Symptomatic Lumbar Stenosis Following Fusion Using Sublaminar Hooks. Case Report.

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A case of postfusion lumbar stenosis caused by the presence of sublaminar hooks is described. The patient was a 52-year-old man who 11 years previously had undergone lumbar fusion with Harrington rod instrumentation for a traumatic L-2 vertebral body fracture. Postoperatively, he developed progressive low-back pain, neurogenic claudication, and significant lower-extremity weakness and atrophy. Upon radiological examination, he was found to have high-grade lumbar stenosis at the level of the caudal sublaminar hooks. The instrumentation was removed and the area of radiological stenosis decompressed. Clinically, both the patient's pain and motor deficits resolved and, on postoperative imaging, the stenosis was relieved. Thus, despite other areas of persisting pathology, it is concluded that the stenosis occurring at the level of the caudal sublaminar hooks contributed to the patient's symptoms. Although not a common cause of postfusion stenosis, the presence of instrumentation in the proximity of neural elements must be considered as an etiology for neurological dysfunction.