Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament

Daniel L Surdell, Benjamin White

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is characterized by heterotopic bone formation in spinal ligaments through endochondral mechanisms. Although the etiology remains obscure, the pathogenesis of OPLL appears to involve inheritance of OPLL-related HLA genes in patients with this genetic predisposition. Onset of symptoms is often insidious except in patients who present after a trauma. Imaging evaluation usually will include magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography (CT), with CT providing the most information about the extent of OPLL. Operative treatment for myelopathy from OPLL is often indicated. Operations for OPLL may be divided into two types, anterior and posterior approaches. Evidence suggesting better outcomes after anterior approaches for OPLL have increasingly led surgeons to favor that approach when feasible. In a patient where the OPLL is limited to three or fewer vertebral segments, an anterior decompression should be considered. Patients with OPLL that is continuous and involves more than three levels should be considered for a posterior decompression or a combined anterior and posterior decompression and reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Neurosurgery
Volume14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 25 2003

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Ossification of Posterior Longitudinal Ligament
Decompression
Tomography
Spinal Cord Diseases
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Ligaments
Osteogenesis
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Keywords

  • Cervical stenosis
  • Myelopathy
  • Ossification
  • Posterior longitudinal ligament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. / Surdell, Daniel L; White, Benjamin.

In: Seminars in Neurosurgery, Vol. 14, No. 1, 25.08.2003, p. 39-48.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Surdell, Daniel L ; White, Benjamin. / Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. In: Seminars in Neurosurgery. 2003 ; Vol. 14, No. 1. pp. 39-48.
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