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Open access

Bryan Zheng, Hael Abdulrazeq, Owen P. Leary, Ziya L. Gokaslan, Adetokunbo A. Oyelese, Jared S. Fridley, and Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana

BACKGROUND

Lumbar spine osteomyelitis can be refractory to conventional techniques for identifying a causal organism. In cases in which a protracted antibiotic regimen is indicated, obtaining a conclusive yield on biopsy is particularly important. Although lateral transpsoas approaches and intraoperative computed tomography (CT) navigation are well documented as techniques used for spinal arthrodesis, their utility in vertebral biopsy has yet to be reported in any capacity.

OBSERVATIONS

In a 44-year-old male patient with a history of Nocardia bacteremia, CT-guided biopsy failed to confirm the microbiology of an L4–5 discitis osteomyelitis. The patient underwent a minimally invasive open biopsy in which a lateral approach with intraoperative guidance was used to access the infected disc space retroperitoneally. A thin film was obtained and cultured Nocardia nova, and the patient was treated accordingly with a long course of trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.

LESSONS

The combination of a lateral transpsoas approach with intraoperative navigation is a valuable technique for obtaining positive yield in cases of discitis osteomyelitis of the lumbar spine refractory to CT-guided biopsy.

Restricted access

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.

Free access

Zachary R. Visco, David D. Liu, Owen P. Leary, Adetokunbo A. Oyelese, Ziya L. Gokaslan, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana, and Michael A. Galgano

OBJECTIVE

Ventrally situated thoracic intradural extramedullary tumors are surgically challenging and difficult to access, and they may be complicated by extensive adhesions and calcifications. Selecting an approach for adequate ventral access is key to complete resection and optimization of outcomes. The authors present a case series of patients who underwent resection of ventral thoracic intradural extramedullary tumors and discuss indications and considerations for this technique. Additionally, they describe the use of a posterolateral transpedicular approach for resection of ventral thoracic intradural extramedullary tumors compared with other techniques, and they summarize the literature supporting its application.

METHODS

From May 2017 to August 2020, 5 patients with ventral thoracic intradural extramedullary tumors underwent resection at one of the two academic institutions.

RESULTS

Patient ages ranged from 47 to 75 (mean 63.4) years. All tumors were diagnosed as meningiomas or schwannomas by histological examination. Three of the 5 patients had evidence of partial or extensive tumor calcification. Four of the 5 patients underwent an initial posterolateral transpedicular approach for resection, with positive radiographic and clinical outcomes from surgery. One patient initially underwent an unsuccessful traditional direct posterior approach and required additional resection 2 years later after interval disease progression. There were no postoperative wound infections, CSF leaks, or other complications related to the transpedicular approach.

CONCLUSIONS

Posterolateral transpedicular tumor resection is a safe technique for the treatment of complex ventrally situated thoracic intradural extramedullary tumors compared with the direct posterior approach. Anecdotally, this approach appears to be particularly beneficial in patients with calcified tumors.

Free access

Spencer C. Darveau, Owen P. Leary, Elijah M. Persad-Paisley, Elias A. Shaaya, Adetokunbo A. Oyelese, Jared S. Fridley, Prakash Sampath, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana, Ziya L. Gokaslan, and Tianyi Niu

OBJECTIVE

Spinal fusion surgery is increasingly common; however, pseudarthrosis remains a common complication affecting as much as 15% of some patient populations. Currently, no clear consensus on the best bone graft materials to use exists. Recent advances have led to the development of cell-infused cellular bone matrices (CBMs), which contain living components such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Relatively few clinical outcome studies on the use of these grafts exist, although the number of such studies has increased in the last 5 years. In this study, the authors aimed to summarize and critically evaluate the existing clinical evidence on commercially available CBMs in spinal fusion and reported clinical outcomes.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic search of the MEDLINE and PubMed electronic databases for peer-reviewed, English-language original articles (1970–2020) in which the articles’ authors studied the clinical outcomes of CBMs in spinal fusion. The US National Library of Medicine electronic clinical trials database (www.ClinicalTrials.gov) was also searched for relevant ongoing clinical trials.

RESULTS

Twelve published studies of 6 different CBM products met inclusion criteria: 5 studies of Osteocel Plus/Osteocel (n = 354 unique patients), 3 of Trinity Evolution (n = 114), 2 of ViviGen (n = 171), 1 of map3 (n = 41), and 1 of VIA Graft (n = 75). All studies reported high radiographic fusion success rates (range 87%–100%) using these CBMs. However, this literature was overwhelmingly limited to single-center, noncomparative studies. Seven studies disclosed industry funding or conflicts of interest (COIs). There are 4 known trials of ViviGen (3 trials) and Bio4 (1 trial) that are ongoing.

