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Sarah N. Chiang, Erin C. Peterson, David C. Lauzier, Sean D. McEvoy, Gary B. Skolnick, Sybill D. Naidoo, Matthew D. Smyth, and Kamlesh B. Patel

OBJECTIVE

Endoscopic strip craniectomy for metopic craniosynostosis relies on rapid growth and postoperative helmeting for correction. Endoscopic repair is generally performed before patients reach 4 months of age, and outcomes in older patients have yet to be quantified. Here, the authors examined a cohort of patients treated with endoscopic repair before or after 4 months of age to determine aesthetic outcomes of delayed repairs.

METHODS

Data from eligible patients were retrospectively assessed and aggregated in a dedicated metopic synostosis database. Inclusion criteria were radiographically confirmed metopic synostosis and endoscopic treatment. Patients were dichotomized into two groups: those younger than 4 months and those 4 months or older at the time of repair. The frontal width and interfrontal divergence angle (IFDA) were measured on reconstructed CT images. These measurements, alongside operative time, estimated blood loss, and transfusion rates, were compared between groups using the Student t-test or chi-square test.

RESULTS

The study population comprised 28 patients treated before 4 months of age and 8 patients treated at 4–6 months of age. Patient sex and perioperative complications did not differ by age group. Older age at repair was not significantly associated with 1-year postoperative IFDA (140° ± 4.2° vs 142° ± 5.0°, p = 0.28) or frontal width (84 ± 5.2 vs 83 ± 4.4 mm, p = 0.47).

CONCLUSIONS

One-year postoperative IFDA and frontal width do not differ significantly between patients treated before and after 4 months of age. Further study with longer follow-up is necessary to confirm the longevity of these results at skeletal maturity.

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Satoru Demura, Tetsuya Ohara, Ryoji Tauchi, Kosuke Takimura, Kota Watanabe, Satoshi Suzuki, Koki Uno, Teppei Suzuki, Haruhisa Yanagida, Toru Yamaguchi, Toshiaki Kotani, Keita Nakayama, Kei Watanabe, Noriaki Yokogawa, Norihiro Oku, Hiroyuki Tsuchiya, Takuya Yamamoto, Ichiro Kawamura, Yuki Taniguchi, Katsushi Takeshita, Ryo Sugawara, Ichiro Kikkawa, Tatsuya Sato, Kenta Fujiwara, Tsutomu Akazawa, Hideki Murakami, Noriaki Kawakami, and

OBJECTIVE

Various complications have been reported in the treatment of pediatric spinal deformities. Among these, instrument-related complications could be critical concerns and risks of reoperation. This study aimed to identify the incidence and causes of complications after primary definitive fusion for pediatric spine deformities.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively collected data from 14 institutions about patients who underwent primary definitive fusion between 2015 and 2017. There were 1490 eligible patients (1184 female and 306 male), with a mean age of 13.9 years. The incidence, causes, and reoperation rates were analyzed according to 4 etiologies of pediatric spine deformity (congenital, neuromuscular, syndromic, idiopathic). The complications were also categorized as screw-, hook-, or rod-related complications, implant loosening or backout, and junctional problems.

RESULTS

The incidence of overall instrument-related complications was 5.6% (84 cases). Regarding etiology, the incidence rates were 4.3% (idiopathic), 6.8% (syndromic), 7.9% (congenital), and 10.4% (neuromuscular) (p < 0.05). The most common causes were pedicle screw malposition (60.7%), followed by implant backout or loosening (15.4%), junctional problems (13.1%), rod breakage (4.8%), and other complications (6.0%). Univariate analysis showed that etiology, type of deformity (kyphosis), surgical procedure, operation time, and estimated blood loss were significant factors. Multivariate analysis revealed that etiology (neuromuscular), surgical procedure (combined approach), and operation time (> 5 hours) remained as significant risk factors. Among all patients with instrument-related complications, 45% (38/84) required revision surgery. Of these cases, > 50% were related to pedicle screw malposition. Medial breach was the most common complication regardless of location, from upper thoracic to lumbar spine.

