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  • Author or Editor: Jau-Ching Wu x
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Matthew B. Potts, Jau-Ching Wu, Nalin Gupta and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

Symptomatic tethered cord and associated anomalies such as diastematomyelia rarely present during adulthood but can cause significant pain as well as motor, sensory, and bladder dysfunction. As with children, studies have shown that surgical detethering may provide improvement in pain and neurological deficits. Typical surgical management involves an open laminectomy, sectioning of the filum terminale, and exploration of the split cord malformation. Such open approaches, however, cause significant paraspinous muscle trauma and scarring. Recent advances in minimally invasive techniques allow for access to the spine and thecal sac while minimizing associated muscular trauma. The authors present a comparison of open versus minimally invasive surgery to treat adult tethered cord syndrome.

Methods

Six adult patients underwent surgical release of a tethered spinal cord (2 of them also had diastematomyelia). The mean age of the patients was 47.78 years (range 31–64 years). All medical records and images were retrospectively reviewed. Three of the patients underwent traditional open laminectomies for detethering (open group) while the other 3 patients underwent minimally invasive (mini-open) spinal cord detethering. The length of the incision, length of stay, estimated blood loss, and complications were compared between the 2 groups.

Results

All 6 patients had tethered spinal cords, and 1 patient in each group had diastematomyelia. The mean estimated blood loss during surgery (300 ml in the open group vs 167 ml in the mini-open group, p = 0.313) and the mean length of stay (7 days in the open group vs 6.3 days in the mini-open group, p = 0.718) were similar between the 2 groups. The incision length was half as long in the mini-open group versus the open group. However, 1 patient in the mini-open group developed a postoperative pseudomeningocele requiring surgical revision, whereas the open group had no revision surgeries.

Conclusions

Cases of symptomatic diastematomyelia and tethered cord in adults can be safely and effectively explored through a mini-open approach. In this small case series, the authors did find that the mini-open group had an incision that was 50% smaller than the open group, but they did not find a significant clinical difference between the groups.

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Scott A. Meyer, Jau-Ching Wu and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

Two common causes of cervical myelopathy include degenerative stenosis and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL). It has been postulated that patients with OPLL have more complications and worse outcomes than those with degenerative stenosis. The authors sought to compare the surgical results of laminoplasty in the treatment of cervical stenosis with myelopathy due to either degenerative changes or segmental OPLL.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 40 instrumented laminoplasty cases performed at a single institution over a 4-year period to treat cervical myelopathy without kyphosis. Twelve of these patients had degenerative cervical stenotic myelopathy ([CSM]; degenerative group), and the remaining 28 had segmental OPLL (OPLL group). The 2 groups had statistically similar demographic characteristics and number of treated levels (mean 3.9 surgically treated levels; p > 0.05). The authors collected perioperative and follow-up data, including radiographic results.

Results

The overall clinical follow-up rate was 88%, and the mean clinical follow-up duration was 16.4 months. The mean radiographic follow-up rate was 83%, and the mean length of radiographic follow-up was 9.3 months. There were no significant differences in the estimated blood loss (EBL) or length of hospital stay (LOS) between the groups (p > 0.05). The mean EBL and LOS for the degenerative group were 206 ml and 3.7 days, respectively. The mean EBL and LOS for the OPLL group were 155 ml and 4 days, respectively. There was a statistically significant improvement of more than one grade in the Nurick score for both groups following surgery (p < 0.05). The Nurick score improvement was not statistically different between the groups (p > 0.05). The visual analog scale (VAS) neck pain scores were similar between groups pre- and postoperatively (p > 0.05). The complication rates were not statistically different between groups either (p > 0.05). Radiographically, both groups lost extension range of motion (ROM) following laminoplasty, but this change was not statistically significant (p > 0.05).

Conclusions

Patients with CSM due to either degenerative disease or segmental OPLL have similar perioperative results and neurological outcomes with laminoplasty. The VAS neck pain scores did not improve significantly with laminoplasty for either group. Laminoplasty may limit extension ROM.

