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Table of Contents    
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 581-582

Lumbar ossified yellow ligament

Department of Neurosurgery, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Punjagutta, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Date of Web Publication3-May-2016

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajesh Alugolu
Department of Neurosurgery, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Punjagutta, Hyderabad - 500 082, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.181587

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How to cite this article:
Alugolu R, Rambarki O. Lumbar ossified yellow ligament. Neurol India 2016;64:581-2

How to cite this URL:
Alugolu R, Rambarki O. Lumbar ossified yellow ligament. Neurol India [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Aug 19];64:581-2. Available from: https://www.neurologyindia.com/text.asp?2016/64/3/581/181587

A 56-year-old female patient presented with features of neurogenic claudication and on imaging was found to be having ossified yellow ligament (OYL) of the lumbar spine. OYL is very rare in the lumbar region, with a reported incidence of 0.1% as compared to 4–5% in the cervical and 5–96% in the thoracic region.[1],[2] In the lumbar spine, the lesion is seen most commonly at the L3 level.[2] Various shapes of OYL have been described. The computed tomography (CT) scan showed the calcified ligament extending from one facet to the other with ossified medial facets across L1 to L3 [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b. This appearance has never been described.
Figure 1: (a) Sagittal section showing ossification of the ligamentum flavum extending from L1 to L3. (b) Computed tomography scan axial section shows ossification of the hypertrophied yellow ligament with hyperostosis of the medial facets resembling the head of a goat

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CT scan of the spine is required, especially in endemic fluorotic regions, to diagnose and differentiate these ossifications/calcifications, as they would be missed on magnetic resonance imaging, where both the hypertrophied ligaments and ossifications appear to be hypointense. The differentiation between a hypertrophied and ossified ligament is important since a high-speed drill is required for decompression in the latter as compared to manual removal in the former.

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  References Top

Kurihara A, Tanaka Y, Tsumura N, Iwasaki Y. Hyperostotic lumbar spinal stenosis. A review of 12 surgically treated cases with roentgenographic survey of ossification of the yellow ligament at the lumbar spine. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 1988;13:1308-16.  Back to cited text no. 1
Pantazis G, Tsitsopoulos P, Bibis A, Mihas C, Chatzistamou I, Kouzelis C. Symptomatic ossification of the ligamentum flavum at the lumbar spine: A retrospective study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2008;33:306-11.  Back to cited text no. 2


  [Figure 1]


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