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Doniel Drazin, Jens R. Chapman, Andrew Dailey and John Street

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Giovanni Vercelli, Thomas J. Sorenson, Enrico Giordan, Giuseppe Lanzino and Leonardo Rangel-Castilla

Cerebral protection device utilization during carotid artery stenting (CAS) has been demonstrated to decrease the risk of perioperative stroke. The ProximAl Protection with the MO.MA Device During CaRotid Stenting (ARMOUR) Trial had the lowest event rates of any independently adjudicated study. In this video of two cases of severe carotid artery stenosis, the authors present the nuances of the CAS procedure utilizing a dual-balloon guide catheter device (MO.MA). This device has the benefit of being in place before the lesion is crossed with any device, being able to arrest flow while the atherosclerotic lesion is crossed, and aiding in protection from distal emboli and stroke.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/0o8DlC1n6_M.

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Leonardo Rangel-Castilla and Giuseppe Lanzino

In elderly patients with acute ischemic stroke, tortuosity of the proximal vertebral artery makes access from the transfemoral route challenging and time consuming. In such cases, a transradial approach (TA) offers a more direct vertebral artery (VA) access that overcomes proximal VA tortuosity. In this video the authors illustrate nuances of the TA for acute basilar artery occlusion in two patients with challenging proximal VA anatomy. Techniques, devices, and pitfalls are discussed. In both patients, mechanical clot retrieval was successful and resulted in significant recovery of function. The authors believe that the TA should be the initial approach for basilar artery (BA) occlusion management in elderly patients and should be considered for selected patients with other conditions requiring endovascular treatment.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/_Ym9tMKUy_4.

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Nicholas Dietz, Mayur Sharma, Ahmad Alhourani, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Dengzhi Wang, Miriam Nuño, Doniel Drazin and Maxwell Boakye

OBJECTIVE

Spine infection including vertebral osteomyelitis, discitis, paraspinal musculoskeletal infection, and spinal abscess refractory to medical management poses significant challenges to the treating physician. Surgical management is often required in patients suffering neurological deficits or spinal deformity with significant pain. To date, best practices have not been elucidated for the optimization of health outcomes and resource utilization in the setting of surgical intervention for spinal infection. The authors conducted the present study to assess the magnitude of reoperation rates in both fusion and nonfusion groups as well as overall health resource utilization following surgical decompression for spine infection.

METHODS

The authors performed an analysis using MarketScan (2001–2015) to identify health outcomes and healthcare utilization metrics of spine infection following surgical intervention with decompression alone or combined with fusion. Adult patients underwent surgical management for primary or secondary spinal infection and were followed up for at least 12 months postoperatively. Assessed outcomes included reoperation, healthcare utilization and payment at the index hospitalization and within 12 months after discharge, postoperative complications, and infection recurrence.

RESULTS

A total of 2662 patients in the database were eligible for inclusion in this study. Rehospitalization for infection was observed in 3.99% of patients who had undergone fusion and in 11.25% of those treated with decompression alone. Reoperation was needed in 12.7% of the patients without fusion and 8.16% of those with fusion. Complications within 30 days were more common in the nonfusion group (24.64%) than in the fusion group (16.49%). Overall postoperative payments after 12 months totaled $33,137 for the nonfusion group and $23,426 for the fusion group.

CONCLUSIONS

In this large cohort study with a 12-month follow-up, the recurrence of infection, reoperation rates, and complications were higher in patients treated with decompression alone than in those treated with decompression plus fusion. These findings along with imaging characteristics, disease severity, extent of bony resection, and the presence of instability may help surgeons decide whether to include fusion at the time of initial surgery. Further studies that control for selection bias in appropriately matched cohorts are necessary to determine the additive benefits of fusion in spinal infection management.

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Neil Majmundar, Purvee D. Patel, Vincent Dodson, Ashley Tran, Ira Goldstein and Rachid Assina

OBJECTIVE

Although parasitic infections are endemic to parts of the developing world and are more common in areas with developing economies and poor sanitary conditions, rare cases may occur in developed regions of the world.