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Gurpreet Gandhoke, Jau-Ching Wu, Nathan C. Rowland, Scott A. Meyer, Camilla Gupta and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

Both anterior cervical corpectomy and fusion (ACCF) and laminoplasty are effective treatments for selected cases of cervical stenosis. Postoperative C-5 palsies may occur with either anterior or posterior decompressive procedures; however, a direct comparison of C-5 palsy rates between the 2 approaches is not present in the literature. The authors sought to compare the C-5 palsy rate of ACCF versus laminoplasty.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 31 ACCF (at C-4 or C-5) and 31 instrumented laminoplasty cases performed to treat cervical stenosis. The demographics of the groups were similar except for age (ACCF group mean age 53 years vs laminoplasty group mean age 62 years, p = 0.002). The mean number of levels treated was greater in the laminoplasty cohort (3.87 levels) than in the ACCF cohort (2.74 levels, p < 0.001). The mean preoperative Nurick grade of the laminoplasty cohort (2.61) was higher than the mean preoperative Nurick grade of the ACCF cohort (1.10, p < 0.001).

Results

The overall clinical follow-up rate was 100%. The mean overall clinical follow-up was 15 months. There were no significant differences in the estimated blood loss or length of stay between the 2 groups (p > 0.05). There was no statistical difference between the complication or reoperation rates between the 2 groups (p = 0.184 and p = 0.238). There were 2 C-5 nerve root pareses in each group. Three of the 4 patients recovered full deltoid function, and the fourth patient recovered nearly full deltoid function at final follow-up. There was no statistical difference in the rate of deltoid paresis (6.5%) between the 2 groups (p = 1).

Conclusions

Both ACCF and laminoplasty are effective treatments for patients with cervical stenosis. The authors found no difference in the rate of deltoid paresis between ACCF and laminoplasty to treat cervical stenosis.

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Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, Jau-Ching Wu, Gregory Trost, Regis W. Haid, Vincent C. Traynelis, Bobby Tay, Domagoj Coric and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

There are now 3 randomized, multicenter, US FDA investigational device exemption, industry-sponsored studies comparing arthroplasty with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) for single-level cervical disease with 2 years of follow-up. These 3 studies evaluated the Prestige ST, Bryan, and ProDisc-C artificial discs. The authors analyzed the combined results of these trials.

Methods

A total of 1213 patients with symptomatic, single-level cervical disc disease were randomized into 2 treatment arms in the 3 randomized trials. Six hundred twenty-one patients received an artificial cervical disc, and 592 patients were treated with ACDF. In the three trials, 94% of the arthroplasty group and 87% of the ACDF group have completed 2 years of follow-up. The authors analyzed the 2-year data from these 3 trials including previously unpublished source data. Statistical analysis was performed with fixed and random effects models.

Results

The authors' analysis revealed that segmental sagittal motion was preserved with arthroplasty (preoperatively 7.26° and postoperatively 8.14°) at the 2-year time point. The fusion rate for ACDF at 2 years was 95%. The Neck Disability Index, 36-Item Short Form Health Survey Mental, and Physical Component Summaries, neck pain, and arm pain scores were not statistically different between the groups at the 24-month follow-up. The arthroplasty group demonstrated superior results at 24 months in neurological success (RR 0.595, I2 = 0%, p = 0.006). The arthroplasty group had a lower rate of secondary surgeries at the 2-year time point (RR 0.44, I2 = 0%, p = 0.004). At the 2-year time point, the reoperation rate for adjacent-level disease was lower for the arthroplasty group when the authors analyzed the combined data set using a fixed effects model (RR 0.460, I2 = 2.9%, p = 0.030), but this finding was not significant using a random effects model. Adverse event reporting was too heterogeneous between the 3 trials to combine for analysis.

Conclusions

Both anterior cervical discectomy and fusion as well as arthroplasty demonstrate excellent 2-year surgical results for the treatment of 1-level cervical disc disease with radiculopathy. Arthroplasty is associated with a lower rate of secondary surgery and a higher rate of neurological success at 2 years. Arthroplasty may be associated with a lower rate of adjacent-level disease at 2 years, but further follow-up and analysis are needed to confirm this finding.

