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Open access

Surgical treatment of torticollis secondary to the presence of a congenital paracondylar process: illustrative case

Grace Hey, Otavio De Toledo, Salvador Gutierrez-Aguirre, Steven Andreoli, Pushpak Patel, Alyssa Tamasi, Asmaa Hatem, and Philipp Aldana

BACKGROUND

A paracondylar process is an abnormal bony exostosis arising from the skull base lateral to the occipital condyle and extending inferiorly toward the transverse process of the atlas. Paracondylar processes are typically identified incidentally and vary in size from a small protuberance to an elongated process.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the first pediatric case of torticollis secondary to a congenital paracondylar process successfully treated with resection of the paracondylar process and sternocleidomastoid release.

LESSONS

Cadaveric dissection, three-dimensional models, intraoperative imaging guidance, and multidisciplinary collaboration were paramount to a successful surgical outcome.

https://thejns.org/doi/10.3171/CASE2447

Open access

Successful detection of multiple communicating holes in multiple spinal extradural arachnoid cysts by using time-spatial labeling inversion pulse magnetic resonance imaging: illustrative case

Yusuke Kagei, Tatsuya Ishibe, Yusuke Kanba, and Masashi Tanaka

BACKGROUND

Spinal extradural arachnoid cysts (SEACs) communicate with the subarachnoid space through small communicating dural holes. The precise preoperative detection of all communicating holes, followed by minimally invasive dural closure, is the ideal treatment to prevent postoperative spinal deformities, especially in cases of multiple SEACs. However, standard imaging methods often fail to detect communicating hole locations. Although a few cases of successful single-hole detection via cinematic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been reported, this modality’s ability to detect multiple holes has not been demonstrated.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors describe the case of a 14-year-old male with myelopathy due to multiple SEACs at T5–8 and T8–12. Myelography revealed a complete block at the T8 level; no cephalic cyst or communicating holes were identified. Time-spatial labeling inversion pulse (T-SLIP) MRI revealed cerebrospinal fluid flow into the cyst at T10 and T7. A limited laminectomy or hemilaminectomy was performed at T7 and T10, and two dural holes were closed without a total cystectomy. The patient’s gait disturbance and rectal disorder disappeared. The cysts were confirmed to have completely disappeared on conventional MRI at 1 year postoperatively.

LESSONS

T-SLIP MRI, a cinematic MRI, is useful for detecting multiple communicating holes in SEACs.

Open access

Cartilage within lipomyelomeningocele and ulnar longitudinal deficiency syndrome as VACTERL association, alliance in SHH/GLI3, and Wnt pathway: illustrative case

Mikael Aseged Shimekit, Ermias Fikru Yesuf, Simon Mulugeta Teferi, and Mahlet Getachew Lemma

BACKGROUND

Lipomyelomeningocele associated with an ulnar club hand in the spectrum of VACTERL association ([costo-]vertebral abnormalities; anal atresia; cardiac defects; tracheal-esophageal abnomalities, including atresia, stenosis, and fistula; renal and radial abnormalities; limb abnormalities; single umbilical artery) is a very rare and infrequently reported phenomenon. Within the fat mass of the lipoma, it is not common to find a well-defined cartilaginous mass with no attachments to the surrounding tissue.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a 3-month-old male with low-back swelling that was off-center to the left, accompanied by a left short forearm displaying outward bowing. Echocardiography showed an atrial septal defect. This rare VACTERL association comprises lipomyelomeningocele, atrial septal defect, and ulnar longitudinal deficiency syndrome. During surgical intervention for the lipoma, a well-defined cartilaginous mass was discovered within the adipose tissue.

LESSONS

The manifestation of VACTERL association can be partially explained by the Shh/Gli and Wnt pathway defects. It is prudent to screen children with neural tube defects to be aware of any associated syndromes. This case is very rare, and the literature has contained no prior report on the VACTERL association of lipomyelomeningocele, atrial septal defect, and ulnar longitudinal deficiency.