METHODS

Articles eligible for the authors’ literature review were initially searched using PubMed with the phrases “parasitic infections” and “spine.” After the authors developed a list of parasites associated with spinal cord infections from the initial search, they expanded it to include individual diagnoses, using search terms including “neurocysticercosis,” “schistosomiasis,” “echinococcosis,” and “toxoplasmosis.”

RESULTS

Two recent cases of parasitic spinal infections from the authors’ institution are included.

CONCLUSIONS

Key findings on imaging modalities, laboratory studies suggestive of parasitic infection, and most importantly a thorough patient history are required to correctly diagnose parasitic spinal infections.

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Visish M. Srinivasan, Aditya Vedantam and Peter Kan

We present a case of a patient with an anterior communicating artery aneurysm treated by PulseRider-assisted coil embolization. PulseRider is a new device, FDA approved for treatment of broad-necked aneurysms of the basilar apex or internal carotid artery terminus. The aneurysm was broad-necked and involved the anterior communicating artery and was considered for traditional stent-assisted coiling as well as PulseRider-assisted coiling. The authors present the treatment plan and strategy and then fluoroscopic recording of the PulseRider delivery and subsequent coiling phase. Nuances of technique for this new device used in a challenging setting are discussed.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/ont7ggqgLH8.

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Oriela Rustemi, Fabio Raneri, Lorenzo Alvaro, Luca Gazzola, Giacomo Beggio, Ludovico Rossetto and Patrizio Cervellini

OBJECTIVE

Both spontaneous and iatrogenic spondylodiscitis are becoming ever more frequent, yet there are no definite treatment guidelines. For many years the treatment protocol was conservative medical management or surgical debridement with patients immobilized or bedridden for weeks and often resulting in spinal deformity. The eventual development of spinal deformity can be difficult to treat. Over the last few years, the authors have preferred a single-approach instrumented arthrodesis when spondylolysis that evolves in deformity from somatic wedging occurs.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical, radiological, and surgical records of 11 patients treated over the past 3 years for spondylodiscitis with osteosynthesis.

RESULTS

Overall, the authors treated 11 patients: 3 cases with tuberculous spondylodiscitis (1 dorsal, 2 lumbar); 6 cases with Staphylococcus aureus spondylodiscitis (1 cervical, 2 dorsal, 2 lumbar, 1 dorsolumbar); 1 spondylodiscitis with postsurgical lumbar deformity; and in 1 dorsolumbar case the germ was not identified. Surgical approaches were chosen according to spinal level: In 8 dorsolumbar cases a posterior osteosynthesis was achieved. In 1 cervical case an anterior approach was performed with autologous bone graft from iliac crest. In 2 thoracolumbar cases a posterolateral costotransversectomy was needed. In 1 lumbosacral case iliac somatic grafting was used. Ten patients received adequate antibiotic treatment with clinical remission, and 1 case is in initial follow-up. No complications due to instrumentation were recorded. Spinal deformity was prevented in 10 cases, whereas preexisting spinal deformity was partially corrected in 1 case. In all cases, arthrodesis achieved vertebral stability.

CONCLUSIONS

This study has the limitations of a retrospective review with a limited number of patients. Instrumentation does not appear to hamper healing from infection. Moreover, spinal stabilization, which is assisted by the infectious process even in the absence of bone graft, allows early mobilization. Instrumented osteosynthesis should be preferred for spondylodiscitis with osteolysis and spinal instability because it allows early mobilization and rehabilitation whenever necessary. It prevents spinal deformity and does not hamper healing of infections.

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Spinal instrumentation in infants, children, and adolescents: a review

JNSPG 75th Anniversary Invited Review Article

Stephen Mendenhall, Dillon Mobasser, Katherine Relyea and Andrew Jea

OBJECTIVE

The evolution of pediatric spinal instrumentation has progressed in the last 70 years since the popularization of the Harrington rod showing the feasibility of placing spinal instrumentation into the pediatric spine. Although lacking in pediatric-specific spinal instrumentation, when possible, adult instrumentation techniques and tools have been adapted for the pediatric spine. A new generation of pediatric neurosurgeons with interest in complex spine disorder has pushed the field forward, while keeping the special nuances of the growing immature spine in mind. The authors sought to review their own experience with various types of spinal instrumentation in the pediatric spine and document the state of the art for pediatric spine surgery.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed patients in their practice who underwent complex spine surgery. Patient demographics, operative data, and perioperative complications were recorded. At the same time, the authors surveyed the literature for spinal instrumentation techniques that have been utilized in the pediatric spine. The authors chronicle the past and present of pediatric spinal instrumentation, and speculate about its future.

