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Open access

Daniel M. Aaronson, Ahmed J. Awad, and Hirad S. Hedayat

BACKGROUND

Lead toxicity (plumbism) secondary to retained lead bullet fragments is a rare complication in patients with gunshot wounds. To the authors’ knowledge, there has been no definitive case reported of lead toxicity due to retained intracranial bullet fragments.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors reported the case of a 23-year-old man who presented after being found down. Computed tomography scanning of the head revealed bullet fragments within the calvaria adjacent to the left transverse sinus. During follow-up, he developed symptoms of plumbism with paresthesias in his bilateral hands and thighs, abdominal cramping, labile mood, and intermittent psychosis. Plumbism was confirmed with sequentially elevated blood lead levels (BLLs). The patient opted for surgical removal of the bullet fragments, which led to reduction in BLLs and resolution of his symptoms.

LESSONS

Although rare, lead toxicity from retained intracranial bullet fragments should be considered in patients who have suffered a gunshot wound to the head and have symptoms of lead toxicity with elevated BLLs. For safe and accessible intracranial bullet fragments in patients with plumbism, surgical intervention may be indicated.

Open access

Mahmoud S. Abbas, Anas S. Al-Smadi, Marisa Smitt, Atefeh Geimadi, and Ali W. Luqman

BACKGROUND

Frontal mucoceles develop due to accumulation of mucoid secretions within the frontal sinuses. They can lead to serious consequences with further expansion and destruction of the surrounding bones or infection that might spread intracranially.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of a 37-year-old male with a frontal mucocele and the rare presentation of Pott’s puffy tumor and an epidural-cutaneous fistula, as well as a literature review of previously reported cases of epidural cutaneous fistula and sinocutaneous fistula, their predisposing factors, and their management.

LESSONS

A mucocele is a benign entity that can rarely present with potentially significant complications. Open surgery is required in patients who have frontal sinus posterior wall involvement, osteomyelitis, or intracranial involvement.

Open access

Taku Inada, Takuya Nakakuki, Norio Nakajima, Hidenori Miyake, Shinsuke Shibuya, Takashi Sakamoto, and Makiko Ishikawa

BACKGROUND

The foci of distant metastasis from extramammary Paget’s disease (EMPD) are the lung, liver, truncal bones, vertebrae, and brain. However, skull metastases have not been reported.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors treated a patient with calvarial and skull base metastases from EMPD who had undergone wide local resection of EMPD 8 years before, and they report his clinical course.

LESSONS

Because EMPD with distant metastasis is fatal, it should be recognized that EMPD can metastasize to the skull even when it seemed to be in remission for several years.

Restricted access

Jorge E. Alvernia, Emile Simon, Krishnakant Khandelwal, Cara D. Ramos, Eddie Perkins, Patrick Kim, Patrick Mertens, Raffaella Messina, Gustavo Luzardo, and Orlando Diaz

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this paper was to identify and characterize all the segmental radiculomedullary arteries (RMAs) that supply the thoracic and lumbar spinal cord.

METHODS

All RMAs from T4 to L5 were studied systematically in 25 cadaveric specimens. The RMA with the greatest diameter in each specimen was termed the artery of Adamkiewicz (AKA). Other supporting RMAs were also identified and characterized.

RESULTS

A total of 27 AKAs were found in 25 specimens. Twenty-two AKAs (81%) originated from a left thoracic or a left lumbar radicular branch, and 5 (19%) arose from the right. Two specimens (8%) had two AKAs each: one specimen with two AKAs on the left side and the other specimen with one AKA on each side. Eight cadaveric specimens (32%) had 10 additional RMAs; among those, a single additional RMA was found in 6 specimens (75%), and 2 additional RMAs were found in each of the remaining 2 specimens (25%). Of those specimens with a single additional RMA, the supporting RMA was ipsilateral to the AKA in 5 specimens (83%) and contralateral in only 1 specimen (17%). The specimens containing 2 additional RMAs were all (100%) ipsilateral to their respective AKAs.

CONCLUSIONS

The segmental RMAs supplying the thoracic and lumbar spinal cord can be unilateral, bilateral, or multiple. Multiple AKAs or additional RMAs supplying a single anterior spinal artery are common and should be considered when dealing with the spinal cord at the thoracolumbar level.

