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Open access

Edward S. Ahn and Archis R. Bhandarkar

The authors describe an endoscopic strip craniectomy through a single incision for the treatment of sagittal craniosynostosis in a young infant. The endoscopic strip craniectomy was first introduced with the use of two incisions on either end of the fused suture. This single-incision technique offers several advantages. There is a cosmetic advantage and a reduced risk of wound complications. This technique also allows for early control of emissary veins and an inside-out identification of the lambdoid sutures. Endoscopic visualization is optimized to reduce the risk of blood loss, especially because circulating blood volume is very limited in these young infants.

The video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/514366415

Free access

Othman Bin Alamer, Adrian E. Jimenez, and Tej D. Azad

Craniosynostosis (CS) is a congenital disease that arises due to premature ossification of single or multiple sutures, which results in skull deformities. The surgical management of single-suture CS continues to evolve and is driven by a robust body of clinical research; however, the molecular underpinnings of CS remain poorly understood. Despite long-standing hypotheses regarding the interaction of genetic predisposition and environmental factors, formal investigation of the epigenetic underpinnings of CS has been limited. In an effort to catalyze further investigation into the epigenetic basis of CS, the authors review the fundamentals of epigenetics, discuss recent studies that shed light on this emerging field, and offer hypotheses regarding the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the development of single-suture CS.

Free access

Aaron M. Yengo-Kahn, Oluwatoyin Akinnusotu, Alyssa L. Wiseman, Muhammad Owais Abdul Ghani, Chevis N. Shannon, Michael S. Golinko, and Christopher M. Bonfield

OBJECTIVE

Craniosynostosis (CS) affects about 1 in 2500 infants and is predominantly treated by surgical intervention in infancy. Later in childhood, many of these children wish to participate in sports. However, the safety of participation is largely anecdotal and based on surgeon experience. The objective of this survey study was to describe sport participation and sport-related head injury in CS patients.

METHODS

A 16-question survey related to child/parent demographics, CS surgery history, sport history, and sport-induced head injury history was made available to patients/parents in the United States through a series of synostosis organization listservs, as well as synostosis-focused Facebook groups, between October 2019 and June 2020. Sports were categorized based on the American Academy of Pediatrics groupings. Pearson’s chi-square test, Fisher’s exact test, and the independent-samples t-test were used in the analysis.

RESULTS

Overall, 187 CS patients were described as 63% male, 89% White, and 88% non-Hispanic, and 89% underwent surgery at 1 year or younger. The majority (74%) had participated in sports starting at an average age of 5 years (SD 2.2). Of those participating in sports, contact/collision sport participation was most common (77%), and 71% participated in multiple sports. Those that played sports were less frequently Hispanic (2.2% vs 22.9%, p < 0.001) and more frequently had undergone a second surgery (44% vs 25%, p = 0.021). Only 9 of 139 (6.5%) sport-participating CS patients suffered head injuries; 6 (67%) were concussions and the remaining 3 were nondescript but did not mention any surgical needs.

CONCLUSIONS

In this nationwide survey of postsurgical CS patients and parents, sport participation was exceedingly common, with contact sports being the most common sport category. Few head injuries (mostly concussions) were reported as related to sport participation. Although this is a selective sample of CS patients, the initial data suggest that sport participation, even in contact sports, and typically beginning a few years after CS correction, is safe and commonplace.

Open access

Lance S. Governale and Jessica A. Ching

Craniosynostosis surgery is intended to repair cranial deformity, reduce the risk of increased intracranial pressure from cephalocranial disproportion, and reduce the risk of developmental delays. In recent years, minimally invasive surgical techniques have been developed to achieve these goals with less tissue disruption, lower rates of transfusion, and shorter recovery time. The operation focuses on unlocking the fused bones, while reshaping relies on an adjunct, most commonly a postoperative cranial molding helmet. As an alternative to the care-intensive helmeting process, reshaping with implanted cranial expander springs has emerged. In this video, the authors demonstrate their technique for spring-assisted minimally invasive repair of sagittal craniosynostosis.

