Neuroendoscopy has grown rapidly in the last 20 years as a therapeutic modality for treating a variety of spinal disorders. Spinal endoscopy has been widely used to treat patients with cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral disorders safely and effectively. Although it is most commonly used with minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery, endoscopy has gained widespread acceptance for the treatment of thoracic disc herniations and for anterior release and rod implantation in the correction of thoracic spinal deformity. The authors review the use of endoscopy in spine surgery and in the treatment of spinal disorders as well as in the treatment of intrathoracic nonspinal lesions. Endoscopy has some significant advantages over open or other minimally invasive techniques in that it can allow for better visualization of the lesion, smaller incision sizes with reduced morbidity and mortality, reduced hospital stays, and ultimately lower cost. In addition, spinal endoscopy allows observers and operating room staff to be more involved in each case and fosters education. Spinal endoscopy, like any novel modality, carries with it additional risks and the surgeon must always be prepared to convert to an open procedure. The learning curve for spinal endoscopy is steep and the procedure should not be attempted alone by a novice surgeon. Nevertheless, with training and experience, the spine surgeon can achieve better outcomes, reduced morbidity, and better cosmesis with spinal endoscopy, and the operating times are comparable to open procedures. As technology evolves and more experience is obtained, neuroendoscopy will likely achieve further roles as a mainstay in spine surgery.
Eli M. Baron, Howard B. Levene, Joshua E. Heller, Jack I. Jallo, Christopher M. Loftus and Devanand A. Dominique
Eli M. Baron, Christopher M. Loftus, Alexander R. Vaccaro and Devanand A. Dominique
✓ Although it was originally developed to address degenerative problems, including disc herniations and cervical spondylotic myelopathy in the adult population, the anterior approach to the subaxial spine has proven to be useful for select indications in the pediatric population. The authors review indications for surgery, bone grafting, and instrumentation as they pertain to children.
Intrarater and interrater reliability and validity in the assessment of the mechanism of injury and integrity of the posterior ligamentous complex: a novel injury severity scoring system for thoracolumbar injuries
Invited submission from the Joint Section Meeting on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves, March 2005
James S. Harrop, Alexander R. Vaccaro, R. John Hurlbert, Jared T. Wilsey, Eli M. Baron, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Charles G. Fisher, Marcel F. Dvorak, F. C. Öner, Kirkham B. Wood, Neel Anand, D. Greg Anderson, Moe R. Lim, Joon Y. Lee, Christopher M. Bono, Paul M. Arnold, Y. Raja Rampersaud, Michael G. Fehlings and The Spine Trauma Study Group
A new classification and treatment algorithm for thoracolumbar injuries was recently introduced by Vaccaro and colleagues in 2005. A thoracolumbar injury severity scale (TLISS) was proposed for grading and guiding treatment for these injuries. The scale is based on the following: 1) the mechanism of injury; 2) the integrity of the posterior ligamentous complex (PLC); and 3) the patient’s neurological status. The reliability and validity of assessing injury mechanism and the integrity of the PLC was assessed.
Forty-eight spine surgeons, consisting of neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons, reviewed 56 clinical thoracolumbar injury case histories. Each was classified and scored to determine treatment recommendations according to a novel classification system. After 3 months the case histories were reordered and the physicians repeated the exercise. Validity of this classification was good among reviewers; the vast majority (> 90%) agreed with the system’s treatment recommendations. Surgeons were unclear as to a cogent description of PLC disruption and fracture mechanism.
The TLISS demonstrated acceptable reliability in terms of intra- and interobserver agreement on the algorithm’s treatment recommendations. Replacing injury mechanism with a description of injury morphology and better definition of PLC injury will improve inter- and intraobserver reliability of this injury classification system.
Neel Anand, Rebecca Rosemann, Bhavraj Khalsa and Eli M. Baron
The goal of this study was to assess the operative outcomes of adult patients with scoliosis who were treated surgically with minimally invasive correction and fusion.
This was a retrospective study of 28 consecutive patients who underwent minimally invasive correction and fusion over 3 or more levels for adult scoliosis. Hospital and office charts were reviewed for clinical data. Functional outcome data were collected at each visit and at the last follow-up through self-administered questionnaires. All radiological measurements were obtained using standardized computer measuring tools.
