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Thomas T. Lee, Glen R. Manzano and Barth A. Green

Twenty-five patients underwent an expansive cervical laminoplasty for nontraumatic cervical spondylosis with myelopathy during the period from June 1990 to November 1994, and all had a minimum of 18 months of follow-up review. The open-door laminoplasty procedure presently reported consisted of the same approach evaluated by Hirabayashi in 1977, except that the authors of this report used three rib allografts to anchor the “open door,” rather than spinous process sutures or autologous bone grafts. Posterior foraminotomies and decompression were performed in patients with clinical radiculopathy and radiographic evidence of foraminal stenosis.

Preoperatively, gait disturbance was present in all patients. All 25 patients (100%) had long-tract signs on presentation. Nondermatomal upper-extremity symptoms (numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain) were quite common in this group of patients. Bowel, bladder, and/or sexual dysfunction was found in 13 (52%) of 25 patients. Preoperative radiographic studies showed a mean midline anteroposterior diameter spinal canal/vertebral body (SC/VB) ratio of 0.623 and a mean compression ratio (sagittal/lateral diameter ratio X 100%) of 37%.

This procedure was quite successful in relieving preoperative symptoms and few complications occurred. Gait disturbance was improved in 21 (84%) of 25 patients and hand numbness and tingling were improved in 13 (87%) of 15 patients. Bowel or bladder function improved in 10 (77%) of 13 patients. Radiculopathy, when present, was alleviated in all four patients after the decompressive procedure. The postoperative SC/VB ratio, as measured by plain lateral radiographs and/or computerized tomography scans, was improved to 0.871, a 38% improvement. In a comparison with the preoperative SC/VB ratio using the two-tailed t-test, alpha was less than 0.001. The compression ratio improved to 63% postoperatively, which yielded an alpha less than 0.005 according to the two-tailed t-test. Only one postoperative complication, an anterior scalene syndrome, was encountered.

Various predictors of surgical outcome based on gait improvement were evaluated. Age greater than 60 years at the time of presentation, duration of symptoms more than 18 months prior to surgery, preoperative bowel or bladder dysfunction, and lower-extremity dysfunction were found to be associated with poorer surgical outcome. Even when these conditions were present, gait improvement was noted in at least 70% of the patients.

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Thomas T. Lee, Glen R. Manzano and Barth A. Green

✓ Twenty-five patients underwent an expansive cervical laminoplasty for nontraumatic cervical spondylosis with myelopathy during the period from June 1990 to November 1994, and all had a minimum of 18 months of follow-up review. The open-door laminoplasty procedure presently reported consisted of the same approach evaluated by Hirabayashi in 1977, except that the authors of this report used three rib allografts to anchor the “open door,” rather than spinous process sutures or autologous bone grafts. Posterior foraminotomies and decompression were performed in patients with clinical radiculopathy and radiographic evidence of foraminal stenosis.

Preoperatively, gait disturbance was present in all patients. All 25 patients (100%) had long-tract signs on presentation. Nondermatomal upper-extremity symptoms (numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain) were quite common in this group of patients. Bowel, bladder, and/or sexual dysfunction was found in 13 (52%) of 25 patients. Preoperative radiographic studies showed a mean midline anteroposterior diameter spinal canal/vertebral body (SC/VB) ratio of 0.623 and a mean compression ratio (sagittal/lateral diameter ratio × 100%) of 37%.

This procedure was quite successful in relieving preoperative symptoms and few complications occurred. Gait disturbance was improved in 21 (84%) of 25 patients and hand numbness and tingling were improved in 13 (87%) of 15 patients. Bowel or bladder function improved in 10 (77%) of 13 patients. Radiculopathy, when present, was alleviated in all four patients after the decompressive procedure. The postoperative SC/VB ratio, as measured by plain lateral radiographs and/or computerized tomography scans, was improved to 0.871, a 38% improvement. In a comparison with the preoperative SC/VB ratio using the two-tailed t-test, alpha was less than 0.001. The compression ratio improved to 63% postoperatively, which yielded an alpha of less than 0.005 according to the two-tailed t-test. Only one postoperative complication, an anterior scalene syndrome, was encountered.

Various predictors of surgical outcome based on gait improvement were evaluated. Age greater than 60 years at the time of presentation, duration of symptoms more than 18 months prior to surgery, preoperative bowel or bladder dysfunction, and lower-extremity dysfunction were found to be associated with poorer surgical outcome. Even when these conditions were present, gait improvement was noted in at least 70% of the patients.

