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Open access

Incidental durotomy resulting in a postoperative lumbosacral nerve root with eventration into the adjacent facet joint: illustrative cases

Michael J Kelly, Franziska C. S Altorfer, Marco D Burkhard, Russel C Huang, Frank P Cammisa Jr., and J. Levi Chazen

BACKGROUND

Radicular pain after lumbar decompression surgery can result from epidural hematoma/seroma, recurrent disc herniation, incomplete decompression, or other rare complications. A less recognized complication is postoperative nerve root herniation, resulting from an initially unrecognized intraoperative or, more commonly, a spontaneous postoperative durotomy. Rarely, this nerve root herniation can become entrapped within local structures, including the facet joint. The aim of this study was to illustrate our experience with three cases of lumbosacral nerve root eventration into an adjacent facet joint and to describe our diagnostic and surgical approach to this rare complication.

OBSERVATIONS

Three patients who had undergone lumbar decompression surgery with or without fusion experienced postoperative radiculopathy. Exploratory revision surgery revealed all three had a durotomy with nerve root eventration into the facet joint. Significant symptom improvement was achieved in all patients following liberation of the neural elements from the facet joints.

LESSONS

Entrapment of herniated nerve roots into the facet joint may be a previously underappreciated complication and remains quite challenging to diagnose even with the highest-quality advanced imaging. Thus, clinicians must have a high index of suspicion to diagnose this issue and a low threshold for surgical exploration.

Open access

Epidural lipomatosis with foci of hemorrhage and acute compression of the spinal cord in a child with CLOVES syndrome: illustrative case

Dmytro Ishchenko, Iryna Benzar, and Andrii Holoborodko

BACKGROUND

Congenital lipomatous overgrowth, vascular malformations, epidermal nevi, spinal/skeletal anomalies, and/or scoliosis (CLOVES) syndrome is the most recently described combined vascular anomaly characterized by congenital excessive growth of adipose tissue, vascular malformations, epidermal nevi, and skeletal deformities. This condition exhibits a significant variability in clinical manifestations and a tendency for rapid progression and affects extensive anatomical regions. Information regarding the association of epidural lipomatosis with low-flow venous lymphatic malformations is rare, with few reports in the literature.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present a case of a 6-year-old girl who was admitted to the emergency department complaining of rapidly progressing weakness in her lower extremities and partial loss of sensation in the inguinal area. Radiologically, an extradural mass was identified at the T2–6 level, causing acute spinal cord compression. Urgent decompression and partial resection of the mass were performed. Despite satisfactory intraoperative hemo- and lymphostasis, postoperative lymphorrhea/seroma leakage was encountered as a delayed complication and was managed conservatively.

LESSONS

CLOVES syndrome is characterized by the combination of various clinical symptoms, not all of which are included in the abbreviation, as well as a progressively deteriorating course, the emergence of new symptoms, and complications throughout the patient’s life. This necessitates ongoing monitoring of such patients.

Open access

Evaluation of the shrinkage process of a neck remnant after stent-coil treatment of a cerebral aneurysm using silent magnetic resonance angiography and computational fluid dynamics analysis: illustrative case

Toru Satoh, Kenji Sugiu, Masafumi Hiramatsu, Jun Haruma, and Isao Date

BACKGROUND

Silent magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) mitigates metal artifacts, facilitating clear visualization of neck remnants after stent and coil embolization of cerebral aneurysms. This study aims to scrutinize hemodynamics at the neck remnant by employing silent MRA and computational fluid dynamics.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors longitudinally tracked images of a partially thrombosed anterior communicating artery aneurysm’s neck remnant, which had been treated with stent-assisted coil embolization, using silent MRA over a decade. Computational fluid dynamics delineated the neck remnant’s reduction process, evaluating hemodynamic parameters such as flow rate, wall shear stress magnitude and vector, and streamlines. The neck remnant exhibited diminishing surface area, volume, neck size, dome depth, and aspect ratio. Its reduction correlated with a decline in the flow rate ratio of the remnant dome to the inflow parent artery. Analysis delineated regions within the contracting neck remnant characterized by consistently low average wall shear stress magnitude and variation, accompanied by notable variations in wall shear stress vector directionality.

LESSONS

Evaluation of neck remnants after stent-coil embolization is possible through silent MRA and computational fluid dynamics. Predicting the neck remnant reduction may be achievable through hemodynamic parameter analysis.

Open access

Novel use of a closed-tip stent retriever to prevent distal embolism in the posterior circulation: illustrative case

Rikuo Nishii, Masanori Goto, Yuki Takano, Kota Nakajima, Takateru Takamatsu, Masanori Tokuda, Hikari Tomita, Mai Yoshimoto, Satohiro Kawade, Yasuhiro Yamamoto, Yuji Naramoto, Kunimasa Teranishi, Nobuyuki Fukui, Tadashi Sunohara, Ryu Fukumitsu, Junichi Takeda, Masaomi Koyanagi, Chiaki Sakai, Nobuyuki Sakai, and Tsuyoshi Ohta

BACKGROUND

In mechanical thrombectomy for tandem occlusions in vertebrobasilar stroke, distal emboli from the vertebral artery lesion should be prevented. However, no suitable embolic protection devices are currently available in the posterior circulation. Here, the authors describe the case of a vertebral artery lesion effectively treated with a closed-tip stent retriever as an embolic protection device in the posterior circulation.

OBSERVATIONS

A 65-year-old male underwent mechanical thrombectomy for basilar artery occlusion, with tandem occlusion of the proximal vertebral artery. After basilar artery recanalization via the nonoccluded vertebral artery, a subsequent mechanical thrombectomy was performed for the occluded proximal vertebral artery. To prevent distal embolization of the basilar artery, an EmboTrap III stent retriever was deployed as an embolic protection device within the basilar artery to successfully capture the thrombus.

LESSONS

A stent retriever with a closed-tip structure can effectively capture thrombi, making it a suitable distal embolic protection device in the posterior circulation.

Open access

Phantom limb pain, traumatic neuroma, or nerve sheath tumor? Illustrative case

Patrick J Halloran, E. Antonio Chiocca, and Andres Santos

BACKGROUND

Phantom limb pain and traumatic neuromas are not commonly seen in neurosurgical practice. These conditions can present with similar symptoms; however, management of traumatic neuroma is often surgical, whereas phantom limb pain is treated with conservative measures.

OBSERVATIONS

A 77-year-old female patient with a long-standing history of an above-the-knee amputation experienced severe pain in her right posterior buttocks area for several years’ duration, attributed to phantom limb pain, which radiated down the stump of her leg and was treated with a variety of conservative measures. A recent exacerbation of her pain led to a prolonged hospitalization with magnetic resonance imaging of her leg stump, revealing a mass in the sciatic notch, at a relative distance from the stump. The anatomical location of the mass on the sciatic nerve in the notch led to a presumed radiological diagnosis of nerve sheath tumor, for which she underwent excision. At surgery, a neuroma of the proximal portion of the transected sciatic nerve that had retracted from the amputated stump to the notch was diagnosed.

LESSONS

Traumatic neuromas of transected major nerves after limb amputation should be considered in the differential diagnosis of phantom limb pain.

Open access

A rare case of atypical intradural extramedullary glioblastoma diagnosed utilizing next-generation sequencing and methylation profiling: illustrative case

William J Shelton, Andrew P Mathews, Karrar Aljiboori, J. Stephen Nix, Murat Gokden, and Analiz Rodriguez

BACKGROUND

Primary spinal cord tumors, especially primary spinal cord glioblastoma multiforme (PSC-GBM), are exceptionally rare, accounting for less than 1.5% of all spinal tumors. Their infrequency and aggressive yet atypical presentation make diagnosis challenging. In uncertain cases, a surgical approach for tissue diagnosis is often optimal.

OBSERVATIONS

A 76-year-old male presented with a rapidly progressing clinical history marked by worsening extremity weakness, urinary retention, and periodic fecal incontinence alongside diffuse changes on neuraxis imaging. The patient, in whom subacute polyneuropathy was initially diagnosed, received multiple rounds of steroids and intravenous immunoglobulin without clinical improvement. Histopathological review of the biopsy tissue yielded an initial diagnosis of spindle cell neoplasm. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is done routinely on all neuropathology specimens at the authors’ institution, and methylation profiling is pursued in difficult cases. Ultimately, NGS and methylation profiling results were essential to an integrated final diagnosis of GBM.

LESSONS

PSC-GBM is a rare but highly aggressive occurrence of this tumor. Prolonged back pain, rapid neurological decline, and imaging changes warrant the consideration of lesional biopsy for precise disease characterization. In inconclusive cases, NGS has proved invaluable for clinical clarification and diagnosis, underscoring its importance for integrated diagnoses in guiding appropriate treatment strategies.

Open access

Intraoperative application of indocyanine green and temporary venous occlusion test to assess collateral flow during microvascular decompression for venous-related trigeminal neuralgia: illustrative case

Kentaro Fujimoto, Yosuke Akamatsu, Yasumasa Nishikawa, and Kuniaki Ogasawara

BACKGROUND

In microvascular decompression (MVD) for vein-related trigeminal neuralgia (TN), determining whether transection of the offending vein is safe can be challenging. Here, the authors present a case of vein-related TN successfully treated by sacrificing the offending vein on the basis of findings from indocyanine green (ICG) video angiography and a temporary venous occlusion test to assess the collateral flow of the offending vessel.

OBSERVATIONS

A 43-year-old man presented with TN, which had failed to respond to previous medical therapy. Gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed that the transverse or superior petrosal vein was the offending vein. The patient underwent MVD. Because the transposition of the offending vein was anatomically challenging, a temporary vein occlusion test was performed using ICG video angiography. During and after temporary occlusion, bidirectional flow in the offending vein was observed, suggesting collateral flow even after vein occlusion. On the basis of these findings, the offending vein was transected, resulting in relief from pain without any complications. Postoperative MRI revealed no new lesions in the brainstem or the cerebellar hemisphere. The patient has been free from neuralgia for 6 months.

LESSONS

The temporary vein occlusion test under ICG video angiography was useful for evaluating collateral flow in the offending vein in TN.

Open access

Neurocysticercosis of the third ventricle: illustrative case

John Choi, Grace Cullen, Dawn Darbonne, Dennis Adams, Christina Coyle, Joseph Cooper, and Harminder Singh

BACKGROUND

Neurocysticercosis is a parasitic infection of the central nervous system. Cysts located in the ventricles, intraventricular neurocysticercosis (IVNCC), can cause symptoms of increased intracranial pressure and, if untreated, can be fatal. Neuroendoscopic removal of IVNCC is recommended as the first-line treatment.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a healthy 30-year-old male originally from Mexico who presented with headaches and vomiting. He was found to have a cyst in the third ventricle on imaging, consistent with IVNCC. The authors successfully performed neuroendoscopic surgery with removal of the cyst en bloc.

LESSONS

A multidisciplinary team of neurosurgery and infectious disease specialists is recommended for successful management of patients with IVNCC. These patients typically require neuroendoscopic surgical removal for definitive treatment. In this case, the authors show surgery resulted in an effective cure without the need for antiparasitic medication and excellent long-term outcomes.

Open access

Successful coil embolization of a ruptured pseudoaneurysm of the superior gluteal artery after a percutaneous awake robot-assisted sacroiliac joint fusion: illustrative case

Samah Morsi, Alyssa M Bartlett, Andrew A Hardigan, Mounica Paturu, Shawn W Adams, Malcolm R DeBaun, Waleska Pabon-Ramos, and Muhammad M Abd-El-Barr

BACKGROUND

Robot-assisted sacroiliac joint (SIJ) fusion has gained popularity, but it carries the risk of complications such as injury to the superior gluteal artery (SGA). The authors present the case of an awake percutaneous robot-assisted SIJ fusion leading to an SGA pseudoaneurysm.

OBSERVATIONS

An 80-year-old male, who had undergone an awake percutaneous robot-assisted SIJ fusion, experienced postoperative left hip pain and bruising. Subsequent arteriography demonstrated an SGA branch pseudoaneurysm requiring coil embolization.

LESSONS

An SGA injury, although uncommon (1.2% incidence), can arise from percutaneous screw placement, aberrant anatomy, or hardware contact. Thorough preoperative imaging, precise robot-assisted screw insertion, and soft tissue protection are crucial to mitigate risks. Immediate angiography aids in prompt diagnosis and effective intervention. Comprehensive knowledge of anatomical variants is essential for managing complications and optimizing preventative measures in robot-assisted SIJ fusion.

Open access

Successful resection of bilateral parafalcine meningioma with unilateral interhemispheric and contralateral transfalcine approach under nonintubated spontaneous breathing conditions: illustrative case

Seiichiro Hirono, Keisuke Kawano, Masato Ito, Kana Saito, Taiichiro Hayashida, and Yoshinori Higuchi

BACKGROUND

The best surgical approach for resecting bilateral parafalcine meningioma, as well as the optimal anesthesia and airway management for craniotomy in patients with interstitial pneumonia (IP) for preventing postsurgical exacerbation, remains unclear.

OBSERVATIONS

A 66-year-old female with a history of multiple relapses of IP underwent craniotomy for resection of a 4.5-cm bilateral parafalcine meningioma located just beneath the inferior sagittal sinus. To avoid mechanical ventilation or high-concentration oxygenation, the entire procedure was performed under nonintubated spontaneous breathing conditions with a supraglottic airway/laryngeal mask airway (SGA/LMA) device. Half of the tumor was resected using the ipsilateral interhemispheric approach, while the remaining half was resected using the contralateral transfalcine approach (CTA). No brain retractors were required. Preoperative embolization contributed toward reducing blood loss and surgery duration. During most of the operation, additional oxygen administration was not required. The postoperative course was uneventful, without exacerbation of the IP.

LESSONS

This case demonstrated the utility and feasibility of a unilateral interhemispheric approach combined with CTA for resection of a bilateral parafalcine meningioma. Additionally, this case provides an alternative method of airway and anesthesia management with an SGA/LMA device and nonintubated spontaneous breathing for the prevention of postoperative acute exacerbation of IP.