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Neuroradiology. 1995 Nov;37(8):660-6.

Laminectomy-induced arachnoradiculitis: a postoperative serial MRI study.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Faculty of Medicine, Japan.


Time-related changes of laminectomy-induced cauda equina adhesions were investigated by MRI in ten patients with degenerative spinal disease who underwent posterior surgery to the lumbar spine; seven had disc herniations and three spinal stenosis. Axial MRI was performed before and 3, 7, 21 and 42 days after surgery. Cauda equina adhesions were most severe at the laminectomised levels L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1 (n = 16); partial adhesions were found in 9 of 16 levels at 6 weeks after surgery. At the L3-4 or L5-S1 levels (n = 14), the area of laminar exposure without laminectomy, the cauda equina adhesions continued 1 week after surgery, but thereafter resolved; only partial adhesions were seen at 5 of 14 levels 6 weeks after surgery. Shrinkage of the arachnoid sac was also found at the level of the laminectomy, but it re-expanded 3 weeks after surgery in all cases. Cauda equina adhesions and shrinkage of the sac were correlated closely with laminectomy, with or without discectomy, suggesting that an inflammatory process of deep wound healing may be involved in the mechanism of a laminectomy-induced arachnoradiculitis which may be correlated with post-operative leg symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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