14 (88%) in group 2 and four (40%) and two (20%) in group 3, respectively.

At follow-up after a mean of 8.6 years (4 to 15), ten patients had died leaving 22 in the study. All those in group 1 were alive, could walk independently and had bladder control. In group 2, 13 were alive of whom ten (77%) could walk independently and nine (69%) had bladder control. In group 3 only three were alive of whom only one was independent and none had bladder control.

Function at discharge as measured by the ASIA motor scoring system was usually maintained or improved at follow-up, but patients over 70 years of age at injury did poorly.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 2 | Pages 308 - 308
1 Mar 2000

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 4 | Pages 670 - 674
1 Jul 1999
Love TW Fagan AB Fraser RD

Degenerative spondylolisthesis is four times more common in women than in men. Although this gender difference has long been recognised there has been no explanation for it. We have examined the radiographs and CT scans of 118 patients over the age of 55 years and of a control group under the age of 46 years.

Our findings confirmed the presence of more sagittally-orientated facet joints in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis but did not show that the gender difference can be explained by the morphology of the facet joint.

Furthermore, we conclude that the increased angle of the facet joint is the result of arthritic remodelling and not the primary cause of degenerative spondylolisthesis. It is more likely to be due to loss of soft-tissue resilience with subsequent failure of the facet joints which are acting as the last restraints to subluxation.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 79-B, Issue 5 | Pages 804 - 807
1 Sep 1997
Weiner BK Fraser RD

Between 1986 and 1995, we treated with foraminal injection of local anaesthetic and steroids 30 patients with severe lumbar radiculopathy secondary to foraminal and extraforaminal disc herniation which had not resolved with rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. They were assessed prospectively using standardised forms as well as the Low Back Outcome Score, and were reviewed at an average of 3.4 years (1 to 10) after injection by an independent observer (BKW).

Relief of symptoms was obtained in 27 immediately after injection. Three subsequently relapsed, requiring operation, and two were lost to long-term follow-up. Thus 22 of the 28 patients available for long-term follow-up had considerable and sustained relief from their symptoms. Before the onset of symptoms 17 were in employment and, after injection, 13 resumed work, all but two in the same job. The average score before injection was 25 out of a possible 75 points. At follow-up, the overall average score was 54, and in those who had obtained relief of symptoms it had improved to a mean of 61.

Based on these findings we recommend foraminal injection of local anaesthetic and steroids as the primary treatment for patients with severe radiculopathy secondary to foraminal or extraforaminal herniation of a lumbar disc.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 78-B, Issue 6 | Pages 951 - 954
1 Nov 1996
Sanderson PL Fraser RD

Degenerative spondylolisthesis is most common at the L4/L5 level and in women. There are several possible reasons for its predilection at this site, but there is no satisfactory explanation for the predominance in women. We considered that pregnancy was a possible influence.

We reviewed the records and radiographs of 949 women and 120 men aged 50 years and over who had attended a spinal surgeon for low back pain over a five-year period. We found that women who had borne children had a significantly higher incidence of degenerative spondylolisthesis than nulliparous women (28% v 16.7%; p = 0.043). The men had a 7.5% incidence, significantly less than nulliparous women (p = 0.031). Our results suggest that pregnancy is an important factor in the aetiology of degenerative spondylolisthesis.