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David G. Kline

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David G. Kline and Leo Happel

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David G. Kline

✓On August 29, 2005, a hurricane named Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. Many feared the consequences of such a storm, but very few believed that it could ever happen. This article is a narrative written shortly after the evacuation of patients and personnel from the flooded Charity Hospital.

The days at Charity hospital were hot and humid following Katrina, and as time passed the air was permeated by a stench that was inescapable. Rendering care to patients without electricity, and thus light and air conditioning, with a temperature in the 90°s and no running water was a challenge. Trying to cool patients with central fever and providing adequate ventilation for unconscious patients was extremely difficult. Without elevators, climbs up to and down from the 14th floor—where the author and his colleagues had their sleeping rooms—and the 12th (surgical intensive care unit [ICU]), seventh (neuro ICU and step-down units), and sixth (medical ICU) floors were tedious. The descent to check the emergency department and obtain a closer look at flooding in the streets around the hospital, which maintained a 4- to 5-foot water level, became prohibitive because of the contemplation of the necessary return ascent.

There were 21 patients, mostly neurosurgical, in the neuro ICU and step-down units and wards. This is their story.

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Daniel H. Kim, Judith A. Murovic, Yong-Yeon Kim and David G. Kline

Object

The authors present data obtained in 15 surgically treated patients with anterior interosseous nerve (AIN) entrapments and injuries.

Methods

Fifteen patients with AIN entrapments and injuries underwent surgery between 1967 and 1997 at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) or Stanford University Medical Center. Patient charts were reviewed retrospectively. The LSUHSC grading system was used to evaluate the function of muscles supplied by the AIN.

Nontraumatic injuries included seven AIN compressions by bone or soft tissue. Traumatic injury mechanisms consisted of stretch or contusion (six patients), injection (one patient), and burn scar (one patient). Presentations included weakness in the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP) muscle to the index finger, FDP muscle to the middle finger, pronator quadratus muscle, and flexion of the distal phalanx of the thumb. Preoperative evaluations included electromyography and nerve conduction studies as well as elbow and forearm plain radiographs.

On surgery, lesions in continuity involved seven compressions, four stretch or contusion injuries, and one injection injury, all of which demonstrated nerve action potentials (NAPs) and were treated with neurolysis. Among the seven compression and four stretch or contusion injury cases, six and three patients, respectively, had LSUHSC Grade 3 or better functional recoveries postoperatively. Two stretch or contusion injuries involved lesions in continuity but demonstrated negative NAPs at surgery. Thus, each was treated using a graft repair after resection of a neuroma. There was one burn scar injury, which was treated via an end-to-end suture anastomosis, leading to a functional recovery better than Grade 3.

Conclusions

Fifteen AIN entrapments or injuries responded favorably to nerve release and/or repair.

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Daniel H. Kim, Judith A. Murovic, Yong-Yeon Kim and David G. Kline

Object

The authors report data in 45 surgically treated posterior interosseous nerve (PIN) entrapments or injuries.

Methods

Forty-five PIN entrapments or injuries were managed surgically between 1967 and 2004 at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) or Stanford University Medical Center. Patient charts were reviewed retrospectively. The LSUHSC grading system was used to assess PIN-innervated muscle function.

Injuries were caused by nontraumatic (21 PIN entrapments and four tumors) and traumatic (nine lacerations, eight fractures, and three contusions) mechanisms. Presentations included weakness in the extensor carpi ulnaris muscle, causing compromised wrist extension and radial drift; extensor digitorum, indicis, and digiti minimi muscles with paretic finger extension; extensor pollicis brevis and longus muscles with weak thumb extension; and abductor pollicis longus muscle with rare decreased thumb abduction due to substitutions of the median nerve–innervated abductor pollicis brevis muscle and, at 90°, the extensor pollicis brevis and longus muscles. Preoperative evaluations consisted of electromyography and nerve conduction studies, elbow and forearm plain x-ray films, and magnetic resonance imaging for tumor detection.

