Current Issue - May/June 2024 - Vol 27 Issue 4


  1. 2024;27;253-262Clinical Observation and Cause Analysis of Perioperative Superior Cluneal Neuralgia in Vertebral Augmentation
    Retrospective Study
    Fu-Kuan Zhu, MS, Fei-Fei Cheng, MD, Juan Cheng, MD, Si-Yu Wang, MS, Xi-Zi Miao, MS, Hui Zheng, MS, Zhong-Liang Deng, MD, PhD, Lei Chu, MD, and Lei Shi, MD.

BACKGROUND: In our clinical practice, we observed that some osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture patients undergoing vertebral augmentation exhibited pain in the iliac crest region. This pain aligned with the diagnostic criteria for superior cluneal neuralgia (SCN) and affected treatment satisfaction.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to clinically observe patients undergoing vertebral augmentation in a hospital setting and analyze the etiology and risk factors associated with SCN.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

SETTING: Inpatient population of a single center.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed clinical data from 630 patients who underwent vertebral augmentation in our hospital from March 2022 to March 2023. Fifty-two patients enrolled in the study experienced pain that met the diagnostic criteria for superior cluneal neuralgia during the perioperative period of the vertebral augmentation procedures. Those patients were divided into 2 subgroups according to the conditions involved in the occurrence of SCN: Group A (26 patients) had either no preoperative SCN but developed it postoperatively, or had preoperative SCN that worsened or did not alleviate postoperatively. Group B (26 patients) had preoperative SCN that was relieved postoperatively. Additionally, 52 consecutive patients in March 2022 to March 2023. who did not experience SCN during the perioperative period were selected as the control group (Group C). Variables such as surgical segment, age, height, weight, body mass index, duration of hospitalization, chronic low back pain (CLBP), duration of pain, anesthesia, surgical approach, fracture pattern, preoperative visual analog scale (pre-op VAS) score, intraoperative VAS score, one-day VAS score, one-month VAS score, lumbar sacral angle, and sacral tilt angle were statistically described and analyzed.

RESULTS: In our hospital, the incidence of SCN during the perioperative period of vertebral augmentation procedures is 8.25% (52/630). Among all the segments of patients who developed SCN during the perioperative period, the L1 segment had the highest proportion, which was 29.03% and 35.14% in Groups A and B, respectively. Group B and Group C showed significant differences in duration of hospitalization (P = 0.012), pre-op VAS scores (P = 0.026), and CLBP (P < 0.001). Group A had significantly higher VAS scores preoperatively (P = 0.026) and intraoperatively (P = 0.004) and in CLBP (P = 0.001) than did Group C.

LIMITATIONS: This is a retrospective study. Single-center noncontrolled studies may introduce selection bias. The small sample size in each group might have also led to bias.

CONCLUSION: Perioperative SCN associated with vertebral augmentation is significantly correlated with preoperative VAS scores and CLBP. In addition, intraoperative VAS scores might be a factor contributing to the nonalleviation or exacerbation of postoperative SCN.

KEY WORDS: Vertebral augmentation, superior cluneal neuralgia, osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture