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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

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistula masquerading as a herniated disc: illustrative case

Moustafa A. Mansour, Dyana F. Khalil, Soliman El-Sokkary, Mostafa A. Mostafa, and Ahmad A. Ayad

BACKGROUND

Spinal dural arteriovenous fistula (SDAVF) is a rare disorder with an unknown etiology. Often, the clinical presentation and imaging findings are misleading, causing this condition to be mistaken for other entities, such as demyelinating or degenerative spinal lesions.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors report a challenging case of SDAVF in which the patient’s symptoms were initially thought to be attributable to a herniated disc based on his imaging studies at another institution. He sought the authors for a second opinion, which yielded a confirmed diagnosis of SDAVF. Due to his rapidly progressive neurological manifestations, he underwent a surgical division of the fistula using intraoperative video angiography via indocyanine green injections. His symptoms progressively improved over a 3-month period. He regained full sphincter control by 4 months, which gave him a better recovery than seen in other patients with SDAVFs, who do not generally fully regain sphincter control.

LESSONS

SDAVF is a critical spinal vascular pathology that should not be overlooked in the differential diagnosis of any patient presenting with signs of progressive myelopathy. Despite its associated vague initial clinical symptoms, SDAVF typically, but not always, demonstrates a characteristic imaging appearance on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging studies; therefore, MR angiography is still required for definitive diagnosis. Surgical treatment for SDAVF is almost always definitive and curative.

Open access

Bow hunter’s syndrome: temporary obstruction of blood flow in the affected vertebral artery during posterior occipitocervical fusion. Illustrative case

Takeru Yokota, Koji Otani, Junichi Handa, Takuya Nikaido, Takao Kojima, Naoki Sato, and Shinichi Konno

BACKGROUND

Bow hunter’s syndrome (BHS) is a rare condition characterized by mechanical impingement of a vertebral artery (VA) during neck rotation followed by vertebrobasilar insufficiency. Posterior fusion is a typical surgical method for BHS.

OBSERVATIONS

The case of a 70-year-old Japanese man who presented with presyncope that occurred during right cervical rotation is reported. Given the possibility of vertebrobasilar insufficiency, digital subtraction angiography and computed tomography angiography were performed and showed a hypoplastic right VA and severe stenosis of the left VA over the occiput (O)–C2 level. The blood flow of the left VA was interrupted by right cervical rotation, with resumption of blood flow on left cervical rotation. BHS was diagnosed, and posterior fusion at the O–C2 level was performed. Immediately after implant fixation, selective arteriography confirmed disruption of blood flow in the left VA. The rods were removed immediately; resumption of blood flow was confirmed; and the rods were refixed, anatomically bent with slight left cervical rotation. Then, sustained blood flow in the left VA was confirmed.

LESSONS

Posterior fixation for BHS can induce VA occlusion due to minor changes in cervical spine alignment. Intraoperative selective arteriography is a necessary tool to identify occlusion of the affected VA.

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.