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

Isolated unilateral alar ligamentous injury: illustrative cases

Benjamin C Reeves, Marcus Valcarce-Aspegren, Stephanie M Robert, Aladine A Elsamadicy, Alexander M Tucker, Phillip B Storm, Michael L DiLuna, and Adam J Kundishora

BACKGROUND

Isolated unilateral alar ligament injury (IUALI) is a rare and likely underreported occurrence after upper cervical trauma, with only 16 cases documented in the literature to date. Patients generally present with neck pain, and definitive diagnosis is typically made by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Unfortunately, likely due in part to its rarity, there are no formal guidelines for the treatment of an IUALI. Furthermore, there is a limited understanding of the long-term consequences associated with its inadequate treatment.

OBSERVATIONS

Here, the authors report on three pediatric patients, each found to have an IUALI after significant trauma. All patients presented with neck tenderness, and two of the three had associated pain-limited range of neck motion. Imaging revealed either a laterally deviated odontoid process on cervical radiographs and/or MRI evidence of ligamentous strain or discontinuity. Each patient was placed in a hard cervical collar for 1 to 2 months with excellent resolution of symptoms. A comprehensive review of the literature showed that all patients with IUALI who had undergone external immobilization with either rigid cervical collar or halo fixation had favorable outcomes at follow-up.

LESSONS

For patients with IUALI, a moderate course of nonsurgical management with rigid external immobilization appears to be an adequate first-line treatment.

Open access

Fusion mass to pelvis internal distraction technique using multiple-hook fixation for scoliosis correction: illustrative case

J. Manuel Sarmiento, Christina C Rymond, Abdulbaki Kozan, and Lawrence G Lenke

BACKGROUND

Internal distraction rods have been described as an alternative to halo gravity traction for the treatment of severe scoliosis. Distraction rods can be challenging to use in patients with existing fusion masses. The authors report an internal distraction, construct-to-construct rod technique using multiple-hook fixation in a patient with a sharply angulated cervicothoracic scoliosis fusion mass.

OBSERVATIONS

A 12-year-old female with previously diagnosed congenital scoliosis who had undergone cervical fusion in situ at age 2 presented to the clinic with shortness of breath exacerbated by increased levels of activity. Standing anteroposterior and lateral scoliosis radiographs revealed a left >150° cervicothoracic curve, right 140° thoracolumbar curve, and left 28° lumbosacral fractional curve with pelvic obliquity. The authors indicated this patient for a 3-stage all-posterior approach for spinal fusion and deformity correction. In the final fusion surgery, the authors set up a construct-to-construct internal distraction configuration connecting the left hemipelvis to the cervicothoracic fusion mass to aid in deformity correction.

LESSONS

A construct-to-construct internal distraction rod technique connecting a fusion mass to the pelvis can assist with curve correction in severe scoliosis.

Open access

Postnatal myelomeningocele closure in smallest reported neonate: illustrative case

Momin M Mohis, Kevin Cordeiro, Sarah Larson, Catharine Garland, and James A Stadler III

BACKGROUND

Myelomeningocele (MMC) is the most serious form of spina bifida, a congenital defect in neural tube development. Defect closure in a patient with an extremely low birth weight presents unique challenges and risks; lower birth weight is associated with multiple organ system concerns, homeostasis is difficult, and local tissue is underdeveloped. To the authors’ knowledge, the present case is the lowest reported weight (490 g) for a neonate with postnatal MMC repair.

OBSERVATIONS

A preterm male with a prenatally diagnosed lumbosacral MMC and associated Chiari malformation type II was born at 23 weeks 1 day to a 29-year-old mother, gravidity 6 parity 4. The patient was medically stabilized and underwent MMC closure on day of life 5. His weight was 490 g at the time of this repair, and he did not have any surgical complications. At age 16 months, he underwent endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization; he has not required any further hydrocephalus treatments since the last follow-up at 30 months of age.

LESSONS

To the authors’ knowledge, this case is the lowest birth weight ex utero MMC closure reported in the literature. Challenges of prematurity and size required appropriate preoperative stabilization, careful hemostasis and temperature regulation, and meticulous surgical technique.

Open access

Treatment of an anterior cervicothoracic myelomeningocele together with spine deformity correction in a child: illustrative case

Hudin N Jackson, Nealen Laxpati, and David F Bauer

BACKGROUND

Anterior cervicothoracic myelomeningoceles are a rare pathology. In reported cases, treatment has included shunting, isolated resection and repair without deformity correction, or isolated deformity correction without meningocele repair. The authors describe a pediatric patient with an anterior cervicothoracic myelomeningocele presenting with progressive neurological decline, who underwent simultaneous treatment of the myelomeningocele to detether the spinal cord and achieve major correction of the scoliotic deformity.

