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P. Sarat Chandra and Mohit Agarwal

The author has described his own technique of DCER (distraction, compression, extension, and reduction) to reduce and realign the deformity and relieve spinal compression (indicated in congenital anomalies with occipitalized C1 arch). In addition, he developed special C1–2 spacers and a universal reducer. Here, a 30-year-old male with severe BI (20 mm, above the clivus) with AAD underwent the technique of spacer placement (distraction) followed by cable reduction (leading to compression and extension at the occiput–C1–C2 region). Another short example is presented where an 8-year-old boy (severe BI, AAD with posterior fossa dermoid) underwent additional correction—C2 forward translation and excision of the dermoid.

The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/XIMpkYjxgRk

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P. Sarat Chandra and Manjari Tripathi

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Rajinder Kumar, Sarat P. Chandra, and Bhawani Shanker Sharma

The management of intradiploic CSF collection is controversial. Although it is a benign lesion, even then delay in diagnosis and treatment may lead to significant morbidity. The authors report a very rare case of giant posttraumatic intradiploic pseudomeningocele involving the occipital bone, occipital condyles, and clivus. The pathogenesis and management of intradiploic CSF collection are discussed.

This 16-year-old boy presented with a history of enlarging swelling in the suboccipital region associated with headache, lower cranial nerve palsy, and features of high cervical compressive myelopathy. Investigations revealed a giant intradiploic lesion involving the occipital bone, condyles, and clivus associated with secondary basilar invagination, hydrocephalus, and syringomyelia. Intrathecal contrast administration did not reveal communication of intradiploic space with the subarachnoid space. A large occipital craniotomy was performed. A linear fracture and dural defect in the midline was identified, which was closed with fascial graft after removing the inner table of the skull. Cranioplasty was performed using the expanded calvarial bone. Ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion was performed for hydrocephalus, and the patient improved remarkably.

Posttraumatic intradiploic CSF collection, although a benign condition, may present with severe complications if treatment is delayed. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential. The authors suggest that this condition should be treated early, as for growing skull fractures.

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Sandeep Sood, Neena I. Marupudi, and Steven D. Ham

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Pankaj K. Singh, Mohit Agrawal, Dattaraj Sawarkar, Amandeep Kumar, Satish Verma, Ramesh Doddamani, P. Sarat Chandra, and Shashank S. Kale

Hangman’s fracture, also known as traumatic spondylolisthesis of the axis, causes widening of the neural canal and thus a low rate of neurological deficits. This low rate is one of the reasons it is neglected and patients present with late neurological deficits. In an effort to preserve motion at the C1–2 joint, the authors devised a new technique of bilateral C2 pedicle reconstruction. They describe the first two cases in the literature of an old hangman’s fracture with resorbed C2 pedicles due to chronic fracture, in which bilateral C2 pedicles were reconstructed. One of the two cases (case 2) is the first reported case of severe C2–3 spondyloptosis with C2 displaced up to the level of C4. Case 1 had a follow up of 21 months, while case 2 had a follow up of 12 months. Both patients experienced neurological improvement with evidence of fusion and artificial pedicle formation at last follow-up. Bilateral C2 pedicle reconstruction is a feasible technique that can be used with a good outcome in select patients.

Free access

Varidh Katiyar, Ravi Sharma, Vivek Tandon, Revanth Goda, Akshay Ganeshkumar, Ashish Suri, P. Sarat Chandra, and Shashank S. Kale

OBJECTIVE

The authors aimed to evaluate the impact of age and frailty on the surgical outcomes of patients with glioblastoma (GBM) and to assess caregivers’ perceptions regarding postdischarge care and challenges faced in the developing country of India.

METHODS

This was a retrospective study of patients with histopathologically proven GBM from 2009 to 2018. Data regarding the clinical and radiological characteristics as well as surgical outcomes were collected from the institute’s electronic database. Taking Indian demographics into account, the authors used the cutoff age of 60 years to define patients as elderly. Frailty was estimated using the 11-point modified frailty index (mFI-11). Patients were divided into three groups: robust, with an mFI score of 0; moderately frail, with an mFI score of 1 or 2; and severely frail, with an mFI score ≥ 3. A questionnaire-based survey was done to assess caregivers’ perceptions about postdischarge care.

RESULTS

Of the 276 patients, there were 93 (33.7%) elderly patients and 183 (66.3%) young or middle-aged patients. The proportion of severely frail patients was significantly more in the elderly group (38.7%) than in the young or middle-aged group (28.4%) (p < 0.001). The authors performed univariate and multivariate analysis of associations of different short-term outcomes with age, sex, frailty, and Charlson Comorbidity Index. On the multivariate analysis, only frailty was found to be a significant predictor for in-hospital mortality, postoperative complications, and length of hospital and ICU stay (p < 0.001). On Cox regression analysis, the severely frail group was found to have a significantly lower overall survival rate compared with the moderately frail (p = 0.001) and robust groups (p < 0.001). With the increase in frailty, there was a concomitant increase in the requirement for readmissions (p = 0.003), postdischarge specialist care (p = 0.001), and help from extrafamilial sources (p < 0.001). Greater dissatisfaction with psychosocial and financial support among the caregivers of severely frail patients was seen as they found themselves ill-equipped to provide postdischarge care at home (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

Frailty is a better predictor of poorer surgical outcomes than chronological age in terms of duration of hospital and ICU stay, postoperative complications, and in-hospital mortality. It also adds to the psychosocial and financial burdens of the caregivers, making postdischarge care challenging.

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P. Sarat Chandra and Manjari Tripathi

Free access

Amol Raheja, Nitish Agarwal, Sarita Mohapatra, Vivek Tandon, Sachin Anil Borkar, P. Sarat Chandra, Shashank S. Kale, and Ashish Suri

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted healthcare systems globally. The need of the hour is the development of effective strategies for protecting the lives of healthcare providers (HCPs) and judicious triage for optimal utilization of human and hospital resources. During this pandemic, neurosurgery, like other specialties, must transform, innovate, and adopt new guidelines and safety protocols for reducing the risk of cross-infection of HCPs without compromising patient care. In this article, the authors discuss the current neurosurgical practice guidelines at a high-volume tertiary care referral hospital in India and compare them with international guidelines and global consensus for neurosurgery practice in the COVID-19 era. Additionally, the authors highlight some of the modifications incorporated into their clinical practice, including those for stratification of neurosurgical cases, patient triaging based on COVID-19 testing, optimal manpower management, infrastructure reorganization, evolving modules for resident training, and innovations in operating guidelines. The authors recommend the use of their blueprint for stratification of neurosurgical cases, including their protocol for algorithmic patient triage and management and their template for manpower allocation to COVID-19 duty, as a replicable model for efficient healthcare delivery.