At surgery, in continuity lesions were found in 21 entrapments and three fracture-related and three contusion injuries; all transmitted nerve action potentials (NAPs) and were treated with neurolysis. Five fracture-related PIN injuries, one of which was a lacerating injury, were in continuity and transmitted no NAPs; graft repairs were performed in all of these cases. Among nine lacerations, three PINs appeared in continuity, although intraoperative NAPs were absent. Two of these nerves were treated with secondary end-to-end suture anastomosis repair and one with secondary graft repair. There were six transected lacerations: three were treated with primary suture anastomosis repair, two with secondary suture anastomosis, and one with graft repair. Four tumors involving the PIN were resected. Most muscles innervated by 45 PINs had LSUHSC Grade 3 or better functional outcomes.

Conclusions

Forty-five PIN entrapments or injuries responded well to PIN release and/or repair.

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Daniel H. Kim, Judith A. Murovic, Robert L. Tiel, Gregory Moes and David G. Kline

Object. This is a retrospective review of 146 surgically treated benign and malignant peripheral non—neural sheath tumors (PNNSTs). Tumor classifications with patient numbers, locations of benign PNNSTs, and surgical techniques and adjunctive treatments are presented. The results of a literature review regarding tumor frequencies are presented.

Methods. One hundred forty-six patients with 111 benign and 35 malignant PNNSTs were treated between 1969 and 1999 at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC). The benign tumors included 33 ganglion cysts, 16 cases of localized hypertrophic neuropathy, 12 lipomas, 12 tumors of vascular origin, and 11 desmoid tumors. There were four each of lipofibrohamartomas, myositis ossificans, osteochondromas, and ganglioneuromas; two each of meningiomas, cystic hygromas, myoblastoma or granular cell tumors, triton tumors, and lymphangiomas; and one epidermoid cyst. The locations of benign PNNSTs were the following: 33 in the brachial plexus region, 39 in an upper extremity, one in the pelvic plexus, and 38 in a lower extremity.

The malignant PNNSTs included 35 surgically treated carcinomas, 15 of which originated in the breast and nine in the lung. There were two melanomas metastatic to nerve and one tumor each that had metastasized from the bladder, rectum, skin, head and neck, and thyroid, and from a primary Ewing sarcoma. There was a single lymphoma that had metastasized to the radial nerve and one chordoma and one osteosarcoma, each of which had metastasized to the brachial plexus.

Conclusions. There were more benign PNNSTs than malignant ones. Benign tumors were relatively equally distributed in the brachial plexus region and upper and lower extremities, with the exception of the pelvic plexus, which had only one tumor.

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Daniel H. Kim, Judith A. Murovic, Robert L. Tiel, Gregory Moes and David G. Kline

Object. This is a retrospective review of 397 benign and malignant peripheral neural sheath tumors (PNSTs) that were surgically treated between 1969 and 1999 at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC). The surgical techniques and adjunctive treatments are presented, the tumors are classified with respect to type and prevalence at each neuroanatomical location, and the management of malignant PNSTs is reviewed.

Methods. There were 361 benign PNSTs (91%). One hundred forty-one benign lesions were brachial plexus tumors: 54 schwannomas (38%) and 87 neurofibromas (62%), of which 55 (63%) were solitary neurofibromas and 32 (37%) were neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1)—associated neurofibromas. Among the brachial plexus lesions supraclavicular tumors predominated with 37 (69%) of 54 schwannomas; 34 (62%) of 55 solitary neurofibromas; and 19 (59%) of 32 NF1-associated neurofibromas. One hundred ten upper-extremity benign PNSTs consisted of 32 schwannomas (29%) and 78 neurofibromas (71%), of which 45 (58%) were sporadic neurofibromas and 33 (42%) were NF1-associated neurofibromas. Twenty-five benign PNSTs were removed from the pelvic plexus. Lower-extremity PNSTs included 32 schwannomas (38%) and 53 neurofibromas (62%), of which 31 were solitary neurofibromas and 22 were NF1-associated neurofibromas.

There were 36 malignant PNSTs: 28 neurogenic sarcomas and eight other sarcomas (fibro-, spindle cell, synovial, and perineurial sarcomas).

