Ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) has recently been recognized as a clinical entity. It is a rare condition, having a higher incidence in the Japanese population. It is characterized by hyperplasia of cartilage cells with eventual endochondral ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament. The radiographic signs are characteristic and consist of a linear band of ossified tissue along the posterior margin of the vertebral body. OPLL can be associated with mild to serious neurological complications due to spinal cord or nerve root compression, or it may be asymptomatic. This paper reviews the radiological, clinical and therapeutic aspects of this rare condition.
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