What causes calcification of the posterior longitudinal ligament?

What causes calcification of the posterior longitudinal ligament?

The exact cause of OPLL is unknown, but it typically occurs when the soft tissues on the spine calcify and narrow the spinal canal. This causes the compression on the nerves in the cervical spinal cord. Research has shown links to hereditary factors, the environment and an individual’s lifestyle.

What does posterior longitudinal ligament limit?


Ligament Spinal Region Limits…
Posterior Longitudinal Axis – Sacrum Flexion & reinforces back of annulus fibrosis
Ligamentum Flavum Axis – Sacrum Flexion
Supraspinous Thoracic & Lumbar Flexion
Interspinous Lumbar Flexion

What does the posterior longitudinal ligament do?

The posterior longitudinal ligament connects and stabilizes the bones of the spinal column. It runs almost the entire length of the spine, from the 2nd vertebra in the cervical spine (neck) all the way down to the sacrum (end of the spine).

What is cervical OPLL?

OPLL is a calcification of the soft tissues that connect the spinal bones which results in a narrowing of the spinal canal and compression of the cervical spinal cord.

What happens if spinal stenosis is left untreated?

Rarely, untreated severe spinal stenosis may progress and cause permanent: Numbness. Weakness. Balance problems.

Which movement is prevented by the posterior longitudinal ligament?

hyperflexion of
The posterior longitudinal ligament weakly resists hyperflexion of the vertebral column and helps prevent or redirect posterior herniation of the nucleus pulposus of an IV disc.

Is the PLL thinner and weaker in the thoracic spine?

The anterior longitudinal ligament is thicker and narrower in the thoracic than in cervical and lumbar regions. It is also relatively thicker and narrower on the vertebral bodies than in intervertebral symphyses.

What causes ligament thickening?

Other studies support the hypothesis that a facet degeneration alone without disc space narrowing can lead to physiologic ligament thickening. Furthermore, thickening occurs as a result of inflammation and fibrocartilaginous transformation can cause hypertrophy of the ligament.

Is OPLL serious?

Spinal ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) is a serious disorder that causes vertebral ligament calcification and gradual growth, resulting in spinal stenosis and, in severe cases, nerve paralysis due to spinal cord compression.

Is OPLL a disability?

The result of misdiagnosis or improper treatment of OPLL can be permanent paralysis or quadriplegia. Misdiagnosed and improperly treated OPLL continues to result in needless suffering and life-changing disability in the United States.