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Siri Sahib Khalsa, Hyeun Sung Kim, Ravindra Singh and Osama Nezar Kashlan

OBJECTIVE

Lumbar central stenosis can theoretically be decompressed with minimal bone removal via an endoscopic approach. Although multiple studies have demonstrated an adequate radiographic decompression, none has quantified the volume of bone removal after endoscopic decompression. The objective of this study was to quantify the 3D volume of bone removed from the lamina and facet joints during endoscopic decompression for lumbar central and lateral recess stenosis.

METHODS

This retrospective study included adults with lumbar spinal stenosis who underwent endoscopic decompression of a single level or 2 noncontiguous lumbar levels. Central stenosis on MRI was graded preoperatively and postoperatively using the Schizas scale. A computer program was developed in MATLAB to semiautomatically perform a 3D volumetric analysis of preoperative and postoperative lumbar CT scans. The volumetric percentage of bone removed from the lamina and facet joints ipsilateral and contralateral to the side of approach was quantified.

RESULTS

Nineteen patients with 21 treated lumbar levels were included in the study. Preoperatively, the number of levels with Schizas stenosis grades B, C, and D were 5, 12, and 4, respectively. Stenosis grades improved postoperatively to grades A, B, C, and D for 17, 3, 1, and 0 levels, respectively. All levels improved by at least 1 stenosis grade. The volumetric percentage of laminar bone removed was 15.5% (95% CI 11.2%–19.8%, p < 0.001) from the ipsilateral lamina and 8.8% (95% CI 5.7%–11.8%, p < 0.001) from the contralateral lamina. The percentage of facet joint resection was 5.3% (95% CI 4.2%–6.4%, p < 0.001) and 4.3% (95% CI 2.2%–6.4%, p < 0.001) for the ipsilateral and contralateral facet joints, respectively. Average pain scores, as measured by the visual analog scale, improved from 7.9 preoperatively to 2.2 by 3–10 months postoperatively (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Endoscopic lumbar decompression achieves improvement in the radiographic grade of lumbar central stenosis with minimal bone removal from the lamina and facet joints. Future prospective studies are needed to validate the findings of this study with more comprehensive clinical outcomes.

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Bumsoo Park, Sung-Hyun Noh and Jeong-Yoon Park

OBJECTIVE

With the development of minimally invasive procedures, percutaneous pedicle screw systems have been used to attempt to correct spondylolisthesis. No previous studies have reported on reduction measures using long tab percutaneous pedicle screws for spondylolisthesis. Additional intraoperative correction has been proposed with the “swing” technique. This study was conducted to compare the efficacy of standard minimally invasive transforaminal interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) with the efficacy of MIS-TLIF with the “swing” technique (MIS-TLIF and swing) in lumbar spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

This was a matched-control study and included 30 consecutive patients who were followed up for 6 months after surgery. Of those patients, 15 were treated with operative reduction via MIS-TLIF with the “swing” technique, whereas the other 15 were treated with the standard MIS-TLIF procedure. The swing technique is a new reduction procedure for use with long tab percutaneous screws. In the swing technique, the entire system is swung back and forth several times after all constructs are placed. Only patients with Meyerding grade I or II lumbar spondylolisthesis were included in the study (18 with grade I and 12 with grade II). Perioperative and clinical outcomes, radiological parameters (Meyerding grade, percentage of slip, slip correction rate, segmental lordosis, and lumbar lordosis) were compared between groups at 6 months after surgery.

RESULTS

Demographic data did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. Postoperative clinical outcomes showed significant improvement in both groups. Postoperative radiological parameters showed that the degree of spondylolisthesis (swing: 4.7% vs standard: 8.9%) and reduction rate (swing: 77.3% vs standard: 57.1%) favored the swing group. The swing technique effectively decreased the degree of spondylolisthesis (swing: 24.1% to 4.7% vs standard: 21.8% to 8.9%). No complications related to the procedure were reported.

CONCLUSIONS

MIS-TLIF with the “swing” technique with long tab percutaneous pedicle screws is a safe and effective reduction method for monosegmental spondylolisthesis. This technique cannot only alleviate symptoms but also achieve nearly completely reduction of slippage.

