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  • Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine x
  • By Author: Traynelis, Vincent C. x
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Benjamin C. Gadomski, Snehal S. Shetye, Bradley J. Hindman, Franklin Dexter, Brandon G. Santoni, Michael M. Todd, Vincent C. Traynelis, Robert P. From, Ricardo B. Fontes and Christian M. Puttlitz

OBJECTIVE

Because of limitations inherent to cadaver models of endotracheal intubation, the authors’ group developed a finite element (FE) model of the human cervical spine and spinal cord. Their aims were to 1) compare FE model predictions of intervertebral motion during intubation with intervertebral motion measured in patients with intact cervical spines and in cadavers with spine injuries at C-2 and C3–4 and 2) estimate spinal cord strains during intubation under these conditions.

METHODS

The FE model was designed to replicate the properties of an intact (stable) spine in patients, C-2 injury (Type II odontoid fracture), and a severe C3–4 distractive-flexion injury from prior cadaver studies. The authors recorded the laryngoscope force values from 2 different laryngoscopes (Macintosh, high intubation force; Airtraq, low intubation force) used during the patient and cadaver intubation studies. FE-modeled motion was compared with experimentally measured motion, and corresponding cord strain values were calculated.

RESULTS

FE model predictions of intact intervertebral motions were comparable to motions measured in patients and in cadavers at occiput–C2. In intact subaxial segments, the FE model more closely predicted patient intervertebral motions than did cadavers. With C-2 injury, FE-predicted motions did not differ from cadaver measurements. With C3–4 injury, however, the FE model predicted greater motions than were measured in cadavers. FE model cord strains during intubation were greater for the Macintosh laryngoscope than the Airtraq laryngoscope but were comparable among the 3 conditions (intact, C-2 injury, and C3–4 injury).

CONCLUSIONS

The FE model is comparable to patients and cadaver models in estimating occiput–C2 motion during intubation in both intact and injured conditions. The FE model may be superior to cadavers in predicting motions of subaxial segments in intact and injured conditions.

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Vincent C. Traynelis

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Bradley J. Hindman, Ricardo B. Fontes, Robert P. From, Vincent C. Traynelis, Michael M. Todd, Christian M. Puttlitz and Brandon G. Santoni

OBJECTIVE

With application of the forces of intubation, injured (unstable) cervical segments may move more than they normally do, which can result in spinal cord injury. The authors tested whether, during endotracheal intubation, intervertebral motion of an injured C3–4 cervical segment 1) is greater than that in the intact (stable) state and 2) differs when a high- or low-force laryngoscope is used.

METHODS

Fourteen cadavers underwent 3 intubations using force-sensing laryngoscopes while simultaneous cervical spine motion was recorded with lateral fluoroscopy. The first intubation was performed with an intact cervical spine and a conventional high-force line-of-sight Macintosh laryngoscope. After creation of a severe C3–4 distractive-flexion injury, 2 additional intubations were performed, one with the Macintosh laryngoscope and the other with a low-force indirect video laryngoscope (Airtraq), used in random order.

RESULTS

During Macintosh intubations, between the intact and the injured conditions, C3–4 extension (0.3° ± 3.0° vs 0.4° ± 2.7°, respectively; p = 0.9515) and anterior-posterior subluxation (−0.1 ± 0.4 mm vs −0.3 ± 0.6 mm, respectively; p = 0.2754) did not differ. During Macintosh and Airtraq intubations with an injured C3–4 segment, despite a large difference in applied force between the 2 laryngoscopes, segmental extension (0.4° ± 2.7° vs 0.3° ± 3.3°, respectively; p = 0.8077) and anterior-posterior subluxation (0.3 ± 0.6 mm vs 0.0 ± 0.7 mm, respectively; p = 0.3203) did not differ.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors' hypotheses regarding the relationship between laryngoscope force and the motion of an injured cervical segment were not confirmed. Motion-force relationships (biomechanics) of injured cervical intervertebral segments during endotracheal intubation in cadavers are not predicted by the in vitro biomechanical behavior of isolated cervical segments. With the limitations inherent to cadaveric studies, the results of this study suggest that not all forms of cervical spine injury are at risk for pathological motion and cervical cord injury during conventional high-force line-of-sight intubation.

