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Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Nam Yoon, and Mark A. Mahan

Traumatic proximal sciatic nerve rupture poses surgical repair dilemmas. Disruption often causes a large nerve gap after proximal neuroma and distal scar removal. Also, autologous graft material to bridge the segmental defect may be insufficient, given the sciatic nerve diameter. The authors utilized knee flexion to allow single neurorrhaphy repair of a large sciatic nerve defect, bringing healthy proximal stump to healthy distal segment. To avoid aberrant regeneration, the authors split the sciatic nerve into common peroneal and tibial divisions. After 3 months, the patient can fully extend the knee and has evidence of distal regeneration and nerve continuity without substantial injury.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/lsezRT5I8MU.

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Ivo Peto, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, and Amir R. Dehdashti

Posterior fossa dural arteriovenous fistulas (dAVFs) are rare vascular malformations. They carry a significant risk of hemorrhage if associated with cortical venous reflux. A 70-year-old man presented with right-sided medullary hemorrhage with pronounced Wallenberg syndrome. Angiography demonstrated right jugular foramen dAVF with direct brainstem venous reflux (Cognard IV). It was fed from multiple branches of the external carotid artery and the vertebral artery, and draining into the ascending pontomesencephalic vein. Primary two-stage transarterial embolization was performed with near-total occlusion of the fistula to prevent it from rebleeding in the acute phase. Because of the patient’s significant neurological deficit, the surgery was deferred to later and if the DAVF showed further progression. Follow-up angiography 8 months later demonstrated obvious recurrence and progression of the fistula from adjacent feeders. In the meantime, the patient had a remarkable recovery from the Wallenberg symptoms. To achieve complete occlusion of the fistula, a right far lateral approach was chosen with complete disconnection of the fistula. Postoperative angiography confirmed complete occlusion of the fistula, and the patient remained intact from the procedure.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/DJvpa8G4olc.

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Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar and Mark A. Mahan

Endoscopic surgery has revolutionized the field of minimally invasive surgery. Nerve injury after laparoscopic surgery is presumably rare, with only scarce reports in the literature; however, the use of these techniques for new purposes presents the opportunity for novel complications. The authors report a case of subcostal nerve injury after an anterior laparoscopic approach to a posterior abdominal wall lipoma.

A 62-year-old woman presented with a left abdominal flank bulge (pseudohernia) that developed after laparoscopic posterior flank wall lipoma resection. Imaging demonstrated frank ballooning of the oblique muscles; denervation atrophy and thinning of the external oblique, internal oblique, and transverse abdominis muscles; and thinning of the rectus abdominis muscle. The patient underwent subcostal nerve repair and removal of a foreign plastic material from the laparoscopic procedure. At 8 months, she has regained substantial improvement in abdominal wall strength.

Although endoscopic procedures have resulted in significant reduction in morbidity, “minimally invasive” approaches should not be confused with “low risk” when approaching novel pathology. The subcostal nerve is at risk of injury in posterior abdominal wall surgery, whether laparoscopic or not. With the pseudohernia and abdominal bulge after this surgery, the cosmetic appeal of laparoscopic incisions was definitively undone. Selecting an approach based on the anatomy of adjacent structures may lead to a better functional result.

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Asem Salma, Hussam Abou Al-Shaar, and Maher Hassounah

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Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Timothy G. White, Ivo Peto, and Amir R. Dehdashti

A 64-year-old man with a midbrain cavernoma and prior bleeding presented with a 1-week history of diplopia, partial left oculomotor nerve palsy, and worsening dysmetria and right-sided weakness. MRI revealed a hemorrhagic left tectal plate and midbrain cavernoma. A left suboccipital supracerebellar transtentorial approach in the sitting position was performed for resection of his lesion utilizing the lateral mesencephalic sulcus safe entry zone. Postoperatively, he developed a partial right oculomotor nerve palsy; imaging depicted complete resection of the cavernoma. He recovered from the right third nerve palsy, weakness, and dysmetria, with significant improvement of his partial left third nerve palsy.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/ofj8zFWNUGU.

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Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Michael Karsy, Vijay Ravindra, Evan Joyce, and Mark A. Mahan

Particularly challenging after complete brachial plexus avulsion is reestablishing effective hand function, due to limited neurological donors to reanimate the arm. Acute repair of avulsion injuries may enable reinnervation strategies for achieving hand function. This patient presented with pan–brachial plexus injury. Given its irreparable nature, the authors recommended multistage reconstruction, including contralateral C-7 transfer for hand function, multiple intercostal nerves for shoulder/triceps function, shoulder fusion, and spinal accessory nerve–to–musculocutaneous nerve transfer for elbow flexion. The video demonstrates distal contraction from electrical stimulation of the avulsed roots. Single neurorrhaphy of the contralateral C-7 transfer was performed along with a retrosternocleidomastoid approach.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/GMPfno8sK0U.

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Troy Dawley, Zaker Rana, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Anuj Goenka, and Michael Schulder

OBJECTIVE

Complications from radiotherapy (RT), in a primary or adjuvant setting, have overall been described as uncommon, with few detailed descriptions of major complications. The authors present two cases involving significant complications and their management in their review of patients undergoing RT for treatment of atypical meningioma.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective review of all patients with pathologically confirmed atypical meningioma (WHO grade II) treated with primary or adjuvant RT from February 2011 through February 2019. They identified two patients with long-term, grade 3 toxicity. The cases of these patients are described in detail.

