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Allan J. Belzberg, Michael J. Dorsi, Phillip B. Storm and John L. Moriarity

Background

Brachial plexus injuries (BPIs) are often devastating events that lead to upper-extremity paralysis, rendering it a painful extraneous appendage. Fortunately, there are several nerve repair techniques that provide restoration of some function. Although there is general agreement in the medical community concerning which patients may benefit from surgical intervention, the actual repair technique for a given lesion is less clear.

Object

The authors sought to identify and better define areas of agreement and disagreement among experienced peripheral nerve surgeons regarding the management of BPIs.

Methods

The authors developed a detailed survey in two parts: one part addressing general issues related to BPI and the other presenting four clinical cases. The survey was mailed to 126 experienced peripheral nerve physicians of whom 49 (39%) participated in the study. The respondents represented 22 countries and multiple surgical subspecialties. They performed a mean of 34 brachial plexus reconstructions annually. Areas of significant disagreement included the timing and indications for surgical intervention in birth-related palsy, management of neuroma-in-continuity, the best transfers to achieve elbow flexion and shoulder abduction, the use of intra- or extraplexal donors for motor neurotization, and the use of distal compared with proximal coaptation during nerve transfer.

Conclusions

Experienced peripheral nerve surgeons disagreed in important respects as to the management of BPI. The decisions made by the various treating physicians underscored the many areas of disagreement regarding the treatment of BPI including the diagnostic approach to defining the injury, timing of and indications for surgical intervention in birth-related palsy, management of neuroma-in-continuity, choice of nerve transfers to achieve elbow flexion and shoulder abduction, use of intra- or extraplexal donors for neurotization, and the use of distal or proximal coaptation during nerve transfer.

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Dean Chou, Phillip B. Storm and James N. Campbell

Object. Autologous bone graft harvesting from the iliac crest remains the gold standard for fusion surgery. One disadvantage of autologous bone harvesting is the patient's enduring postoperative pain at the donor site. Nerve injury is one of the postulated mechanisms that may account for this pain. The object of this study was to determine whether the lateral cutaneous branch of the subcostal nerve is vulnerable to injury in the process of obtaining grafts from the anterior iliac crest.

Methods. Anatomical dissections were performed on 10 cadaveric specimens to ascertain the size of the T-12 subcostal nerve and its position in relation to the iliac crest.

Conclusions. The lateral cutaneous branch of the subcostal nerve may lie as close as 6 cm from the anterior superior iliac spine. This nerve is very vulnerable to injury when harvesting bone from the anterior iliac crest. Knowledge of the anatomy may decrease the risk of injury to this nerve.

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Allan J. Belzberg, Michael J. Dorsi, Phillip B. Storm and John L. Moriarity

Object. Brachial plexus injuries (BPIs) are often devastating events that lead to upper-extremity paralysis, rendering the limb a painful extraneous appendage. Fortunately, there are several nerve repair techniques that provide restoration of some function. Although there is general agreement in the medical community concerning which patients may benefit from surgical intervention, the actual repair technique for a given lesion is less clear. The authors sought to identify and better define areas of agreement and disagreement among experienced peripheral nerve surgeons as to the management of BPIs.

Methods. The authors developed a detailed survey in two parts: one part addressing general issues related to BPI and the other presenting four clinical cases. The survey was mailed to 126 experienced peripheral nerve physicians and 49 (39%) participated in the study. The respondents represent 22 different countries and multiple surgical subspecialties. They performed a mean of 33 brachial plexus reconstructions annually. Areas of significant disagreement included the timing and indications for surgical intervention in birth-related palsy, treatment of neuroma-in-continuity, the best transfers to achieve elbow flexion and shoulder abduction, the use of intra- or extraplexal donors for motor neurotization, and the use of distal or proximal coaptation during nerve transfer.

Conclusions. Experienced peripheral nerve surgeons disagree in important ways as to the management of BPI. The decisions made by the various treating physicians underscore the many areas of disagreement regarding the treatment of BPI, including the diagnostic approach to defining the injury, timing of and indications for surgical intervention in birth-related palsy, the treatment of neuroma-in-continuity, the choice of nerve transfers to achieve elbow flexion and shoulder abduction, the use of intra- or extraplexal donors for neurotization, and the use of distal or proximal coaptation during nerve transfer.

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Michael F. Stiefel, Joshua D. Udoetuk, Phillip B. Storm, Leslie N. Sutton, Heakyung Kim, Troy E. Dominguez, Mark A. Helfaer and Jimmy W. Huh

Object

Intracranial pressure (ICP) and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) monitoring are fundamental to the management of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). In adults, brain tissue oxygen monitoring (specifically PO2) and treatment have been shown to be safe additions to conventional neurocritical care and are associated with improved outcome. Brain tissue oxygen monitoring, however, has not been described in pediatric patients with TBI. In this report, the authors present preliminary experience with the use of ICP and PO2 monitoring in this population.

Methods

Pediatric patients (age <18 years) with severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score <8) admitted to a Level 1 trauma center who underwent ICP and PO2 monitoring were evaluated. Therapy was directed at maintaining ICP below 20 mm Hg and age-appropriate CPP (≥ 40 mm Hg).

Data obtained in six patients (two girls and four boys ranging in age from 6–16 years) were analyzed. Brain tissue oxygen levels were significantly higher (p <0.01) at an ICP of less than 20 mm Hg (PO2 29.29 ± 7.17 mm Hg) than at an ICP of greater than or equal to 20 mm Hg (PO2 22.83 ± 13.85 mm Hg). Significant differences (p <0.01) were also measured when CPP was less than 40 mm Hg (PO2 2.53 ± 7.98 mm Hg) and greater than or equal to 40 mm Hg (PO2 28.97 ± 7.85 mm Hg).