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Christopher C. Gillis, Megan C. Kaszuba and Vincent C. Traynelis

OBJECTIVE

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is one of the most commonly performed spine procedures. It can be used to correct cervical kyphotic deformity, which is the most common cervical deformity, and is often performed using lordotic interbody devices. Worsening of the cervical sagittal parameters is associated with decreased health-related quality of life. The study hypothesis is that through the use of machined lordotic allografts in ACDF, segmental and overall cervical lordosis can be maintained or increased, which will have a positive impact on overall cervical sagittal alignment.

METHODS

Seventy-four cases of 1-level ACDF (ACDF1) and 2-level ACDF (ACDF2) (40 ACDF1 and 34 ACDF2 procedures) were retrospectively reviewed. Upright neutral lateral radiographs were assessed preoperatively and at 6 weeks and 1 year postoperatively. The measured radiographic parameters included focal lordosis, disc height, C2–7 lordosis, C1–7 lordosis, T-1 slope, and C2–7 sagittal vertical axis. Correlation coefficients were calculated to determine the relationships between these radiographic measurements.

RESULTS

The mean values were as follows: preoperative focal lordosis was 0.574°, disc height was 4.48 mm, C2–7 lordosis was 9.66°, C1–7 lordosis was 42.5°, cervical sagittal vertebral axis (SVA) was 26.9 mm, and the T-1 slope was 33.2°. Cervical segmental lordosis significantly increased by 6.31° at 6 weeks and 6.45° at 1 year. C2–7 lordosis significantly improved by 1 year with a mean improvement of 3.46°. There was a significant positive correlation between the improvement in segmental lordosis and overall cervical lordosis. Overall cervical lordosis was significantly negatively correlated with cervical SVA. Improved segmental lordosis was not correlated with cervical SVA in ACDF1 patients but was significantly negatively correlated in ACDF2 patients. There was also a significant positive correlation between the T-1 slope and cervical SVA.

CONCLUSIONS

In the study population, the improvement of focal lordosis was significantly correlated with an improvement in overall lordosis (C1–7 and C2–7), and overall lordosis as measured by the C2–7 Cobb angle was significantly negatively correlated with cervical SVA. Using lordotic cervical allografts, we successfully created and maintained significant improvement in cervical segmental lordosis at the 6-week and 1-year time points with values of 6.31° and 6.45°, respectively. ACDF is able to achieve statistically significant improvement in C2–7 cervical lordosis by the 1-year followup, with a mean improvement of 3.46°. Increasing the number of levels operated on resulted in improved cervical sagittal parameters. This establishes a baseline for further examination into the ability of multilevel ACDF to achieve cervical deformity correction through the intervertebral correction of lordosis.

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Christopher K. Kepler, Alexander R. Vaccaro, Eric Chen, Alpesh A. Patel, Henry Ahn, Ahmad Nassr, Christopher I. Shaffrey, James Harrop, Gregory D. Schroeder, Amit Agarwala, Marcel F. Dvorak, Daryl R. Fourney, Kirkham B. Wood, Vincent C. Traynelis, S. Tim Yoon, Michael G. Fehlings and Bizhan Aarabi

OBJECT

In this clinically based systematic review of cervical facet fractures, the authors’ aim was to determine the optimal clinical care for patients with isolated fractures of the cervical facets through a systematic review.

METHODS

A systematic review of nonoperative and operative treatment methods of cervical facet fractures was performed. Reduction and stabilization treatments were compared, and analysis of postoperative outcomes was performed. MEDLINE and Scopus databases were used. This work was supported through support received from the Association for Collaborative Spine Research and AOSpine North America.