CONCLUSIONS

Pedicle screw malposition was the primary cause of overall complications and subsequent reoperation. In addition to more precise screw insertion techniques, meticulous confirmation of pedicle screw placement, especially of medial breach, may reduce the overall instrument-related complications and revision rates.

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Anna Bruna Ronchetti, Marta Bertamino, Chiara Maria Tacchino, Paolo Moretti, and Marco Pavanello

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Songshan Chai, Kai Fu, Bangkun Yang, Jie Zhang, and Nanxiang Xiong

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Sandeep Kandregula, Amey R. Savardekar, Danielle Terrell, Nimer Adeeb, Stephen Whipple, Robbie Beyl, Harjus S. Birk, William Christopher Newman, Jennifer Kosty, Hugo Cuellar, and Bharat Guthikonda

OBJECTIVE

Frailty is one of the important factors in predicting the outcomes of surgery. Many surgical specialties have adopted a frailty assessment in the preoperative period for prognostication; however, there are limited data on the effects of frailty on the outcomes of cerebral aneurysms. The object of this study was to find the effect of frailty on the surgical outcomes of anterior circulation unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) and compare the frailty index with other comorbidity indexes.

METHODS

A retrospective study was performed utilizing the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database (2016–2018). The Hospital Frailty Risk Score (HFRS) was used to assess frailty. On the basis of the HFRS, the whole cohort was divided into low-risk (0–5), intermediate-risk (> 5 to 15), and high-risk (> 15) frailty groups. The analyzed outcomes were nonhome discharge, complication rate, extended length of stay, and in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS

In total, 37,685 patients were included in the analysis, 5820 of whom had undergone open surgical clipping and 31,865 of whom had undergone endovascular management. Mean age was higher in the high-risk frailty group than in the low-risk group for both clipping (63 vs 55.4 years) and coiling (64.6 vs 57.9 years). The complication rate for open surgical clipping in the high-risk frailty group was 56.1% compared to 0.8% in the low-risk group. Similarly, for endovascular management, the complication rate was 60.6% in the high-risk group compared to 0.3% in the low-risk group. Nonhome discharges were more common in the high-risk group than in the low-risk group for both open clipping (87.8% vs 19.7%) and endovascular management (73.1% vs 4.4%). Mean hospital charges for clipping were $341,379 in the high-risk group compared to $116,892 in the low-risk group. Mean hospital charges for coiling were $392,861 in the high-risk frailty group and $125,336 in the low-risk group. Extended length of stay occurred more frequently in the high-risk frailty group than in the low-risk group for both clipping (82.9% vs 10.7%) and coiling (94.2% vs 12.7%). Frailty had higher area under the receiver operating characteristic curve values than those for other comorbidity indexes and age in predicting outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS

Frailty affects surgical outcomes significantly and outperforms age and other comorbidity indexes in predicting outcome. It is imperative to include frailty assessment in preoperative planning.

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Juan Pablo Sardi, Bruno Lazaro, Justin S. Smith, Michael P. Kelly, Brian Dial, Jeffrey Hills, Elizabeth L. Yanik, Munish Gupta, Christine R. Baldus, Chun Po Yen, Virginie Lafage, Christopher P. Ames, Shay Bess, Frank Schwab, Christopher I. Shaffrey, and Keith H. Bridwell

OBJECTIVE

Previous reports of rod fracture (RF) in adult spinal deformity are limited by heterogeneous cohorts, low follow-up rates, and relatively short follow-up durations. Since the majority of RFs present > 2 years after surgery, true occurrence and revision rates remain unclear. The objectives of this study were to better understand the risk factors for RF and assess its occurrence and revision rates following primary thoracolumbar fusions to the sacrum/pelvis for adult symptomatic lumbar scoliosis (ASLS) in a prospective series with long-term follow-up.

