Spinal accessory nerve (SAN) injury results in loss of motor function of the trapezius muscle and leads to severe shoulder problems. Primary end-to-end or graft repair is usually the standard treatment. The authors present 2 patients who presented late (8 and 10 months) after their SAN injuries, in whom a lateral pectoral nerve transfer to the SAN was performed successfully using a supraclavicular approach.
Lateral pectoral nerve transfer for spinal accessory nerve injury
Andrés A. Maldonado and Robert J. Spinner
Intraneural ganglion cysts: a systematic review and reinterpretation of the world's literature
Nicholas M. Desy, Huan Wang, Mohanad Ahmed Ibrahim Elshiekh, Shota Tanaka, Tae Woong Choi, B. Matthew Howe, and Robert J. Spinner
The etiology of intraneural ganglion cysts has been controversial. In recent years, substantial evidence has been presented to support the articular (synovial) theory for their pathogenesis. The authors sought to 1) perform a systematic review of the world's literature on intraneural cysts, and 2) reinterpret available published MR images in articles by other authors to identify unrecognized joint connections.
In Part 1, all cases were analyzed for demographic data, duration of symptoms, the presence of a history of trauma, whether electromyography or nerve conduction studies were performed, the type of imaging, surgical treatment, presence of a joint connection, intraneural cyst recurrence, and postoperative imaging. Two univariate analyses were completed: 1) to compare the proportion of intraneural ganglion cyst publications per decade and 2) to assess the number of recurrences from 1914 to 2003 compared with the years 2004–2015. Three multivariate regression models were used to identify risk factors for intraneural cyst recurrence. In Part 2, the authors analyzed all available published MR images and obtained MR images from selected cases in which joint connections were not identified by the original authors, specifically looking for unrecognized joint connections. Two univariate analyses were done: 1) to determine a possible association between the identification of a joint connection and obtaining an MRI and 2) to assess the number of joint connections reported from 1914 to 2003 compared with 2004 to 2015.
In Part 1, 417 articles (645 patients) were selected for analysis. Joint connections were identified in 313 intraneural cysts (48%). Both intraneural ganglion cyst cases and cyst recurrences were more frequently reported since 2004 (statistically significant difference for both). There was a statistically significant association between cyst recurrence and percutaneous aspiration as well as failure to disconnect the articular branch or address the joint. In Part 2, the authors identified 43 examples of joint connections that initially went unrecognized: 27 based on their retrospective MR image reinterpretation of published cases and 16 of 16 cases from their sampling of original MR images from published cases. Overall, joint connections were more commonly found in patients who received an MRI examination and were more frequently reported during the years 2004 to 2015 (statistically significant difference for both).
This comprehensive review of the world's literature and the MR images further supports the articular (synovial) theory and provides baseline data for future investigators.
Major nerve injury after contraceptive implant removal: case illustration
Carlos E. Restrepo and Robert J. Spinner
Falls and peripheral nerve injuries: an age-dependent relationship
Kimon Bekelis, Symeon Missios, and Robert J. Spinner
Despite the growing epidemic of falls, the true incidence of peripheral nerve injuries (PNIs) in this patient population remains largely unknown.
The authors performed a retrospective cohort study of 839,210 fall-injured patients who were registered in the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) between 2009 and 2011 and fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Regression techniques were used to investigate the association of demographic and socioeconomic factors with the rate of PNIs in this patient population. The association of age with the incidence of PNIs was also investigated.
Overall, 3151 fall-injured patients (mean age 39.1 years, 33.3% females) sustained a PNI (0.4% of all falls). The respective incidence of PNIs was 2.7 per 1000 patients for ground-level falls, 4.9 per 1000 patients for multilevel falls, and 4.5 per 1000 patients for falls involving force. This demonstrated a rapid increase in the first 2 decades of life, with a maximum rate of 1.1% of all falls in the 3rd decade, followed by a slower decline and eventual plateau in the 7th decade. In a multivariable analysis, the association of PNIs with age followed a similar pattern with patients 20–29 years of age, demonstrating the highest association (OR 2.34 [95% CI 2.0–2.74] in comparison with the first decade of life). Falls involving force (OR 1.25 [95% CI 1.14–1.37] in comparison with multilevel falls) were associated with a higher incidence of PNIs. On the contrary, female sex (OR 0.87 [95% CI 0.80–0.84]) and ground-level falls (OR 0.79 [95% CI 0.72–0.86]) were associated with a lower rate of PNIs.
