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Taewook Kang, Si Young Park, Soon Hyuck Lee, Jong Hoon Park and Seung Woo Suh

OBJECTIVE

Biportal endoscopic spinal surgery has been performed for several years, and its effectiveness is well known; however, no studies on its safety, specifically intracranial pressure, have been conducted to date. The authors sought to evaluate the effect of biportal endoscopic lumbar discectomy on intracranial pressure by monitoring cervical epidural pressure (CEP) changes throughout the procedure.

METHODS

Twenty patients undergoing single-level biportal endoscopic lumbar discectomy were enrolled in this study. CEPs were monitored throughout the procedure, consisting of phase 1, establishing the surgical portal and working space; phase 2, performing decompression and discectomy; and phase 3, turning off the fluid irrigation system. After discectomy was completed, the authors evaluated changes in CEP as the irrigation pressure increased serially by adding phase 4, increasing irrigation pressure with outflow open; and phase 5, increasing irrigation pressure with outflow closed.

RESULTS

The mean baseline CEP was measured as 16.65 mm Hg. In phase 1, the mean CEP was 17.3 mm Hg, which was not significantly different from the baseline CEP. In phase 2, the mean CEP abruptly increased up to 35.1 mm Hg when the epidural space was first connected with the working space, followed by stabilization of the CEP at 31.65 mm Hg. In phase 4, the CEP increased as the inflow pressure increased, showing a linear correlation, but not in phase 5. No patients experienced neurological complications.

CONCLUSIONS

It is important to ensure that irrigation fluid is not stagnant and is maintained continuously. More attention must be paid to keeping pressures low when opening the epidural space.

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Laura Berardo, Christina Gerges, James Wright, Amber Stout, Hamid Shah, Alexander Papanastassiou, Kristopher Kimmell and in affiliation with the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies (CSNS)

OBJECTIVE

Neurosurgeon burnout is a serious and prevalent issue that has been shown to impact professionalism, physician health, and patient outcomes. Interventions targeting physician burnout primarily focus on improving physician wellness. Many academic neurosurgery programs have established wellness curricula to combat burnout and improve wellness. No official recommendations exist for establishing a wellness program that effectively targets sources of burnout. The aim of this review was to examine measures of burnout and report objective results of wellness interventions for neurosurgical faculty and residents.

METHODS

Two systematic literature reviews were performed in parallel, in accordance with PRISMA 2009 guidelines. Following removal of duplicates, a query of PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Ovid, Cochrane, and EMBASE databases yielded 134 resident-related articles and 208 faculty-related articles for abstract screening. After abstract screening, 17 articles with a primary focus of resident wellness and 10 with a focus on faculty wellness met criteria for full-text screening. Of the total 27 screened articles, 9 (6 resident, 2 faculty, 1 both resident and faculty) met criteria and were included in the final analysis. Article quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools for cohort studies.

RESULTS

Included studies reported burnout rates for neurosurgery residents of 30%–67%. Work-life imbalance, imbalance of duties, inadequate operative exposure, and hostile faculty were contributors to burnout. The 2 included studies reported burnout rates for neurosurgery faculty members of 27% and 56.7%. Psychosocial stressors, relational stressors, and financial uncertainty were generally associated with increased feelings of burnout. Of the 4 studies reporting on outcomes of wellness initiatives included in this review, 3 reported a positive impact of the wellness interventions and 1 study reported no significant improvement after implementing a wellness initiative.

CONCLUSIONS

Burnout among neurosurgical faculty and residents is prevalent and permeates the daily lives of neurosurgeons, negatively affecting patient outcomes, career satisfaction, and quality of life. Many neurosurgery programs have instituted wellness programs to combat burnout, but few have published evidence of improvement after implementation. While studies have shown that residents and faculty recognize the importance of wellness and look favorably on such initiatives, very few studies have reported objective outcomes.

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Nobuhito Morota, Satoshi Ihara, Hideki Ogiwara, Kenichi Usami, Ikkei Tamada and Tsuyoshi Kaneko

OBJECTIVE

The basal encephalocele (BEC) is the rarest form of encephalocele, with an incidence of about 1/35,000 live births. The incidence of its subtype, sphenoidal BEC, is even lower at about 1/700,000 live births. The aim of this study was to propose the optimal surgical approach to repairing BEC, with special attention to the reconstruction of the skull base bone defect.

METHODS

Fourteen consecutive pediatric patients with BEC who underwent surgical repair between March 2004 and March 2020 (10 boys and 4 girls, age 25 days to 7 years, median age 4 months) were enrolled. The follow-up period of the surviving patients ranged from 53 to192 months (mean 119.8 months). The patient demographics, BEC subtypes, preoperative clinical condition, radiographic findings, surgical procedures, and postoperative course were retrospectively analyzed.

