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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1638 - 1645
1 Dec 2011
Kanemura T Ishikawa Y Matsumoto A Yoshida G Sakai Y Itoh Z Imagama S Kawakami N

We evaluated the maturation of grafted bone in cases of successful fusion after a one- or two-level posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) using interbody carbon cages. We carried out a five-year prospective longitudinal radiological evaluation of patients using plain radiographs and CT scans. One year after surgery, 117 patients with an early successful fusion were selected for inclusion in the study. Radiological evaluation of interbody bone fusion was graded on a 4-point scale. The mean grades of all radiological and CT assessments increased in the five years after surgery, and differences compared to the previous time interval were statistically significant for three or four years after surgery. Because the grafted bone continues to mature for three years after surgery, the success of a fusion should not be assessed until at least three years have elapsed. There were no significant differences in the longitudinal patterns of grafted bone maturity between iliac bone and local bone. However, iliac bone grafting may remodel faster than local bone.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 3 | Pages 393 - 400
1 Mar 2010
Imagama S Matsuyama Y Yukawa Y Kawakami N Kamiya M Kanemura T Ishiguro N

We have reviewed 1858 patients who had undergone a cervical laminoplasty and identified 43 (2.3%) who had developed a C5 palsy with a MMT (MRC) grade of 0 to 2 in the deltoid, with or without involvement of the biceps, but with no loss of muscular strength in any other muscles. The clinical features and radiological findings of patients with (group P; 43 patients) and without (group C; 100 patients) C5 palsy were compared. CT scanning of group P revealed a significant narrowing of the intervertebral foramen of C5 (p < 0.005) and a larger superior articular process (p < 0.05). On MRI, the posterior shift of the spinal cord at C4–5 was significantly greater in group P, than in group C (p < 0.01).

This study is the first to correlate impairment of the C5 nerve root with a C5 palsy. It may be that early foraminotomy in susceptible individuals and the avoidance of tethering of the cord by excessive laminoplasty may prevent a post-operative palsy of the C5 nerve root.