Utilizing a comprehensive national database, the authors demonstrated that PNIs are more common than previously described in fall-injured patients and identified their age distribution. These injuries are associated with young adults and falls of high kinetic energy.
The almost-invisible perineurioma
Carlos E. Restrepo, Kimberly K. Amrami, Benjamin M. Howe, P. James B. Dyck, Michelle L. Mauermann, and Robert J. Spinner
Intraneural perineurioma is a rare, benign slow-growing lesion arising from the perineurial cells that surrounds the peripheral nerve fibers. Typically it presents during childhood and young adulthood as a motor mononeuropathy. MRI plays an essential role in the diagnosis and localization of the lesion, which appears as a fusiform enlargement of the nerve fascicles that enhances intensely with gadolinium. Despite the typical clinical and radiological features, intraneural perineurioma remains largely underdiagnosed because of the lack of familiarity with this entity, but also as a result of technical limitations with conventional MRI that is typically performed as a screening test over a large field of view and without contrast sequences. The purpose of this article is to present the pitfalls and pearls learned from years of experience in the diagnosis and management of this relatively rare condition.
Clinical suspicion and detailed neurological examination followed by high-quality electrophysiological studies (EPS) must lead to an adequate preimaging localization of the lesion and narrowing of the imaging area. The use of high-resolution (3-T) MRI combined with gadolinium administration will allow adequate visualization of the internal anatomy of the nerve and help in differentiating other causes of neuropathy. In cases where the lesion is not recognized but clinical suspicion is high, possible errors must be assessed, including the EPS localization, area of imaging, MRI resolution, and slice thickness.
Combined common peroneal and tibial nerve injury after knee dislocation: one injury or two? An MRI-clinical correlation
Chandan G. Reddy, Kimberly K. Amrami, Benjamin M. Howe, and Robert J. Spinner
Knee dislocations are often accompanied by stretch injuries to the common peroneal nerve (CPN). A small subset of these injuries also affect the tibial nerve. The mechanism of this combined pattern could be a single longitudinal stretch injury of the CPN extending to the sciatic bifurcation (and tibial division) or separate injuries of both the CPN and tibial nerve, either at the level of the tibiofemoral joint or distally at the soleal sling and fibular neck. The authors reviewed cases involving patients with knee dislocations with CPN and tibial nerve injuries to determine the localization of the combined injury and correlation between degree of MRI appearance and clinical severity of nerve injury.
Three groups of cases were reviewed. Group 1 consisted of knee dislocations with clinical evidence of nerve injury (n = 28, including 19 cases of complete CPN injury); Group 2 consisted of knee dislocations without clinical evidence of nerve injury (n = 19); and Group 3 consisted of cases of minor knee trauma but without knee dislocation (n = 14). All patients had an MRI study of the knee performed within 3 months of injury. MRI appearance of tibial and common peroneal nerve injury was scored by 2 independent radiologists in 3 zones (Zone I, sciatic bifurcation; Zone II, knee joint; and Zone III, soleal sling and fibular neck) on a severity scale of 1–4. Injury signal was scored as diffuse or focal for each nerve in each of the 3 zones. A clinical score was also calculated based on Medical Research Council scores for strength in the tibial and peroneal nerve distributions, combined with electrophysiological data, when available, and correlated with the MRI injury score.
Nearly all of the nerve segments visualized in Groups 1 and 2 demonstrated some degree of injury on MRI (95%), compared with 12% of nerve segments in Group 3. MRI nerve injury scores were significantly more severe in Group 1 relative to Group 2 (2.06 vs 1.24, p < 0.001) and Group 2 relative to Group 3 (1.24 vs 0.13, p < 0.001). In both groups of patients with knee dislocations (Groups 1 and 2), the MRI nerve injury score was significantly higher for CPN than tibial nerve (2.72 vs 1.40 for Group 1, p < 0.001; 1.39 vs 1.09 for Group 2, p < 0.05). The clinical injury score had a significantly strong correlation with the MRI injury score for the CPN (r = 0.75, p < 0.001), but not for the tibial nerve (r = 0.07, p = 0.83).
MRI is highly sensitive in detecting subclinical nerve injury. In knee dislocation, clinical tibial nerve injury is always associated with simultaneous CPN injury, but tibial nerve function is never worse than peroneal nerve function. The point of maximum injury can occur in any of 3 zones.
