Mobile spinal tumors have been reported previously in the literature, with schwannomas as the most common form. A discrepancy between the location of the tumor in preoperative imaging and its actual position intraoperatively may lead to confusion. The authors present an unusual case of a mobile cauda equina ependymoma. Resection was complicated by cephalad migration of the tumor upon durotomy. Visualization was made possible by engaging a Valsalva maneuver in the patient under anesthesia, at which point the tumor was observed to migrate caudally into the operative field. Observation of this unique pathology is presented as potentially important knowledge for surgeons that might help prevent other unnecessary procedures such as a multilevel laminectomy.
Karam Moon, Andreas K. Filis, and Alan R. Cohen
Andreas K. Filis, Kamran Aghayev, Bernhard Schaller, Jennifer Luksza, and Frank D. Vrionis
Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are established treatment methods to reinforce fractured vertebral bodies. In cases of previous pedicle screw instrumentation, vertebral body cannulation may be challenging. The authors describe, for the first time, an approach through the adjacent inferior vertebra and disc space in the thoracic spine for cement augmentation. A 78-year-old woman underwent posterior fusion with pedicle screws after vertebrectomy and reconstruction with cement and Steinmann pins for a pathological T-7 fracture. Two months later she developed a compression fracture of the vertebral body at the lower part of the construct, and a vertebroplasty was performed. Because a standard transpedicular route was not available, an inferior transdiscal trajectory was used for the cement injection. A 73-year-old man with a history of rheumatoid arthritis underwent cervicothoracic fusion posteriorly for subluxation. He developed pain in the upper thoracic area, and the authors performed a transdiscal vertebroplasty at T-2. The standard transpedicular route was not possible. The vertebral body was satisfactorily filled up with cement. Clinically both patients benefited significantly in terms of back pain and showed an uneventful follow-up of 3 months. Transdiscal vertebroplasty can achieve good results in the mid- and upper thoracic spine when a standard transpedicular trajectory is not possible, and can therefore be a good alternative in select cases.