Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 25 items for

  • Author or Editor: Ronald I. Apfelbaum x
Clear All Modify Search
Full access

Curtis A. Dickman and Ronald I. Apfelbaum

A 6-cm-diameter schwannoma located at T-2 was resected completely by using transthoracic microsurgical endoscopy. The partially cystic tumor widened the neural foramen and extended into the apex of the right thoracic cavity but did not extend intradurally. The tumor was accessed by means of three 15-mm incisions made in the intercostal spaces. The operative blood loss was only 200 ml, and there were no complications. The patient was discharged on the 2nd postoperative day and returned to full activity 1 week after surgery.

Thoracoscopy provides an excellent alternative to thoracotomy for peripheral thoracic nerve sheath tumors that originate within the neural foramen or more distally along the intercostal nerves within the thorax. An anterior approach is required for intrathoracic tumors but is not suited for intradural tumors. An open posterior or posterolateral approach to the thoracic spine is required for intradural tumors to allow the dura to be closed adequately.

Restricted access

Douglas L. Brockmeyer and Ronald I. Apfelbaum

✓ Posterior occipitocervical stabilization procedures were successfully performed in 10 patients (nine boys and one girl) 16 years of age or younger by using C1–2 transarticular screws coupled with a rigid occipitocervical construct. The average length of follow-up evaluation was 18.8 months (range 5–37 months). No implant failed and all fusions were successful without the use of an external orthotic halo device.

Restricted access
Restricted access

Curtis A. Dickman and Ronald I. Apfelbaum

✓ A 6-cm-diameter schwannoma located at T-2 was resected completely by using transthoracic microsurgical endoscopy. The partially cystic tumor widened the neural foramen and extended into the apex of the right thoracic cavity but did not extend intradurally. The tumor was accessed by means of three 15-mm incisions made in the intercostal spaces. The operative blood loss was only 200 ml, and there were no complications. The patient was discharged on the 2nd postoperative day and returned to full activity 1 week after surgery.

Thoracoscopy provides an excellent alternative to thoracotomy for peripheral thoracic nerve sheath tumors that originate within the neural foramen or more distally along the intercostal nerves within the thorax. An anterior approach is required for intrathoracic tumors but is not suited for intradural tumors. An open posterior or posterolateral approach to the thoracic spine is required for intradural tumors to allow the dura to be closed adequately.

Restricted access

Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Julie E. York and Ronald I. Apfelbaum

Object. Craniovertebral instability is a challenging problem in pediatric spinal surgery. Recently, C1–2 transarticular screw fixation has been used to assist in craniovertebral joint stabilization in pediatric patients. Currently there are no available data that define the anatomical suitability of this technique in the pediatric population. The authors report their experience in treating 31 pediatric patients with craniovertebral instability by using C1–2 transarticular screws.

Methods. From March 1992 to October 1998, 31 patients who were 16 years of age or younger with atlantooccipital or atlantoaxial instability, or both, were evaluated at our institution. There were 21 boys and 10 girls. Their ages ranged from 4 to 16 years (mean age 10.2 years). The most common causes of instability were os odontoideum (12 patients) and ligamentous laxity (eight patients). Six patients had undergone a total of nine previous attempts at posterior fusion while at outside institutions.

All patients underwent extensive preoperative radiological evaluation including fine-slice (1-mm) computerized tomography scanning with multiplanar reconstruction to evaluate the anatomy of the C1–2 joint space. Preoperatively, of the 62 possible C1–2 joint spaces in 31 patients, 55 sides (89%) were considered suitable for transarticular screw placement. In three patients the anatomy was considered unsuitable for bilateral screw placement. In three patients the anatomy was considered inadequate on one side. Fifty-five C1–2 transarticular screws were subsequently placed, and there were no neurological or vascular complications.

Conclusions. The authors conclude that C1–2 transarticular screw fixation is technically possible in a large proportion of pediatric patients with craniovertebral instability.

Full access

Chad D. Cole, James K. Liu and Ronald I. Apfelbaum

Since the earliest recorded history of medicine, physicians have been challenged by the difficulty in relieving the great pain experienced by individuals suffering from trigeminal neuralgia (TN). The nature of the pain and the events that incite it have been well described, but effective treatments with acceptable levels of side effects remained elusive until the latter part of the 20th century. As a result, many theories about the origins of TN have been proposed, along with numerous treatment modalities. The pathophysiological causes of TN remain incompletely understood, but the medical and surgical treatment techniques currently used offer effective ways to relieve this extremely painful condition. In this historical review the authors discuss the initial descriptions of tic douloureux, Fothergill disease, and TN, along with various therapeutic interventions and their refinements.

Restricted access

Wayne M. Gluf, Meic H. Schmidt and Ronald I. Apfelbaum

Object. In this, the first of two articles regarding C1–2 transarticular screw fixation, the authors assessed the rate of fusion, surgery-related complications, and lessons learned after C1–2 transarticular screw fixation in an adult patient series.

Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed 191 consecutive patients (107 women and 84 men; mean age 49.7 years, range 17–90 years) in whom at least one C1–2 transarticular screw was placed. Overall 353 transarticular screws were placed for trauma (85 patients), rheumatoid arthritis (63 patients), congenital anomaly (26 patients), os odontoideum (four patients), neoplasm (eight patients), and chronic cervical instability (five patients). Among these, 67 transarticular screws were placed in 36 patients as part of an occipitocervical construct. Seventeen patients had undergone 24 posterior C1–2 fusion attempts prior to referral. The mean follow-up period was 15.2 months (range 0.1–106.3 months).

Fusion was achieved in 98% of cases followed to commencement of fusion or for at least 24 months. The mean duration until fusion was 9.5 months (range 3–48 months). Complications occurred in 32 patients. Most were minor; however, five patients suffered vertebral artery (VA) injury. One bilateral VA injury resulted in patient death. The others did not result in any permanent neurological sequelae.

Conclusions. Based on this series, the authors have learned important lessons that can improve outcomes and safety. These include techniques to improve screw-related patient positioning, development of optimal instrumentation, improved screw materials and design, and defining the role for stereotactic navigation. Atlantoaxial transarticular screw fixation is highly effective in achieving fusion, and the complication rate is low when performed by properly trained surgeons.

Restricted access

Amin Amini, Ronald I. Apfelbaum and Meic H. Schmidt

✓The thoracic duct along with the cisterna chyli is a major lymphatic pathway near the anterior thoracolumbar spine. Despite the fragile nature of the lymphatic system and its proximity to the spinal column, chylorrhea is rarely encountered by spine surgeons. The authors present a unique case of chylorrhea associated with a left thoracoscopic, trans-diaphragmatic discectomy and fusion for a T12–L1 herniated disc. The anomalous location of the thoracic duct at the left lateral vertebral column contributes to this unusual complication.

Restricted access

Ganesh Rao, Adam S. Arthur and Ronald I. Apfelbaum

✓ Fractures of the craniocervical junction are common in victims of high-speed motor vehicle accidents; indeed, injury to this area is often fatal. The authors present the unusual case of a young woman who sustained a circumferential fracture of the craniocervical junction. Despite significant trauma to this area, she suffered remarkably minor neurological impairment and made an excellent recovery. Her injuries, treatment, and outcome, as well as a review of the literature with regard to injuries at the craniocervical junction, are discussed.

Restricted access

Retroclival craniopharyngioma

Case illustration

Russell R. Lonser, Christine Glastonbury and Ronald I. Apfelbaum