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Pituitary Cyst

Lined with a Single Layer of Columnar Epithelium

Roger A. Smith III and Paul C. Bucy

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Anthony A. Borski and Roger A. Smith

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Acute Subdural Hemorrhage of Posterior Fossa

Report of a Case with Review of the Literature

M. N. Estridge and Roger A. Smith

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Anterior Cervical Fusion

Solution of a Particular Problem

M. N. Estridge and Roger A. Smith

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M. N. Estridge and Roger A. Smith

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Ross Bullock, Roger Smith, Jean Favier, Michael du Trevou and Gordon Blake

✓ White matter specific gravity was measured using the microgravimetric method in 20 comatose patients with diffuse head injury who were undergoing intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring, and in 19 patients with focal injuries who were undergoing evacuation of contusions or intracerebral hematomas. Computerized tomography (CT) density readings were obtained for each site of white matter sampling by locating the sampling site on the preoperative CT scan. A significant correlation was found between the specific gravity values and the CT density numbers (r = 0.775; p < 0.001). Patients with focal injuries demonstrated reduced perifocal specific gravity, suggesting brain edema. The mean specific gravity in patients with diffuse injury was within the normal range. In 10 of 12 patients in whom the specific gravity was above the normal range, the CT density was also above the normal range. These data suggest that cerebral vascular engorgement is the cause of the high specific gravity. Six (60%) of this small subgroup of 10 patients also demonstrated a high ICP.

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Peter D. Angevine and Paul C. McCormick

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Juan S. Uribe, William D. Smith, Luiz Pimenta, Roger Härtl, Elias Dakwar, Urvij M. Modhia, Glen A. Pollock, Vamsi Nagineni, Ryan Smith, Ginger Christian, Leonardo Oliveira, Luis Marchi and Vedat Deviren

Object

Symptomatic herniated thoracic discs remain a surgical challenge and historically have been associated with significant complications. While neurological outcomes have improved with the abandonment of decompressive laminectomy, the attempt to minimize surgical complications and associated morbidities continues through less invasive approaches. Many of these techniques, such as thoracoscopy, have not been widely adopted due to technical difficulties. The current study was performed to examine the safety and early results of a minimally invasive lateral approach for symptomatic thoracic herniated intervertebral discs.

Methods

Sixty patients from 5 institutions were treated using a mini-open lateral approach for 75 symptomatic thoracic herniated discs with or without calcification. The mean age was 57.9 years (range 23–80 years), and 53.3% of the patients were male. Treatment levels ranged from T4–5 to T11–12, with 1–3 levels being treated (mean 1.3 levels). The most common levels treated were T11–12 (14 cases [18.7%]), T7–8 (12 cases [16%]), and T8–9 (12 cases [16%]). Symptoms included myelopathy in 70% of cases, radiculopathy in 51.7%, axial back pain in 76.7%, and bladder and/or bowel dysfunction in 26.7%. Instrumentation included an interbody spacer in all but 6 cases (10%). Supplemental internal fixation included anterolateral plating in 33.3% of cases and pedicle screws in 10%; there was no supplemental internal fixation in 56.7% of cases. Follow-up ranged from 0.5 to 24 months (mean 11.0 months).

Results

The median operating time, estimated blood loss, and length of stay were 182 minutes, 290 ml, and 5.0 days, respectively. Four major complications occurred (6.7%): pneumonia in 1 patient (1.7%); extrapleural free air in 1 patient (1.7%), treated with chest tube placement; new lower-extremity weakness in 1 patient (1.7%); and wound infection in posterior instrumentation in 1 patient (1.7%). Reoperations occurred in 3 cases (5%): one for posterior reexploration, one for infection in posterior instrumentation, and one for removal of symptomatic residual disc material. Back pain, measured using the visual analog scale, improved 60% from the preoperative score to the last follow-up, that is, from 7.8 to 3.1. Excellent or good overall outcomes were achieved in 80% of the patients, a fair or unchanged outcome resulted in 15%, and a poor outcome occurred in 5%. Moreover, myelopathy, radiculopathy, axial back pain, and bladder and/or bowel dysfunction improved in 83.3%, 87.0%, 91.1%, and 87.5% of cases, respectively.

Conclusions

The authors' early experience with a large multicenter series suggested that the minimally invasive lateral approach is a safe, reproducible, and efficacious procedure for achieving adequate decompression in thoracic disc herniations in a less invasive manner than conventional surgical techniques and without the use of endoscopes. Symptom resolution was achieved at similar rates using this approach as compared with the most efficacious techniques in the literature, and with fewer complications in most circumstances.