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Andrés A. Maldonado, Benjamin M. Howe and Robert J. Spinner

Paralysis of the posterior interosseous nerve (PIN) secondary to compression is a rare clinical condition. Entrapment neuropathy may occur at fibrous bands at the proximal, middle, or distal edge of the supinator. Tumors are a relatively rare but well-known potential cause. The authors present 2 cases of PIN lesions in which compression by a benign lipoma at the level of the elbow resulted in near transection (discontinuity) of the nerve. They hypothesize a mechanism—a “sandwich effect”—by which compression was produced from below by the mass and from above by a fibrous band in the supinator muscle (i.e., the leading edge of the proximal supinator muscle [arcade of Fröhse] in one patient and the distal edge of the supinator muscle in the other). A Grade V Sunderland nerve lesion resulted from the advanced, chronic compression. The authors are unaware of a similar case with such an advanced pathoanatomical finding.

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Stepan Capek, Benjamin M. Howe, Kimberly K. Amrami and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECT

Perineural spread along pelvic autonomie nerves has emerged as a logical, anatomical explanation for selected cases of neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy (LSP) in patients with prostate, bladder, rectal, and cervical cancer. The authors wondered whether common radiological and clinical patterns shared by various types of pelvic cancer exist.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed their institutional series of 17 cases concluded as perineural tumor spread. All available history, physical examination, electrodiagnostic studies, biopsy data and imaging studies, evidence of other metastatic disease, and follow-up were recorded in detail. The series was divided into 2 groups: cases with neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy confirmed by biopsy (Group A) and cases included based on imaging characteristics despite the lack of biopsy or negative biopsy results (Group B).

RESULTS

Group A comprised 10 patients (mean age 69 years); 9 patients were symptomatic and 1 was asymptomatic. The L5–S1 spinal nerves and sciatic nerve were most frequently involved. Three patients had intradural extension. Seven patients were alive at last follow-up. Group B consisted of 7 patients (mean age 64 years); 4 patients were symptomatic, 2 were asymptomatic, and 1 had only imaging available. The L5–S1 spinal nerves and the sciatic nerve were most frequently involved. No patients had intradural extension. Four patients were alive at last follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors provide a unifying theory to explain lumbosacral plexopathy in select cases of various pelvic neoplasms. The tumor cells can use splanchnic nerves as conduits and spread from the end organ to the lumbosacral plexus. Tumor can continue to spread along osseous and muscle nerve branches, resulting in muscle and bone “metastases.” Radiological studies show a reproducible, although nonspecific pattern, and the same applies to clinical presentation.

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Chandan G. Reddy, Kimberly K. Amrami, Benjamin M. Howe and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECT

Knee dislocations are often accompanied by stretch injuries to the common peroneal nerve (CPN). A small subset of these injuries also affect the tibial nerve. The mechanism of this combined pattern could be a single longitudinal stretch injury of the CPN extending to the sciatic bifurcation (and tibial division) or separate injuries of both the CPN and tibial nerve, either at the level of the tibiofemoral joint or distally at the soleal sling and fibular neck. The authors reviewed cases involving patients with knee dislocations with CPN and tibial nerve injuries to determine the localization of the combined injury and correlation between degree of MRI appearance and clinical severity of nerve injury.

METHODS

Three groups of cases were reviewed. Group 1 consisted of knee dislocations with clinical evidence of nerve injury (n = 28, including 19 cases of complete CPN injury); Group 2 consisted of knee dislocations without clinical evidence of nerve injury (n = 19); and Group 3 consisted of cases of minor knee trauma but without knee dislocation (n = 14). All patients had an MRI study of the knee performed within 3 months of injury. MRI appearance of tibial and common peroneal nerve injury was scored by 2 independent radiologists in 3 zones (Zone I, sciatic bifurcation; Zone II, knee joint; and Zone III, soleal sling and fibular neck) on a severity scale of 1–4. Injury signal was scored as diffuse or focal for each nerve in each of the 3 zones. A clinical score was also calculated based on Medical Research Council scores for strength in the tibial and peroneal nerve distributions, combined with electrophysiological data, when available, and correlated with the MRI injury score.

RESULTS

Nearly all of the nerve segments visualized in Groups 1 and 2 demonstrated some degree of injury on MRI (95%), compared with 12% of nerve segments in Group 3. MRI nerve injury scores were significantly more severe in Group 1 relative to Group 2 (2.06 vs 1.24, p < 0.001) and Group 2 relative to Group 3 (1.24 vs 0.13, p < 0.001). In both groups of patients with knee dislocations (Groups 1 and 2), the MRI nerve injury score was significantly higher for CPN than tibial nerve (2.72 vs 1.40 for Group 1, p < 0.001; 1.39 vs 1.09 for Group 2, p < 0.05). The clinical injury score had a significantly strong correlation with the MRI injury score for the CPN (r = 0.75, p < 0.001), but not for the tibial nerve (r = 0.07, p = 0.83).

CONCLUSIONS

MRI is highly sensitive in detecting subclinical nerve injury. In knee dislocation, clinical tibial nerve injury is always associated with simultaneous CPN injury, but tibial nerve function is never worse than peroneal nerve function. The point of maximum injury can occur in any of 3 zones.

