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  • Author or Editor: Joaquin Camara-Quintana x
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Carlos A. Bagley, Jonathan A. Pindrik, Markus J. Bookland, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana and Benjamin S. Carson

Object

Achondroplasia is the most common hereditary form of dwarfism, and is characterized by short stature, macrocephaly, and a myriad of skeletal abnormalities. In the pediatric population, stenosis and compression at the level of the cervicomedullary junction commonly occurs. The goal in this study was to assess the outcomes in children with achondroplasia who underwent cervicomedullary decompression.

Methods

Forty-three pediatric patients with heterozygous achondroplasia and foramen magnum stenosis underwent 45 cervicomedullary decompressions at the authors’ institution over an 11-year period. After surgical decompression, complete resolution or partial improvement in the preoperative symptoms was observed in all patients. There were no deaths in the treated patients. The surgical morbidity rate was low and usually consisted of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak in patients in whom the dura mater had been opened (either intentionally or accidentally). This problem was successfully managed in all cases with local measures (wound oversewing) or CSF diversion.

Conclusions

In this review the authors demonstrate that decompression of the cervicomedullary junction in the setting of achondroplasia may be accomplished safely with significant clinical benefit and minimal morbidity.

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Omar Choudhri, Robert M. Lober, Joaquin Camara-Quintana, Kristen W. Yeom, Raphael Guzman and Michael S. B. Edwards

OBJECT

The authors describe the application of a flexible CO2 laser for corpus callosotomy in children with epilepsy.

METHODS

This retrospective case series reviews all cases in which pediatric patients underwent a corpus callosotomy performed using the CO2 OmniGuide laser between May 2005 and October 2012. Data were collected from 8 corpus callosotomy procedures in 6 pediatric patients presenting with medically refractory epilepsy marked by drop attacks.

RESULTS

Complete corpus callosotomies were performed in 6 patients (3 boys, 3 girls; ages 5–14 years). In 4 patients the complete callosotomy occurred as a single procedure, and in 2 patients an anterior two-thirds callosotomy was performed first. These 2 patients subsequently required a complete callosotomy due to inadequate control of their drop attacks. In all cases there was clean lesioning of the tract with preservation of the ependymal plane and less inadvertent thermal tissue damage due to low penetration of the laser through cerebrospinal fluid. All patients had resolution or improvement of drop attacks after surgery. No complications were encountered, and imaging demonstrated a clean sectioning of callosal fibers with preservation of normal ventricular anatomy.

CONCLUSIONS

These cases illustrate the use of this device in completing corpus callosotomy in pediatric patients. The low-profile laser fiber tip was well suited for working in the depths of the interhemispheric fissure with minimal brain retraction. The flexible CO2 laser allows a precise callosal lesioning through an interhemispheric approach and is a useful adjunct to be employed in these cases.

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Aladine A. Elsamadicy, Andrew B. Koo, Adam J. Kundishora, Fouad Chouairi, Megan Lee, Astrid C. Hengartner, Joaquin Camara-Quintana, Kristopher T. Kahle and Michael L. DiLuna

OBJECTIVE

Health policy changes have led to increased emphasis on value-based care to improve resource utilization and reduce inpatient hospital length of stay (LOS). Recently, LOS has become a major determinant of quality of care and resource utilization. For adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), the determinants of extended LOS after elective posterior spinal fusion (PSF) remain relatively unknown. In the present study, the authors investigated the impact of patient and hospital-level risk factors on extended LOS following elective PSF surgery (≥ 4 levels) for AIS.

METHODS

The Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) was queried for the year 2012. Adolescent patients (age range 10–17 years) with AIS undergoing elective PSF (≥ 4 levels) were selected using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification coding system. Extended hospital LOS was defined as greater than the 75th percentile for the entire cohort (> 6 days), and patients were dichotomized as having normal LOS or extended LOS. Patient demographics, comorbidities, complications, LOS, discharge disposition, and total cost were recorded. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to determine the odds ratio for risk-adjusted LOS. The primary outcome was the degree to which patient comorbidities or postoperative complications correlated with extended LOS.

RESULTS

Comorbidities were overall significantly higher in the extended-LOS cohort than the normal-LOS cohort. Patients with extended LOS had a significantly greater proportion of blood transfusion (p < 0.001) and ≥ 9 vertebral levels fused (p < 0.001). The overall complication rates were greater in the extended-LOS cohort (20.3% [normal-LOS group] vs 43.5% [extended-LOS group]; p < 0.001). On average, the extended-LOS cohort incurred $18,916 more in total cost than the normal-LOS group ($54,697 ± $24,217 vs $73,613 ± $38,689, respectively; p < 0.001) and had more patients discharged to locations other than home (p < 0.001) than did patients in the normal-LOS cohort. On multivariate logistic regression, several risk factors were associated with extended LOS, including female sex, obesity, hypertension, fluid electrolyte disorder, paralysis, blood transfusion, ≥ 9 vertebrae fused, dural injury, and nerve cord injury. The odds ratio for extended LOS was 1.95 (95% CI 1.50–2.52) for patients with 1 complication and 5.43 (95% CI 3.35–8.71) for patients with > 1 complication.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors’ study using the KID demonstrates that patient comorbidities and intra- and postoperative complications all contribute to extended LOS after spinal fusion for AIS. Identifying multimodality interventions focused on reducing LOS, bettering patient outcomes, and lowering healthcare costs are necessary to improve the overall value of care for patients undergoing spinal fusion for AIS.