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Dachling Pang

This review summarizes the classification, anatomy, and embryogenesis of complex spinal cord lipomas, and it describes in some detail the new technique of total lipoma resection and radical reconstruction of the affected neural placode. Its specific mission is to tackle two main issues surrounding the management of complex dysraphic lipomas: whether total resection confers better long-term benefits than partial resection and whether total resection fares better than conservative treatment—i.e., no surgery—for asymptomatic lipomas. Accordingly, the 24-year progression-free survival data of the author and colleagues’ series of over 300 cases of total resection are compared with historical data from multiple series (including the author and colleagues’ own) of partial resection, and total resection data specifically for asymptomatic lesions are compared with the two known series of nonsurgical treatment of equivalent numbers of patients. These comparisons amply support the author’s recommendation of total resection for most complex lipomas, with or without symptoms. The notable exception is the asymptomatic chaotic lipoma, whose peculiar anatomical relationship with the neural tissue defies even this aggressive surgical approach and consequently projects worse results (admittedly of a small number of cases) than for the other two lipoma subtypes of dorsal and transitional lesions. Prophylactic resection of asymptomatic chaotic lipomas is therefore not currently endorsed.

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Justin S. Smith, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Christopher P. Ames and Lawrence G. Lenke

Care of the patient with adult spinal deformity (ASD) has evolved from being primarily supportive to now having the ability to directly treat and correct the spinal pathology. The focus of this narrative literature review is to briefly summarize the history of ASD treatment, discuss the current state of the art of ASD care with focus on surgical treatment and current challenges, and conclude with a discussion of potential developments related to ASD surgery.

In the past, care for ASD was primarily based on supportive measures, including braces and assistive devices, with few options for surgical treatments that were often deemed high risk and reserved for rare situations. Advances in anesthetic and critical care, surgical techniques, and instrumentation now enable almost routine surgery for many patients with ASD. Despite the advances, there are many remaining challenges currently impacting the care of ASD patients, including increasing numbers of elderly patients with greater comorbidities, high complication and reoperation rates, and high procedure cost without clearly demonstrated cost-effectiveness based on standard criteria. In addition, there remains considerable variability across multiple aspects of ASD surgery. For example, there is currently very limited ability to provide preoperative individualized counseling regarding optimal treatment approaches (e.g., operative vs nonoperative), complication risks with surgery, durability of surgery, and likelihood of achieving individualized patient goals and satisfaction. Despite the challenges associated with the current state-of-the-art ASD treatment, surgery continues to be a primary option, as multiple reports have demonstrated the potential for surgery to significantly improve pain and disability. The future of ASD care will likely include techniques and technologies to markedly reduce complication rates, including greater use of navigation and robotics, and a shift toward individualized medicine that enables improved counseling, preoperative planning, procedure safety, and patient satisfaction.

Advances in the care of ASD patients have been remarkable over the past few decades. The current state of the art enables almost routine surgical treatment for many types of ASD that have the potential to significantly improve pain and disability. However, significant challenges remain, including high complication rates, lack of demonstrated cost-effectiveness, and limited ability to meaningfully counsel patients preoperatively on an individual basis. The future of ASD surgery will require continued improvement of predictability, safety, and sustainability.

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Michael Kern, Matthias Setzer, Lutz Weise, Ali Mroe, Holger Frey, Katharina Frey, Volker Seifert and Stephan Duetzmann

OBJECTIVE

The treatment of patients with spinal stenosis and concurrent degenerative spondylolisthesis is controversial. Two large randomized controlled clinical trials reported contradictory results. The authors hypothesized that a substantial number of patients will show evidence of micro-instability after a sole decompression procedure.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective analysis of all cases of lumbar spinal stenosis treated at the Frankfurt University Clinic (Universitätsklinik Frankfurt) from 2010 through 2013. Patients who had associated spondylolisthesis underwent upright MRI studies in flexion and extension for identification of subtle signs of micro-instability. Clinical outcome was assessed by means of SF-36 bodily pain (BP) and physical functioning (PF) scales.

RESULTS

A total of 21 patients were recruited to undergo upright MRI studies. The mean duration of follow-up was 65 months (SD 16 months). Of these 21 patients, 10 (47%) showed signs of micro-instability as defined by movement of > 4 mm on flexion/extension MRI. Comparison of mean SF-36 BP and PF scores in the group of patients who showed micro-instability versus those who did not showed no statistically significant difference on either scale.

CONCLUSIONS

There seems to be a substantial subset of patients who develop morphological micro-instability after sole decompression procedures but do not experience any clinically significant effect of the instability.

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Da Zou, Weishi Li, Fei Xu and Guohong Du

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of Hounsfield unit (HU) values of the S1 body to diagnose osteoporosis in patients with lumbar degenerative diseases.