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Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, Jau-Ching Wu, Cynthia T. Chin, Gopalakrishnan Balamurali and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

The accurate intraoperative localization of the correct thoracic spine level remains a challenging problem in both open and minimally invasive spine surgery. The authors describe a technique of using preoperatively placed percutaneous fiducial screws to localize the area of interest in the thoracic spine, and they assess the safety and efficacy of the technique.

Methods

To avoid wrong-level surgery in the thoracic spine, the authors preoperatively placed a percutaneous 5-mm fiducial screw at the level of intended surgery using CT guidance. Plain radiographs and CT images with reconstructed views can then be referenced in the operating room to verify the surgical level, and the fiducial screw is easily identified on intraoperative fluoroscopy. The authors compared a group of 26 patients who underwent preoperative (often outpatient) fiducial screw placement prior to open or minimally invasive thoracic spine surgery to a historical group of 26 patients who had intraoperative localization with fluoroscopy alone.

Results

In the treatment group of 26 patients, no complications related to fiducial screw placement occurred, and there was no incidence of wrong-level surgery. In comparison, there were no wrong-level surgeries in the historical cohort of 26 patients who underwent mini-open or open thoracic spine surgery without placement of a fiducial screw. However, the authors found that the intraoperative localization fluoroscopy time was greatly reduced when a fiducial screw localization technique was employed.

Conclusions

The aforementioned technique for intraoperative localization is safe, efficient, and accurate for identifying the target level in thoracic spine exposures. The fiducial marker screw can be placed using CT guidance on an outpatient basis. There is a reduction in the amount of intraoperative fluoroscopy time needed for localization in the fiducial screw group.

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Michael G. Fehlings and Aria Fallah

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Beejal Y. Amin and Praveen V. Mummaneni

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Jason S. Cheng, Cheerag Upadhyaya, Jau-Ching Wu, Tsung-Hsi Tu and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Minimally invasive surgical (MIS) approaches have gained popularity in many surgical fields. Potential advantages to a minimally invasive, spinal intradural approach include decreased operative blood loss, shorter hospitalization, and less post-operative pain. Potential disadvantages include longer operative times, decreased exposure, and difficulty closing the dura. Prior case series from our group and others have demonstrated successful tumor resections using MIS techniques without increased complications. In this 3D video, we demonstrate the key steps in our mini-open, transpinous approach for the resection of an intradural, extramedullary lumbar schwannoma. This operation is performed through a midline incision confined to one or two levels. The spinous process is removed. The paraspinal muscles are spread using a series of sequentially larger tubular dilators, and the first dilator is placed in the space previously occupied by the target level spinous process. The expandable tube retractor is then placed over the largest dilator and docked into place over the target laminae. The expandable tubular retractor is 6 centimeters in depth and 2.5 centimeters in width before expansion and is adjustable to 9 centimeters in depth and 4–5 centimeters in diameter which allows removal of intradural lesions confined to one or two spinal segments.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/l_C4VruKYng.

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Tsung-Hsi Tu, Jau-Ching Wu, Henrich Cheng and Praveen V. Mummaneni

For patients with multilevel cervical stenosis at nonadjacent segments, one of the traditional approaches has included a multilevel fusion of the abnormal segments as well as the intervening normal segment. In this video we demonstrate an alternative treatment plan with tailored use of a combination of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) and cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) with an intervening skipped level.

The authors present the case of a 72-year-old woman with myeloradiculopathy and a large disc herniation with facet joint degeneration at C3–4 and bulging disc at C5–6. After nonoperative treatment failed, she underwent a single-level ACDF at C3–4 and single-level arthroplasty at C5–6, which successfully relieved her symptoms. No intervention was performed at the normal intervening C4–5 segment. By using ACDF combined with arthroplasty, the authors have avoided a 3-level fusion for this patient and maintained the range of motion of 2 disc levels.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/OrxcPUBvqLk.