The mean age of the patients in the study was 67.7 years (range 22–81 years), with a mean follow-up time of 22 months (range 13–37 months). Estimated blood loss for anterior procedures (transpsoas discectomy and interbody fusions) was 241 ml (range 20–2000 ml). Estimated blood loss for posterior procedures, including L5–S1 transsacral interbody fusion (and in some cases L4–5 and L5–S1 transsacral interbody fusion) and percutaneous screw fixation, was 231 ml (range 50–400 ml). The mean operating time, which was recorded from incision time to closure, was 232 minutes (range 104–448 minutes) for the anterior procedures, and for posterior procedures it was 248 minutes (range 141–370 minutes). The mean length of hospital stay was 10 days (range 3–20 days). The preoperative Cobb angle was 22° (range 15–62°), which corrected to 7° (range 0–22°). All patients maintained correction of their deformity and were noted to have solid arthrodesis on plain radiographs. This was further confirmed on CT scans in 21 patients. The mean preoperative visual analog scale and treatment intensity scale scores were 7.05 and 53.5; postoperatively these were 3.03 and 25.88, respectively. The mean preoperative 36-Item Short Form Health Survey and Oswestry Disability Index scores were 55.73 and 39.13; postoperatively they were 61.50 and 7, respectively. In terms of major complications, 2 patients had quadriceps palsies from which they recovered within 6 months, 1 sustained a retrocapsular renal hematoma, and 1 patient had an unrelated cerebellar hemorrhage.
Minimally invasive surgical correction of adult scoliosis results in mid- to long-term outcomes similar to traditional surgical approaches. Whereas operating times are comparable to those achieved with open approaches, blood loss and morbidity appear to be significantly lower in patients undergoing minimally invasive deformity correction. This approach may be particularly useful in the elderly.
Doniel Drazin, Ali Shirzadi, Jack Rosner, Paula Eboli, Michael Safee, Eli M. Baron, John C. Liu and Frank L. Acosta Jr.
The elderly population (age > 60 years) is the fastest-growing age group in the US. Spinal deformity is a major problem affecting the elderly and, therefore, the demand for surgery for spinal deformity is becoming increasingly prevalent in elderly patients. Much of the literature on surgery for adult deformity focuses on patients who are younger than 60 years, and therefore there is limited information about the complications and outcomes of surgery in the elderly population.
In this study, the authors undertook a review of the literature on spinal deformity surgery in patients older than 60 years. The authors discuss their analysis with a focus on outcomes, complications, discrepancies between individual studies, and strategies for complication avoidance.
A systematic review of the MEDLINE and PubMed databases was performed to identify articles published from 1950 to the present using the following key words: “adult scoliosis surgery” and “adult spine deformity surgery.” Exclusion criteria included patient age younger than 60 years. Data on major Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores, visual analog scale (VAS) scores, patient-reported outcomes, and complications were recorded.
Twenty-two articles were obtained and are included in this review. The mean age was 74.2 years, and the mean follow-up period was 3 years. The mean preoperative ODI was 48.6, and the mean postoperative reduction in ODI was 24.1. The mean preoperative VAS score was 7.7 with a mean postoperative decrease of 5.2. There were 311 reported complications for 815 patients (38%) and 5 deaths for 659 patients (< 1%).
Elderly patient outcomes were inconsistent in the published studies. Overall, most elderly patients obtained favorable outcomes with low operative mortality following surgery for adult spinal deformity.
Neel Anand and Eli M. Baron
Transpsoas discectomy and interbody fusion has become an increasingly popular method of achieving lumbar interbody fusion, but reports of neurological, vascular, and gastrointestinal complications associated with this procedure have been described in the literature. To date, however, ureteral complications have not been reported with this procedure. The authors report 2 cases of ureteral injury and 1 case of renal injury following this procedure. A low index of suspicion is warranted to work up any patient having flank or abdominal symptoms after undergoing transpsoas discectomy and interbody fusion.
Neel Anand, Eli M. Baron and Babak Khandehroo
Minimally invasive correction of adult scoliosis is a surgical method increasing in popularity. Limited data exist, however, as to how effective these methodologies are in achieving coronal plane and sagittal plane correction in addition to improving spinopelvic parameters. This study serves to quantify how much correction is possible with present circumferential minimally invasive surgical (cMIS) methods.
Ninety patients were selected from a database of 187 patients who underwent cMIS scoliosis correction. All patients had a Cobb angle greater than 15°, 3 or more levels fused, and availability of preoperative and postoperative 36-inch standing radiographs. The mean duration of follow-up was 37 months. Preoperative and postoperative Cobb angle, sagittal vertical axis (SVA), coronal balance, lumbar lordosis (LL), and pelvic incidence (PI) were measured. Scatter plots were performed comparing the pre- and postoperative radiological parameters to calculate ceiling effects for SVA correction, Cobb angle correction, and PI-LL mismatch correction.
