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Early recurrence of thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion after surgical decompression: a report of three cases

DOI: 10.1186/1751-0147-52-10

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Abstract:

Dogs with thoracolumbar intervertebral disc disease causing severe neurological deficits are commonly treated by surgical decompression of the spinal cord. Decompression is usually obtained by hemilaminectomy with removal of extruded disc material from the spinal canal. Fenestration of intervertebral discs at the time of spinal cord decompression is often performed as an additional procedure to prevent future extrusion of disc material.Fenestration of the herniated disc at the time of surgical decompression has been recommended to prevent continued extrusion at the same level postoperatively [1,2]. However, arguments against fenestration at the time of decompression are that there is less nucleus material remaining within such a herniated disc and that there is a reduced possibility for more extruded disc material to cause significant cord compression after hemilaminectomy. Prophylactic fenestration can also provoke disc extrusion at adjacent, nonfenestrated disc spaces [2]. Nevertheless, in a prospective MRI study that included 19 chondrodystrophic dogs with a first episode of thoracolumbar disc disease, Forterre et al. [3] found that fenestration of the affected disc space did prevent further extrusion of disc material with a subsequent reduction of postoperative complications.In the above-mentioned study by Forterre et al. [3], early (within six weeks) recurrence of disc extrusion was reported in six out of ten dogs with thoracolumbar disc disease that had hemilaminectomy without fenestration. Out of these six, three remained without clinical signs, two developed signs of temporary back pain and one had a deterioration of neurologic status three days after surgery. To the authors' knowledge, no other studies have shown that recurrence of disc extrusion of the same disc causes early postoperative complications in dogs.This case report presents three chondrodystrophic dogs with recurrence of thoracolumbar disc disease within ten days after hemilaminectomy. All recu

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