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Ketan Verma, Anne H. Freelin, Kelsey A. Atkinson, Robert S. Graham, and William C. Broaddus

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to assess whether flat bed rest for > 24 hours after an incidental durotomy improves patient outcome or is a risk factor for medical and wound complications and longer hospital stay.

METHODS

Medical records of consecutive patients undergoing thoracic and lumbar decompression procedures from 2010 to 2020 were reviewed. Operative notes and progress notes were reviewed and searched to identify patients in whom incidental durotomies occurred. The need for revision surgery related to CSF leak or wound infection was recorded. The duration of bed rest, length of hospital stay, and complications (pulmonary, gastrointestinal, urinary, and wound) were recorded. The rates of complications were compared with regard to the duration of bed rest (≤ 24 hours vs > 24 hours).

RESULTS

A total of 420 incidental durotomies were identified, indicating a rate of 6.7% in the patient population. Of the 420 patients, 361 underwent primary repair of the dura; 254 patients were prescribed bed rest ≤ 24 hours, and 107 patients were prescribed bed rest > 24 hours. There was no statistically significant difference in the need for revision surgery (7.87% vs 8.41%, p = 0.86) between the two groups, but wound complications were increased in the prolonged bed rest group (8.66% vs 15.89%, p = 0.043). The average length of stay for patients with bed rest ≤ 24 hours was 4.47 ± 3.64 days versus 7.24 ± 4.23 days for patients with bed rest > 24 hours (p < 0.0001). There was a statistically significant increase in the frequency of ileus, urinary retention, urinary tract infections, pulmonary issues, and altered mental status in the group with prolonged bed rest after an incidental durotomy. The relative risk of complications in the group with bed rest ≤ 24 hours was 50% less than the group with > 24 hours of bed rest (RR 0.5, 95% CI 0.39–0.62; p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS

In this retrospective study, the rate of revision surgery was not higher in patients with durotomy who underwent immediate mobilization, and medical complications were significantly decreased. Flat bed rest > 24 hours following incidental durotomy was associated with increased length of stay and increased rate of medical complications. After primary repair of an incidental durotomy, flat bed rest may not be necessary and appears to be associated with higher costs and complications.

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R. Shane Tubbs, Martin M. Mortazavi, Sanjay Krishnamurthy, Ketan Verma, Christoph J. Griessenauer, and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

Object

During intracranial approaches to the skull base, vascular relationships are important. One relationship that has received scant attention in the literature is that between the superior petrosal sinus (SPS) and the opening of the Meckel cave (that is, the porus trigeminus).

Methods

Cadaver dissections were performed in 25 latex-injected adult cadaveric heads (50 sides). Specifically, the relationship between the SPS and the opening of the Meckel cave was observed. The goal was to enhance knowledge of the relationship between the SPS and the opening of the Meckel cave.

Results

Of the 50 sides, 68%, 18%, and 16% of SPSs traveled superior to, inferior to, and around the opening to the Meckel cave, respectively. In the latter cases, a venous ring was formed around the proximal trigeminal nerve. No sinus entered the Meckel cave. In general, the porus trigeminus was narrowed on sides found to have an SPS that encircled this region. Sinuses that traveled only inferior to the porus were in general smaller than sinuses that traveled superior or encircled this opening. No statistically significant differences were noted between the various sinus relationships and sex, age, or side of the head.

Conclusions

Knowledge of the relationship between the SPS and the opening of the Meckel cave may be useful to the skull base surgeon. Based on this study, some individuals may retain the early embryonic position of their SPS in relation to the trigeminal nerve.

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R. Shane Tubbs, Ketan Verma, Sheryl Riech, Martin M. Mortazavi, Mohammadali M. Shoja, Marios Loukas, Joel K. Curé, Anna Żurada, and Aaron A. Cohen-Gadol

As fetal intracranial vessels may persist into adulthood, knowledge of their anatomy and potential clinical and surgical complications should be borne in mind by the surgeon. A comprehensive review of these vessels, however, is not easily identified in the literature. Therefore, the present analysis was undertaken so that such information is available to the clinician and morphologist.