METHODS

Patient records were obtained from the Adult Symptomatic Lumbar Scoliosis–1 (ASLS-1) database, an NIH-sponsored multicenter, prospective study. Inclusion criteria were as follows: patients aged 40–80 years undergoing primary surgeries for ASLS (Cobb angle ≥ 30° and Oswestry Disability Index ≥ 20 or Scoliosis Research Society-22r ≤ 4.0 in pain, function, and/or self-image) with instrumented fusion of ≥ 7 levels that included the sacrum/pelvis. Patients with and without RF were compared to assess risk factors for RF and revision surgery.

RESULTS

Inclusion criteria were met by 160 patients (median age 62 years, IQR 55.7–67.9 years). At a median follow-up of 5.1 years (IQR 3.8–6.6 years), there were 92 RFs in 62 patients (38.8%). The median time to RF was 3.0 years (IQR 1.9–4.54 years), and 73% occurred > 2 years following surgery. Based on Kaplan-Meier analyses, estimated RF rates at 2, 4, 5, and 8 years after surgery were 11%, 24%, 35%, and 49%, respectively. Baseline radiographic, clinical, and demographic characteristics were similar between patients with and without RF. In Cox regression models, greater postoperative pelvic tilt (HR 1.895, 95% CI 1.196–3.002, p = 0.0065) and greater estimated blood loss (HR 1.02, 95% CI 1.005–1.036, p = 0.0088) were associated with increased risk of RF. Thirty-eight patients (61% of all RFs) underwent revision surgery. Bilateral RF was predictive of revision surgery (HR 3.52, 95% CI 1.8–6.9, p = 0.0002), while patients with unilateral nondisplaced RFs were less likely to require revision (HR 0.39, 95% CI 0.18–0.84, p = 0.016).

CONCLUSIONS

This study provides what is to the authors’ knowledge the highest-quality data to date on RF rates following ASLS surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.1 years, 38.8% of patients had at least one RF. Estimated RF rates at 2, 4, 5, and 8 years after surgery were 11%, 24%, 35%, and 49%, respectively. Greater estimated blood loss and postoperative pelvic tilt were significant risk factors for RF. These findings emphasize the importance of long-term follow-up to realize the true prevalence and cumulative incidence of RF.

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Alexandra M. Giantini-Larsen, Vikram B. Chakravarthy, Ori Barzilai, William Christopher Newman, Leonard Wexler, and Mark H. Bilsky

OBJECTIVE

Aneurysmal bone cysts (ABCs) are benign cystic lesions most commonly occurring in the long bones of pediatric patients. Spinal ABCs may be difficult to resect given their invasive, locally destructive nature, proximity to critical structures such as the spinal cord, and their intrinsic hypervascularity, for which complete embolization is often constrained by radiculomedullary segmental feeders. Denosumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) ligand, has been utilized in the treatment of ABCs most often as a rescue therapy for recurrent disease. Here, the authors present 3 cases of neoadjuvant denosumab use in surgically unresectable tumors to calcify and devascularize the lesions, allowing for safer, more complete resection.

METHODS

This is a single-center, retrospective case series treated at a tertiary care cancer center. The authors present 3 cases of spinal ABC treated with neoadjuvant denosumab.

RESULTS

All 3 patients experienced calcification, size reduction, and a significant decrease in the vascularity of their ABCs on denosumab therapy. None of the patients developed new neurological deficits while on denosumab. Subsequently, all underwent resection. One patient continued denosumab during the immediate postoperative period because a subtotal resection had been performed, with stabilization of the residual disease. No complications were associated with denosumab administration.

CONCLUSIONS

The use of denosumab in unresectable ABCs can cause calcification and devascularization, making safe resection more likely.

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Michael T. Lawton, Christopher S. Graffeo, Visish M. Srinivasan, Benjamin K. Hendricks, Joshua S. Catapano, Lea Scherschinski, Peter M. Lawrence, Kristen Larson Keil, Danielle VanBrabant, and Michael D. Hickman

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Sarah Stricker, Noëmi Eberhard, Maria Licci, Ladina Greuter, Christian Zweifel, Raphael Guzman, and Jehuda Soleman

OBJECTIVE

Wound healing can be challenging in children undergoing spine surgery for neurological conditions due to a high risk of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage and wound infection. In adults, use of the Dermabond Prineo (DP) skin closure system, which consists of both tissue adhesive glue and a self-adhesive mesh, for wound closure of medium-length surgical incisions has been reported. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficiency and cosmetic outcome of DP for wound closure in extra- and intradural pediatric neurological spine surgery.