The video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/513923721

Open access

Christopher L. Kalmar, Jordan W. Swanson, Sameer Shakir, Alexander M. Tucker, Benjamin C. Kennedy, Phillip B. Storm, Gregory G. Heuer, Scott P. Bartlett, Jesse A. Taylor, and Shih-Shan Lang

Spring-mediated cranioplasty is a useful treatment modality for correcting scaphocephalic head shape in sagittal craniosynostosis because it is less invasive than whole-vault cranioplasty and offers durable morphologic outcomes. Herein, the authors provide a multimedia demonstration of alternative operative approaches for spring-mediated cranioplasty for sagittal craniosynostosis.

The video can be found here: https://vimeo.com/511256259

Free access

Aaron Mohanty, Thomas S. Frank, Sharif Mohamed, Kristalynne Godwin, and Gautam G. Malkani

OBJECTIVE

The advent of endoscopic synostectomy has enabled early surgery for infants with craniosynostosis. Even though diagnosis is often made at birth, endoscopic synostectomy has traditionally been delayed until the infant is 3 months of age. There have been very few published reports of this procedure being performed in the early neonatal period. The authors discuss their experience with ultra-early endoscopic synostectomy, defined as an operation for infants aged 8 weeks or younger.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis of infants who underwent operations at or before 8 weeks of age between 2011 and 2020 was done.

RESULTS

Twenty-five infants underwent operations: 11 were 2 weeks of age or younger, 8 were between 3 and 4 weeks of age, and 6 were between 5 and 8 weeks of age. The infants weighed between 2.25 and 4.8 kg. Eighteen had single-suture synostosis, and 7 had multiple sutures involved. Of these 7, 4 had syndromic craniosynostosis. The average operative time was 35 minutes, and it was less than 40 minutes in 19 cases. The estimated operative blood loss was 25 ml or less in 19 cases; 5 infants required an intraoperative blood transfusion. In 1 child with syndromic multisuture craniosynostosis, the surgery was staged due to blood loss. Two children experienced complications related to the procedure: one had an incidental durotomy with skin infection, and the other had postoperative kernicterus. All infants were fitted for cranial remodeling orthoses following surgery. Three of the 25 infants required reoperations, with 2 patients with syndromic craniosynostosis needing repeat surgery for cranial volume expansion and cosmetic appearance. Another child with syndromic craniosynostosis is awaiting cranial expansion surgery. Follow-up varied between 6 months and 8 years.

CONCLUSIONS

The data show that ultra-early synostectomy is safe and not associated with increased complications compared with surgery performed between 3 and 6 months of age. Infants with multisuture synostosis had increased operative time, required blood transfusion, and were more likely to require a second operation.

Open access

Robin M. Bowman, Vineeth Thirunavu, and Sandi Lam

BACKGROUND

Patients with spina bifida have repeated interactions with the healthcare system and often require multiple surgeries throughout their lifetime. Latex precautions are often indicated owing to the high risk of anaphylactic reactions. The choice of dressing for these patients represents an opportunity for learning and standardization if appropriate. The authors discuss the various cases of skin reactions to Mastisol in the literature in comparison with their case and explore the possible mechanisms underlying this skin reaction given the high prevalence of latex allergy in patients with spina bifida.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors present the case of a 17-year-old girl with a history of spina bifida and shunted hydrocephalus who underwent a shunt externalization operation and subsequently developed an allergic contact dermatitis reaction to Mastisol liquid adhesive. Topical steroid cream was then administered, and signs and symptoms resolved over the next 3 days.

LESSONS

The choice of dressing should be considered carefully in patients with spina bifida given their repeated exposures and possible sensitivities. The authors aim to increase the awareness of the possibility of Mastisol-induced skin reactions in patients with spina bifida and set a foundation for future studies to investigate the relationship between latex allergy and sensitization to Mastisol.

Open access

Adela Wu, Mahesh Patel, Dawn Darbonne, and Harminder Singh

BACKGROUND

Spinal bronchogenic cysts are rare entities arising from errors in embryogenesis and consisting of respiratory epithelial cells. To date, there are three other published accounts of intramedullary cysts, which were partially resected and thereby warrant close follow-up and monitoring. The authors present an illustrative case of a patient presenting with Klippel-Feil anomaly and a large intramedullary bronchogenic cyst in the upper cervical spine.

