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Sara Saleh, Kyle I. Swanson, and Taryn Bragg

Cervical spine injuries are the most common spine injuries in the pediatric population. The authors present the youngest known patient who underwent cervical spine fusion to repair birth trauma–induced cervical fracture dislocation, resulting in spondyloptosis and spinal cord injury. A 2-week-old boy was found to have spondyloptosis and spinal cord injury after concerns arose from reduced movement of the extremities. The patient’s birth was complicated by undiagnosed abdominal dystocia, which led to cervical distraction injury. At 15 days of age, the boy underwent successful C-5 corpectomy, with anterior C4–6 and posterior C2–7 arthrodesis, using an autologous rib graft for a C-5 fracture dislocation. MRI performed 2 weeks postoperatively revealed significant improvement in the alignment of the spinal canal. The patient was discharged from the hospital in a custom Minerva brace and underwent close follow-up in addition to occupational therapy and physical therapy. At the latest follow-up 4.5 years later, the patient was able to walk and ride a tricycle by himself. The authors describe the patient’s surgery and the challenges faced in achieving successful repair and cervical spine stabilization in such a young patient. The authors suggest that significant neurological recovery after spinal cord injury in infants is possible with appropriate, timely, and interdisciplinary management.

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Mark R. Kraemer, Joyce Koueik, Susan Rebsamen, David A. Hsu, M. Shahriar Salamat, Susan Luo, Sara Saleh, Taryn M. Bragg, and Bermans J. Iskandar

OBJECTIVE

Ventricular shunts have an unacceptably high failure rate, which approaches 50% of patients at 2 years. Most shunt failures are related to ventricular catheter obstruction. The literature suggests that obstructions are caused by in-growth of choroid plexus and/or reactive cellular aggregation. The authors report endoscopic evidence of overdrainage-related ventricular tissue protrusions (“ependymal bands”) that cause partial or complete obstruction of the ventricular catheter.

METHODS

A retrospective review was completed on patients undergoing shunt revision surgery between 2008 and 2015, identifying all cases in which the senior author reported endoscopic evidence of ependymal tissue in-growth into ventricular catheters. Detailed clinical, radiological, and surgical findings are described.

RESULTS

Fifty patients underwent 83 endoscopic shunt revision procedures that revealed in-growth of ventricular wall tissue into the catheter tip orifices (ependymal bands), producing partial, complete, or intermittent shunt obstructions. Endoscopic ventricular explorations revealed ependymal bands at various stages of development, which appear to form secondarily to siphoning. Ependymal bands are associated with small ventricles when the shunt is functional, but may dilate at the time of obstruction.

CONCLUSIONS

Ventricular wall protrusions are a significant cause of proximal shunt obstruction, and they appear to be caused by siphoning of surrounding tissue into the ventricular catheter orifices.

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Thomas J. Wilson, Forrest Hamrick, Saud Alzahrani, Christopher F. Dibble, Sravanthi Koduri, Courtney Pendleton, Sara Saleh, Zarina S. Ali, Mark A. Mahan, Rajiv Midha, Wilson Z. Ray, Lynda J. S. Yang, Eric L. Zager, and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this study was to examine the role of intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) during resection of benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors in achieving gross-total resection (GTR) and in reducing postoperative neurological complications.

METHODS

Data from consecutive adult patients who underwent resection of a benign peripheral nerve sheath tumor at 7 participating institutions were combined. Propensity score matching was used to balance covariates. The primary outcomes of interest were the association between IONM and GTR and the association of IONM and the development of a permanent postoperative neurological complication. The secondary outcomes of interest were the association between IONM and GTR and the association between IONM and the development of a permanent postoperative neurological complication in the subgroup of patients with tumors involving a motor or mixed nerve. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were then performed on the propensity score–matched samples to assess the ability of the independent variables to predict the outcomes of interest.

RESULTS

A total of 337 patients who underwent resection of benign nerve sheath tumors were included. In multivariate analysis, the use of IONM (OR 0.460, 95% CI 0.199–0.978; p = 0.047) was a significant negative predictor of GTR, whereas none of the variables, including IONM, were associated with the occurrence of a permanent postoperative neurological complication. Within the subgroup of motor/mixed nerve tumors, in the multivariate analysis, IONM (OR 0.263, 95% CI 0.096–0.723; p = 0.010) was a significant negative predictor of a GTR, whereas IONM (OR 3.800, 95% CI 1.925–7.502; p < 0.001) was a significant positive predictor of a permanent postoperative motor deficit.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, 12% of the cohort had a permanent neurological complication, with new or worsened paresthesias most common, followed by pain and then weakness. The authors found that formal IONM was associated with a reduced likelihood of GTR and had no association with neurological complications. The authors believe that these data argue against IONM being considered standard of care but do not believe that these data should be used to universally argue against IONM during resection of benign nerve sheath tumors.