METHODS

The records of 316 patients of ages ≥ 50 years and requiring surgery for lumbar degenerative diseases were reviewed. The bone mineral density (BMD) of the S1 body and L1 was measured in HU with preoperative lumbar CT. Circular regions of interest (ROIs) were placed on midaxial and midsagittal images of the S1 body. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and the criterion of L1 HU ≤ 110 HU were used to diagnose osteoporosis. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was calculated to assess the use of HUs of the S1 body to diagnose osteoporosis.

RESULTS

The interobserver and intraobserver reliability of measuring HU of the S1 body was excellent with intraclass correlation coefficients over 0.8 (p < 0.001). The correlation between HUs of the S1 body and average T-score of L1–4 was significant with Pearson correlation coefficients ≥ 0.60 (p < 0.001). The AUCs for using HUs of the S1 body to diagnose osteoporosis were 0.86 and 0.88 for axial HU and sagittal HU, respectively (p < 0.001). The HU thresholds with balanced sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing osteoporosis were 202 HU for axial HU (sensitivity: 76%; specificity: 76%) and 185 HU for sagittal HU (sensitivity: 80%; specificity: 80%).

CONCLUSIONS

Both sagittal and axial HUs of the S1 body are useful tools for assessing BMD and diagnosing osteoporosis. Measuring HUs of the S1 body preoperatively from lumbar CT may help with surgical planning for patients with lumbar degenerative diseases.

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Günther Deuschl, Kenneth A. Follett, Ping Luo, Joern Rau, Frances M. Weaver, Steffen Paschen, Frank Steigerwald, Lisa Tonder, Valerie Stoker and Domenic J. Reda

OBJECTIVE

Several randomized studies have compared the effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus with the best medical treatment in large groups of patients. Important outcome measures differ between studies. Two such major studies, the life-quality study of the German Competence Network for Parkinson’s disease (LQ study) and the US Veterans Affairs/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke trial (VA/NINDS trial), were compared here in order to understand their differences in outcomes.

METHODS

Unless otherwise noted, analyses were based on those subjects in each study who received a DBS implant (LQ study 76 patients, VA/NINDS trial 140 patients) and who had data for the measurement under consideration (i.e., no imputations for missing data), referred to hereafter as the “as-treated completers” (LQ 69 patients, VA/NINDS 125 patients). Data were prepared and analyzed by biostatisticians at the US Department of Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating Center, the Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials Marburg, and Medtronic, under the direction of two authors (G.D. and K.A.F.). Data were extracted from the respective databases into SAS data sets and analyzed using SAS software. Analyses were based on the 6-month follow-up data from both studies because this was the endpoint for the LQ study.

RESULTS

Pre-DBS baseline demographics differed significantly between the studies, including greater levodopa responsiveness (LDR) in the LQ study population than in the VA/NINDS group. After DBS, LQ subjects demonstrated greater improvement in motor function (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale, Motor Examination [UPDRS-III]), activities of daily living (ADLs), and complications of therapy. Medication reduction and improvements in life quality other than ADLs were not significantly different between LQ and VA/NINDS subjects. When the two populations were compared according to pre-DBS LDR, the “full responders” to levodopa (≥ 50% improvement on UPDRS-III with medication) in the two studies showed no significant difference in motor improvement with DBS (LQ 18.5 ± 12.0–point improvement on UPDRS-III vs VA/NINDS 17.7 ± 15.6–point improvement, p = 0.755). Among levodopa full responders, ADLs improved slightly more in the LQ group, but scores on other UPDRS subscales and the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire-39 were not significantly different between the two studies.

CONCLUSIONS

This comparison suggests that patient selection criteria, especially preoperative LDR, are the most important source of differences in motor outcomes and quality of life between the two studies.

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Liyong Sun, Jian Ren and Hongqi Zhang

Craniocervical junction dural arteriovenous fistula (CCJDAVF) is a rare and unique type of intracranial DAVF with complex neurovascular anatomy, making it difficult to identify the arterialized vein during operation. The authors report the case of a 50-year-old male who presented with symptoms of venous hypertensive myelopathy. Angiography demonstrated a left CCJDAVF. The fistula was successfully disconnected via a suboccipital midline approach. The selective indocyanine green videoangiography (SICG-VA) technique was applied to distinguish the fistula site and arterialized vein from adjacent normal vessels. Favorable clinical and angiographic outcomes were attained. The detailed operative technique, surgical nuances, and utility of SICG-VA are illustrated in this video atlas.

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