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Christopher E. Mandigo, Prakash Sampath and Michael G. Kaiser

✓Posterior dynamic stabilization in the lumbar spine is performed in an attempt to reduce loading across the intervertebral disc for the purpose of relieving pain and limiting degeneration while preserving motion. The AccuFlex rod system (Globus Medical, Inc.), a first-generation device, achieves this by changing the properties of the rod within the Protex pedicle screw–based rigid rod system. Helical cuts that have been created in the standard 6.5-mm rod allow for a limited range of motion while providing a posterior tension band that relieves a significant amount of disc loading. The AccuFlex rod system has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for single-level fusion when used in conjunction with an interbody graft. In a study involving 170 patients who underwent fusion surgery for back pain, the 54 who received the AccuFlex construct had statistically similar fusion rates and outcomes (as assessed by visual analog scale and Short Form-16 scores) when compared with 116 patients treated with rigid rod fixation after 1 year of follow up. Future clinical studies will examine and provide information regarding the impact of AccuFlex on the incidence of adjacent-level disease. Information gained through the clinical experience with AccuFlex will serve as a foundation for the development of a stand-alone dynamic construct.

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Pankaj K. Agarwalla, Christopher J. Stapleton, Michael T. Phillips, Brian P. Walcott, Andrew S. Venteicher and Christopher S. Ogilvy

Object

Moyamoya disease/syndrome (MMD/S) is a progressive, occlusive vasculopathy of the intracranial vasculature that leads to ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Significant debate exists regarding the role of indirect cerebrovascular bypass surgery in its management. The authors review their institution's experience with indirect bypass in the surgical management of patients with MMD/S.

Methods

The authors conducted a retrospective review of patients with MMD/S who underwent encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis (EDAS), a form of indirect bypass, from 1996 to 2013.

Results

A total of 37 patients (52 hemispheres) underwent an EDAS procedure for MMD/S; 21 patients received revascularization of both hemispheres. Patients presented with the following: 49% with stroke, 35% with transient ischemic attack, 13% with hemorrhage, and 3% with seizure. The mean Suzuki grade was 3.46. The number of patients with a modified Rankin Scale score of 0–1 improved from 21 to 29 (p = 0.002) from the time of surgery to the time of last follow-up. The number of neurological events (i.e., transient ischemic attacks, strokes, and hemorrhages) decreased from a mean of 1.7 events per patient to 0.14 (p < 0.001). The mean length of follow-up was 32.8 months.

Conclusions

This series demonstrates that EDAS is an effective procedure for MMD/S in a North American cohort of patients.

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Darryl Lau, Cecilia L. Dalle Ore, Patrick Reid, Michael M. Safaee, Vedat Deviren, Justin S. Smith, Christopher I. Shaffrey and Christopher P. Ames

OBJECTIVE

The benefits and utility of routine neuromonitoring with motor and somatosensory evoked potentials during lumbar spine surgery remain unclear. This study assesses measures of performance and utility of transcranial motor evoked potentials (MEPs) during lumbar pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO).

METHODS

This is a retrospective study of a single-surgeon cohort of consecutive adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients who underwent lumbar PSO from 2006 to 2016. A blinded neurophysiologist reviewed individual cases for MEP changes. Multivariate analysis was performed to determine whether changes correlated with neurological deficits. Measures of performance were calculated.

RESULTS

A total of 242 lumbar PSO cases were included. MEP changes occurred in 38 (15.7%) cases; the changes were transient in 21 cases (55.3%) and permanent in 17 (44.7%). Of the patients with permanent changes, 9 (52.9%) had no recovery and 8 (47.1%) had partial recovery of MEP signals. Changes occurred at a mean time of 8.8 minutes following PSO closure (range: during closure to 55 minutes after closure). The mean percentage of MEP signal loss was 72.9%. The overall complication rate was 25.2%, and the incidence of new neurological deficits was 4.1%. On multivariate analysis, MEP signal loss of at least 50% was not associated with complication (p = 0.495) or able to predict postoperative neurological deficits (p = 0.429). Of the 38 cases in which MEP changes were observed, the observation represented a true-positive finding in only 3 cases. Postoperative neurological deficits without MEP changes occurred in 7 cases. Calculated measures of performance were as follows: sensitivity 30.0%, specificity 84.9%, positive predictive value 7.9%, and negative predictive value 96.6%. Regarding the specific characteristics of the MEP changes, only a signal loss of 80% or greater was significantly associated with a higher rate of neurological deficit (23.0% vs 0.0% for loss of less than 80%, p = 0.021); changes of less than 80% were not associated with postoperative deficits.

