Neurologic Outcome After Thoracolumbar Partial Lateral Corpectomy for Intervertebral Disc Disease in 72 Dogs

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Abstract

Objective:

To determine neurologic outcome and factors influencing outcome after thoracolumbar partial lateral corpectomy (PLC) in dogs with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) causing ventral spinal cord compression.

Study Design:

Retrospective case series.

Animals:

Dogs with IVDD (n = 72; 87 PLC).

Methods:

Dogs with IVDD between T9 and L5 were included if treated by at least 1 PLC. Exclusion criteria were: previous spinal surgery, combination of PLC with another surgical procedure. Neurologic outcome was assessed by: (1) modified Frankel score (MFS) based on neurologic examinations at 4 time points (before surgery, immediately after PLC, at discharge and 4 weeks after PLC); and (2) owner questionnaire. The association of the following factors with neurologic outcome was analyzed: age, body weight, duration of current neurologic dysfunction (acute, chronic), IVDD localization, breed (chondrodystrophic, nonchondrodystrophic), number of PLCs, degree of presurgical spinal cord compression and postsurgical decompression, slot depth, presurgical MFS. Presurgical spinal cord compression was determined by CT myelography (71 dogs) or MRI (1 dog), whereas postsurgical decompression and slot depth were determined on CT myelography (69 dogs).

Results:

MFS was improved in 18.7%, 31.7%, and 64.2% of dogs at the 3 postsurgical assessments, whereas it was unchanged in 62.6%, 52.8%, and 32.0% at corresponding time points. Based on owner questionnaire, 91.4% of dogs were ambulatory 6 months postsurgically with 74.5% having a normal gait. Most improvement in neurologic function developed within 6 months after surgery. Presurgical MFS was the only variable significantly associated with several neurologic outcome measurements (P < .01).

Conclusions:

PLC is an option for decompression in ventrally compressing thoracolumbar IVDD. Prognosis is associated with presurgical neurologic condition.

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