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Melike Mut, M. Beatriz S. Lopes and Mark Shaffrey

Dr. Lucien Rubinstein is best remembered for his significant contributions to the field of neuropathology, particularly in the classification of nervous system tumors. His accomplishments in basic neuro-oncology and in the formulation of diagnostic principles reflected a unique talent for synthesizing fundamental clinicopathological concepts based on skillful diagnostic investigation and a thorough understanding of neurobiology. Dr. Rubinstein was the leader in the establishment of cell cultures from central nervous system (CNS) tumors. He meticulously analyzed both light and electron microscopic features of CNS tumors, recorded his findings, and patiently drew sketches to be shared generously with his colleagues and students. As a pioneer in neuropathology, in his work Dr. Rubinstein set the foundation for many enduring concepts in neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, neurology, and basic tumor biology.

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W. Jeffrey Elias, Mark E. Shaffrey and Richard Whitehill

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Rod J. Oskouian, Richard Whitehill, Amir Samii, Mark E. Shaffrey, J. Patrick Johnson and Christopher I. Shaffrey

Both total hip and knee arthroplasty have demonstrated outstanding clinical results. The functional spinal unit composed of the intervertebral disc and facet joints is at least as complex. The intricacies of the coupled motions of the functional spinal unit have made development of an artificial disc a challenge. There have been several failed attempts to create a disc replacement that recapitulates normal motion while providing significant longevity and a low incidence of complications.

Better understanding of the biomechanics of the intervertebral disc complex and improvements in implant material have made successful intervertebral disc replacement a likely reality, now that several artificial discs have completed Food and Drug Administration clinical trials. In this manuscript the authors detail the biomaterials used in disc arthroplasty and discuss joint wear and the host response to wear debris.

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Gregory C. Wiggins, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Mark F. Abel and Arnold H. Menezes

Pediatric spinal deformity results from multiple conditions including congenital anomalies, neuromuscular disorders, skeletal dysplasia, and developmental disorders (idiopathic). Pediatric spinal deformities can be progressive and cause pulmonary compromise, neurological deficits, and cardiovascular compromise. The classification and treatment of these disorders have evolved since surgical treatment was popularized when Harrington distraction instrumentation was introduced.

The advent of anterior-spine instrumentation systems has challenged the concepts of length of fusion needed to arrest curvature progression. Segmental fixation revolutionized the surgical treatment of these deformities. More recently, pedicle screw–augmented segmental fixation has been introduced and promises once again to shift the standard of surgical therapy. Recent advances in thoracoscopic surgery have made this technique applicable to scoliosis surgery.

Not only has surgical treatment progressed but also the classification of different forms of pediatric deformity continues to evolve. Recently, Lenke and associates proposed a new classification for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. This classification attempts to address some of the shortcomings of the King classification system.

In this article the authors review the literature on pediatric spinal deformities and highlight recent insights into classification, treatment, and surgery-related complications.

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Thomas J. Buell, James H. Nguyen, Marcus D. Mazur, Jeffrey P. Mullin, Juanita Garces, Davis G. Taylor, Chun-Po Yen, Mark E. Shaffrey, Christopher I. Shaffrey and Justin S. Smith

OBJECTIVE

Fixed sagittal spinal malalignment is a common problem in adult spinal deformity (ASD). Various three-column osteotomy techniques, including the extended pedicle subtraction osteotomy (ePSO), may correct global and regional malalignment in this patient population. In contrast to the number of reports on traditional PSO (Schwab grade 3 osteotomy), there is limited literature on the outcomes of ePSO (Schwab grade 4 osteotomy) in ASD surgery. The objective of this retrospective study was to provide focused investigation of radiographic outcomes and complications of single-level lumbar ePSO for ASD patients with fixed sagittal malalignment.

METHODS

Consecutive ASD patients in whom sagittal malalignment had been treated with single-level lumbar ePSO at the authors’ institution between 2010 and 2015 were analyzed, and those with a minimum 2-year follow-up were included in the study. Radiographic analyses included assessments of segmental lordosis through the ePSO site (sagittal Cobb angle measured from the superior endplate of the vertebra above and inferior endplate of the vertebra below the ePSO), lumbar lordosis (LL), pelvic tilt (PT), pelvic incidence and LL mismatch, thoracic kyphosis (TK), and sagittal vertical axis (SVA) on standing long-cassette radiographs. Complications were analyzed for the entire group.

