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Massimo Miscusi, Sokol Trungu, Luca Ricciardi, Stefano Forcato, Alessandro Ramieri and Antonino Raco

OBJECTIVE

Over the last few decades, many surgical techniques for lumbar interbody fusion have been reported. The anterior-to-psoas (ATP) approach is theoretically supposed to benefit from the advantages of both anterior and lateral approaches with similar complication rates, even in L5–S1. At this segment, the anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) requires retroperitoneal dissection and retraction of major vessels, whereas the iliac crest does not allow the lateral transpsoas approach. This study aimed to investigate clinical-radiological outcomes and complications of the ATP approach at the L5–S1 segment in a single cohort of patients.

METHODS

This is a prospective single-center study, conducted from 2016 to 2019. Consecutive patients who underwent ATP at the L5–S1 segment for degenerative disc disease or revision surgery after previous posterior procedures were considered for eligibility. Complete clinical-radiological documentation and a minimum follow-up of 12 months were set as inclusion criteria. Clinical patient-reported outcomes, such as the visual analog scale for low-back pain, Oswestry Disability Index, and 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) scores, as well as spinopelvic parameters, were collected preoperatively, 6 weeks after surgery, and at the last follow-up visit. Intraoperative and perioperative complications were recorded. The fusion rate was evaluated on CT scans obtained at 12 months postoperatively.

RESULTS

Thirty-two patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean age at the time of surgery was 57.6 years (range 44–75 years). The mean follow-up was 33.1 months (range 13–48 months). The mean pre- and postoperative visual analog scale (7.9 ± 1.3 vs 2.4 ± 0.8, p < 0.05), Oswestry Disability Index (52.8 ± 14.4 vs 22.9 ± 6.0, p < 0.05), and SF-36 (37.3 ± 5.8 vs 69.8 ± 6.1, p < 0.05) scores significantly improved. The mean lumbar lordosis and L5–S1 segmental lordosis significantly increased after surgery. The mean pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis mismatch and pelvic tilt significantly decreased. No intraoperative complications and a postoperative complication rate of 9.4% were recorded. The fusion rate was 96.9%. One patient needed a second posterior revision surgery for residual foraminal stenosis.

CONCLUSIONS

In the present case series, ATP fusion for the L5–S1 segment has resulted in valuable clinical-radiological outcomes and a relatively low complication rate. Properly designed clinical and comparative trials are needed to further investigate the role of ATP for different L5–S1 conditions.

Free access

Alba Scerrati, Jacopo Visani, Luca Ricciardi, Flavia Dones, Oriela Rustemi, Michele Alessandro Cavallo and Pasquale De Bonis

OBJECTIVE

Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is one of the most common neurosurgical pathologies, typically affecting the elderly. Its incidence is expected to grow along with the aging population. Surgical drainage represents the treatment of choice; however, postoperative complications and the rate of recurrence are not negligible. For this reason, nonsurgical alternatives (such as middle meningeal artery embolization, steroids, or tranexamic acid administration) are gaining popularity worldwide and need to be carefully evaluated, especially in the elderly population.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic review according to PRISMA criteria of the studies analyzing the nonsurgical strategies for CSDHs. They collected all papers in the English language published between 1990 and 2019 by searching different medical databases. The chosen keywords were “chronic subdural hematoma,” “conservative treatment/management,” “pharmacological treatment,” “non-surgical,” “tranexamic acid,” “dexamethasone,” “corticosteroid,” “glucocorticoid,” “middle meningeal artery,” “endovascular treatment,” and “embolization.”

RESULTS

The authors ultimately collected 15 articles regarding the pharmacological management of CSDHs matching the criteria, and 14 papers included the endovascular treatment.

CONCLUSIONS

The results showed that surgery still represents the mainstay in cases of symptomatic patients with large CSDHs; however, adjuvant and alternative therapies can be effective and safe in a carefully selected population. Their inclusion in new guidelines is advisable.

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Massimo Miscusi, Filippo Maria Polli, Stefano Forcato, Luca Ricciardi, Alessandro Frati, Marco Cimatti, Luca De Martino, Alessandro Ramieri and Antonino Raco

OBJECT

Spinal metastasis is common in patients with cancer. About 70% of symptomatic lesions are found in the thoracic region of the spine, and cord compression presents as the initial symptom in 5%–10% of patients. Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) has recently been advocated as a useful approach for spinal metastases, with the aim of decreasing the morbidity associated with more traditional open spine surgery; furthermore, the recovery time is reduced after MISS, such that postoperative chemotherapy and radiotherapy can begin sooner.

METHODS

Two series of oncological patients, who presented with acute myelopathy due to vertebral thoracic metastases, were compared in this study. Patients with complete paraplegia for more than 24 hours and with a modified Bauer score greater than 2 were excluded from the study. The first group (n = 23) comprised patients who were prospectively enrolled from May 2010 to September 2013, and who were treated with minimally invasive laminotomy/laminectomy and percutaneous stabilization. The second group (n = 19) comprised patients from whom data were retrospectively collected before May 2010, and who had been treated with laminectomy and stabilization with traditional open surgery. Patient groups were similar regarding general characteristics and neurological impairment. Results were analyzed in terms of neurological recovery (American Spinal Injury Association grade), complications, pain relief (visual analog scale), and quality of life (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer [EORTC] QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-BM22 scales) at the 30-day follow-up. Operation time, postoperative duration of bed rest, duration of hospitalization, intraoperative blood loss, and the need and length of postoperative opioid administration were also evaluated.

