C5 palsy following anterior decompression and spinal fusion for cervical degenerative diseases

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Numazu City Hospital, 550 Harunoki, Higashi-Shiiji, Numazu, Shizuoka 410-0302, Japan.
European Spine Journal (Impact Factor: 2.47). 05/2010; 19(10):1702-10. DOI: 10.1007/s00586-010-1427-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Postoperative C5 palsy is a common complication after cervical spine decompression surgery. However, the incidence, prognosis, and etiology of C5 palsy after anterior decompression with spinal fusion (ASF) have not yet been fully established. In the present study, we analyzed the clinical and radiological characteristics of patients who developed C5 palsy after ASF for cervical degenerative diseases. The cases of 199 consecutive patients who underwent ASF were analyzed to clarify the incidence of postoperative C5 palsy. We also evaluated the onset and prognosis of C5 palsy. The presence of high signal changes (HSCs) in the spinal cord was analyzed using T2-weighted magnetic resonance images. C5 palsy occurred in 17 patients (8.5%), and in 15 of them, the palsy developed after ASF of 3 or more levels. Among ten patients who had a manual muscle test (MMT) grade ≤2 at the onset, five patients showed incomplete or no recovery. Sixteen of the 17 C5 palsy patients presented neck and shoulder pain prior to the onset of muscle weakness. In the ten patients with a MMT grade ≤2 at the onset, nine patients showed HSCs at the C3-C4 and C4-C5 levels. The present findings demonstrate that, in most patients with severe C5 palsy after ASF, pre-existing asymptomatic damage of the anterior horn cells at C3-C4 and C4-C5 levels may participate in the development of motor weakness in combination with the nerve root lesions that occur subsequent to ASF. Thus, when patients with spinal cord lesions at C3-C4 and C4-C5 levels undergo multilevel ASF, we should be alert to the possible occurrence of postoperative C5 palsy.

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    ABSTRACT: C5 nerve root palsy is a rare and potentially debilitating complication of cervical spine surgery. Currently, however, there are no guidelines to help surgeons to prevent or treat this complication. We carried out a systematic review of the literature to identify the causes of this complication and options for its prevention and treatment. Searches of PubMed, Embase and Medline yielded 60 articles for inclusion, most of which addressed C5 palsy as a complication of surgery. Although many possible causes were given, most authors supported posterior migration of the spinal cord with tethering of the nerve root as being the most likely. Early detection and prevention of a C5 nerve root palsy using neurophysiological monitoring and variations in surgical technique show promise by allowing surgeons to minimise or prevent the incidence of C5 palsy. Conservative treatment is the current treatment of choice; most patients make a full recovery within two years. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:950-5.
    07/2014; 96-B(7):950-5. DOI:10.1302/0301-620X.96B7.33665
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    ABSTRACT: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is a degenerative disorder with an unfavorable natural history. Surgical treatment options have evolved substantially over time, with both anterior and posterior methods proving successful for certain patients with specific characteristics. Anterior decompression of the spinal canal plus fusion techniques for stabilization has several advantages and some disadvantages when compared to posterior options. Understanding the pros and cons of the approaches and techniques is critical for the surgeon to select the best operative treatment strategy for any given patient to achieve the best outcome. Multiple decision-making factors are involved, such as sagittal alignment, number of levels, shape of the pathoanatomy, age and comorbidities, instability, and pre-operative pain levels. Any or all of these factors may be relevant for a given patient, and to varying degrees of importance. Choice of operative approach will therefore be dependent on patient presentation, risks of that approach for a given patient, and to some degree surgeon experience.
    European Spine Journal 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00586-015-3784-6 · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To evaluate the clinical features, imaging characteristics, surgical options, and clinical outcomes of patients with Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) caused by single-level vertebral spontaneous fusion (SLVSF). Methods: Sixteen consecutive patients with SLVSF who underwent anterior surgery were included in this study and 38 patients with CSM caused by spinal degeneration were enrolled as a control group. Demographic features, clinical presentations, imaging characteristics, surgery strategy, Nurick grade, Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score, neck disability index (NDI), and complications were evaluated. Results: There were significant differences between the two groups in the mean age and the average duration of neck pain. There was no significant difference between the two groups in length of cervical spine. In the SLVSF group, 13 patients had upper segment translational instability and none had rotational instability. Pre- and postoperative Nurick grades were 2.94 +/- 0.77 and 2.19 +/- 0.54 in the SLVSF group, and 2.97 +/- 0.72 and 2.16 +/- 0.64 in the control group. Pre- and postoperative JOA scores were 9.25 +/- 2.02 and 11.69 +/- 1.62 in the SLVSF group, and 9.87 +/- 2.58 and 12.53 +/- 2.69 in the control group. Pre- and postoperative NDI values were 28.5 +/- 7.75 and 15.56 +/- 5.51 in the SLVSF group, and 16 +/- 6.13 and 11.29 +/- 4.58 in the control group. Conclusions: Patients with SLVSF have necks of normal lengths, which can be used to distinguish this disorder from Klippel-Feil syndrome. There are three main features of SLVSF: (1) hypoplasia at both of the spontaneously fused vertebral bodies; (2) a major pathological feature of translational instability of the upper vertebra to the fused level; and (3) severe neck pain. Anterior surgery has a good therapeutic effect for patients with cervical SLVSF.
    PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e112423. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0112423 · 3.53 Impact Factor

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