CONCLUSIONS

Neuromonitoring has a low positive predictive value and low sensitivity for detecting new neurological deficits. Even when neuromonitoring is unchanged, patients can still have new neurological deficits. The utility of transcranial MEP monitoring for lumbar PSO remains unclear but there may be advantages to its use.

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Thomas J. Buell, Davis G. Taylor, Ching-Jen Chen, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Justin S. Smith and Shay Bess

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Michael J. Rauzzino, Christopher I. Shaffrey, James Wagner, Russ Nockels and Mark Abel

The indications for surgical intervention in patients with idiopathic scoliosis have been well defined. The goals of surgery are to achieve fusion and arrest progressive curvature while restoring normal coronal and sagittal balance. As first introduced by Harrington, posterior fusion, the gold standard of treatment, has a proven record of success. More recently, anterior techniques for performing fusion procedures via either a thoracotomy or a retroperitoneal approach have been popularized in attempts to achieve better correction of curvature, preserve motion segments, and avoid some of the complications of posterior fusion such as the development of the flat-back syndrome. Anterior instrumentation alone, although effective, can be kyphogenic and has been shown to be associated with complications such as pseudarthrosis and instrumentation failure. Performing a combined approach in patients with scoliosis and other deformities has become an increasingly popular procedure to achieve superior correction of deformity and to minimize later complications. Indications for a combined approach (usually consisting of anterior release, arthrodesis with or without use of instrumentation, and posterior segmental fusion) include: prevention of crankshaft phenomenon in juvenile or skeletally immature adolescents; correction of large curves (75°) or excessively rigid curves in skeletally mature or immature patients; correction of curves with large sagittal-plane deformities such as thoracic kyphosis (> 90°) or thoracic lordosis (> 20°); and correction of thoracolumbar curves that need to be fused to the sacrum. Surgery may be performed either in a staged proceedure or, more commonly, in a single sitting. The authors discuss techniques for combined surgery and complication avoidance.

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Michael J. Rauzzino, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Russ P. Nockels, Gregory C. Wiggins, Jack Rock and James Wagner

The authors report their experience with 42 patients in whom anterior lumbar fusion was performed using titanium cages as a versatile adjunct to treat a wide variety of spinal deformity and pathological conditions. These conditions included congenital, degenerative, iatrogenic, infectious, traumatic, and malignant disorders of the thoracolumbar spine. Fusion rates and complications are compared with data previously reported in the literature.

Between July 1996 and July 1999 the senior authors (C.I.S., R.P.N., and M.J.R.) treated 42 patients by means of a transabdominal extraperitoneal (13 cases) or an anterolateral extraperitoneal approach (29 cases), 51 vertebral levels were fused using titanium cages packed with autologous bone. All vertebrectomies (27 cases) were reconstructed using a Miami Moss titanium mesh cage and Kaneda instrumentation. Interbody fusion (15 cases) was performed with either the BAK titanium threaded interbody cage (in 13 patients) or a Miami Moss titanium mesh cage (in two patients). The average follow-up period was 14.3 months. Seventeen patients had sustained a thoracolumbar burst fracture, 12 patients presented with degenerative spinal disorders, six with metastatic tumor, four with spinal deformity (one congenital and three iatrogenic), and three patients presented with spinal infections. In five patients anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) was supplemented with posterior segmental fixation at the time of the initial procedure. Of the 51 vertebral levels treated, solid arthrodesis was achieved in 49, a 96% fusion rate. One case of pseudarthrosis occurred in the group treated with BAK cages; the diagnosis was made based on the patient's continued mechanical back pain after undergoing L4–5 ALIF. The patient was treated with supplemental posterior fixation, and successful fusion occurred uneventfully with resolution of her back pain. In the group in which vertebrectomy was performed there was one case of fusion failure in a patient with metastatic breast cancer who had undergone an L-3 corpectomy with placement of a mesh cage. Although her back pain was immediately resolved, she died of systemic disease 3 months after surgery and before fusion could occur.

