Dynamic digital tomosynthesis-radiculography is useful for diagnosis of lumbar foraminal stenosis at an adjacent level after lumbar fusion surgery: A case report.

Affiliation

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennodai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8575, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

After spine fusion surgery, it is difficult to evaluate the spinal canal and nerve roots using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) because of metallic implant-related artifacts. Digital tomosynthesis is a new radiographic technique that can acquire tomographic images with reduced metallic artifact effects compared with MRI. We report a case demonstrating the visualization of nerve roots nearby metallic implants using dynamic tomosynthesis-radiculography (DTRG) after spinal fusion surgery. A 77-year-old man, who 3 years earlier underwent spine fusion surgery at L3-L5, presented complaining of newly-onset low back pain and radicular symptoms in the right fifth lumbar (L5) nerve root area. His symptoms were exacerbated when he stood upright. We suspected right L5 nerve root radiculopathy, but MRI could not depict any lesion of the nerve root because of metallic implant-related artifacts. We performed DTRG at the right L5 nerve root with the patient in both prone and upright positions. The right L5 nerve root was detected clearly, and nerve root compression at the foramina when the patient was upright was exacerbated more than when the patient was in a prone position. DTRG is helpful to diagnose lumbar foraminal stenosis nearby metallic implants after spine fusion surgery.

Keywords

Digital tomosynthesis,Metallic artifact,Visualization of nerve root,