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Open access

Decompression of the internal auditory canal via the retrosigmoid approach in a patient with Camurati-Engelmann disease: illustrative case

Salah-Eddine Achahbar, Thomas Somers, and Tony Van Havenbergh

BACKGROUND

Camurati-Engelmann disease (CED) is a rare condition characterized by hyperostosis of the long bones and skull base. Symptoms include contractures and pain in affected extremities but can also include manifestations of cranial hyperostosis such as intracranial hypertension, Chiari malformation, exophthalmia, frontal bossing, and several cranial neuropathies due to cranial foraminal stenosis.

OBSERVATIONS

This report describes a 27-year-old patient with suspected CED who developed progressive intermittent facial nerve paresis, hemifacial spasms, and a decrease in hearing. There were no symptoms of increased intracranial pressure or vertigo. Radiological evaluation showed a significant thickening of the skull base with serious bilateral internal auditory canal stenosis. Because of the progressive nature of the aforementioned cranial neuropathies in combination with the correlating severe radiological compression, a surgical decompression of the facial nerve and vestibulocochlear nerve was performed via a retrosigmoid approach with intraoperative monitoring. Postoperative facial nerve function was intact. Hearing and vestibular function were unchanged. There were no more episodes of facial nerve palsy or spasm.

LESSONS

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report to describe decompression of the internal auditory canal via a retrosigmoid approach for symptomatic facial and cochlear nerve compression in a patient with CED.

Open access

A modern multidisciplinary approach to a large cervicothoracic chordoma using staged en bloc resection with intraoperative image-guided navigation and 3D-printed modeling: illustrative case

Nathan J. Pertsch, Owen P. Leary, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana, David D. Liu, Tianyi Niu, Albert S. Woo, Thomas T. Ng, Adetokunbo A. Oyelese, Jared S. Fridley, and Ziya L. Gokaslan

BACKGROUND

Cervicothoracic junction chordomas are uncommon primary spinal tumors optimally treated with en bloc resection. Although en bloc resection is the gold standard for treatment of mobile spinal chordoma, tumor location, size, and extent of involvement frequently complicate the achievement of negative margins. In particular, chordoma involving the thoracic region can require a challenging anterior access, and en bloc resection can lead to a highly destabilized spine.

OBSERVATIONS

Modern technological advances make en bloc resection more technically feasible than ever before. In this case, the successful en bloc resection of a particularly complex cervicothoracic junction chordoma was facilitated by a multidisciplinary surgical approach that maximized the use of intraoperative computed tomography–guided spinal navigation and patient-specific three-dimensional–printed modeling.

LESSONS

The authors review the surgical planning and specific techniques that facilitated the successful en bloc resection of this right-sided chordoma via image-guided parasagittal osteotomy across 2 stages. The integration of emerging visualization technologies into complex spinal column tumor management may help to provide optimal oncological care for patients with challenging primary tumors of the mobile spine.

Open access

Anterior cervical transvertebral approach for resection of an intraspinal ventral lesion: illustrative case

Dongao Zhang, Tao Fan, Wayne Fan, and Xingang Zhao

BACKGROUND

The anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion approach has been reported for the removal of ventral cervical tumors. However, the normal cervical vertebral body and the adjacent intervertebral discs have to be sacrificed. In this paper, the authors describe a novel anterior cervical transvertebral approach for the resection of cervical intraspinal ventral lesions.

OBSERVATIONS

A patient presented with an anteriorly placed extramedullary cyst. An anterior cervical transvertebral open-window and close-window approach was designed and applied to resect an intraspinal ventral enterogenous cyst. With this novel technique, a square was cut through the whole vertebral body at the four sides. After the cyst resection, the bone block was restored and fixed with a titanium miniplate. The lesion was totally resected, and the compression of the spinal cord was relieved. The physiological function of the cervical spine was kept intact after the operation. There was no postsurgical complication. The cervical alignment was normal at the 1-year postoperative follow-up.

LESSONS

The anterior cervical transvertebral open-window and close-window approach was developed and confirmed to be effective for the resection of cervical intraspinal lesions. The cervical physiological structure and function can be restored with this new technique.

Open access

The utility of diffusion tractography for speech preservation in laser ablation of the dominant insula: illustrative case

Timothy J. Kaufmann, Vance T. Lehman, Lily C. Wong-Kisiel, Panagiotis Kerezoudis, and Kai J. Miller

BACKGROUND

Open surgical treatment of insular epilepsy holds particular risk of injury to middle cerebral artery branches, the operculum (through retraction), and adjacent language-related white matter tracts in the language-dominant hemisphere. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is a surgical alternative that allows precise lesioning with potentially less operative risk. The authors presented the case of a 13-year-old girl with intractable, MRI-negative, left (dominant hemisphere) insular epilepsy that was treated with LITT. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography was used to aid full posterior insular lesioning in the region of stereo electroencephalography–determined seizure onset while avoiding thermal injury to the language-related superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF)/arcuate fasciculus (AF) and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF).

OBSERVATIONS

DTI tractography was used successfully in planning insular LITT and facilitated a robust insular ablation with sharp margins at the interfaces with the SLF/AF and IFOF. These tracts were spared, and no neurological deficits were induced through LITT.

LESSONS

Although it is technically demanding and has important limitations that must be understood, clinically available DTI tractography adds precision and confidence to insular laser ablation when used to protect important language-related white matter tracts.

Open access

Sublaminar bands in oncological spine surgery: illustrative cases

Godard C. W. de Ruiter, Valerio Pipola, Cristiana Griffoni, and Alessandro Gasbarrini

BACKGROUND

Sublaminar bands have been used in addition to pedicle screw placement in the correction of idiopathic scoliosis forming a so-called hybrid construct.

