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  • Author or Editor: Steven W. Hwang x
  • By Author: Dauser, Robert C. x
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Steven W. Hwang, Jonathan G. Thomas, Todd J. Blumberg, William E. Whitehead, Daniel J. Curry, Robert C. Dauser, Thomas G. Luerssen and Andrew Jea

Object

Significant lumbar kyphosis is frequently observed in patients with myelomeningocele and has been associated with increasing functional impairment, decreased abdominal volume, respiratory impairment, discomfort, and skin ulcerations overlying the prominent gibbus. Treatment of severe kyphotic deformities can include kyphectomy, with or without ligation of the thecal sac, with posterior spinal fixation. However, most series have reported a high rate of morbidity and complications associated with surgical intervention for correction of kyphosis in patients with myelomeningocele. The authors describe a technique in which pedicle screw (PS)–only constructs are used without transection of the thecal sac to treat severe kyphosis successfully, with minimal morbidity.

Methods

The authors retrospectively reviewed medical records and radiographic images in 2 patients with myelomeningoceles in whom kyphectomies had been performed at the authors' institution between January 2007 and July 2010. They also reviewed the existing literature for case reports or published series of patients with myelomeningocele treated with kyphectomies, to evaluate the outcomes.

Results

Both patients were male and had thoracic-level myelomeningoceles that had been repaired at birth, with associated paraplegia. Neither patient had any significant scoliotic deformity associated with the kyphosis, and both had fixation from T-9 to the ilium, which was performed using PS constructs, along with L1–2 kyphectomies. The patient in Case 1 was 20 years old and was treated for progressive kyphosis and an ulcerated nonhealing wound over the gibbus. The patient in Case 2 was 10 years old and was treated for progressive pain and functional impairment. The 2 patients had a mean correction of 63%, with a mean correction of kyphotic deformity from 136° to 51°. Neither patient developed any complication in the short term postoperatively, whereas published series have reported high complication rates, including wound infection, poor wound healing, CSF leakage, pseudarthrosis, and shunt malfunction.

Conclusions

Severe kyphotic deformities in patients with myelomeningocele can be safely treated using PS-only constructs without ligation of the thecal sac. Further evaluation with a larger sample and longer follow-up are needed to detect any associated complications, such as proximal junctional kyphosis. Further evaluation may also validate whether PS-only constructs permit successful outcomes with a shorter construct and fewer instrumented levels.

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Steven W. Hwang, Jonathan G. Thomas, William E. Whitehead, Daniel J. Curry, Robert C. Dauser, Eugene S. Kim, Thomas G. Luerssen and Andrew Jea

Congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS) is a rare genetic ion transmembrane disorder that has been associated with multiple various genetic mutations including life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death. Left thorascopic sympathectomy is an effective treatment for patients who are refractory to medical therapy or who need frequent epicardial internal cardiodefibrillator intervention. Although there is substantial literature about this therapy in adults, few reports detail the outcomes in children who undergo left thorascopic sympathectomies to treat LQTS.

The authors report the successful use of a left thoracic sympathectomy for the treatment of an 11-year-old girl who had persistently symptomatic LQTS, even after implantation of an automatic cardioverter-defibrillator. The patient remained clinically stable without arrhythmias through 6 months' of follow-up.

The authors also reviewed the relevant literature and found that it suggests that 77% of patients will have immediate resolution of their symptoms/arrhythmias after the procedure. When the outcome definition was broadened to include patients who had only 1 or 2 cardiac episodes in the follow-up period, 88% of cases were considered successful. The results of this case study and literature review suggest that left thorascopic sympathectomy is a safe and effective approach for treating pediatric patients with LQTS.

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Leonardo Rangel-Castilla, Steven W. Hwang, Andrew Jea, William E. Whitehead, Daniel J. Curry, Thomas G. Luerssen and Robert C. Dauser

Multiple-suture synostosis is typically associated with syndromic craniosynostosis but has been occasionally reported in large series of nonsyndromic children. The diagnosis of multiple fused sutures usually occurs at the same time, but rarely has the chronological development of a secondary suture synostosis been noted. The development of secondary bicoronal suture synostosis requiring surgical intervention has only been reported, to date, after surgical intervention and is hypothesized to arise from a disruption of inhibitory factors from the dura. The disinhibition of these factors permits the sutures to then fuse at an early stage. The authors report on a patient who developed secondary unilateral coronal synostosis after the diagnosis of an isolated sagittal synostosis. The secondary synostosis was identified at the time of the initial surgical intervention and ultimately required a second procedure of a frontoorbital advancement.

The clinical appearance of this phenomenon may be subtle, and surgeons should monitor for the presence of secondary synostosis during surgery as it may require intervention. Failure to identify the secondary synostosis may necessitate another surgery or result in a poor cosmetic outcome. The authors recommend close clinical follow-up for the short term in patients with isolated sagittal synostosis.