OBSERVATIONS

A 15-year-old girl was born with C7-T1-T2 hemivertebrae and anterior cervical myelomeningocele at C7–T1. She developed progressive cervical thoracic scoliosis, left hemiparesis initially, and additional right hemiparesis eventually. She underwent surgical repair via C7, T1, and T2 corpectomies with intradural detethering of the spinal cord. The scoliosis was treated with C7–T2 Ponte osteotomies and C2–T5 posterior fixation, followed by anterior reconstruction with a titanium cage and anterior plate from C6 to T3. The myelomeningocele was adequately treated with good correction of the patient’s deformity. The patient had postoperative improvement in her strength and solid arthrodesis on postoperative imaging.

LESSONS

The authors describe the successful treatment of an anterior cervicothoracic myelomeningocele and associated scoliosis in a child. This is a unique report of a combined strategy to achieve both deformity correction and detethering of the spinal cord.

Open access

The complex treatment paradigms for concomitant tethered cord and scoliosis: illustrative case

Rose Fluss, Riana Lo Bu, Andrew J Kobets, and Jaime A Gomez

BACKGROUND

Scoliosis associated with tethered cord syndrome is one of the most challenging spinal deformities to manage. Multiple surgical approaches have been developed, including traditional staged and concomitant procedures, spine-shortening osteotomies, and individual vertebral column resections.

OBSERVATIONS

A 10-year-old female presented with congenital kyphoscoliosis with worsening curve progression, tethered spinal cord, and a history of enuresis. The scoliosis had progressed to a 26° coronal curve and 55° thoracolumbar kyphosis. Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed a tethered cord between the levels of L3–4 and a large kyphotic deformity at L1. The patient underwent laminectomy, during which intraoperative motor signals were lost. A planned hemivertebrectomy at L1 was performed prior to an L4 laminectomy, untethering of the filum terminale, and posterior spinal fusion from T11 to L2. After surgery, the patient experienced transient lower-extremity weakness, with her neurological function improving from baseline over the next 2 months. Ultimately, the goal of this surgery was to halt the progressive decline in motor function, which was successfully achieved.

LESSONS

Much remains to be learned about the treatment of this complicated disease, especially in the setting of concomitant scoliosis. This case serves to exemplify the complex treatment paradigms that exist when attempting to manage this clinical syndrome and that more remains to be learned.

Open access

Surgical management of pediatric spinal aneurysmal bone cysts: patient series

Benjamin E Flyer, Erik B Vanstrum, Nicholas Chapman, Joseph H Ha, Jacob K Al-Husseini, Jason K Chu, J. Gordon McComb, Susan R Durham, Mark D Krieger, and Peter A Chiarelli

BACKGROUND

Aneurysmal bone cysts (ABCs) are rare, highly vascular osteolytic bone lesions that predominantly affect pediatric populations. This report evaluates the clinicopathological data of pediatric patients with spinal ABCs. The medical records for all patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with biopsy-proven ABCs of the spine between 1998 and 2018 were evaluated.

OBSERVATIONS

Seventeen patients, 6 males and 11 females, were identified. The mean age at surgery was 10.4 years (range, 3.5–20 years). The most common presenting complaint was pain at the lesion site 16/17 (94%), followed by lower-extremity weakness 8/17 (47%). Resection and intralesional curettage were performed in all patients. Three (18%) of 17 patients underwent selective arterial embolization prior to resection. Spinal stability was compromised in 15 of 17 patients (88%), requiring instrumented fusion. Five (29%) of the 17 patients received additional therapy including radiation, calcitonin-methylprednisolone, or phenol. Four (23.5%) of 17 patients experienced a recurrence, and the mean time to recurrence was 15 months. The postoperative follow-up ranged from 6 to 108 months (median, 28 months). Reoperation occurred after an average of 35 months. At the recent follow-up, patients were free of disease.

LESSONS

Gross-total resection by intralesional curettage with case-dependent instrumented spinal fusion for instability remains an effective strategy for managing pediatric spinal ABCs. Long-term follow-up is necessary to detect tumor recurrence.