Conclusions

Brain tissue oxygen monitoring may be a safe and useful addition to ICP monitoring in the treatment of pediatric patients with severe TBI.

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Gregory G. Heuer, Kareem A. Zaghloul, Richard Roberts, Michael F. Stiefel and Phillip B. Storm

✓ Coil migration is a rare but potentially serious complication of endovascular procedures. Occasionally coils can be retrieved via endovascular techniques. The authors describe the microsurgical management of a case in which endovascular techniques failed. A 2-year-old girl with pulmonary atresia and a Blalock–Taussig shunt underwent attempted endovascular closure of the shunt with Gianturco steel coils. During deployment, a coil was lost in the aorta and an angiogram showed that it had lodged in the proximal M1 segment of the middle cerebral artery. The coil could not be retrieved by endovascular techniques, and the patient was taken to the operating room to undergo a craniotomy. After the sylvian fissure was split, the coil was visible through the vessel wall. Temporary clips were placed on the proximal M1 and the proximal M2 segments, trapping the coil. A small arteriotomy was performed, the coil was removed, and the arteriotomy was closed. A cerebral angiogram showed excellent perfusion with no dissections. The patient’s motor examination demonstrated a mild hemiparesis on the left with no tremulousness. Coil migration can be treated by microsurgical techniques in pediatric patients with a good clinical outcome.

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Suresh N. Magge, H. Isaac Chen, Greg G. Heuer, Lee R. Carrasco, Phillip B. Storm and M.D.

✓Dislocation of the mandibular condyle into the middle cranial fossa is a rare event due to anatomical and biome chanical factors. The authors report the case of a 12-year-old girl who presented with this condition after colliding with a classmate. One day after her injury, the patient demonstrated an inability to close her mouth completely, and she had minor tenderness to palpation anterior to the tragus, without neurological deficits. Imaging studies demonstrated a frac tured glenoid fossa with intrusion of the mandible into the cranial cavity. Open reduction of the mandibular condyle was performed, and the glenoid fossa was reconstructed with a split-thickness bone graft and titanium screws. Several dural tears noted at the time of surgery were repaired primarily.

Mandibular condyle dislocation into the middle cranial fossa is often misdiagnosed initially because of its low inci dence and nonspecific symptoms. Computed tomography scanning is the most sensitive diagnostic study for detecting this injury. Closed reduction after induction of general anesthesia has been recommended in recently suffered injuries without neurological deficits, but this approach may overlook damage to intracranial structures. Surgical repair is rec ommended if neurological injury is suspected. Treatment options should be tailored to the individual factors of each case.

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Kareem A. Zaghloul, Gregory G. Heuer, Marta D. Guttenberg, Eileen M. Shore, Frederick S. Kaplan and Phillip B. Storm

✓ Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a rare, autosomal dominant disorder characterized by congenital malformation of the great toes and episodes of soft tissue swelling that lead to progressive heterotopic ossification. The genetic cause of FOP was recently discovered to be a recurrent missense activating mutation in the activin A type I receptor, a bone morphogenetic protein type I receptor in all classically affected individuals worldwide. The authors present a child with the classic features of previously undiagnosed FOP who developed a paraspinal soft-tissue mass after a lumbar puncture for a fever workup. Excision of the mass resulted in a massive inflammatory response leading to progression of heterotopic ossification. Awareness of the classic clinical features of FOP prior to the appearance of heterotopic ossification can prompt early clinical diagnosis and confirmation through genetic testing, thus avoiding interventions that lead to irreversible iatrogenic harm.

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Suresh N. Magge, H. Isaac Chen, Michael F. Stiefel, Linda Ernst, Ann Marie Cahill, Robert Hurst and Phillip B. Storm

✓The authors report the case of an 18-month-old girl who presented with a ruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysm, and who was later diagnosed with Takayasu arteritis. Her initial aneurysm was successfully treated with clip application. However, over a 6-month period she had multiple ruptures from new and rapidly recurring aneurysms adjacent to the clips. These aneurysms were treated with repeated craniotomy and clip application and then with endovascular coil placement. Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage is a rare presentation of Takayasu arteritis. To the authors' knowledge, this is the youngest reported patient with Takayasu arteritis to present with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.

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Cranial fetus in fetu

Case illustration

Gregory G. Heuer, Erin S. Schwartz and Phillip B. Storm

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Gregory G. Heuer, Douglas A. Hardesty, Kareem A. Zaghloul, Erin M. Simon Schwartz, A. Reghan Foley and Phillip B. Storm

Schizencephaly is a rare congenital cortical brain malformation defined by unilateral or bilateral clefts of the cerebral hemispheres. These malformations are often associated with medically intractable epilepsy. Surgical solutions include lesionectomy, lobectomy, or hemispherectomy. The authors describe the case of an anatomic hemispherectomy for medically intractable epilepsy in an 8-year-old boy with a large schizencephalic cleft. Seven years prior to his epilepsy surgery, the patient underwent placement of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for communicating hydrocephalus that resulted in severe left-to-right shift. Subsequently, medically refractory epilepsy developed and the patient underwent an anatomic hemispherectomy for seizure control. The preoperative brain shift remained after the surgery, although the patient tolerated the procedure well and was seizure free postoperatively. Anatomic hemispherectomy is a viable option for treating medically intractable epilepsy in a schizencephalic pediatric patient—even one with considerable brain shift.