RESULTS

There were 4, 8, and 2 cases of sphenoidal BEC, sphenoethmoidal BEC, and ethmoidal BEC, respectively. The size of the bone defect was small in 3 patients, medium in 7, and large in 4 patients. All the patients with sphenoethmoidal and ethmoidal BEC showed associated congenital anomalies other than cleft palate. In total, 25 operations were performed. Two patients underwent multiple operations, whereas the remaining 9 patients received only 1 operation. The transoral transpalatal approach was the initial procedure used in all 14 patients. The transfrontobasal approach was applied as an additional procedure in 2 patients and as part of a 1-stage combined operation in 2 patients. Autograft bone alone was used for skull base reconstruction in 17 early operations. A titanium mesh/plate was used in the remaining 8 operations without any perioperative complications. All BECs were successfully repaired. Three patients died during the clinical course due to causes unrelated to their surgery. All but one of the surviving patients started growth hormone replacement therapy before school age.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on the authors’ limited experience, the key to successful BEC repair involves circumferential dissection of the BEC and a firm reconstruction of the skull base bone defect with a titanium plate/mesh. The transoral transpalatal approach is a promising, reliable procedure that may be used in the initial operation. When a cleft palate is absent, transnasal endoscopic repair is recommended. The transfrontobasal approach should be reserved for cases with a huge BEC and other anomalies. Long-term prognosis is apparently favorable in survivors.

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A cadaveric precision and accuracy analysis of augmented reality–mediated percutaneous pedicle implant insertion

Presented at the 2020 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Camilo A. Molina, Frank M. Phillips, Matthew W. Colman, Wilson Z. Ray, Majid Khan, Emanuele Orru’, Kornelis Poelstra and Larry Khoo

OBJECTIVE

Augmented reality–mediated spine surgery (ARMSS) is a minimally invasive novel technology that has the potential to increase the efficiency, accuracy, and safety of conventional percutaneous pedicle screw insertion methods. Visual 3D spinal anatomical and 2D navigation images are directly projected onto the operator’s retina and superimposed over the surgical field, eliminating field of vision and attention shift to a remote display. The objective of this cadaveric study was to assess the accuracy and precision of percutaneous ARMSS pedicle implant insertion.

METHODS

Instrumentation was placed in 5 cadaveric torsos via ARMSS with the xvision augmented reality head-mounted display (AR-HMD) platform at levels ranging from T5 to S1 for a total of 113 total implants (93 pedicle screws and 20 Jamshidi needles). Postprocedural CT scans were graded by two independent neuroradiologists using the Gertzbein-Robbins scale (grades A–E) for clinical accuracy. Technical precision was calculated using superimposition analysis employing the Medical Image Interaction Toolkit to yield angular trajectory (°) and linear screw tip (mm) deviation from the virtual pedicle screw position compared with the actual pedicle screw position on postprocedural CT imaging.

RESULTS

The overall implant insertion clinical accuracy achieved was 99.1%. Lumbosacral and thoracic clinical accuracies were 100% and 98.2%, respectively. Specifically, among all implants inserted, 112 were noted to be Gertzbein-Robbins grade A or B (99.12%), with only 1 medial Gertzbein-Robbins grade C breach (> 2-mm pedicle breach) in a thoracic pedicle at T9. Precision analysis of the inserted pedicle screws yielded a mean screw tip linear deviation of 1.98 mm (99% CI 1.74–2.22 mm) and a mean angular error of 1.29° (99% CI 1.11°–1.46°) from the projected trajectory. These data compare favorably with data from existing navigation platforms and regulatory precision requirements mandating that linear and angular deviation be less than 3 mm (p < 0.01) and 3° (p < 0.01), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Percutaneous ARMSS pedicle implant insertion is a technically feasible, accurate, and highly precise method.

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Chibawanye I. Ene, Anthony C. Wang, Kelly L. Collins, Robert H. Bonow, Lynn B. McGrath, Sharon J. Durfy, Jason K. Barber and Richard G. Ellenbogen

OBJECTIVE

While a select population of pediatric patients with Chiari malformation type I (CM-I) remain asymptomatic, some patients present with tussive headaches, neurological deficits, progressive scoliosis, and other debilitating symptoms that necessitate surgical intervention. Surgery entails a variety of strategies to restore normal CSF flow, including increasing the posterior fossa volume via bone decompression only, or bone decompression with duraplasty, with or without obex exploration. The indications for duraplasty and obex exploration following bone decompression remain controversial. The objective of this study was to describe an institutional series of pediatric patients undergoing surgery for CM-I, performed by a single neurosurgeon. For patients presenting with a syrinx, the authors compared outcomes following bone-only decompression with duraplasty only and with duraplasty including obex exploration. Clinical outcomes evaluated included resolution of syrinx, scoliosis, presenting symptoms, and surgical complications.

