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Malia McAvoy, Heather J. McCrea, Vamsidhar Chavakula, Hoon Choi, Wenya Linda Bi, Rania A. Mekary, Scellig Stone, and Mark R. Proctor

OBJECTIVE

Few studies describe long-term functional outcomes of pediatric patients who have undergone lumbar microdiscectomy (LMD) because of the rarity of pediatric disc herniation and the short follow-up periods. The authors analyzed risk factors, clinical presentation, complications, and functional outcomes of a single-institution series of LMD patients over a 19-year period.

METHODS

A retrospective case series was conducted of pediatric LMD patients at a large pediatric academic hospital from 1998 to 2017. The authors examined premorbid risk factors, clinical presentation, physical examination findings, type and duration of conservative management, indications for surgical intervention, complications, and postoperative outcomes.

RESULTS

Over the 19-year study period, 199 patients underwent LMD at the authors’ institution. The mean age at presentation was 16.0 years (range 12–18 years), and 55.8% were female. Of these patients, 70.9% participated in competitive sports, and among those who did not play sports, 65.0% had a body mass index greater than 25 kg/m2. Prior to surgery, conservative management had failed in 98.0% of the patients. Only 3 patients (1.5%) presented with cauda equina syndrome requiring emergent microdiscectomy. Complications included 4 cases of postoperative CSF leak (2.0%), 1 case of a noted intraoperative CSF leak, and 3 cases of wound infection (1.5%). At the first postoperative follow-up appointment, minimal or no pain was reported by 93.3% of patients. The mean time to return to sports was 9.8 weeks. During a mean follow-up duration of 8.2 years, 72.9% of patients did not present again after routine postoperative appointments. The total risk of reoperation was a rate of 7.5% (3.5% of patients underwent reoperation for the same level; 4.5% underwent adjacent-level decompression, and one patient [0.5%] ultimately underwent a fusion).

CONCLUSIONS

Microdiscectomy is a safe and effective treatment for long-term relief of pain and return to daily activities among pediatric patients with symptomatic lumbar disc disease in whom conservative management has failed.

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Alexander F. C. Hulsbergen, Francesca Siddi, Malia McAvoy, Benjamin T. Lynch, Madeline B. Karsten, Brittany M. Stopa, Joanna Ashby, Jack McNulty, Marike L. D. Broekman, William B. Gormley, Scellig S. D. Stone, Benjamin C. Warf, and Mark R. Proctor

OBJECTIVE

Postoperative routine imaging is common after pediatric ventricular shunt revision, but the benefit of scanning in the absence of symptoms is questionable. In this study, the authors aimed to assess how often routine scanning results in a change in clinical management after shunt revision.

METHODS

The records of a large, tertiary pediatric hospital were retrospectively reviewed for all consecutive cases of pediatric shunt revision between July 2013 and July 2018. Postoperative imaging was classified as routine (i.e., in the absence of symptoms, complications, or other direct indications) or nonroutine. Reinterventions within 30 days were assessed in these groups.

RESULTS

Of 387 included shunt revisions performed in 232 patients, postoperative imaging was performed in 297 (77%), which was routine in 244 (63%) and nonroutine in 53 (14%). Ninety revisions (23%) underwent any shunt-related procedure after postoperative imaging, including shunt reprogramming (n = 35, 9%), shunt tap (n = 10, 3%), and a return to the operating room (OR; n = 58, 15%). Of the 244 cases receiving routine imaging, 241 did not undergo a change in clinical management solely based on routine imaging findings. The remaining 3 cases returned to the OR, accounting for 0.8% (95% CI 0.0%–1.7%) of all cases or 1.2% (95% CI 0.0%–2.6%) of cases that received routine imaging. Furthermore, 27 of 244 patients in this group returned to the OR for other reasons, namely complications (n = 12) or recurrent symptoms (n = 15); all arose after initial routine imaging.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found a low yield to routine imaging after pediatric shunt revision, with only 0.8% of cases undergoing a change in management based on routine imaging findings without corresponding clinical findings. Moreover, routine imaging without abnormal findings was no guarantee of an uneventful postoperative course. Clinical monitoring can be considered as an alternative in asymptomatic, uncomplicated patients.