Complications related to the anterior approach included two vascular injuries (two left common iliac vein lacerations); one injury to the sympathetic plexus; one case of superficial phlebitis; two cases of prolonged ileus (greater than 48 hours postoperatively); one anterior femoral cutaneous nerve palsy; and one superficial wound infection. No deaths were directly related to the surgical procedure. There were no cases of dural laceration and no nerve root injury. There were no cases of deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, retrograde ejaculation, abdominal hernia, bowel or ureteral injury, or deep wound infection. Fusion-related complications included an iliac crest hematoma and prolonged donor-site pain in one patient. There were no complications related to placement or migration of the cages, but there was one case of screw fracture of the Kaneda device that did not require revision.

The authors conclude that anterior lumbar fusion performed using titanium interbody or mesh cages, packed with autologous bone, is an effective, safe method to achieve fusion in a wide variety of pathological conditions of the thoracolumbar spine. The fusion rate of 96% compares favorably with results reported in the literature. The complication rate mirrors the low morbidity rate associated with the anterior approach. A detailed study of clinical outcomes is in progress. Patient selection and strategies for avoiding complication are discussed.

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Ravikant S. Palur, Caglar Berk, Michael Schulzer and Christopher R. Honey

Object. There is an active debate regarding whether pallidotomy should be performed using macroelectrode stimulation or the more sophisticated and expensive method of microelectrode recording. No prospective, randomized trial results have answered this question, although personnel at many centers claim one method is superior. In their metaanalysis the authors reviewed published reports of both methods to determine if there is a significant difference in clinical outcomes or complication rates associated with these methods.

Methods. A metaanalysis was performed with data from reports on the use of unilateral pallidotomy in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) that were published between 1992 and 2000. A Medline search was conducted for the key word “pallidotomy” and additional studies were added following a review of the references. Only those studies dealing with unilateral procedures performed in patients with PD were included. Papers were excluded if they described a cohort smaller than 10 patients or a follow-up period shorter than 3 months or included cases that previously had been reported. The primary end points for outcome were the percentages of improvement in dyskinesias and in motor scores determined by the Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS). Complications were categorized as mortality, intracranial hemorrhage, visual deficit, speech deficit, cognitive decline, weakness, and other.

There were no significant differences between the two methods with respect to improvements in dyskinesias (p = 0.66) or UPDRS motor scores (p = 0.62). Microelectrode recording was associated with a significantly higher (p = 0.012) intracranial hemorrhage rate (1.3 ± 0.4%), compared with macroelectrode stimulation (0.25 ± 0.2%).

Conclusions. In reports of patients with PD who underwent unilateral pallidotomy, operations that included microelectrode recording were associated with a small, but significantly higher rate of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage; however, there was no difference in postoperative reduction of dyskinesia or bradykinesia compared with operations that included macroelectrode stimulation.

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Christopher B. Michael, Andrew G. Lee, James R. Patrinely, Samuel Stal and J. Bob Blacklock

✓ The authors present a case of visual loss associated with fibrous dysplasia of the anterior skull base and the surgical management of this case. Preoperative computerized tomography scanning in this patient demonstrated a patent optic foramen and a rapidly growing cystic mass within the orbit, which was responsible for the patient's visual loss. A literature review revealed that this case is typical, in that cystic mass lesions of various types are frequently responsible for visual loss associated with fibrous dysplasia. The authors did not find significant evidence in the literature to support the notion that visual loss associated with fibrous dysplasia is the result of progressive optic canal stenosis, thus raising questions about the value of prophylactic optic canal decompression. Instead, as demonstrated by this case and those uncovered in the literature review, most instances of visual loss result from the rapid growth of mass lesions of cystic fibrous dysplasia, mucoceles, or hemorrhage. Findings of the literature review and the present case of fibrous dysplasia of the anterior skull base support a role for extensive surgical resection in these cases and indicate a need for additional prospective analysis of a larger number of patients with this disease.

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Cecilia L. Dalle Ore, Darryl Lau, Jessica L. Davis, Michael M. Safaee and Christopher P. Ames

Juvenile ossifying fibroma (JOF) is a rare benign bone tumor that occurs most frequently in the craniofacial bones of children and young adults. There are few case reports that describe its involvement outside the craniofacial skeleton, especially within the spinal column. While JOF is classified as a benign lesion, it may be locally aggressive and demonstrate a high propensity for recurrence, even after resection. Definitive surgical management may be challenging in naive cases, but it is particularly challenging in recurrent cases and when extensive spinal reconstruction is warranted. In this report, the authors describe the diagnosis and surgical management of a 29-year-old man who presented with a large recurrent sacral trabecular-subtype JOF. A review of literature regarding JOFs, management of recurrent primary spinal tumors, and sacral reconstruction are discussed.