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Nader S. Dahdaleh

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Nader S. Dahdaleh and Arnold H. Menezes

The combination of unilateral trigeminal and vagal nerve dysfunction is a rare presentation in patients with Chiari malformation Type I (CM-I). The authors present a case of incomplete lateral medullary syndrome in a patient with CM-I. The patient's symptoms of decreased unilateral facial sensitivity to pain and temperature and her vocal cord dysfunction reversed after posterior fossa decompression and intradural exploration. Although rare, clinicians should be aware of this presentation as part of a protean spectrum of symptoms in patients with CM-I.

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Nader S. Dahdaleh, Brian J. Dlouhy and Arnold H. Menezes

Object

The treatment of basilar invagination in the pediatric age group is dependent on the possibility of preoperative reduction. Reducible lesions obviate a ventral decompression and require a dorsal-only approach for stabilization with or without a suboccipital decompression.

Methods

The authors describe a technique of intraoperative reduction of basilar invagination with the use of general anesthesia and neuromuscular blockade in the presence of crown halo traction. Using the O-arm device, a 3D CT scan is generated in the sagittal plane to demonstrate the reduction intraoperatively. This technique was successful in 6 pediatric patients with basilar invagination.

Results

The average age of the patients was 10.8 years, and they were followed for a mean period of 8.5 months. The patients had mild basilar invagination or partial reduction in extension on preoperative MR imaging. Intraoperative reduction was demonstrated in all patients by using the reported technique with intraoperative CT. All patients underwent occipitocervical fusion, and all but one underwent a suboccipital decompression. There were no complications related to the operation, and all but one reported improvement of symptoms on the last postoperative visit.

Conclusions

Intraoperative reduction performed using neuromuscular blockade and intraoperative traction is an effective method for further reduction of basilar invagination in the pediatric age group. This is the first reported application of intraoperative CT imaging performed using the O-arm device in craniocervical surgery in which successful reduction is demonstrated in detail.

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Brian J. Dlouhy, Nader S. Dahdaleh, Arnold H. Menezes and MD

The craniovertebral junction (CVJ), or the craniocervical junction (CCJ) as it is otherwise known, houses the crossroads of the CNS and is composed of the occipital bone that surrounds the foramen magnum, the atlas vertebrae, the axis vertebrae, and their associated ligaments and musculature. The musculoskeletal organization of the CVJ is unique and complex, resulting in a wide range of congenital, developmental, and acquired pathology. The refinements of the transoral approach to the CVJ by the senior author (A.H.M.) in the late 1970s revolutionized the treatment of CVJ pathology. At the same time, a physiological approach to CVJ management was adopted at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in 1977 based on the stability and motion dynamics of the CVJ and the site of encroachment, incorporating the transoral approach for irreducible ventral CVJ pathology. Since then, approaches and techniques to treat ventral CVJ lesions have evolved. In the last 40 years at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, multiple approaches to the CVJ have evolved and a better understanding of CVJ pathology has been established. In addition, new reduction strategies that have diminished the need to perform ventral decompressive approaches have been developed and implemented.

In this era of surgical subspecialization, to properly treat complex CVJ pathology, the CVJ specialist must be trained in skull base transoral and endoscopic endonasal approaches, pediatric and adult CVJ spine surgery, and must understand and be able to treat the complex CSF dynamics present in CVJ pathology to provide the appropriate, optimal, and tailored treatment strategy for each individual patient, both child and adult. This is a comprehensive review of the history and evolution of the transoral approaches, extended transoral approaches, endoscopie assisted transoral approaches, endoscopie endonasal approaches, and CVJ reduction strategies. Incorporating these advancements, the authors update the initial algorithm for the treatment of CVJ abnormalities first published in 1980 by the senior author.

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Nader S. Dahdaleh and Timothy E. Lindley

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The timing of venous thromboembolic events after spine surgery: a single-center experience with 6869 consecutive patients

Presented at the 2017 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Michael B. Cloney, Benjamin Hopkins, Ekamjeet S. Dhillon and Nader S. Dahdaleh

OBJECTIVE

Venous thromboembolic events (VTEs), including both deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism, are a major cause of morbidity and mortality after spine surgery. Prophylactic anticoagulation, or chemoprophylaxis, can prevent VTE. However, the timing of VTEs after spine surgery and the effect of chemoprophylaxis on VTE timing remain underinvestigated.

