Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis has long been regarded as a benign asymptomatic clinical entity with an innocuous clinical course. Neurological complications are rare in diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. However, if they do occur, the consequences are often significant enough to warrant major neurosurgical intervention. Neurological complications occur when the pathological process of ossification in diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis extends to other vertebral ligaments, causing ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligaments and/or ossification of the ligamentum flavum. Thoracic spondylolisthesis with spinal cord compression in diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis has not previously been reported in the literature.
A 78-year-old Japanese man presented with a 6-month history of gait disturbance. A magnetic resonance imaging scan of his cervical and thoracic spine revealed anterior spondylolisthesis and severe cord compression at T3 to T4 and T10 to T11, as well as high signal intensity in a T2-weighted image at T10/11. Computed tomography revealed diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis at T4 to T10. He underwent partial laminectomy of T10 and posterior fusion of T9 to T12. The postoperative magnetic resonance imaging revealed resolution of the spinal cord compression and an improvement in the high signal intensity on the T2-weighted image.
We report the first case of thoracic spondylolisthesis and spinal cord compression in diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. Neurosurgical intervention resulted in a significant improvement of our patient’s neurological symptoms.
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- Thoracic spondylolisthesis and spinal cord compression in diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis: a case report
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