Spinal fractures in patients with Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis:A nationwide multi-institution survey

Eijiro Okada, Toshitaka Yoshii, Tsuyoshi Yamada, Kei Watanabe, Keiichi Katsumi, Akihiko Hiyama, Masahiko Watanabe, Yukihiro Nakagawa, Motohiro Okada, Teruaki Endo, Yasuyuki Shiraishi, Kazuhiro Takeuchi, Shunji Matsunaga, Keishi Maruo, Kenichiro Sakai, Sho Kobayashi, Tetsuro Ohba, Kanichiro Wada, Junichi Ohya, Kanji MoriMikito Tsushima, Hirosuke Nishimura, Takashi Tsuji, Atsushi Okawa, Morio Matsumoto, Kota Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) increases the spine's susceptibility to unstable fractures that can cause neurological deterioration. However, the detail of injury is still unclear. A nationwide multicenter retrospective study was conducted to assess the clinical characteristics and radiographic features of spinal fractures in patients with DISH. Methods: Patients were eligible for this study if they 1) had DISH, defined as flowing ossification along the anterolateral aspect of at least four contiguous vertebral bodies, and 2) had an injury in the ankylosing spine. This study included 285 patients with DISH (221 males, 64 females; mean age 75.2 ± 9.5 years). Results: The major cause of injury was falling from a standing or sitting position; this affected 146 patients (51.2%). Diagnosis of the fracture was delayed in 115 patients (40.4%). Later neurological deterioration by one or more Frankel grade was seen in 87 patients (30.5%). The following factors were significantly associated with neurological deficits: delayed diagnosis (p = 0.033), injury of the posterior column (p = 0.021), and the presence of ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) (p < 0.001). The majority of patients (n = 241, 84.6%) were treated surgically, most commonly by conventional open posterior fixation (n = 199, 69.8%). Neurological improvement was seen in 20.0% of the conservatively treated patients, and in 47.0% of the patients treated surgically. Conclusions: Minor trauma could cause spinal fractures in DISH patients. Delayed diagnosis, injury of the posterior column, and the presence of OPLL were significantly associated with neurological deterioration. Patients with neurological deficits or unstable fractures should be treated by fixation surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-606
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 07-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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