Progressive thoracic myelopathy caused by spinal calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition because of proximal junctional vertebral compression fracture after lumbopelvic fusion.
Eur Spine J. 2012 Dec;21(12):2436-42
Authors: Odate S, Shikata J, Fujibayashi S, Hosaka N, Soeda T, Kimura H
PURPOSE: We describe cases presenting with progressive thoracic myelopathy after lumbopelvic fusion attributed to proximal junctional vertebral compression fracture (PJF) followed by spinal calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate (CPPD) crystal deposition.
METHODS: The study included six patients, ranging from 62 to 75 years. All patients had been treated previously with lumbopelvic fusion. The mean period from the detection of PJF to the onset of myelopathy was 4.8 months. Notably, five patients demonstrated upper-instrumented vertebra (UIV) collapse.
RESULTS: After revision surgery involving decompressive laminectomy and extension of the spinal fusion, all patients experienced significant improvement. Photomicrographs of the resected ligamentum flavum showed CPPD crystals and multinucleated giant cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The combination of mechanical stress plus PJF and CPPD crystal deposition followed by a foreign body reaction to the deposited crystals caused myelopathy. Patients with radiographic evidence of PJF, especially UIV collapse, after lumbopelvic fusion should be followed carefully for the emergence of myelopathy.
PMID: 22718048 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]