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Endoscopic decompression of severe post-tuberculosis kyphosis related ossification of the ligamentum flavum: case report and literature review

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Abstract

Purpose

Spinal tuberculosis, if not promptly treated, can lead to kyphotic deformity, causing persistent neurological abnormalities and discomfort. Spinal cord compression can occur due to ossification of the ligamentum flavum (OLF) at the apex of kyphosis. Traditional surgical interventions, including osteotomy and fixation, pose challenges and risks. We present a case of thoracic myelopathy in a patient with post-tuberculosis kyphosis, successfully treated with biportal endoscopic spinal surgery (BESS).

Method

A 73-year-old female with a history of untreated kyphosis presented with walking difficulties and lower limb pain. Imaging revealed a kyphotic deformity of 120° and OLF-induced cord compression at T8–9. UBE was performed under spinal anesthesia. Using the BESS technique, OLF was successfully removed with minimal damage to the stabilizing structures.

Results

The patient exhibited neurological improvement after surgery, walking on the first day without gait instability. Follow-up at 1 year showed no kyphosis progression or recurrence of symptoms. BESS successfully resolved the cord compression lesion with minimal blood loss and damage.

Conclusion

In spinal tuberculosis-related OLF, conventional open surgery poses challenges. BESS emerges as an excellent alternative, providing effective decompression with reduced instrumentation needs, minimal blood loss, and preservation of surrounding structures. Careful patient selection and surgical planning are crucial for optimal outcomes in endoscopic procedures.

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Correspondence to Young-Il Ko.

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Kim, HC., Ko, YI., Ko, MS. et al. Endoscopic decompression of severe post-tuberculosis kyphosis related ossification of the ligamentum flavum: case report and literature review. Eur Spine J (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-024-08308-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-024-08308-4

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