METHODS

The records of 6869 consecutive spine surgeries were retrospectively examined. Data on patient demographics, surgical variables, hospital course, and timing of VTEs were collected. Patients who received chemoprophylaxis were compared with those who did not. Appropriate regression models were used to examine selection for chemoprophylaxis and the timing of VTEs.

RESULTS

Age (OR 1.037, 95% CI 1.023–1.051; p < 0.001), longer surgery (OR 1.003, 95% CI 1.002–1.004; p < 0.001), history of DVT (OR 1.697, 95% CI 1.038–2.776; p = 0.035), and fusion surgery (OR 1.917, 95% CI 1.356–2.709; p < 0.001) predicted selection for chemoprophylaxis. Chemoprophylaxis patients experienced more VTEs (3.62% vs 2.03% of patients, respectively; p < 0.001), and also required longer hospital stays (5.0 days vs 1.0 days; HR 0.5107; p < 0.0001) and had a greater time to the occurrence of VTE (median 6.8 days vs 3.6 days; HR 0.6847; p = 0.0003). The cumulative incidence of VTEs correlated with the postoperative day in both groups (Spearman r = 0.9746, 95% CI 0.9457–0.9883, and p < 0.0001 for the chemoprophylaxis group; Spearman r = 0.9061, 95% CI 0.8065–0.9557, and p < 0.0001 for the nonchemoprophylaxis group), and the cumulative incidence of VTEs was higher in the nonchemoprophylaxis group throughout the 30-day postoperative period. Cumulative VTE incidence and postoperative day were linearly correlated in the first 2 postoperative weeks (R = 0.9396 and p < 0.0001 for the chemoprophylaxis group; R = 0.8190 and p = 0.0003 for the nonchemoprophylaxis group) and the remainder of the 30-day postoperative period (R = 0.9535 and p < 0.0001 for the chemoprophylaxis group; R = 0.6562 and p = 0.0058 for the nonchemoprophylaxis group), but the linear relationships differ between these 2 postoperative periods (p < 0.0001 for both groups).

CONCLUSIONS

Anticoagulation reduces the cumulative incidence of VTE after spine surgery. The cumulative incidence of VTEs rises linearly in the first 2 postoperative weeks and then plateaus. Surgeons should consider early initiation of chemoprophylaxis for patients undergoing spine surgery.

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Nader S. Dahdaleh, Zachary A. Smith, Timothy E. Lindley and Patrick W. Hitchon

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Timothy E. Lindley, Nader S. Dahdaleh, Arnold H. Menezes and Kingsley O. Abode-Iyamah

Object

Management of pediatric occipitocervical instability remains especially challenging. The off-label use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein (rhBMP)-2 for spinal fusion has increased with a well-documented increase in fusion rate in many case series. Unfortunately, recent reports have documented complications associated with rhBMP use in adult spinal fusions. Complications associated with the use of rhBMP in pediatric spinal surgery is less well understood. In this study the authors report on the fusion rate and complications associated with rhBMP in pediatric occipitocervical arthrodesis.

Methods

The authors reviewed the medical records of those patients 18 years old and younger who underwent dorsal occipitocervical fusion from January 2004 to December 2007 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Forty-eight patients were identified who received rhBMP-augmented fusion. The clinical outcome and complications of these fusions were analyzed.

Results

All 48 patients had fusion confirmed on lateral radiographs within 4–14 months with an average fusion time of 6.7 months. There were 6 complications, 5 of which included seroma formation. Two of 5 patients who developed postoperative seroma presented with symptoms suggesting brainstem compression and obstructive hydrocephalus requiring emergency reoperation. One patient developed heterotopic bone formation causing cervicomedullary compression requiring reoperation.

Conclusions

The use of rhBMP to augment autograft in occipitocervical fusion allows for a high rate of successful arthrodesis, but is associated with potentially life-threatening complications in pediatric patients.

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Patrick W. Hitchon, Mario Zanaty, Logan Helland, Kingsley Abode-Iyamah and Nader S. Dahdaleh