This is a descriptive study of all cervical ossified posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) cases in Filipinos seen at St. Lukes Medical Center from 1997 to 2000. A total of 315 cervical spine radiographs were reviewed by 2 radiologists and one orthopedic consultant. Likewise, the charts of the patients with radiographs positively identified as having cervical OPLL were reviewed by the principal investigator.
This study shows that the prevalence of cervical OPLL in Filipinos seen at St. Lukes Medical Center is 11 out of 315 or 3.49 percent. This study also shows that cervical OPLL is underdiagnosed in our hospital because some clinicians are unaware of its correct radiologic picture, and seldom request for CT scan or MRI to confirm the diagnosis.
Furthermore, among Filipinos who consulted at St. Lukes Medical Center, cervical OPLL was more common in males at a ratio of 3:2 and mostly affected the 50 to 60 year-old age group. Its symptoms were insidious and most commonly presented as neck pain or stiffness associated with weakness of the upper extremities. Likewise, most patients who had cervical OPLL were obese, had diabetes mellitus, and had a significant history of cigarette smoking. No hypoparathyroidism nor disturbance in calcium metabolism was elicited.