Giancarlo Barolat, Fulvio Massaro, Jiping He, Sergio Zeme and Beth Ketcik
✓ A database is presented of sensory responses to electrical stimulation of the dorsal neural structures at various spine levels in 106 subjects subjected to epidural spinal cord stimulation. All patients were implanted for chronic pain management and were able to perceive stimulation in the area of pain. All patients entered in this study were able to reliably report their stimulation pattern. Several patients were implanted with more than one electrode array. The electrode arrays were placed in the dorsal epidural space at levels between C-1 and L-1. The structures that were likely involved include the dorsal roots, dorsal root entry zone, dorsal horn, and dorsal columns. At the present time, exact characterization of the structure being stimulated is possible only in limited instances. Various body areas are presented with the correspondent spine levels where implanted electrodes generate paresthesias. Areas that are relatively easy targets for stimulation are the median aspect of the hand, the abdominal wall, the anterior aspect of the thigh, and the foot. Some areas are particularly difficult to cover with stimulation-induced paresthesias; these include the C-2 distribution, the neck, the low back, and the perineum.
✓ The technique of the dorsal selective rhizotomy as originally developed by Professor Fasano and by the author is described. The rhizotomy is performed through a one-level laminectomy at L-1. Exposure of the conus medullaris and the cauda equina at this level is adequate to thoroughly assess the reflex electrical response to stimulation of the lumbosacral roots and to section the selected roots/rootlets. This approach, based on over 100 surgical procedures, obviates the need for an extensive laminectomy in a growing child without compromising the clinical results.
Giancarlo Barolat, Dale Schaefer and Sergio Zeme
✓ A 21-year-old woman had recurrent progressive weakness/hypesthesia and pain in both lower extremities. At the age of 5 and 19 years, she had undergone surgical resection of a lipomyelomeningocele at L5—S1. Surgical exploration revealed that the cord was tethered and pulled over to the side by an excessively short right S-1 nerve root. The contralateral L-5 and S-1 nerve roots were markedly stretched. Division of the right S-1 nerve root resulted in prompt disappearance of pain in the lower extremities and improvement in neurological function.
Robert F. Traflet, Ashok R. Babaria, Giancarlo Barolat, H. T. Doan, Carlos Gonzalez and Mark M. Mishkin
✓ A case is presented in which a solitary chondroma arose from the clivus of a patient with Ollier's disease. These tumors are rare. The diagnostic value of computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging is discussed.