RESULTS

Among 71 potentially eligible patients, 55 (77%) had a minimum 2-year follow-up and were included in the study. Overall, the average postoperative increases in ePSO segmental lordosis and overall LL were 41° ± 14° (range 7°–69°, p < 0.001) and 38° ± 11° (range 9°–58°, p < 0.001), respectively. The average SVA improvement was 13 ± 7 cm (range of correction: −33.6 to 3.4 cm, p < 0.001). These measurements were maintained when comparing early postoperative to last follow-up values, respectively (mean follow-up 52 months, range 26–97 months): ePSO segmental lordosis, 34° vs 33°, p = 0.270; LL, 47.3° vs 46.7°, p = 0.339; and SVA, 4 vs 5 cm, p = 0.330. Rod fracture (RF) at the ePSO site occurred in 18.2% (10/55) of patients, and pseudarthrosis (PA) at the ePSO site was confirmed by CT imaging or during rod revision surgery in 14.5% (8/55) of patients. Accessory supplemental rods across the ePSO site, a more recently employed technique, significantly reduced the occurrence of RF or PA on univariate (p = 0.004) and multivariable (OR 0.062, 95% CI 0.007–0.553, p = 0.013) analyses; this effect approached statistical significance on Kaplan-Meier analysis (p = 0.053, log-rank test). Interbody cage placement at the ePSO site resulted in greater ePSO segmental lordosis correction (45° vs 35°, p = 0.007) without significant change in RF or PA (p = 0.304). Transient and persistent motor deficits occurred in 14.5% (8/55) and 1.8% (1/55) of patients, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Extended PSO is an effective technique to correct fixed sagittal malalignment for ASD. In comparison to traditional PSO techniques, ePSO may allow greater focal correction with comparable complication rates, especially with interbody cage placement at the ePSO site and the use of accessory supplemental rods.

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Gregory C. Wiggins, Michael J. Rauzzino, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Russ P. Nockels, Richard Whitehill, Mark E. Shaffrey, James Wagner and Tord D. Alden

This study was conducted to determine the safety, efficacy, and complication rate associated with the anterior approach in the use of a new titanium mesh interbody fusion cage for the treatment of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures. The experience with this technique is compared with the senior authors' (C.S., R.W., and M.S.) previously published results in the management of patients with unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures.

Between 1996 and 1999, 21 patients with unstable thoracolumbar (T12-L3) burst fractures underwent an anterolateral decompressive procedure in which a titanium cage and Kaneda device were used. Eleven of the 21 patients had sustained a neurological deficit, and all patients improved at least one Frankel grade (average 1.2 grades). There was improvement in outcome in terms of blood loss, correction of kyphosis, and pain, as measured on the Denis Pain and Work Scale, in our current group of patients treated via an anterior approach when compared with the results in those who underwent a posterior approach.

In our current study the anterior approach was demonstrated to be a safe and effective technique for the management of unstable thoracolumbar burst fractures. It offers superior results compared with the posterior approach. The addition of the new titanium mesh interbody cage to our previous anterior technique allows the patient's own bone to be harvested from the corpectomy site and used as a substrate for fusion, thereby obviating the need for iliac crest harvest. The use of the cage in association with the Kaneda device allows for improved correction of kyphosis and restoration of normal sagittal alignment in addition to improved functional outcomes.

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Matthew F. Gornet, J. Kenneth Burkus, Mark E. Shaffrey, Francine W. Schranck and Anne G. Copay

OBJECTIVE

Food and Drug Administration–approved investigational device exemption (IDE) studies have provided level I evidence supporting cervical disc arthroplasty (CDA) as a safe and effective alternative to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Long-term CDA outcomes continue to be evaluated. Here, the authors present outcomes at 10 years postoperatively for the single-level CDA arm of an IDE study (postapproval study).

METHODS

The primary endpoint was overall success, a composite variable composed of five criteria: 1) Neck Disability Index score improvement ≥ 15 points; 2) maintenance or improvement in neurological status; 3) no decline in anterior or posterior functional spinal unit (FSU) height of more than 2 mm compared to 6 weeks postoperatively; 4) no serious adverse event (AE) caused by the implant or the implant and the surgical procedure; and 5) no additional surgery classified as a failure. Additional safety and effectiveness measures included numeric rating scales for neck pain and arm pain, SF-36 quality-of-life physical and mental components, patient satisfaction, range of motion, and AEs.

RESULTS

From the reported assessments at 7 years postoperatively to the 10-year postoperative follow-up, the scores for all patient-reported outcomes, rate of overall success (without FSU), and proportion of patients at least maintaining their neurological function remained stable for the CDA group. Nine patients had secondary surgery at the index level, increasing the secondary surgery cumulative rate from 6.6% to 10.3%. In that same time frame, four patients experienced a serious implant or implant/surgical procedure–related AE, for a 10-year cumulative rate of 7.8%. Seven patients had any second surgery at adjacent levels, for a 10-year cumulative rate of 13.8%. Average angular motion at both the index and adjacent levels was well maintained without creating hypermobility. Class IV heterotopic ossification increased from 1.2% at 2 years to 4.6% at 7 years and 9.0% at 10 years. Patient satisfaction was > 90% at 10 years.

CONCLUSIONS

CDA remained safe and effective out to 10 years postoperatively, with results comparable to 7-year outcomes and with high patient satisfaction.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT00667459 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Edward C. Nemergut and Mark E. Shaffrey

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Dilantha B. Ellegala, Christopher Kligora, Scott Vandenberg, Aaron Dumont and Mark E. Shaffrey