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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Tandem lumbar and cervical spinal stenosis. Natural history, prognostic indices, and results after surgical decompression.

Spondylotic degeneration can give rise to concurrent stenosis of the lumbar and cervical portions of the spinal canal in tandem. Symptomatic tandem spinal stenosis (TSS) is characterized by the triad of intermittent neurogenic claudication, progressive gait disturbance, and findings of mixed myelopathy and polyradiculopathy in both the upper and lower extremities. Nineteen patients with clinically symptomatic and myelographically proven disease were studied retrospectively. Surgical intervention was directed at decompression of the stenotic lesions in both the cervical and lumbar regions. The most symptomatic level was usually treated first. After a mean follow-up period of 22 months, an excellent outcome was obtained in five patients (26%), four improved (21%), five deteriorated despite initial improvement (26%), and one was unchanged. Three patients could not be traced for follow-up review, and there was one postoperative death. Postoperative improvement correlated inversely with symptom duration. Sphincter disturbance, radiculopathy, myelography, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, and electrophysiological data were not prognostically significant. The presentation of TSS mimics amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other forms of motor-neuron disease. In contrast to these conditions, however, TSS is amenable to treatment. Operative sequence and technique could not be related to outcome. Functional recovery in TSS depends on early diagnosis and timely surgical intervention.[1]


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