METHODS

A retrospective review was conducted of the medical records of 276 consecutive pediatric patients with CM-I operated on at a single institution between 2001 and 2015 by the senior author. Imaging findings of tonsillar descent, associated syrinx (syringomyelia or syringobulbia), basilar invagination, and clinical assessment of CM-I–attributable symptoms and scoliosis were recorded. In patients presenting with a syrinx, clinical outcomes, including syrinx resolution, symptom resolution, and impact on scoliosis progression, were compared for three surgical groups: bone-only/posterior fossa decompression (PFD), PFD with duraplasty (PFDwD), and PFD with duraplasty and obex exploration (PFDwDO).

RESULTS

PFD was performed in 25% of patients (69/276), PFDwD in 18% of patients (50/276), and PFDwDO in 57% of patients (157/276). The mean follow-up was 35 ± 35 months. Nearly half of the patients (132/276, 48%) had a syrinx. In patients presenting with a syrinx, PFDwDO was associated with a significantly higher likelihood of syrinx resolution relative to PFD only (HR 2.65, p = 0.028) and a significant difference in time to symptom resolution (HR 2.68, p = 0.033). Scoliosis outcomes did not differ among treatment groups (p = 0.275). Complications were not significantly higher when any duraplasty (PFDwD or PFDwDO) was performed following bone decompression (p > 0.99).

CONCLUSIONS

In this series of pediatric patients with CM-I, patients presenting with a syrinx who underwent expansile duraplasty with obex exploration had a significantly greater likelihood of syrinx and symptom resolution, without increased risk of CSF-related complications, compared to those who underwent bone-only decompression.

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Ping-Guo Duan, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Jeremy M. V. Guinn, Joshua Rivera, Sigurd H. Berven and Dean Chou

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to investigate whether fat infiltration of the lumbar multifidus (LM) muscle affects revision surgery rates for adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) after L4–5 transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) for degenerative spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

A total of 178 patients undergoing single-level L4–5 TLIF for spondylolisthesis (2006 to 2016) were retrospectively analyzed. Inclusion criteria were a minimum 2-year follow-up, preoperative MR images and radiographs, and single-level L4–5 TLIF for degenerative spondylolisthesis. Twenty-three patients underwent revision surgery for ASD during the follow-up. Another 23 patients without ASD were matched with the patients with ASD. Demographic data, Roussouly curvature type, and spinopelvic parameter data were collected. The fat infiltration of the LM muscle (L3, L4, and L5) was evaluated on preoperative MRI using the Goutallier classification system.

RESULTS

A total of 46 patients were evaluated. There were no differences in age, sex, BMI, or spinopelvic parameters with regard to patients with and those without ASD (p > 0.05). Fat infiltration of the LM was significantly greater in the patients with ASD than in those without ASD (p = 0.029). Fat infiltration was most significant at L3 in patients with ASD than in patients without ASD (p = 0.017). At L4 and L5, there was an increasing trend of fat infiltration in the patients with ASD than in those without ASD, but the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.354 for L4 and p = 0.077 for L5).

CONCLUSIONS

Fat infiltration of the LM may be associated with ASD after L4–5 TLIF for spondylolisthesis. Fat infiltration at L3 may also be associated with ASD at L3–4 after L4–5 TLIF.

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Willem Pondaag, Justus L. Groen and Martijn J. A. Malessy

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Alexander Micko, Benjamin I. Rapoport, Brett E. Youngerman, Reginald P. Fong, Jennifer Kosty, Andrew Brunswick, Shane Shahrestani, Gabriel Zada and Theodore H. Schwartz

OBJECTIVE

Incomplete resection of skull base pathology may result in local tumor recurrence. This study investigates the utility of 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) fluorescence during endoscopic endonasal approaches (EEAs) to increase visibility of pathologic tissue.

METHODS

This retrospective multicenter series comprises patients with planned resection of an anterior skull base lesion who received preoperative 5-ALA at two tertiary care centers. Diagnostic use of a blue light endoscope was performed during EEA for all cases. Demographic and tumor characteristics as well as fluorescence status, quality, and homogeneity were assessed for each skull base pathology.

RESULTS

Twenty-eight skull base pathologies underwent blue-light EEA with preoperative 5-ALA, including 15 pituitary adenomas (54%), 4 meningiomas (14%), 3 craniopharyngiomas (11%), 2 Rathke’s cleft cysts (7%), as well as plasmacytoma, esthesioneuroblastoma, and sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma. Of these, 6 (21%) of 28 showed invasive growth into surrounding structures such as dura, bone, or compartments of the cavernous sinus. Tumor fluorescence was detected in 2 cases (7%), with strong fluorescence in 1 tuberculum sellae meningioma and vague fluorescence in 1 pituicytoma. In all other cases fluorescence was absent. Faint fluorescence of the normal pituitary gland was seen in 1 (7%) of 15 cases. A comparison between the particular tumor entities as well as a correlation between invasiveness, WHO grade, Ki-67, and positive fluorescence did not show any significant association.

CONCLUSIONS

With the possible exception of meningiomas, 5-ALA fluorescence has limited utility in the majority of endonasal skull base surgeries, although other pathology may be worth investigating.