The mean preoperative SVA value was 60 mm (range 11.5–151 mm); the mean postoperative value was 31 mm (range 0–84 mm). The maximum SVA correction achieved with cMIS techniques in any of the cases was 89 mm. In terms of coronal Cobb angle, a mean correction of 61% was noted, with a mean preoperative value of 35.8° (range 15°–74.7°) and a mean postoperative value of 13.9° (range 0°–32.5°). A ceiling effect for Cobb angle correction was noted at 42°. The ability to correct the PI-LL mismatch to 10° was limited to cases in which the preoperative PI-LL mismatch was 38° or less.
Circumferential MIS techniques as currently used for the treatment of adult scoliosis have limitations in terms of their ability to achieve SVA correction and lumbar lordosis. When the preoperative SVA is greater than 100 mm and a substantial amount of lumbar lordosis is needed, as determined by spinopelvic parameter calculations, surgeons should consider osteotomies or other techniques that may achieve more lordosis.
Lutfi T. Al-Khouja, Eli M. Baron, J. Patrick Johnson, Terrence T. Kim and Doniel Drazin
Medical care has been evolving with the increased influence of a value-based health care system. As a result, more emphasis is being placed on ensuring cost-effectiveness and utility in the services provided to patients. This study looks at this development in respect to minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) costs.
A literature review using PubMed, the Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) Registry, and the National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED) was performed. Papers were included in the study if they reported costs associated with minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS). If there was no mention of cost, CEA, cost-utility analysis (CUA), quality-adjusted life year (QALY), quality, or outcomes mentioned, then the article was excluded.
Fourteen studies reporting costs associated with MISS in 12,425 patients (3675 undergoing minimally invasive procedures and 8750 undergoing open procedures) were identified through PubMed, the CEA Registry, and NHS EED. The percent cost difference between minimally invasive and open approaches ranged from 2.54% to 33.68%—all indicating cost saving with a minimally invasive surgical approach. Average length of stay (LOS) for minimally invasive surgery ranged from 0.93 days to 5.1 days compared with 1.53 days to 12 days for an open approach. All studies reporting EBL reported lower volume loss in an MISS approach (range 10–392.5 ml) than in an open approach (range 55–535.5 ml).
There are currently an insufficient number of studies published reporting the costs of MISS. Of the studies published, none have followed a standardized method of reporting and analyzing cost data. Preliminary findings analyzing the 14 studies showed both cost saving and better outcomes in MISS compared with an open approach. However, more Level I CEA/CUA studies including cost/QALY evaluations with specifics of the techniques utilized need to be reported in a standardized manner to make more accurate conclusions on the cost effectiveness of minimally invasive spine surgery.
Rani Nasser, Doniel Drazin, Jonathan Nakhla, Lutfi Al-Khouja, Earl Brien, Eli M. Baron, Terrence T. Kim, J. Patrick Johnson and Reza Yassari
The use of intraoperative stereotactic navigation has become more available in spine surgery. The authors undertook this study to assess the utility of intraoperative CT navigation in the localization of spinal lesions and as an intraoperative tool to guide resection in patients with spinal lesions.
This was a retrospective multicenter study including 50 patients from 2 different institutions who underwent biopsy and/or resection of spinal column tumors using image-guided navigation. Of the 50 cases reviewed, 4 illustrative cases are presented. In addition, the authors provide a description of surgical technique with image guidance.
The patient group included 27 male patients and 23 female patients. Their average age was 61 ± 17 years (range 14–87 years). The average operative time (incision to closure) was 311 ± 188 minutes (range 62–865 minutes). The average intraoperative blood loss was 882 ± 1194 ml (range 5–7000 ml). The average length of hospitalization was 10 ± 8.9 days (range 1–36 days). The postoperative complications included 2 deaths (4.0%) and 4 radiculopathies (8%) secondary to tumor burden.
O-arm 3D imaging with stereotactic navigation may be used to localize lesions intraoperatively with real-time dynamic feedback of tumor resection. Stereotactic guidance may augment resection or biopsy of primary and metastatic spinal tumors. It offers reduced radiation exposure to operating room personnel and the ability to use minimally invasive approaches that limit tissue injury. In addition, acquisition of intraoperative CT scans with real-time tracking allows for precise targeting of spinal lesions with minimal dissection.