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Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the spine (OPLL) is a condition that is characterized by the calcification of the soft tissues that connect the bones of the spine, which may lead to compression of the spinal cord. Many affected people do not have any signs or symptoms, while others may experience mild pain or numbness in the arms and/or legs. In some cases, OPLL may be associated with other conditions such as genetic diseases (i.e. hypophosphatemic rickets), endocrine disorders (i.e. acromegaly, hypoparathyroidism), spondyloarthropathies (i.e. ankylosing spondylitis), and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. OPLL is most commonly diagnosed in men, people of Asian descent and people over age 50. The exact underlying cause is currently unknown; however, scientists suspect that it is a multifactorial condition that is influenced by several different genetic and environmental factors. The treatment of OPLL depends the severity of the condition and the signs and symptoms present in each person. If more conservative treatments such as NSAIDs are not effective, surgery may be necessary.
Source: GARD Last updated on 05-01-20
Emory Healthcare offers an information page on Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament of the spine for patients and caregivers. Please click on the link to access this resource.
Last updated on 04-27-20
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