RESULTS

There were no significant differences between the 2 groups in terms of neurological recovery and complications. Nevertheless, the MISS group showed a clear and significant improvement in terms of blood loss, operation time, and bed rest length, which is associated with a more rapid functional recovery and discharge from the hospital. Postoperative pain and the need for opioid administration were also significantly less pronounced in the MISS group. Results from the EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BM22 scales showed a more pronounced improvement in quality of life at follow-up in the MISS group.

CONCLUSIONS

In the authors' opinion, MISS techniques should be considered the first choice for the treatment for patients with spinal metastasis and myelopathy. MISS is as safe and effective for spinal cord decompression and spine fixation as traditional surgery, and it also reduces the impact of surgery in critical patients. However, further studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Free access

Gianluca Trevisi, Carmelo Lucio Sturiale, Alba Scerrati, Oriela Rustemi, Luca Ricciardi, Fabio Raneri, Alberto Tomatis, Amedeo Piazza, Anna Maria Auricchio, Vito Stifano, Carmine Romano, Pasquale De Bonis and Annunziato Mangiola

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to analyze the risk factors associated with the outcome of acute subdural hematoma (ASDH) in elderly patients treated either surgically or nonsurgically.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective multicentric analysis of clinical and radiological data on patients aged ≥ 70 years who had been consecutively admitted to the neurosurgical department of 5 Italian hospitals for the management of posttraumatic ASDH in a 3-year period. Outcome was measured according to the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) at discharge and at 6 months’ follow-up. A GOS score of 1–3 was defined as a poor outcome and a GOS score of 4–5 as a good outcome. Univariate and multivariate statistics were used to determine outcome predictors in the entire study population and in the surgical group.

RESULTS

Overall, 213 patients were admitted during the 3-year study period. Outcome was poor in 135 (63%) patients, as 65 (31%) died during their admission, 33 (15%) were in a vegetative state, and 37 (17%) had severe disability at discharge. Surgical patients had worse clinical and radiological findings on arrival or during their admission than the patients undergoing conservative treatment. Surgery was performed in 147 (69%) patients, and 114 (78%) of them had a poor outcome. In stratifying patients by their Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, the authors found that surgery reduced mortality but not the frequency of a poor outcome in the patients with a moderate to severe GCS score. The GCS score and midline shift were the most significant predictors of outcome. Antiplatelet drugs were associated with better outcomes; however, patients taking such medications had a better GCS score and better radiological findings, which could have influenced the former finding. Patients with fixed pupils never had a good outcome. Age and Charlson Comorbidity Index were not associated with outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

Traumatic ASDH in the elderly is a severe condition, with the GCS score and midline shift the stronger outcome predictors, while age per se and comorbidities were not associated with outcome. Antithrombotic drugs do not seem to negatively influence pretreatment status or posttreatment outcome. Surgery was performed in patients with a worse clinical and radiological status, reducing the rate of death but not the frequency of a poor outcome.

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Luca Ricciardi, Sokol Trungu, Alba Scerrati, Pasquale De Bonis, Oriela Rustemi, Mauro Mazzetto, Giorgio Lofrese, Francesco Cultrera, Cédric Y. Barrey, Alessandro Di Bartolomeo, Amedeo Piazza, Massimo Miscusi and Antonino Raco

OBJECTIVE

Anderson type II odontoid fractures are severe conditions, mostly affecting elderly people (≥ 70 years old). Surgery can be performed as a primary treatment or in cases of failed conservative management. This study aimed to investigate how duration from injury to surgery, as well as clinical, radiological, and surgical risk factors, may influence the union rate after anterior odontoid screw placement for Anderson type II odontoid fractures.

METHODS

The authors conducted a retrospective multicenter study. Demographic, clinical, surgical, and radiological data of patients who underwent anterior odontoid screw placement for Anderson type II fractures were retrieved from institutional databases. Study exclusion criteria were prolonged corticosteroid drug therapy (> 4 weeks), polytraumatic injuries, oncological diagnosis, and prior cervical spine trauma.

RESULTS

Eighty-five patients were included in the present investigation. The union rate was 76.5%, and 73 patients (85.9%) did not report residual instability. Age ≥ 70 years (p < 0.001, OR 6), female gender (p = 0.016, OR 3.61), osteoporosis (p = 0.009, OR 4.02), diabetes (p = 0.056, OR 3.35), fracture diastasis > 1 mm (p < 0.001, OR 8.5), and duration from injury to surgery > 7 days (p = 0.002, OR 48) independently influenced union rate, whereas smoking status (p = 0.677, OR 1.24) and odontoid process angulation > 10° (p = 0.885, OR 0.92) did not.

CONCLUSIONS

Although many factors have been reported as influencing the union rate after anterior odontoid screw placement for Anderson type II fractures, duration from injury to surgery > 7 days appears to be the most relevant, resulting in a 48 times higher risk for nonunion. Early surgery appears to be associated with better radiological outcomes, as reported by orthopedic surgeons in other districts. Prospective comparative clinical trials are needed to confirm these results.