RESULTS

Eleven studies with 368 patients met the inclusion criteria. Forty-six patients had bilateral isolated cervical facet fractures and 322 had unilateral isolated cervical facet fractures. Closed reduction was successful in 56.4% (39 patients) and 63.8% (94 patients) of patients using a halo vest and Gardner-Wells tongs, respectively. Comparatively, open reduction was successful in 94.9% of patients (successful reduction of open to closed reduction OR 12.8 [95% CI 6.1–26.9], p < 0.0001); 183 patients underwent internal fixation, with an 87.2% success rate in maintaining anatomical alignment. When comparing the success of patients who underwent anterior versus posterior procedures, anterior approaches showed a 90.5% rate of maintenance of reduction, compared with a 75.6% rate for the posterior approach (anterior vs posterior OR 3.1 [95% CI 1.0–9.4], p = 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS

In comparison with nonoperative treatments, operative treatments provided a more successful outcome in terms of failure of treatment to maintain reduction for patients with cervical facet fractures. Operative treatment appears to provide superior results to the nonoperative treatments assessed.

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Lee A. Tan, David C. Straus and Vincent C. Traynelis

OBJECT

The cervical interfacet spacer (CIS) is a relatively new technology that can increase foraminal height and area by facet distraction. These offer the potential to provide indirect neuroforaminal decompression while simultaneously enhancing fusion potential due to the relatively large osteoconductive surface area and compressive forces exerted on the grafts. These potential benefits, along with the relative ease of implantation during posterior cervical fusion procedures, make the CIS an attractive adjuvant in the management of cervical pathology. One concern with the use of interfacet spacers is the theoretical risk of inducing iatrogenic kyphosis. This work tests the hypothesis that interfacet spacers are associated with loss of cervical lordosis.

METHODS

Records from patients undergoing posterior cervical fusion at Rush University Medical Center between March 2011 and December 2012 were reviewed. The FacetLift CISs were used in all patients. Preoperative and postoperative radiographic data were reviewed and the Ishihara indices and cervical lordotic angles were measured and recorded. Statistical analyses were performed using STATA software.

RESULTS

A total of 64 patients were identified in whom 154 cervical levels were implanted with machined allograft interfacet spacers. Of these, 15 patients underwent anterior-posterior fusions, 4 underwent anterior-posterior-anterior fusions, and the remaining 45 patients underwent posterior-only fusions. In the 45 patients with posterior-only fusions, a total of 110 levels were treated with spacers. There were 14 patients (31%) with a single level treated, 16 patients (36%) with two levels treated, 5 patients (11%) with three levels treated, 5 patients (11%) with four levels treated, 1 patient (2%) with five levels treated, and 4 patients (9%) with six levels treated. Complete radiographic data were available in 38 of 45 patients (84%). On average, radiographic follow-up was obtained at 256.9 days (range 48–524 days). There was no significant difference in the Ishihara index (5.76 preoperatively and 6.17 postoperatively, p = 0.8037). The analysis had 80% power to detect a change of 4.25 in the Ishihara index at p = 0.05. There was no significant difference in the preand postoperative cervical lordotic angles (35.6° preoperatively and 33.6° postoperatively, p = 0.2678). The analysis had 80% power to detect a 7° change in the cervical lordotic angle at p = 0.05. The ANOVA of the Ishihara index and cervical lordotic angle did not show a statistically significant difference in degree of change in cervical lordosis among patients with a different number of levels of CIS insertion (p = 0.25 and p = 0.96, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS

In the authors' experience of placing CISs in more than 100 levels, they found no evidence of significant loss of cervical lordosis. The long-term impacts of these implants on fusion rates and clinical outcomes (particularly radiculopathy and postoperative C-5 palsies) remain active areas of interest and fertile ground for further studies.

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J. Kenneth Burkus, Vincent C. Traynelis, Regis W. Haid Jr. and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

The authors assess the long-term safety and efficacy of cervical disc replacement with the Prestige Cervical Disc in a prospective, randomized, multicenter trial at 7 years of follow-up.

Methods

At 31 investigational sites, 541 patients with single-level cervical disc disease with radiculopathy were randomized to 1 of 2 treatment groups: 276 investigational group patients underwent anterior cervical discectomy and arthroplasty with the Prestige disc, and 265 control group patients underwent anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Clinical outcomes included Neck Disability Index, the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey, and neck and arm pain scores. Radiographs were assessed for angle of motion and fusion. Clinical and radiographic outcomes were evaluated preoperatively, intraoperatively, and at 1.5, 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 60, and 84 months.