OBSERVATIONS

In this article, the authors present several cases that demonstrate the potential applications of sublaminar bands in oncological spine surgery. The potential applications are divided into three categories: (1) as an additional tool in salvage procedures, (2) to correct kyphosis in pathological fractures, and (3) for bone graft anchoring to the spine.

LESSONS

The cases presented in this article demonstrate the potential beneficial effects of the sublaminar bands in addition to pedicle screw placement.

Open access

Restoration of sagittal alignment in high-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis using the reverse Bohlman technique with anterior lumbar interbody fusion using a hyperlordotic cage at L4–5: illustrative case

Terrence Ishmael, Vincent Arlet, and Harvey Smith

BACKGROUND

Circumferential fusion with or without reduction is the preferred treatment for high-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis. Reduction presents significant risk of neurological injury. The authors present one case in which the “reverse Bohlman” technique was used with the addition of a hyperlordotic interbody cage at L4–5 as a means to correct sagittal malalignment while avoiding the reduction of L5 on S1.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient was a 22-year-old woman with a long-term history of lower back pain and bilateral L5 radiculopathy secondary to high-grade isthmic lumbar spondylolisthesis. She underwent anterior lumbar interbody fusion using the reverse Bohlman technique plus a hyperlordotic interbody cage at L4–5, followed by decompression and posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion from L4 to the pelvis. At 2-year follow-up, she was found to have complete resolution of symptoms with clinical and radiographic evidence of fusion. Her spinopelvic parameters had significantly improved.

LESSONS

The reverse Bohlman technique with the addition of a hyperlordotic interbody cage at L4–5 is a potential alternative treatment method to correct sagittal malalignment while avoiding possible injury to the L5 nerve roots that can be seen in the reduction of high-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis.

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

Management of traumatic sacral spondyloptosis: illustrative case

Jovanna A. Tracz, Brendan F. Judy, Amanda N. Sacino, Ali Bydon, and Timothy F. Witham

BACKGROUND

Grade V spondylolisthesis, or spondyloptosis, is a complication of high-energy trauma that is most commonly reported at the lumbosacral junction. Sacral intersegmental spondyloptosis is extremely rare. The authors present a case of spondyloptosis of S1 on S2 with a comminuted fracture of S2 and complex fractures of the L4 and L5 transverse processes, resulting in severe stenosis of the lumbosacral nerve roots.

OBSERVATIONS

The patient was a 70-year-old woman with a history of a fall 3 weeks prior and progressive L5 and S1 radiculopathy. Instrumentation and fusion were undertaken, extending from L3 to the pelvis because degenerative stenosis at L3–4 and L4–5 was also found. Reduction was achieved, leading to diminished pain and partial resolution of weakness.

LESSONS

Traumatic sacral spondyloptosis adds a degree of difficulty to reduction, fixation, and fusion. The technique presented herein achieved sagittal realignment via a distraction maneuver of S1–2 in which rods were attached to bilateral dual S2 alar-iliac screws with reduction screws placed at S1, ultimately pulling L5 and S1 up to the rod for fixation.

Open access

Primary isolated skull base eosinophilic granuloma confined to the anterior clinoid process: illustrative case

Ahmad Pour-Rashidi, Payam Asem, Kazem Abbasioun, and Abbas Amirjamshidi

BACKGROUND

Solitary eosinophilic granuloma (EG) occurs anecdotally in the skull base region, and it has been described in only three previous publications. The authors report the first case of EG of the anterior clinoid process (ACP), which was confined to the ACP and presented with decreased vision.

OBSERVATIONS

A 38-year-old woman presented with decreased vision of the left eye of 5 months’ duration. Her visual acuity was 3/10, other neurological examinations were intact, and there were no other osseous or soft tissue lesions. The lesion was excised using a left-sided craniotomy and transdural clinoidectomy, decompressing the optic nerve both intra- and extradurally. The lesion was characteristic for EG, and no recurrence was detected after 2 years.

LESSONS

EG can be confined to the ACP and impair vision. Imaging studies are sensitive but not specific, and surgical decompression is both diagnostic and treatment oriented. Close observation and even adjuvant therapy may be indicated in similar cases.

Open access

Simultaneous microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm involving a dolichoectatic vertebral artery in an elderly patient: illustrative case

Neelan J. Marianayagam, Hanya M. Qureshi, Sagar Vasandani, Shaurey Vetsa, Muhammad Jalal, Kun Wu, and Jennifer Moliterno

BACKGROUND

Hyperactive cranial neuropathies refractory to medical management can often be debilitating to patients. While microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery can provide relief to such patients when an aberrant vessel is compressing the root entry zone (REZ) of the nerve, the arteries of elderly patients over 65 years of age can be less amenable to manipulation because of calcifications and other morphological changes. A dolichoectatic vertebral artery (DVA), in fact, can lead to multiple cranial neuropathies; therefore, a strategy for MVDs in elderly patients is useful.

OBSERVATIONS

A 76-year-old man presented with medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and hemifacial spasm (HFS). A DVA was the conflicting vessel at the left REZs of the trigeminal and facial nerves. The authors performed a retrosigmoid craniotomy for MVD of the DVA with Teflon padding at both REZs in approximately 1 hour of operative time. The patient was free of facial pain and spasm immediately after surgery and at follow-up.

LESSONS

The authors described the case of an elderly patient with both TN and HFS caused by compression of a DVA. Simultaneous MVD with Teflon padding at both REZs provided symptomatic relief with limited surgical time. This can be a particularly useful and straightforward surgical strategy in the elderly population.