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Julio D. Montejo, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana, Daniel Duran, Jeannine M. Rockefeller, Sierra B. Conine, Alyssa M. Blaise, Kristopher T. Kahle and Michael L. DiLuna

OBJECTIVE

Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) in the pediatric population is rare and exhibits unique characteristics compared with adult LDH. There are limited data regarding the safety and efficacy of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) using tubular retractors in pediatric patients with LDH. Here, the outcomes of MIS tubular microdiscectomy for the treatment of pediatric LDH are evaluated.

METHODS

Twelve consecutive pediatric patients with LDH were treated with MIS tubular microdiscectomy at the authors’ institution between July 2011 and October 2015. Data were gathered from retrospective chart review and from mail or electronic questionnaires. The Macnab criteria and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were used for outcome measurements.

RESULTS

The mean age at surgery was 17 ± 1.6 years (range 13–19 years). Seven patients were female (58%). Prior to surgical intervention, 100% of patients underwent conservative treatment, and 50% had epidural steroid injections. Preoperative low-back and leg pain, positive straight leg raise, and myotomal leg weakness were noted in 100%, 83%, and 67% of patients, respectively. The median duration of symptoms prior to surgery was 9 months (range 1–36 months). The LDH level was L5–S1 in 75% of patients and L4–5 in 25%. The mean ± SD operative time was 90 ± 21 minutes, the estimated blood loss was ≤ 25 ml in 92% of patients (maximum 50 ml), and no intraoperative or postoperative complications were noted at 30 days. The median hospital length of stay was 1 day (range 0–3 days). The median follow-up duration was 2.2 years (range 0–5.8 years). One patient experienced reherniation at 18 months after the initial operation and required a second same-level MIS tubular microdiscectomy to achieve resolution of symptoms. Of the 11 patients seen for follow-up, 10 patients (91%) reported excellent or good satisfaction according to the Macnab criteria at the last follow-up. Only 1 patient reported a fair level of satisfaction by using the same criteria. Seven patients completed an ODI evaluation at the last follow-up. For these 7 patients, the mean ODI low-back pain score was 19.7% (SEM 2.8%).

CONCLUSIONS

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the longest outcomes study and the largest series of pediatric patients with LDH who were treated with MIS microdiscectomy using tubular retractors. These data suggest that MIS tubular microdiscectomy is safe and efficacious for pediatric LDH. Larger prospective cohort studies with longer follow-up are needed to better evaluate the long-term efficacy of MIS tubular microdiscectomy versus other open and MIS techniques for the treatment of pediatric LDH.

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Aladine A. Elsamadicy, David T. Lubkin, Amanda R. Sergesketter, Syed M. Adil, Lefko T. Charalambous, Nicolas Drysdale, Theresa Williamson, Joaquin Camara-Quintana, Muhammad M. Abd-El-Barr, C. Rory Goodwin and Isaac O. Karikari

OBJECTIVE

In the United States, healthcare expenditures have been soaring at a concerning rate. There has been an excessive use of postoperative radiographs after spine surgery and this has been a target for hospitals to reduce unnecessary costs. However, there are only limited data identifying the rate of instrumentation changes on radiographs after complex spine surgery involving ≥ 5-level fusions.

METHODS

The medical records of 136 adult (≥ 18 years old) patients with spine deformity undergoing elective, primary complex spinal fusion (≥ 5 levels) for deformity correction at a major academic institution between 2010 and 2015 were reviewed. Patient demographics, comorbidities, and intra- and postoperative complication rates were collected for each patient. The authors reviewed the first 5 subsequent postoperative and follow-up radiographs, and determined whether revision of surgery was performed within 5 years postoperatively. The primary outcome investigated in this study was the rate of hardware changes on follow-up radiographs.

RESULTS

The majority of patients were female, with a mean age of 53.8 ± 20.0 years and a body mass index of 27.3 ± 6.2 kg/m2 (parametric data are expressed as the mean ± SD). The median number of fusion levels was 9 (interquartile range 7–13), with a mean length of surgery of 327.8 ± 124.7 minutes and an estimated blood loss of 1312.1 ± 1269.2 ml. The mean length of hospital stay was 6.6 ± 3.9 days, with a 30-day readmission rate of 14.0%. Postoperative and follow-up change in stability on radiographs (days from operation) included: image 1 (4.6 ± 9.3 days) 0.0%; image 2 (51.7 ± 49.9 days) 3.0%; image 3 (142.1 ± 179.8 days) 5.6%; image 4 (277.3 ± 272.5 days) 11.3%; and image 5 (463.1 ± 525.9 days) 15.7%. The 3rd year after surgery had the highest rate of hardware revision (5.55%), followed by the 2nd year (4.68%), and the 1st year (4.54%).

CONCLUSIONS

This study suggests that the rate of instrumentation changes on radiographs increases over time, with no changes occurring at the first postoperative image. In an era of cost-conscious healthcare, fewer orders for early radiographs after complex spinal fusions (≥ 5 levels) may not impact patient care and can reduce the overall use of healthcare resources.