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R. Shane Tubbs, Olivia J. Rompala, Ketan Verma, Martin M. Mortazavi, Brion Benninger, Marios Loukas, and M. Rene Chambers

Object

Although the uncovertebral region is neurosurgically relevant, relatively little is reported in the literature, specifically the neurosurgical literature, regarding its anatomy. Therefore, the present study aimed at further elucidation of this region's morphological features.

Methods

Morphometry was performed on the uncinate processes of 40 adult human skeletons. Additionally, range of motion testing was performed, with special attention given to the uncinate processes. Finally, these excrescences were classified based on their encroachment on the adjacent intervertebral foramen.

Results

The height of these processes was on average 4.8 mm, and there was an inverse relationship between height of the uncinate process and the size of the intervertebral foramen. Degeneration of the vertebral body (VB) did not correlate with whether the uncinate process effaced the intervertebral foramen. The taller uncinate processes tended to be located below C-3 vertebral levels, and their average anteroposterior length was 8 mm. The average thickness was found to be 4.9 mm for the base and 1.8 mm for the apex. There were no significant differences found between vertebral level and thickness of the uncinate process. Arthritic changes of the cervical VBs did not necessarily deform the uncinate processes. With axial rotation, the intervertebral discs were noted to be driven into the ipsilateral uncinate process. With lateral flexion, the ipsilateral uncinate processes aided the ipsilateral facet joints in maintaining the integrity of the ipsilateral intervertebral foramen.

Conclusions

A good appreciation for the anatomy of the uncinate processes is important to the neurosurgeon who operates on the spine. It is hoped that the data presented herein will decrease complications during surgical approaches to the cervical spine.

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Daniel D. Cavalcanti, Nikolay L. Martirosyan, Ketan Verma, Sam Safavi-Abbasi, Randall W. Porter, Nicholas Theodore, Volker K. H. Sonntag, Curtis A. Dickman, and Robert F. Spetzler

Object

Schwannomas occupying the craniocervical junction (CCJ) are rare and usually originate from the jugular foramen, hypoglossal nerves, and C-1 and C-2 nerves. Although they may have different origins, they may share the same symptoms, surgical approaches, and complications. An extension of these lesions along the posterior fossa cisterns, foramina, and spinal canal—usually involving various cranial nerves (CNs) and the vertebral and cerebellar arteries—poses a surgical challenge. The primary goals of both surgical and radiosurgical management of schwannomas in the CCJ are the preservation and restoration of function of the lower CNs, and of hearing and facial nerve function. The origins of schwannomas in the CCJ and their clinical presentation, surgical management, adjuvant stereotactic radiosurgery, and outcomes in 36 patients treated at Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) are presented.

Methods

Between 1989 and 2009, 36 patients (mean age 43.6 years, range 17–68 years) with craniocervical schwannomas underwent surgical resection at BNI. The records were reviewed retrospectively regarding clinical presentation, radiographic assessment, surgical approaches, adjuvant therapies, and follow-up outcomes.

Results

Headache or neck pain was present in 72.2% of patients. Cranial nerve impairments, mainly involving the vagus nerve, were present in 14 patients (38.9%). Motor deficits were found in 27.8% of the patients. Sixteen tumors were intra- and extradural, 15 were intradural, and 5 were extradural. Gross-total resection was achieved in 25 patients (69.4%). Adjunctive radiosurgery was used in the management of residual tumor in 8 patients; tumor control was ultimately obtained in all cases.

Conclusions

Surgical removal, which is the treatment of choice, is curative when schwannomas in the CCJ are excised completely. The far-lateral approach and its variations are our preferred approaches for managing these lesions. Most common complications involve deficits of the lower CNs, and their early recognition and rehabilitation are needed. Stereotactic radiosurgery, an important tool for the management of these tumors as adjuvant therapy, can help decrease morbidity rates.