RESULTS

Two patients had major complications associated with postoperative RT. Patients 1 and 2 both were treated with postoperative RT for pathologically confirmed atypical meningioma. Patient 1 experienced worsening behavioral changes, cognitive decline, and hydrocephalus following treatment. This required cerebrospinal fluid diversion. Patient 2 developed radiation necrosis with mass effect and cognitive decline. Neither patient returned to his/her initial post-RT status after steroid therapy, and each remained in need of supportive care. Both patients remained free of tumor progression at 52 and 38 months following treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

The postoperative management of patients with atypical meningioma continues to be defined, with questions remaining regarding timing of RT, dose, target delineation, and fractionation. Both of the patients in this study received fractionated RT, which included a greater volume of normal brain than more focal treatment options such as would be required by stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Further research is needed to compare SRS and fractionated RT for the management of patients with grade II meningiomas. The more focused nature of SRS may make this a preferred option in certain cases of focal recurrence.

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Michael Karsy, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Christian A. Bowers, and Richard H. Schmidt

OBJECTIVE

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), or pseudotumor cerebri, is a complex and difficult-to-manage condition that can lead to permanent vision loss and refractory headaches if untreated. Traditional treatment options, such as unilateral ventriculoperitoneal (VP) or lumboperitoneal (LP) shunt placement, have high complication and failure rates and often require multiple revisions. The use of bilateral proximal catheters has been hypothesized as a method to improve shunt survival. The use of stereotactic technology has improved the accuracy of catheter placement and may improve treatment of IIH, with fewer complications and greater shunt patency time.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review for all patients with IIH who underwent stereotactic placement of biventriculoperitoneal (BVP) shunt catheters from 2008 to 2016 at their institution. Bilateral proximal catheters were Y-connected to a Strata valve with a single distal catheter. We evaluated clinical, surgical, and ophthalmological variables and outcomes.

RESULTS

Most patients in this series of 34 patients (mean age 34.4 ± 8.2 years, mean body mass index 38.7 ± 8.3 kg/m2; 91.2% were women) undergoing 41 shunt procedures presented with headache (94.1%) and visual deficits (85.3%). The mean opening pressure was 39.6 ± 9.0 cm H2O. In addition, 50.0% had undergone previous unilateral shunt placement, and 20.6% had undergone prior optic nerve sheath fenestration. After BVP shunt placement, there were no cases of proximal catheter obstruction and only a single case of valve obstruction at 41.9 months, with a mean follow-up of 24.8 ± 20.0 months. Most patients showed improvement in their headache (82.4%), subjective vision (70.6%), and papilledema (61.5% preoperatively vs 20.0% postoperatively, p = 0.02) at follow-up. Additional primary complications included 4 patients with migration of their distal catheters out of the peritoneum (twice in 1 patient), and an infection of the distal catheter after catheter dislodgment. The proximal obstructive shunt complication rate in this series (2.9%) was lower than that with LP (53.5%) or unilateral VP (37.8%) shunts seen in the literature.

CONCLUSIONS

This small series suggests that stereotactic placement of BVP shunt catheters appears to improve shunt survival rates and presenting symptoms in patients with IIH. Compared with unilateral VP or LP shunts, the use of BVP shunts may be a more effective and more functionally sustained method for the treatment of IIH.

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Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Mohammed A. Azab, Michael Karsy, Jian Guan, Gmaan Alzhrani, Yair M. Gozal, Randy L. Jensen, and William T. Couldwell

OBJECTIVE

Microsurgical resection and radiosurgery remain the most widely used interventions in the treatment of vestibular schwannomas. There is a growing demand for cost-effectiveness analyses to evaluate these two treatment modalities and delineate the factors that drive their total costs. Here, the authors evaluated specific cost drivers for microsurgical and radiosurgical management of vestibular schwannoma by using the Value Driven Outcomes system available at the University of Utah.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed all cases involving microsurgical and radiosurgical treatment of vestibular schwannomas at their institution between November 2011 and September 2017. Patient and tumor characteristics, subcategory costs, and potential cost drivers were analyzed.

RESULTS

The authors identified 163 vestibular schwannoma cases, including 116 managed microsurgically and 47 addressed with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). There were significant differences between the two groups in age, tumor size, and preoperative Koos grade (p < 0.05), suggesting that indications for treatment were markedly different. Length of stay (LOS) and length of follow-up were also significantly different. Facility costs were the most significant contributor to both microsurgical and SRS groups (58.3% and 99.4%, respectively); however, physician professional fees were not specifically analyzed. As expected, microsurgical treatment resulted in an average 4-fold greater overall cost of treatment than for SRS cases (p < 0.05), and there was a greater variation in costs for open cases as well. Costs remained stable over time for both open resection and SRS. Multivariable analysis showed that LOS (β = 0.7, p = 0.0001), discharge disposition (β = 0.2, p = 0.004), nonserviceable hearing (β = 0.1, p = 0.02), and complications (β = 0.2, p = 0.005) affected cost for open surgery, whereas no specifically examined factor could be identified as driving costs for SRS.

CONCLUSIONS

This analysis identified the fact that facility utilization constitutes the majority of total costs for both microsurgery and SRS treatment modalities of vestibular schwannomas. LOS, discharge disposition, nonserviceable hearing, and complications contributed significantly to the total costs for the microsurgical group, whereas none of the factors could be identified as driving total costs for the SRS group. This information may be used to establish policies and protocols to reduce facility costs, with the goal of decreasing the total costs without jeopardizing patient care.

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Michael Karsy, Jian Guan, Hussam Abou-Al-Shaar, Ilyas M. Eli, Bornali Kundu, Erica F. Bisson, William T. Couldwell, and Rimal H. Dossani