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Leiomyosarcoma metastases to the spine

Case series and review of the literature

Mohamed Samy A. Elhammady, Glen R. Manzano, Nathan Lebwohl and Allan D. Levi

✓Leiomyosarcoma is a rare malignant smooth-muscle tumor that rarely metastasizes to bone. It is extremely uncommon for osseous metastasis to be the initial presentation of leiomyosarcoma or to be the initial manifestation of recurrence in patients with a history of leiomyosarcoma. The authors have treated four cases of metastatic leiomyosarcoma with the lesion initially presenting in the spine, and a fifth case of disseminated leiomyosarcoma that involved the spine. In their report, they highlight the cases of two of these patients and provide tabular data for the remaining three.

The authors performed a comprehensive review of the literature on spinal leiomyosarcomas and retrospective chart reviews of five surgically treated patients in whom a spinal metastatic leiomyosarcoma was diagnosed.

Their series consists of five women who ranged in age from 36 to 47 years (mean age 43.2 years). Four patients had known, or presumed, uterine primary lesions, whereas one harbored a retroperitoneal primary tumor. These lesions generally appear as lytic foci on imaging studies, but variable imaging characteristics were observed. All cases were managed aggressively: four patients underwent posterior/posterolateral decompression and fusion, and one underwent anterior–posterior en bloc resection and fusion. In all cases preoperative symptoms resolved. Two patients died 9 and 13 years after initial presentation. The remaining patients are alive and neurologically intact.

Metastatic spinal leiomyosarcomas tend to symptomatically involve only one spinal level at the time of diagnosis and are known to recur locally. These lesions commonly affect women in early middle age, and long-term survival, even in those with systemic metastatic lesions, is better than that seen in individuals with more aggressive spinal metastases. Attempted gross-total resection with fusion, as opposed to minimal palliative decompression, is recommended.

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G. Damian Brusko, John Paul G. Kolcun, Julie A. Heger, Allan D. Levi, Glen R. Manzano, Karthik Madhavan, Timur Urakov, Richard H. Epstein and Michael Y. Wang

OBJECTIVE

Lumbar fusion is typically associated with high degrees of pain and immobility. The implementation of an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) approach has been successful in speeding the recovery after other surgical procedures. In this paper, the authors examined the results of early implementation of ERAS for lumbar fusion.

METHODS

Beginning in March 2018 at the authors’ institution, all patients undergoing posterior, 1- to 3-level lumbar fusion surgery by any of 3 spine surgeons received an intraoperative injection of liposomal bupivacaine, immediate single postoperative infusion of 1-g intravenous acetaminophen, and daily postoperative visits from the authors’ multidisciplinary ERAS care team. Non–English- or non–Spanish-speaking patients and those undergoing nonelective or staged procedures were excluded. Reviews of medical records were conducted for the ERAS cohort of 57 patients and a comparison group of 40 patients who underwent the same procedures during the 6 months before implementation.

RESULTS

Groups did not differ significantly with regard to sex, age, or BMI (all p > 0.05). Length of stay was significantly shorter in the ERAS cohort than in the control cohort (2.9 days vs 3.8 days; p = 0.01). Patients in the ERAS group consumed significantly less oxycodone-acetaminophen than the controls on postoperative day (POD) 0 (408.0 mg vs 1094.7 mg; p = 0.0004), POD 1 (1320.0 mg vs 1708.4 mg; p = 0.04), and POD 3 (1500.1 mg vs 2105.4 mg; p = 0.03). Postoperative pain scores recorded by the physical therapy and occupational therapy teams and nursing staff each day were lower in the ERAS cohort than in controls, with POD 1 achieving significance (4.2 vs 6.0; p = 0.006). The total amount of meperidine (8.8 mg vs 44.7 mg; p = 0.003) consumed was also significantly decreased in the ERAS group, as was ondansetron (2.8 mg vs 6.0 mg; p = 0.02). Distance ambulated on each POD was farther in the ERAS cohort, with ambulation on POD 1 (109.4 ft vs 41.4 ft; p = 0.002) achieving significance.

CONCLUSIONS

In this very initial implementation of the first phase of an ERAS program for short-segment lumbar fusion, the authors were able to demonstrate substantial positive effects on the early recovery process. Importantly, these effects were not surgeon-specific and could be generalized across surgeons with disparate technical predilections. The authors plan additional iterations to their ERAS protocols for continued quality improvements.