OBSERVATIONS

The authors noted fusion of the C5–6 laminae as they performed the C2–6 laminectomy. After dural opening, an intramedullary lesion with a smooth, fibrous component emerging from the dorsal spinal cord was immediately observed. The dorsal spinal columns were not involved with this cyst wall or the other smaller cysts, which all contained gray fluid. The cyst walls were partially resected and sent for pathological examination.

LESSONS

Spinal developmental cysts are associated with other anatomical anomalies, such as Klippel-Feil anomaly, arising from errors in embryogenesis. For intramedullary lesions such as this patient’s bronchogenic cyst, partial resection and decompression are the goals of surgery because aggressive debulking may lead to neurological compromise. Close imaging follow-up is warranted.

Restricted access

Robert H. Bonow, Cordelie E. Witt, Mahmud Mossa-Basha, Joseph Cuschieri, Saman Arbabi, Monica S. Vavilala, Frederick P. Rivara, and Randall M. Chesnut

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this study was to compare the odds of stroke 24 hours or more after hospital arrival among patients with blunt cerebrovascular injury (BCVI) who were treated with therapeutic anticoagulation versus aspirin.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective cohort study at a regional level I trauma center including all patients with BCVI who were treated over a span of 10 years. Individuals with stroke on arrival or within the first 24 hours were excluded, as were those receiving alternative antithrombotic drugs or procedural treatment. Exact logistic regression was used to examine the association between treatment and stroke, adjusting for injury grade. To account for the possibility of residual confounding, propensity scores for the likelihood of receiving anticoagulation were determined and used to match patients from each treatment group; the difference in the probability of stroke between the two groups was then calculated.

RESULTS

A total of 677 patients with BCVI receiving aspirin or anticoagulation were identified. A total of 3.8% (n = 23) of 600 patients treated with aspirin sustained a stroke, compared to 11.7% (n = 9) of 77 receiving anticoagulation. After adjusting for injury grade with exact regression, anticoagulation was associated with higher likelihood of stroke (OR 3.01, 95% CI 1.00–8.21). In the propensity-matched analysis, patients who received anticoagulation had a 15.0% (95% CI 3.7%–26.3%) higher probability of sustaining a stroke compared to those receiving aspirin.

CONCLUSIONS

Therapeutic anticoagulation may be inferior to aspirin for stroke prevention in BCVI. Prospective research is warranted to definitively compare these treatment strategies.

Restricted access

Tianyuan Zhang, Hongda Bao, Shibin Shu, Zhen Liu, Xu Sun, Bin Wang, Yong Qiu, and Zezhang Zhu

OBJECTIVE

Sacral agenesis (SA) is a rare congenital malformation of the spine. There has been a paucity of clinical research to investigate the surgical outcome of spinopelvic fixation in these patients. In this study, the authors aimed to evaluate the outcome of different distal fixation anchors in lumbosacral spinal deformities associated with SA and to determine the optimal distal fixation anchor.

METHODS

Patients with diagnoses of SA and lumbosacral scoliosis undergoing spinopelvic fixation with S1 screws, iliac screws, or S2-alar-iliac (S2AI) screws were analyzed. The main curve, coronal balance distance, and pelvic obliquity were compared at baseline, postoperatively, and during follow-up in three groups. The complications were also recorded.

RESULTS

A total of 24 patients were included: 8 patients were stratified into group 1 (S1 screws), 9 into group 2 (iliac screws), and 7 into group 3 (S2AI screws). The main curves were well corrected postoperatively (p < 0.05) in all groups. Coronal balance showed a tendency of deterioration during follow-up in patients with S1 screws (from 18.8 mm to 27.0 mm). Regarding pelvic obliquity, patients with both iliac and S2AI screws showed significant correction (from 3.7° to 2.3° and from 3.3° to 1.6°). Implant-related complications were rod breakage in 3 patients and infection in 1 patient in group 2, and no implant-related complications were observed in group 3. There were 3 cases of unilateral S1 pedicle screw misplacement in group 1.

CONCLUSIONS

Spinopelvic fixation is a safe and effective procedure that can achieve coronal correction in lumbosacral scoliosis associated with SA. Compared with S1 and iliac screws, S2AI screws as distal fixation anchors can achieve a more satisfactory correction with fewer implant-related complications.