Restricted access

Gloria Kim, Sally El Sammak, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, William Mualem, Zachariah W. Pinter, Brett A. Freedman, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Several growth-preserving surgical techniques are employed in the management of early-onset scoliosis (EOS). The authors’ objective was to compare the use of traditional growing rods (TGRs), magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGRs), Shilla growth guidance techniques, and vertically expanding prosthetic titanium ribs (VEPTRs) for the management of EOS.

METHODS

A systematic review of electronic databases, including Ovid MEDLINE and Cochrane, was performed. Outcomes of interest included correction of Cobb angle, T1–S1 distance, and complication rate, including alignment, hardware failure and infection, and planned and unplanned reoperation rates. The percent changes and 95% CIs were pooled across studies using random-effects meta-analysis.

RESULTS

A total of 67 studies were identified, which included 2021 patients. Of these, 1169 (57.8%) patients underwent operations with TGR, 178 (8.8%) Shilla growth guidance system, 448 (22.2%) MCGR, and 226 (11.1%) VEPTR system. The mean ± SD age of the cohort was 6.9 ± 1.2 years. The authors found that the Shilla technique provided the most significant improvement in coronal Cobb angle immediately after surgery (mean [95% CI] 64.2° [61.4°–67.2°]), whereas VEPTR (27.6% [22.7%–33.6%]) and TGR (45% [42.5%–48.5%]) performed significantly worse. VEPTR also performed significantly worse than the other techniques at final follow-up. The techniques also provided comparable gains in T1–S1 height immediately postoperatively (mean [95% CI] 10.5% [9.0%–12.0%]); however, TGR performed better at final follow-up (21.3% [18.6%–24.1%]). Complications were not significantly different among the patients who underwent the Shilla, TGR, MCGR, and VEPTR techniques, except for the rate of infections. The TGR technique had the lowest rate of unplanned reoperations (mean [95% CI] 15% [10%–23%] vs 24% [19%–29%]) but the highest number of planned reoperations per patient (5.31 [4.83–5.82]). The overall certainty was also low, with a high risk of bias across studies.

CONCLUSIONS

This analysis suggested that the Shilla technique was associated with a greater early coronal Cobb angle correction, whereas use of VEPTR was associated with a lower correction rate at any time point. TGR offered the most significant height gain at final follow-up. The complication rates were comparable across all surgical techniques. The optimal surgical approach should be tailored to individual patients, taking into consideration the strengths and limitations of each option.

Restricted access

Dong-Ho Lee, Suk-Kyu Lee, Jae Hwan Cho, Chang Ju Hwang, Choon Sung Lee, Jae Jun Yang, Kook Jong Kim, Jae Hong Park, and Sehan Park

OBJECTIVE

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) provides a limited workspace, and surgeons often need to access the posterior aspect of the vertebral body to achieve sufficient decompression. Oblique resection of the posterior endplate (trumpet-shaped decompression [TSD]) widens the workspace, enabling removal of lesions behind the vertebral body. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oblique posterior endplate resection for wider decompression.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, 227 patients who underwent ACDF for the treatment of cervical myelopathy or radiculopathy caused by spondylosis or ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament and were followed up for ≥ 1 year were included. Patient characteristics, fusion rates, subsidence, and patient-reported outcome measures, including the neck pain visual analog scale (VAS) score, arm pain VAS score, and Neck Disability Index (NDI), were assessed. Patients who underwent TSD during ACDF (TSD group) and those who underwent surgery without TSD (non-TSD group) were compared.

RESULTS

Fifty-seven patients (25.1%) were included in the TSD group and 170 patients (74.9%) in the non-TSD group. In the TSD group, 28.2% ± 5.5% of the endplate was resected, and 26.0% ± 6.1% of the region behind the vertebral body could be visualized via the TSD technique. The resection angle was 26.9° ± 5.9°. The fusion rate assessed on the basis of interspinous motion, intragraft bone bridging, and extragraft bone bridging did not significantly differ between the two groups. Furthermore, there were no significant intergroup differences in subsidence. The patient-reported outcome measures at the 1-year follow-up were also not significantly different between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS

TSD widened the workspace during ACDF, and 26% of the region posterior to the vertebral body could be accessed using this technique. The construct stability was not adversely affected by TSD as demonstrated by the similar fusion and subsidence rates among patients who underwent TSD and those who did not. Therefore, TSD can be safely applied during ACDF when compressive lesions extend behind the vertebral body and are not limited to the disc space, enabling adequate decompression without disrupting the construct stability.