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Open access

Multiple three-column osteotomies successfully correcting cervicothoracic kyphosis in the setting of ankylosing spondylitis: illustrative case

Luke Mugge, Paul Gorka, Cristie Brewer, and Brian McHugh

BACKGROUND

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an autoimmune spondylarthritis often associated with rigid kyphoscoliosis. The authors describe a surgical approach that employs multilevel three-column osteotomies for the restoration of normal global alignment.

OBSERVATIONS

A 48-year-old male with a past medical history of AS presented to the clinic with a stooped-over posture: his chin-brow vertical angle (CBVA) was 58.0°; T1 slope (T1S), 97.8°; thoracic kyphosis (TK; T1–12), 94.2°; proximal TK (T1–5), 50.8°; distal TK (T5–12), 43.5°; and sagittal vertical axis (SVA), 22.6 cm. A two-stage procedure was planned. During stage 1, instrumentation was placed from C5 to T10, followed by a T3 vertebral column resection. During stage 2, bilateral pedicle screws were placed from T11 to the pelvis. An L3 pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) was completed and was followed by a T7 PSO. Postoperatively, the patient had significant postural improvement: CBVA was 29.3°; T1S, 57.8°; TK, 77.3°; proximal TK, 33.5°; distal TK, 43.8°; and SVA, 15 cm. At 6 years postoperatively, the patient continued to do well and was without evidence of construct breakdown.

LESSONS

The authors propose that multilevel three-column osteotomies, if optimally located, successfully correct spinal malalignment associated with AS.

Open access

Oblique anterior column realignment with a mini-open posterior column osteotomy for minimally invasive adult spinal deformity correction: illustrative case

Zach Pennington, Nolan J Brown, Seyedamirhossein Pishva, Hernán F. J González, and Martin H Pham

BACKGROUND

Adult spinal deformity (ASD) occurs from progressive anterior column collapse due to disc space desiccation, compression fractures, and autofusion across disc spaces. Anterior column realignment (ACR) is increasingly recognized as a powerful tool to address ASD by progressively lengthening the anterior column through the release of the anterior longitudinal ligament during lateral interbody approaches. Here, we describe the application of minimally invasive ACR through an oblique antepsoas corridor for deformity correction in a patient with adult degenerative scoliosis and significant sagittal imbalance.

OBSERVATIONS

A 65-year-old female with a prior history of L4–5 transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion and morbid obesity presented with refractory, severe low-back and lower-extremity pain. Preoperative radiographs showed significant sagittal imbalance. Computed tomography showed a healed L4–5 fusion and a vacuum disc at L3–4 and L5–S1, whereas magnetic resonance imaging was notable for central canal stenosis at L3–4. The patient was treated with a first-stage L5–S1 lateral anterior lumbar interbody fusion with oblique L2–4 ACR. The second-stage posterior approach consisted of a robot-guided minimally invasive T10–ilium posterior instrumented fusion with a mini-open L2–4 posterior column osteotomy (PCO). Postoperative radiographs showed the restoration of her sagittal balance. There were no complications.

LESSONS

Oblique ACR is a powerful minimally invasive tool for sagittal plane correction. When combined with a mini-open PCO, substantial segmental lordosis can be achieved while eliminating the need for multilevel PCO or invasive three-column osteotomies.

Open access

Robotics planning in minimally invasive surgery for adult degenerative scoliosis: illustrative case

Zach Pennington, Nolan J. Brown, Saif Quadri, Seyedamirhossein Pishva, Cathleen C. Kuo, and Martin H. Pham

BACKGROUND

Minimally invasive surgical techniques are changing the landscape in adult spinal deformity (ASD) surgery, enabling surgical correction to be achievable in increasingly medically complex patients. Spinal robotics are one technology that have helped facilitate this. Here the authors present an illustrative case of the utility of robotics planning workflow for minimally invasive correction of ASD.

OBSERVATIONS

A 60-year-old female presented with persistent and debilitating low back and leg pain limiting her function and quality of life. Standing scoliosis radiographs demonstrated adult degenerative scoliosis (ADS), with a lumbar scoliosis of 53°, a pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis mismatch of 44°, and pelvic tilt of 39°. Robotics planning software was utilized for preoperative planning of the multiple rod and 4-point pelvic fixation in the posterior construct.

LESSONS

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report detailing the use of spinal robotics for complex 11-level minimally invasive correction of ADS. Although additional experiences adapting spinal robotics to complex spinal deformities are necessary, the present case represents a proof-of-concept demonstrating the feasibility of applying this technology to minimally invasive correction of ASD.

Open access

Utilization of lateral anterior lumbar interbody fusion for revision of failed prior TLIF: illustrative case

Ghani Haider, Katherine E. Wagner, Venita Chandra, Ivan Cheng, Martin N. Stienen, and Anand Veeravagu

BACKGROUND

The use of the lateral decubitus approach for L5–S1 anterior lumbar interbody fusion (LALIF) is a recent advancement capable of facilitating single-position surgery, revision operations, and anterior column reconstruction. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first description of the use of LALIF at L5–S1 for failed prior transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and anterior column reconstruction. Using an illustrative case, the authors discuss their experience using LALIF at L5–S1 for the revision of pseudoarthrosis and TLIF failure.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient had prior attempted L2 to S1 fusion with TLIF but suffered from hardware failure and pseudoarthrosis at the L5–S1 level. LALIF was used to facilitate same-position revision at L5–S1 in addition to further anterior column revision and reconstruction by lateral lumbar interbody fusion at the L1–2 level. Robotic posterior T10–S2 fusion was then added to provide stability to the construct and address the patient’s scoliotic deformity. No complications were noted, and the patient was followed until 1 year after the operation with a favorable clinical and radiological result.

LESSONS

Revision of a prior failed L5–S1 TLIF with an LALIF approach has technical challenges but may be advantageous for single position anterior column reconstruction under certain conditions.

Open access

Evaluation of tortuous vertebral arteries before cervical spine surgery: illustrative case

J. Manuel Sarmiento, Justin D. Cohen, Robin M. Babadjouni, Miguel D. Quintero-Consuegra, Nestor R. Gonzalez, and Tiffany G. Perry

BACKGROUND

Cervical spine surgery sometimes necessitates complex ventral/dorsal approaches or osteotomies that place the vertebral artery (VA) at risk of inadvertent injury. Tortuosity of the VA poses increased risk of vessel injury during anterior decompression or placement of posterior instrumentation.

OBSERVATIONS

In this report, the authors describe a patient with degenerative cervical spondylotic myelopathy and focal kyphotic deformity requiring corrective surgery via a combined ventral/dorsal approach. Computed tomography (CT) and CT angiography (CTA) of the spine identified a left medially enlarged C4 transverse foramen and tortuous VA V2 segment forming a potentially dangerous medial loop into the vertebral body, respectively. The patient’s presentation and management are described.

LESSONS

The course of the VA is variable, and a tortuous VA with significant medial or lateral displacement may be dangerous during ventral and dorsal approaches to the cervical spine. CTA of the cervical spine is warranted in cases in which atlantoaxial fixation is needed or suspicious transverse foramen morphology is identified to understand the course of the VA and identify anatomical variations that would put the VA at risk during cervical spine surgery.