European Spine Journal

, Volume 27, Supplement 3, pp 359–367 | Cite as

Recurrence of ossification of ligamentum flavum at the same intervertebral level in the thoracic spine: a report of two cases and review of the literature

  • Haruo Kanno
  • Tadahisa Takahashi
  • Toshimi Aizawa
  • Ko Hashimoto
  • Eiji Itoi
  • Hiroshi Ozawa
Case Report



Ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) is a possible cause of thoracic myelopathy. We report two rare cases with recurrent thoracic myelopathy caused by OLF markedly re-extended at the same intervertebral level after the primary surgery.


Both patients had thoracic myelopathy caused by OLF and underwent decompressive laminectomy and resection of the OLF in the primary surgery. However, the neurological conditions gradually deteriorated following recovery after the primary surgery due to the recurrent OLF at the same intervertebral level.


These patients were successfully treated by revision surgery via resection of the recurrent OLF and posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation. Two years after the second surgery, the neurological disturbance was resolved satisfactorily, and re-growth of the resected ossified lesion was not observed.


The recurrence of OLF following resection of the ossified lesions is exceedingly rare but should be noted in patients treated surgically for thoracic myelopathy due to OLF.


Ossification of ligamentum flavum Recurrence Thoracic spine Myelopathy Posterior longitudinal ligament 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haruo Kanno
    • 1
  • Tadahisa Takahashi
    • 1
  • Toshimi Aizawa
    • 1
  • Ko Hashimoto
    • 1
  • Eiji Itoi
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Ozawa
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryTohoku University Graduate School of MedicineSendaiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryTohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical UniversitySendaiJapan

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