Conclusions. The majority of tumors were benign PNSTs from the brachial plexus region. Most of the benign PNSTs in all locations were neurofibromas, with sporadic neurofibromas predominating. Similar numbers of schwannomas were found in the upper and lower extremities, whereas neurofibromas were more prevalent in the upper extremities. Despite aggressive limb-ablation or limb-sparing surgery plus adjunctive therapy, malignant PNSTs continue to be associated with high morbidity and mortality rates.

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David G. Kline

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Daniel H. Kim, Judith A. Murovic, Robert Tiel and David G. Kline

Object. This is a retrospective analysis of 353 surgically treated sciatic nerve lesions in which injury mechanisms, location, time to surgical repair, surgical techniques, and functional outcomes are reported. Results are presented to provide guidelines for management of these injuries.

Methods. One hundred seventy-five patients with buttock-level and 178 with thigh-level sciatic nerve injury were surgically treated at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center between 1968 and 1999. Buttock-level injury mechanisms included injection in 64 patients, hip fracture/dislocation in 26, contusion in 22, compression in 19, gunshot wound (GSW) in 17, hip arthroplasty in 15, and laceration in 12; at the thigh level, GSW was the cause in 62 patients, femoral fracture in 34, laceration in 32, contusion in 28, compression in 12, and iatrogenic injury in 10. Patients with sciatic nerve divisions in which positive intraoperative nerve action potentials (NAPs) were found underwent neurolysis and attained at least Grade 3 functional outcomes in 108 (87%) of 124 and in 91 (96%) of 95 buttock- and thigh-level tibial divisions, respectively, compared with 84 (71%) of 119 and 75 (79%) of 95, respectively, in the peroneal divisions. For suture repair, recovery to at least Grade 3 occurred in eight (73%) of 11 buttock-level and in 27 (93%) of 29 thigh-level tibial division injuries, and in three (30%) of 10 buttock-level and 20 (69%) of 29 thigh-level peroneal division lesions. For graft repair, good recovery occurred in 21 (62%) of 34 and in 43 (80%) of 54 buttock- and thigh-level tibial divisions, respectively, even in proximal repairs requiring long grafts, and in only nine (24%) of 37 and 22 (45%) of 49 buttock- and thigh-level peroneal division lesions, respectively.

Conclusions. Surgical exploration and neurolysis after positive NAP readings, or repair with sutures or grafts after negative NAP results are worthwhile in selected cases.

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Daniel H. Kim, Judith A. Murovic, Robert L. Tiel and David G. Kline

Object. The authors present a retrospective analysis of 119 surgically treated femoral nerve lesions at intrapelvic and thigh levels seen at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

Methods. Femoral nerve lesions treated between 1967 and 2000, (89 traumatic injuries and 30 tumors and cystic lesions) were evaluated for injury mechanisms, resulting lesions, surgical management, and postoperative functional outcomes by using retrospective chart reviews.

The most common injury mechanism was iatrogenic (52 cases), which occurred after hernia and hip operations (10 each), followed by arterial bypass and gynecological procedures (eight each), angiography (seven), abdominal surgery (five), appendectomy (two), a laparoscopy, and a lumbar sympathectomy. Other injury mechanisms included hip or pelvic fractures (19), gunshot wounds (10), and lacerations (eight). The 30 femoral nerve tumors and cystic lesions consisted of neurofibromas (16), schwannomas (nine), ganglionic cysts (two), neurogenic sarcomas (two), and a leiomyosarcoma.

Forty-four patients underwent neurolysis. Some had recordable nerve action potentials (NAPs) across their lesions in continuity, despite severe distal loss. Others with recordable NAPs had mild loss, but also experienced a pain problem, which was helped in some by neurolysis. In 36 patients, in whom repairs were performed using long sural grafts for mostly proximal pelvic-level injuries, recovery of useful function occurred. Eight of nine thigh-level suture repairs led to improvement to good functional levels. Most of the tumors and cystic lesions were resected, with preservation of preoperative function.

Conclusions. The majority of femoral nerve injuries resulted in lesions in continuity, and intraoperative NAP recordings were essential in evaluating axonal regeneration across these lesions. Despite severe and frequently proximal injury levels requiring repairs with long grafts, femoral nerve lesion repairs resulted in good functional recovery.