Charcot arthropathy of the spine in spinal cord injured individuals with sacral deafferentation and anterior root stimulator implantation.
To investigate the occurrence of Charcot spinal arthropathy (CSA) after sacral deafferentation (SDAF) and sacral anterior root stimulation (SARS) of the bladder in patients suffering from neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) as a result of spinal cord injury (SCI).
Retrospective evaluation of patients who had undergone SDAF/SARS at a single SCI rehabilitation centre. The occurrence rate of stimulation dysfunction was determined, and the medical records and radiological images of the included patients were examined for CSA. The diagnosis of CSA was based on radiological criteria. The occurrence rate of CSA was estimated for all SARS patients and for those with SARS dysfunction, and the odds ratios (OR) for the occurrence of CSA were calculated.
In 11/130 SARS patients (8%), CSA was observed a median 8 years (95% CI 5-16 years) after SDAF/SARS or a median 21 years (95% CI 9-41 years) after SCI had occurred. The median follow-up time was 14 years (range 6-25 years). The proportion of patients with CSA was significantly (P = 0.036) greater in patients with SARS dysfunction (7/41) than in patients without SARS dysfunction (4/89). The odds of CSA were four times greater (OR 4.3, 95% CI 1.0-21.5) in patients with SARS dysfunction compared to those without. Furthermore, the odds of CSA were 20 times greater (OR 20.2, 95% CI 8.4-47.0) in patients with SARS compared to those without.
Charcot spinal arthropathy should be considered a potential long-term complication of SDAF/SARS, and spinal instability is a possible reason for SARS dysfunction.