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Adam S. Kanter and Gurpreet S. Gandhoke

Since its inception in the year 2001 the minimally invasive trans-psoas Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF) approach has gained significant favor among spine surgeons. It is now routinely utilized to treat an array of spinal pathologies including degenerative disc disease, low grade spondylolisthesis, and adult spinal deformity. The intent of this video is to provide a step by step account of the basic procedural details when performing the LLIF procedure for a single level broad based degenerated lumbar disc with herniation.

The video can be found here: http://youtu.be/dZFMqmCz6Q8.

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Ricky Madhok and Adam S. Kanter

The authors present 2 cases of far-lateral lumbar disc herniations treated surgically via an extreme-lateral transpsoas approach. The procedure was performed using the MaXcess minimally invasive retractor system to access and successfully remove the disc fragments without complication. To the authors' knowledge, these are the first reported cases of using a minimally invasive retroperitoneal approach for the treatment of far-lateral disc herniations.

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Adam S. Kanter and Praveen V. Mummaneni

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Edward R. Laws and Adam S. Kanter

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Simon Morr and Adam S. Kanter

The minimally destructive lateral transpsoas approach to the spine has been used in the treatment of various lumbar spinal pathologies. Approach-specific complications have been reported due to the unique surgical corridor and lateral anatomical structures. The authors report a case of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) following interbody cage placement utilizing the lateral lumbar transpsoas approach. A review of the literature is discussed. Further clarification of the mechanism of CRPS and its treatments remains crucial for the fine-tuning of novel surgical techniques and complication avoidance during the development of these techniques.

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Alik S. Widge, Nestor D. Tomycz and Adam S. Kanter

Acute cauda equina syndrome can occur due to a variety of causes. Inferior vena cava (IVC) thrombosis has been reported as the causal source of this phenomenon twice in the relevant literature, both cases of which presented in a form complete with a component of bowel and/or bladder dysfunction. The authors report an atypical case of cauda equina syndrome in a patient in a hypercoagulable state with an extensive IVC thrombosis, resulting in acute paraparesis in the absence of incontinence or perineal anesthesia. An increasing number of prophylactic and/or therapeutic IVC filters placed in the perioperative period should engender an increased clinical suspicion for IVC thrombosis in patients presenting with acute paraparesis.

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Adam S. Kanter, Michael Y. Wang and Praveen V. Mummaneni

Object

Patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) who present with cervical spine fractures represent a unique challenge to spine surgeons. These injuries often result in neurological deficits that necessitate early and aggressive surgical management with posterior and/or anterior fixation. The authors introduce a clinical problem-solving algorithm to assist in the surgical management of instability and deformity in this exigent patient population.

Methods

Thirteen patients with AS and fractures of the cervical spine were radiographically evaluated to determine if spinal realignment was obtainable with cervical manipulation or traction. Seven patients had flexible deformities that were stabilized with either anterior or posterior fixation only, and 6 patients had fixed deformities and required circumferential anterior–posterior instrumentation. All patients were observed for neurological outcome, radiographic evidence of bone fusion, and complications.

Results

With the use of the authors' treatment algorithm, all patients were able to achieve satisfactory spinal realignment and bone fusion; 92% of patients achieved postoperative stability or improvement in Nurick and modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale scores. One patient experienced neurological deterioration following surgery, and 1 patient died at an acute rehabilitative facility following discharge.

Conclusions

Patients with AS are highly susceptible to extensive neurological injury and spinal deformity after sustaining cervical fractures from even minor traumatic forces. These injuries are uniquely complex in nature and require considerable scrutiny and aggressive surgical management to optimize spinal stability and functional outcomes. The authors' clinical problem-solving algorithm will assist spine surgeons in providing optimal care in this difficult population.

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Editorial

Thoracolumbar spinal deformity

Christopher I. Shaffrey

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Vincent Y. Wang, Adam S. Kanter and Praveen V. Mummaneni

✓Ossified ligamentum flavum (OLF) in the thoracic spine is a rare cause of myelopathy, often presenting with progressive symptomatology over an extended period of time. Surgical decompression via wide laminectomy has been the mainstay of treatment for this symptomatic disease phenomenon, but complications such as kyphotic deformity have developed due to extensive bone removal and release of the posterior tension band. The authors present a case of OLF excised via a minimally invasive microsurgical approach in which an expandable tubular retractor system was used. This approach enables complete decompression of the spinal canal while minimizing nerve, vascular, and musculoskeletal disruption, thus maintaining the native biomechanical disposition of the intact vertebral column.

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H. Michael Keyoung, Adam S. Kanter and Praveen V. Mummaneni

✓There are many potential risks associated with spinal deformity correction procedures including transient and/or permanent neurological deficits. Typically, neurological deficits caused by the surgical correction of spinal kyphosis occur acutely during surgery or immediately after surgery. Delayed postoperative neurological deficits are extremely rare.

The authors report a case of delayed neurological deficit that occurred 48 hours after surgical correction of thoracic hyperkyphosis. An 18-year-old man with myotonic dystrophy presented with a 110° T7–L1 kyphosis. The patient underwent an uneventful two-stage correction procedure of the hyperkyphotic deformity. First, anterior discectomies and fusion were performed from T-7 to L-1 using rib autograft, and all segmental vessels were preserved. Subsequently, on the same day, the patient underwent posterior Smith–Petersen osteotomies and T7–L2 pedicle screw fixation. Intact somatosensory and motor evoked potentials were maintained throughout both operations. Postoperatively, he remained neurologically intact without sequelae for nearly 48 hours. On postoperative Day 2, the patient developed delayed monoplegia of the left leg and sensory level loss below T-10.

Medical management enabled complete reversal of the patient's monoplegia and sensory loss. At 2-year follow-up, the patient had no adverse neurological sequelae.

In this case, a delayed postoperative neurological deficit occurred following spinal hyperkyphosis correction. The authors discuss the possible etiological mechanisms behind this complication and suggest strategies for its management.