A rare case of extensive cervico-thoracic ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament causing myelopathy.Biomedicine (Taipei) 2018; 8(4):27B
Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) most commonly occurs in the cervical spine, usually involving two to three segments; however, the disease has the potential to occur anywhere in the spine. We encountered a fifty-one year old male with progressive unsteadiness and bilateral lower limb weakness for a period of six months which eventually became worse resulting in inability to walk without assistance. Neurological examination revealed normal upper limb function; however, the lower limbs demonstrated motor dysfunction. Signs of myelopathy were elicited and the patient was subjected to detailed radiological evaluation. CT and MRI scans revealed an extensive cervico-thoracic continuous OPLL from C3 to T3 causing significant cord compression. In view of the deteriorating neurological status, extensive C3-T3 laminectomy with instrumented posterolateral fusion was done and the patient recovered without any immediate or delayed C5 palsy. This case highlights a rare occurrence or extensive OPLL involving eight segments at the cervico-thoracic region. This report also discusses surgical strategies for managing such extensive presentations and our technique to prevent C5 palsy.