What is it?

Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament occurs when the posterior longitudinal ligament becomes thicker and less flexible. The posterior longitudinal ligament runs the length of the spine and stabilizes the bones of the spinal cord.
OPLL is most common in the cervical spine.

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Ossification of posterior longitudinal ligament.

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Signs & symptoms

Initially, OPLL patients do not experience symptoms. As the disease progresses, you may experience symptoms such as:
* Mild pain in the arms or legs.
* Numbness.
* Tingling.
* An unpleasant sensation to touch.


Your doctor can diagnose OpLL during a clinic visit. He or she will take a full medical history, perform a physical exam, and order diagnostic testing such as:
* X-ray- An X-ray can produce images of the bones to see if you have a bone spur, narrowing in the disc space, vertebral fracture or collapse.
* CT scan- A CT scan can produce detailed images of the bones and soft tissues.
* MRI- A magnetic resonance imaging scan can produce detailed images of bones and soft tissues in the body without using radiation.


In mild cases of Ossification of Posterior Longitudinal Ligament, nonsurgical methods can help relieve your symptoms. Nonsurgical treatments for OpLL include
* Medications- Pain medications, anti-inflammatory medications, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve your symptoms.
* Physical therapy or strengthening exercises.
* Lifestyle or activity level modifications.

As the disease progresses or the patient starts having trouble walking or shows signs of spinal cord compression, surgery may be necessary. Surgery used to treat OpLL include:
* Anterior cervical discectomy with fusion.
* Anterior cervical corpectomy with fusion.
* Laminectomy.
* Laminectomy and fusion.
* Laminoplasty.
* Combined anterior and posterior approach.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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