RESULTS

The medical records of the first 361 patients who underwent 384 procedures involving spinal instrumentation from July 1, 2007, to May 31, 2018, were analyzed. The mean age at surgery was 12 years and 6 months (range 3 months to 21 years and 4 months). The types of spinal instrumentation utilized included occipital screws (94 cases); C1 lateral mass screws (115 cases); C2 pars/translaminar screws (143 cases); subaxial cervical lateral mass screws (95 cases); thoracic and lumbar spine traditional-trajectory and cortical-trajectory pedicle screws (234 cases); thoracic and lumbar sublaminar, subtransverse, and subcostal polyester bands (65 cases); S1 pedicle screws (103 cases); and S2 alar-iliac/iliac screws (56 cases). Complications related to spinal instrumentation included hardware-related skin breakdown (1.8%), infection (1.8%), proximal junctional kyphosis (1.0%), pseudarthroses (1.0%), screw malpositioning (0.5%), CSF leak (0.5%), hardware failure (0.5%), graft migration (0.3%), nerve root injury (0.3%), and vertebral artery injury (0.3%).

CONCLUSIONS

Pediatric neurosurgeons with an interest in complex spine disorders in children should develop a comprehensive armamentarium of safe techniques for placing rigid and nonrigid spinal instrumentation even in the smallest of children, with low complication rates. The authors’ review provides some benchmarks and outcomes for comparison, and furnishes a historical perspective of the past and future of pediatric spine surgery.

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Ghada Waheed, Mohamed A. R. Soliman, Ahmed M. Ali and Mohamed H. Aly

OBJECTIVE

Spontaneous spondylodiscitis remains uncommon but is a serious complication of the vertebral column. Risk factors include diabetes, hemodialysis, intravenous drug abuse, and chronic steroid use, and pain is the most common presenting symptom. This study aims to review the literature and report on the incidence, management, and clinical outcome of spontaneous spondylodiscitis in 44 patients.

METHODS

This is a prospective study including 44 patients with spontaneous spondylodiscitis managed in the neurosurgery department of Cairo University Hospitals during the period between January 2012 and October 2017. All patients had a full clinical assessment, laboratory tests, radiological studies in the form of MRI with and without contrast, and a postoperative follow-up of up to 12 months.

RESULTS

Twelve cases underwent conservative treatment in the form of complete bed rest, intravenous antibiotics, and a spinal brace. Ten cases underwent surgical intervention in the form of laminectomy, debridement, and open biopsy. Twenty-two cases underwent laminectomy and surgical stabilization with fusion. There were 15 cases of tuberculous spondylodiscitis, 6 cases of brucellosis, 6 cases of pyogenic infection, and 17 cases in which no organism could be detected.

CONCLUSIONS

Once the primary diagnosis is confirmed, early and adequately prolonged antibiotic therapy is recommended for spontaneous spondylodiscitis. Some cases can be successfully treated with conservative treatment alone, whereas surgery may be needed in other cases such as severe destruction of endplates, spinal abscess formation, mechanical instability, neurological deficits, and severe pain that have failed to respond to conservative treatment.

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Kunal Vakharia, Stephan A. Munich, Michael K. Tso, Muhammad Waqas and Elad I. Levy

Stent-assisted coiling offers a potential solution for coil embolization of broad-based aneurysms. Challenges associated with navigating a microcatheter beyond these aneurysms sometimes require looping the microcatheter within the aneurysm dome. Reducing microcatheter loops within domes can be difficult, and anchor techniques have been described, including balloon anchor, stent-retriever anchor, and stent anchor techniques. The authors present a patient requiring stent-assisted coiling of an anterior communicating artery aneurysm in whom a stent anchor technique was used to reduce a microcatheter loop within an aneurysm dome before coil embolization. Postembolization angiographic runs showed complete coil occlusion of the aneurysm with approximately 35% packing density.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/zHR1ZOArUro.