Conservative surgery for osteoid osteoma of the lumbar vertebrae

Tashfeen Ahmad, Muhammad Fawwad Ahmed Hussain, Ambreen A. Hameed, Nabeel Manzar, Riaz Hussain Lakdawala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: We present two patients with osteoid osteomas of the lumbar spine to highlight the delay in diagnosis and the utility of precise radiological localization enabling tumor resection without jeopardizing spinal stability. Case Description: Two young patients with refractory back pain presented after having undergone a year of conservative treatment for presumed mechanical back pain. The presence of "red-flag" symptoms (e.g. rest and night pain, and transient pain relief with aspirin) led to the performance of an isotope bone scan, and subsequent computed tomography (CT), which were both consistent with the diagnosis of an osteoid osteoma. After accurate CT-based preoperative planning for tumor excision, a customized conservative surgical technique was utilized that included marginal en-bloc surgical resection of the tumors. As the intervertebral facet joints were also carefully preserved along with stability, no accompanying instrumented fusion was warranted. Both patients returned to full function with complete resolution of their long-standing back pain of more than 2 years. Conclusions: The diagnosis of osteoid osteoma of the spine requires a high index of clinical suspicion. Diagnostic evaluations should include thin-slice CT scan to assist in planning the most restricted/conservative en-bloc surgical resection while preserving vertebral stability with facet preservation, and thus avoiding instrumented fusions. Without the availability of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation, such restricted/conservative approaches to osteoid osteomas are viable options in countries with developing economies. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Issue numberFEB
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Lumbar vertebrae
  • Osteoid osteoma
  • Spine
  • Tumor resection


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