METHODS

In this prospective cohort study, 47 children underwent 50 spine procedures using DP for wound closure between 2018 and 2022 at a single institution. Patient demographic and surgical data were collected. The primary outcome was revision surgery for wound healing disorders, while secondary outcomes were infections, minor wound healing disorders, and both physician and parental satisfaction (parent-reported outcome measures [PROMs]) at last follow-up.

RESULTS

Among 50 spinal (45 intra- and 5 extradural) interventions, 1 patient (2%) underwent revision surgery for a cutaneous CSF fistula and pseudomeningocele. Minor wound healing disorders occurred after 16 surgeries, which did not require surgical wound revision and resolved completely. No allergic reactions to DP or surgical site infections within 30 days were observed. The parents and the medical team described wound care as significantly facilitated since wound dressing changes were not needed. Three families (6.4%) encountered difficulties in wound care, and 46 (97.9%) were satisfied with DP. The cosmetic outcome based on PROMs was excellent, with a mean score of 8 (IQR 2) on a scale from 1 to 10. At long-term follow-up, a mean of 11.3 ± 10.7 months after surgery, physicians rated the cosmetic outcome on the visual analog scale (median score 9, IQR 1) and Hollander scale (median score 6, IQR 1). The outcomes were similar among the different pathologies and age groups and did not differ in patients with and without syndromic malformations.

CONCLUSIONS

The application of DP is simple, enables good patient comfort, facilitates both professional and parental wound care, and leads to excellent cosmetic results. DP possibly aids in the reduction of postoperative CSF leakage and infections after pediatric neurological spine surgery.

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Enrique Vargas, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Joshua Rivera, Jeremy Huang, Sigurd H. Berven, Steve E. Braunstein, and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

Wound complications are a common adverse event following metastatic spine tumor surgery. Some patients with spinal metastases may first undergo radiation but eventually require spinal surgery because of either cord compression or instability. The authors compared wound complication rates in patients who had undergone surgery for metastatic disease and received preoperative radiation treatments, postoperative radiation, or no radiation.

METHODS

Records from patients treated at the University of California, San Francisco, for metastatic spine disease between 2005 and 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. Baseline characteristics were collected, including preoperative Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS), Spine Instability Neoplastic Score, total radiation dose, indication for surgery, diabetes status, time between radiation and surgery, use of perioperative chemotherapy or steroids, estimated blood loss, extent of fusion, and preoperative albumin level. Wound complication was defined as poor healing, dehiscence, or infection per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, within 6 months of surgery. One-way ANOVA was used to compare means across groups. Cumulative incidence analysis with competing risk methodology was used to adjust for risk of death during follow-up. Statistical analysis was performed using R software.

RESULTS

Two hundred five patients with adequate medical records were identified. Seventy patients had received preoperative radiation, 74 had received postoperative radiation within 6 months after surgery, and 61 had received no radiation at the surgical site. Wound complication rates were similar across the 3 cohorts: 14.3% (n = 10) in the group with preoperative radiation, 10.8% (n = 8) in the group that received postoperative radiation, and 11.5% (n = 7) in the group with no radiation (p = 0.773). Competing risk analysis showed a higher cumulative incidence of wound complications for the preoperative cohort, though this difference was not significant (p = 0.46). Overall, 89 patients were treated with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), whereas 55 received stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). There was no significant difference in wound complications for patients treated with EBRT (11.2%, n = 10) versus SBRT (14.5%, n = 8; p = 0.825). KPS was the only factor correlated with wound complications on univariate analysis (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

Wound complication rates did not differ across the 3 cohorts: patients treated with preoperative radiation, postoperative radiation within 6 months of surgery, or no radiation. The effect size was small for KPS and likely does not represent a clinically significant predictor of wound complications.