CONCLUSIONS

CBMs are a promising technology with the potential of improving outcome after spinal fusion. However, while the number of studies conducted in humans has tripled since 2014, there is still insufficient evidence in the literature to recommend for or against CBMs relative to cheaper alternative materials. Comparative, multicenter trials and outcome registries free from industry COIs are indicated.

Open access

Nathan J. Pertsch, Owen P. Leary, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana, David D. Liu, Tianyi Niu, Albert S. Woo, Thomas T. Ng, Adetokunbo A. Oyelese, Jared S. Fridley, and Ziya L. Gokaslan

BACKGROUND

Cervicothoracic junction chordomas are uncommon primary spinal tumors optimally treated with en bloc resection. Although en bloc resection is the gold standard for treatment of mobile spinal chordoma, tumor location, size, and extent of involvement frequently complicate the achievement of negative margins. In particular, chordoma involving the thoracic region can require a challenging anterior access, and en bloc resection can lead to a highly destabilized spine.

OBSERVATIONS

Modern technological advances make en bloc resection more technically feasible than ever before. In this case, the successful en bloc resection of a particularly complex cervicothoracic junction chordoma was facilitated by a multidisciplinary surgical approach that maximized the use of intraoperative computed tomography–guided spinal navigation and patient-specific three-dimensional–printed modeling.

LESSONS

The authors review the surgical planning and specific techniques that facilitated the successful en bloc resection of this right-sided chordoma via image-guided parasagittal osteotomy across 2 stages. The integration of emerging visualization technologies into complex spinal column tumor management may help to provide optimal oncological care for patients with challenging primary tumors of the mobile spine.

Free access

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.

Free access

Owen P. Leary, David D. Liu, Michael K. Boyajian, Sohail Syed, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana, Tianyi Niu, Konstantina A. Svokos, Joseph Crozier, Adetokunbo A. Oyelese, Paul Y. Liu, Albert S. Woo, Ziya L. Gokaslan, and Jared S. Fridley

OBJECTIVE

Wound breakdown and infection are common postoperative complications following resection of spinal neoplasms. Accordingly, it has become common practice at some centers for plastic surgeons to assist with closure of large posterior defects after spine tumor resection. In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that plastic surgery closure of complex spinal defects improves wound outcomes following resection of spinal neoplastic disease.

METHODS

Electronic medical records of consecutive patients who underwent resection of a spinal neoplasm between June 2015 and January 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were separated into two subpopulations based on whether the surgical wound was closed by plastic surgery or neurosurgery. Patient demographics, preoperative risk factors, surgical details, and postoperative outcomes were collected in a central database and summarized using descriptive statistics. Outcomes of interest included rates of wound complication, reoperation, and mortality. Known preoperative risk factors for wound complication in spinal oncology were identified based on literature review and grouped categorically. The presence of each category of risk factors was then compared between groups. Univariate and multivariate linear regressions were applied to define associations between individual risk factors and wound complications.

RESULTS

One hundred six patients met inclusion criteria, including 60 wounds primarily closed by plastic surgery and 46 by neurosurgery. The plastic surgery population included more patients with systemic metastases (58% vs 37%, p = 0.029), prior radiation (53% vs 17%, p < 0.001), prior chemotherapy (37% vs 15%, p = 0.014), and sacral region tumors (25% vs 7%, p = 0.012), and more patients who underwent procedures requiring larger incisions (7.2 ± 3.6 vs 4.5 ± 2.6 levels, p < 0.001), prolonged operative time (413 ± 161 vs 301 ± 181 minutes, p = 0.001), and greater blood loss (906 ± 1106 vs 283 ± 373 ml, p < 0.001). The average number of risk factor categories present was significantly greater in the plastic surgery group (2.57 vs 1.74, p < 0.001). Despite the higher relative risk, the plastic surgery group did not experience a significantly higher rate of wound complication (28% vs 17%, p = 0.145), reoperation (17% vs 9%, p = 0.234), or all-cause mortality (30% vs 13%, p = 0.076). One patient died from wound-related complications in each group (p = 0.851). Regression analyses identified diabetes, multilevel instrumentation, and BMI as the factors associated with the greatest wound complications.

CONCLUSIONS

Involving plastic surgery in the closure of spinal wounds after resection of neoplasms may ameliorate expected increases in wound complications among higher-risk patients.