CREST Calcinosis Affecting the Lumbar and Cervical Spine and the Use of Minimally-Invasive Surgery

Cureus. 2017 Apr 8;9(4):e1145. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1145.


Calcinosis in CREST (calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophageal dysmotility, sclerodactyly, and telangiectasia) syndrome can affect the spinal and paraspinal areas. We present the first case to our knowledge where a CREST syndrome patient required surgery for spinal calcinosis in both the cervical and lumbar areas. A 66-year-old female with a history of CREST syndrome presented with right-sided lower extremity radicular pain. A computed tomography (CT) scan showed bilateral lumbar masses (5.8 cm on the right, 3.8 cm on the left) that projected into the foramina and into the spinal canal. The patient underwent minimally invasive bilateral surgical resection of the paraspinal masses, posterior decompressive laminectomy, posterior interbody, and posterolateral fusion. The specimen was consistent with the calcinosis of CREST syndrome. The patient's lumbar symptoms were relieved, however, two years later she presented with right radicular arm pain. A CT scan revealed a large lobulated benign tumor-like lesion on the left at C6-C7 encroaching upon the neural foramen and a large right lobulated lesion encroaching into the neural foramen with severe compression of the neural foramen at the C7-T1 level and extension into the canal, with anterior and posterior subluxation present throughout the cervical spine. Surgery was performed, which involved cervical mass resections, posterior spinal cord decompression, reconstruction, and fusion. The patient did well and has been symptom-free since her surgery. Calcinosis of the spine is a known entity that can cause morbidity in patients with CREST syndrome. Minimal invasive surgical approaches are effective and can be considered for some of these patients.

Keywords: calcinosis cutis; lumbar fusion; minimally invasive neurosurgery; minimally invasive spine surgery; spine fusion.

Publication types

  • Case Reports