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Wesley Hsu, Ryan M. Kretzer, Michael J. Dorsi and Ziya L. Gokaslan

Wrong-site surgery (WSS) is a rare occurrence that can have devastating consequences for patient care. There are several factors inherent to spine surgery that increase the risk of WSS compared with other types of surgery. Not only can a surgeon potentially operate on the wrong side of the spine or the wrong level, but there are unique issues related to spinal localization that can be challenging for even the most experienced clinicians. The following review discusses important issues that can help prevent WSS during spinal procedures.

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James L. West, Kyle M. Fargen, Wesley Hsu, Charles L. Branch Jr. and Daniel E. Couture

Global access to neurosurgical care is still a work in progress, with many patients in low-income countries not able to access potentially lifesaving neurosurgical procedures. “Big Data” is an increasingly popular data collection and analytical technique predicated on collecting large amounts of data across multiple data sources and types for future analysis. The potential applications of Big Data to global outreach neurosurgery are myriad: from assessing the overall burden of neurosurgical disease to planning cost-effective improvements in access to neurosurgical care, and collecting data on conditions which are rare in developed countries. Although some global neurosurgical outreach programs have intelligently implemented Big Data principles in their global neurosurgery initiatives already, there is still significant progress that remains to be made. Big Data has the potential to drive the efficient improvement of access to neurosurgical care across low- and medium-income countries.

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Aravind Somasundaram, Robert T. Wicks, Adrian L. Lata, Shadi A. Qasem and Wesley Hsu

In this article, the authors describe a 48-year-old man who initially presented with progressively worsening back pain. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a soft-tissue mass involving the T10–11 vertebral bodies with extension anteriorly into the aorta as well as epidural extension without spinal cord compression. A biopsy of the mass showed findings consistent with a malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH). A total en bloc spondylectomy with resection and reconstruction of the involved aorta using a vascular graft was performed. The patient received postoperative radiation therapy and is neurologically intact at 18 months postoperatively. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of a spinal MFH resection with aortic reconstruction.

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Analiz Rodriguez, Matthew T. Neal, Ann Liu, Aravind Somasundaram, Wesley Hsu and Charles L. Branch Jr


Symptomatic adjacent-segment lumbar disease (ASLD) after lumbar fusion often requires subsequent surgical intervention. The authors report utilizing cortical bone trajectory (CBT) pedicle screw fixation with intraoperative CT (O-arm) image-guided navigation to stabilize spinal levels in patients with symptomatic ASLD. This unique technique results in the placement of 2 screws in the same pedicle (1 traditional pedicle trajectory and 1 CBT) and obviates the need to remove preexisting instrumentation.


The records of 5 consecutive patients who underwent lumbar spinal fusion with CBT and posterior interbody grafting for ASLD were retrospectively reviewed. All patients underwent screw trajectory planning with the O-arm in conjunction with the StealthStation navigation system. Basic demographics, operative details, and radiographic and clinical outcomes were obtained.


The average patient age was 69.4 years (range 58–82 years). Four of the 5 surgeries were performed with the Minimal Access Spinal Technologies (MAST) Midline Lumbar Fusion (MIDLF) system. The average operative duration was 218 minutes (range 175–315 minutes). In the entire cohort, 5.5-mm cortical screws were placed in previously instrumented pedicles. The average hospital stay was 2.8 days (range 2–3 days) and there were no surgical complications. All patients had more than 6 months of radiographic and clinical follow-up (range 10–15 months). At last follow-up, all patients reported improved symptoms from their preoperative state. Radiographic follow-up showed Lenke fusion grades of A or B.


The authors present a novel fusion technique that uses CBT pedicle screw fixation in a previously instrumented pedicle with intraoperative O-arm guided navigation. This method obviates the need for hardware removal. This cohort of patients experienced good clinical results. Computed tomography navigation was critical for accurate CBT screw placement at levels where previous traditional pedicle screws were already placed for symptomatic ASLD.