Results

Of the 541 patients treated, 395 patients (73%; 212 investigational and 183 control patients) completed 7 years of clinical follow-up. Significant improvements achieved by 1.5 months in both groups were sustained at 7 years. In the investigational group, mean Neck Disability Index improvements from preoperative scores were 38.2 and 37.5 at 60 and 84 months, respectively. In the control group, the corresponding means were 33.8 and 31.9. The differences between the investigational and control groups at the 60-month and 84-month periods were significant (p = 0.014 and 0.002, respectively). The overall rates of maintenance or improvement in neurological status in the investigational group were significantly higher: 92.2% and 88.2% at 60 months and 84 months, respectively, compared with 85.7% and 79.7% in the control group (p = 0.017 and 0.011, respectively). At 84 months, the percentage of working patients in the investigational group was 73.9%, and in the control group, 73.1%. Postoperatively, the implant effectively maintained average angular motion of 6.67° at 60 months and 6.75° at 84 months. Cumulative rates for surgery at the index level were lower (p < 0.001) in the investigational group (11 [4.8%] of 276) when compared with the control group (29 [13.7%] of 265) (based on life-table method), and there were statistical differences between the investigational and control groups with specific regard to the rate of subsequent revision and supplemental fixation surgical procedures. Rates for additional surgical procedures that involved adjacent levels were lower in the investigational group than in the control group (11 [4.6%] of 276 vs 24 [11.9%] of 265, respectively).

Conclusions

Cervical disc arthroplasty has the potential for preserving motion at the operated level while providing biomechanical stability and global neck mobility and may result in a reduction in adjacent-segment degeneration. The Prestige Cervical Disc maintains improved clinical outcomes and segmental motion after implantation at 7-year follow-up. Clinical trial registration no. NCT00642876 (ClinicalTrials.gov).

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Lee A. Tan, Carter S. Gerard, Vincent C. Traynelis and Paul A. Anderson

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Vincent C. Traynelis, Jonathan Sherman, Eric Nottmeier, Vaneet Singh, Kirk McGilvray, Christian M. Puttlitz and Patrick Devin Leahy

Object

The clinical success rates of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) procedures are substantially reduced as more cervical levels are included in the fusion procedure. One method that has been proposed as an adjunctive technique for multilevel ACDF is the placement of screws across the facet joints (“transfacet screws”). However, the biomechanical stability imparted by transfacet screw placement (either unilaterally or bilaterally) has not been reported. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the acute stability conferred by implementation of unilateral and bilateral transfacet screws to an ACDF construct.

Methods

Eight C2–T1 fresh-frozen human cadaveric spines (3 female and 5 male; mean age 50 years) were tested. Three different instrumentation variants were performed on cadaveric cervical spines across C4–7: 1) ACDF with an intervertebral spacer and standard plate/screw instrumentation; 2) ACDF with an intervertebral spacer and standard plate/screw instrumentation with unilateral facet screw placement; and 3) ACDF with an intervertebral spacer and standard plate/screw instrumentation with bilateral facet screw placement. Kinetic ranges of motion in flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation at 1.5 Nm were captured after each of these procedures and were statistically analyzed for significance.

Results

All 3 fixation scenarios produced statistically significant reductions (p < 0.05) in all 3 bending planes compared with the intact condition. The addition of a unilateral facet screw to the ACDF construct produced significant reductions at the C4–5 and C6–7 levels in lateral bending and axial rotation but not in flexion-extension motion. Bilateral facet screw fixation did not produce any statistically significant decreases in flexion-extension motion compared with unilateral facet screw fixation. However, in lateral bending, significant reductions at the C4–5 and C5–6 levels were observed with the addition of a second facet screw. The untreated, adjacent levels (C2–3, C3–4, and C7–1) did not demonstrate significant differences in range of motion.

Conclusions

The data demonstrated that adjunctive unilateral facet screw fixation to an ACDF construct provides significant gains in stability and should be considered a potential option for increasing the likelihood for obtaining a successful arthrodesis for multilevel ACDF procedures.