SAPHO syndrome with rapidly progressing destructive spondylitis: Two cases treated surgically

Tomoyuki Takigawa, Masato Tanaka, Shinnosuke Nakahara, Yoshihisa Sugimoto, Toshifumi Ozaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The authors present two cases of synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, osteitis (SAPHO) syndrome with rapidly progressing destructive spondylitis treated surgically. The spinal lesions in SAPHO syndrome generally have a good prognosis and rarely cause the structural destruction or neurological deterioration. Case 1: a 63-year-old female had palmoplantar pustulosis for 2 years. At first, she only felt a pain in the nape with no inducing factor. Two months later, she had incomplete quadriplegia (ASIA scale C). Magnetic resonance imaging showed destruction of C4-C7, kyphotic deformity, and severe compression of the spinal cord. Decompression and reconstruction surgery using anterior and posterior approach improved her paralysis. Case 2: a 69-year-old female complained of persistent back pain. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed spondylitis of T7-T9. Although there were no typical skin lesions, we diagnosed SAPHO syndrome by hyperostosis of the sternocostoclavicular joint and sacral joint. Destruction with kyphotic deformity of the spine progressed gradually for 3 months. Curettage and reconstruction surgery using thoracic endoscope relieved her pain and prevented the destruction of the spine. The histopathology of the specimen obtained surgically showed non-specific inflammation in both cases. Spondylitis in SAPHO syndrome may cause severe destruction and kyphotic deformity followed by paralysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S331-S337
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue numberSUPPL.2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


  • Paralysis
  • SAPHO syndrome
  • Spondylitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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