Fluoride Action Network


BACKGROUND:  Spinal cord compression in flourosis is a common complication. These complications are mainly due to compression of the spinal cord by thickening and ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament and ligamentum flavum. Surgical decompression is the treatment of choice for fluorotic spinal cord compression. The recurrence of spinal cord compression after surgical decompression in flourosis is a rare event.

CASE DESCRIPTION:  We are presenting a case of a 63-year-old man who belonged to Kanpur, an endemic fluorosis region in India, with symptoms of cervical cord compression cranial to the operative site, 20 years after laminectomy for cervical fluorotic myelopathy. Urinary and serum fluoride levels were elevated. The patient underwent a skeletal survey: computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical spine showed a postoperative defect of laminectomy, osteosclerosis, osteophyte formation, calcification of the intraosseus membrane in the forearm, thickening and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament at C1, thickening and ossification of the residual ligamentum flavum at C1/C2, and dural calcification at the C2 vertebral level and compressive myelopathy. The patient refused surgical decompression and was managed with tizanidine HCl (an antispasticity medicine), a sublingual single night dose, 8 mg for symptomatic relief.

CONCLUSION:  The recurrence of spinal cord compression in the fluorotic spine 20 years after laminectomy is a very unusual event and hence the patient should be kept under observation for a long duration. This case report contributes to the literature associated with the management of fluorotic spine.