Introduction: Imaging of peripheral nerves
Kimberly K. Amrami, Michel Kliot, Martijn J. A. Malessy, and Robert J. Spinner
Magnetic resonance imaging evidence for perineural spread of endometriosis to the lumbosacral plexus: report of 2 cases
Ana C. Siquara de Sousa, Stepan Capek, Benjamin M. Howe, Mark E. Jentoft, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner
Sciatic nerve endometriosis (EM) is a rare presentation of retroperitoneal EM. The authors present 2 cases of catamenial sciatica diagnosed as sciatic nerve EM. They propose that both cases can be explained by perineural spread of EM from the uterus to the sacral plexus along the pelvic autonomie nerves and then further distally to the sciatic nerve or proximally to the spinal nerves. This explanation is supported by MRI evidence in both cases. As a proof of concept, the authors retrieved and analyzed the original MRI studies of a case reported in the literature and found a similar pattern of spread. They believe that the imaging evidence of their institutional cases together with the outside case is a very compelling indication for perineural spread as a mechanism of EM of the nerve.
Perineural spread of pelvic malignancies to the lumbosacral plexus and beyond: clinical and imaging patterns
Stepan Capek, Benjamin M. Howe, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Robert J. Spinner
Perineural spread along pelvic autonomie nerves has emerged as a logical, anatomical explanation for selected cases of neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy (LSP) in patients with prostate, bladder, rectal, and cervical cancer. The authors wondered whether common radiological and clinical patterns shared by various types of pelvic cancer exist.
The authors retrospectively reviewed their institutional series of 17 cases concluded as perineural tumor spread. All available history, physical examination, electrodiagnostic studies, biopsy data and imaging studies, evidence of other metastatic disease, and follow-up were recorded in detail. The series was divided into 2 groups: cases with neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy confirmed by biopsy (Group A) and cases included based on imaging characteristics despite the lack of biopsy or negative biopsy results (Group B).
Group A comprised 10 patients (mean age 69 years); 9 patients were symptomatic and 1 was asymptomatic. The L5–S1 spinal nerves and sciatic nerve were most frequently involved. Three patients had intradural extension. Seven patients were alive at last follow-up. Group B consisted of 7 patients (mean age 64 years); 4 patients were symptomatic, 2 were asymptomatic, and 1 had only imaging available. The L5–S1 spinal nerves and the sciatic nerve were most frequently involved. No patients had intradural extension. Four patients were alive at last follow-up.
The authors provide a unifying theory to explain lumbosacral plexopathy in select cases of various pelvic neoplasms. The tumor cells can use splanchnic nerves as conduits and spread from the end organ to the lumbosacral plexus. Tumor can continue to spread along osseous and muscle nerve branches, resulting in muscle and bone “metastases.” Radiological studies show a reproducible, although nonspecific pattern, and the same applies to clinical presentation.
The successful arthroscopic treatment of suprascapular intraneural ganglion cysts
Nikhil K. Prasad, Robert J. Spinner, Jay Smith, Benjamin M. Howe, Kimberly K. Amrami, Joseph P. Iannotti, and Diane L. Dahm
High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can distinguish between intraneural ganglion cysts and paralabral (extraneural) cysts at the glenohumeral joint. Suprascapular intraneural ganglion cysts share the same pathomechanism as their paralabral counterparts, emanating from a tear in the glenoid labrum. The authors present 2 cases to demonstrate that the identification and arthroscopic repair of labral tears form the cornerstone of treatment for intraneural ganglion cysts of the suprascapular nerve.
Two patients with suprascapular intraneural ganglion cysts were identified: 1 was recognized and treated prospectively, and the other, previously reported as a paralabral cyst, was identified retrospectively through the reinter-pretation of high-resolution MR images.
Both patients achieved full functional recovery and had complete radiological involution of the intraneural ganglion cysts at the 3-month and 12-month follow-ups, respectively.
Previous reports of suprascapular intraneural ganglion cysts described treatment by an open approach to decompress the cysts and resect the articular nerve branch to the glenohumeral joint. The 2 cases in this report demonstrate that intraneural ganglion cysts, similar to paralabral cysts, can be treated with arthroscopic repair of the glenoid labrum without resection of the articular branch. This approach minimizes surgical morbidity and directly addresses the primary etiology of intraneural and extraneural ganglion cysts.