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Nikhil K. Prasad, Mark A. Mahan, Benjamin M. Howe, Kimberly K. Amrami and Robert J. Spinner

Lipomatosis of nerve (LN) is a rare disorder of peripheral nerves that produces proliferation of interfascicular adipose tissue. It may be associated with soft-tissue and bony overgrowth within the affected nerve territory. LN has been almost exclusively reported in appendicular peripheral nerves; the median nerve at the wrist and palm is among the most common locations. The authors present a new pattern of LN that shows circumferential proliferation of fat around the epineurium of the nerve. They believe that this case and the two other documented examples in the literature (also affecting cervical and thoracic spinal nerves) share the same new pattern of LN. Defining the full spectrum of adipose lesions of the nerve and establishing a cause-effect relationship with nerve-territory overgrowth disorders may offer options for future management through targeted nerve lesioning.

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Stepan Capek, Benjamin M. Howe, Jennifer A. Tracy, Joaquín J. García, Kimberly K. Amrami and Robert J. Spinner

Perineural tumor spread in prostate cancer is emerging as a mechanism to explain select cases of neurological dysfunction and as a cause of morbidity and tumor recurrence. Perineural spread has been shown to extend from the prostate bed to the lumbosacral plexus and then distally to the sciatic nerve or proximally to the sacral and lumbar nerves and even intradurally. The authors present a case of a bilateral neoplastic lumbosacral plexopathy that can be explained anatomically as an extension of the same process: from one lumbosacral plexus to the contralateral one utilizing the dural sac as a bridge between the opposite sacral nerve roots. Their theory is supported by sequential progression of symptoms and findings on clinical examinations as well as high-resolution imaging (MRI and PET/CT scans). The neoplastic nature of the process was confirmed by a sciatic nerve fascicular biopsy. The authors believe that transmedian dural spread allows continuity of a neoplastic process from one side of the body to the other.

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Ana C. Siquara de Sousa, Stepan Capek, Benjamin M. Howe, Mark E. Jentoft, Kimberly K. Amrami and Robert J. Spinner

Sciatic nerve endometriosis (EM) is a rare presentation of retroperitoneal EM. The authors present 2 cases of catamenial sciatica diagnosed as sciatic nerve EM. They propose that both cases can be explained by perineural spread of EM from the uterus to the sacral plexus along the pelvic autonomie nerves and then further distally to the sciatic nerve or proximally to the spinal nerves. This explanation is supported by MRI evidence in both cases. As a proof of concept, the authors retrieved and analyzed the original MRI studies of a case reported in the literature and found a similar pattern of spread. They believe that the imaging evidence of their institutional cases together with the outside case is a very compelling indication for perineural spread as a mechanism of EM of the nerve.

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Carlos E. Restrepo, Kimberly K. Amrami, Benjamin M. Howe, P. James B. Dyck, Michelle L. Mauermann and Robert J. Spinner

Intraneural perineurioma is a rare, benign slow-growing lesion arising from the perineurial cells that surrounds the peripheral nerve fibers. Typically it presents during childhood and young adulthood as a motor mononeuropathy. MRI plays an essential role in the diagnosis and localization of the lesion, which appears as a fusiform enlargement of the nerve fascicles that enhances intensely with gadolinium. Despite the typical clinical and radiological features, intraneural perineurioma remains largely underdiagnosed because of the lack of familiarity with this entity, but also as a result of technical limitations with conventional MRI that is typically performed as a screening test over a large field of view and without contrast sequences. The purpose of this article is to present the pitfalls and pearls learned from years of experience in the diagnosis and management of this relatively rare condition.

Clinical suspicion and detailed neurological examination followed by high-quality electrophysiological studies (EPS) must lead to an adequate preimaging localization of the lesion and narrowing of the imaging area. The use of high-resolution (3-T) MRI combined with gadolinium administration will allow adequate visualization of the internal anatomy of the nerve and help in differentiating other causes of neuropathy. In cases where the lesion is not recognized but clinical suspicion is high, possible errors must be assessed, including the EPS localization, area of imaging, MRI resolution, and slice thickness.

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Nikhil K. Prasad, Robert J. Spinner, Jay Smith, Benjamin M. Howe, Kimberly K. Amrami, Joseph P. Iannotti and Diane L. Dahm

OBJECT

High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can distinguish between intraneural ganglion cysts and paralabral (extraneural) cysts at the glenohumeral joint. Suprascapular intraneural ganglion cysts share the same pathomechanism as their paralabral counterparts, emanating from a tear in the glenoid labrum. The authors present 2 cases to demonstrate that the identification and arthroscopic repair of labral tears form the cornerstone of treatment for intraneural ganglion cysts of the suprascapular nerve.

METHODS

Two patients with suprascapular intraneural ganglion cysts were identified: 1 was recognized and treated prospectively, and the other, previously reported as a paralabral cyst, was identified retrospectively through the reinter-pretation of high-resolution MR images.

RESULTS

Both patients achieved full functional recovery and had complete radiological involution of the intraneural ganglion cysts at the 3-month and 12-month follow-ups, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Previous reports of suprascapular intraneural ganglion cysts described treatment by an open approach to decompress the cysts and resect the articular nerve branch to the glenohumeral joint. The 2 cases in this report demonstrate that intraneural ganglion cysts, similar to paralabral cysts, can be treated with arthroscopic repair of the glenoid labrum without resection of the articular branch. This approach minimizes surgical morbidity and directly addresses the primary etiology of intraneural and extraneural ganglion cysts.