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Multilevel anterior cervical osteotomies with uncinatectomies to correct a fixed kyphotic deformity associated with ankylosing spondylitis: technical note and operative video

Scott L. Zuckerman, Jacob L. Goldberg, and K. Daniel Riew

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an inflammatory disorder leading to ossification of joints and ligaments, resulting in autofusion throughout the spinal column. In patients with fixed, kyphotic cervical deformities, which cause an impaired horizontal gaze and severe neck pain, surgical intervention is warranted. Although several articles have described the anterior and/or posterior surgical treatments used to address the fixed kyphosis, few sources present the key operative steps and technical nuances. The purpose of this technical report was to provide detailed surgical steps, representative photographs, and an operative video demonstrating multilevel anterior cervical osteotomies, uncinatectomies, and a posterior osteotomy for the correction of a fixed cervical deformity secondary to AS.

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Endoscopic removal of an intraventricular primitive neuroectodermal tumor: retrieval of a free-floating fragment using a urological basket retriever

Case report

Kevin Carr, Scott L. Zuckerman, Luke Tomycz, and Matthew M. Pearson

The endoscopic resection of intraventricular tumors represents a unique challenge to the neurological surgeon. These neoplasms are invested deep within the brain parenchyma and are situated among neurologically vital structures. Additionally, the cerebrospinal fluid system presents a dynamic pathway for resected tumors to be mobilized and entrapped in other regions of the brain. In 2011, the authors treated a 3-year-old girl with a third ventricular mass identified on stereotactic brain biopsy as a WHO Grade IV CNS primitive neuroectodermal tumor. After successful neoadjuvant chemotherapy, endoscopic resection was performed. Despite successful resection of the tumor, the operation was complicated by mobilization of the resected tumor and entrapment in the atrial horn of the lateral ventricle. Using a urological stone basket retriever, the authors were able to retrieve the intact tumor without additional complications. The flexibility afforded by the nitinol urological stone basket was useful in the endoscopic removal of a free-floating intraventricular tumor. This device may prove to be useful for other practitioners performing these complicated intraventricular resections.

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Letter to the Editor: Hemostasis

Tomas Menovsky and Maxim R. Parizel

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Editorial: The challenge of matching across ages

Ann-Christine Duhaime

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Effect of symptomatic pseudomeningocele on improvement in pain, disability, and quality of life following suboccipital decompression for adult Chiari malformation Type I

Clinical article

Scott L. Parker, Saniya S. Godil, Scott L. Zuckerman, Stephen K. Mendenhall, Noel B. Tulipan, and Matthew J. McGirt

Object

Suboccipital decompression is a common procedure for patients with Chiari malformation Type I (CMI). Published studies have reported complication rates ranging from 3% to 40%, with pseudomeningocele being one of the most common complications. To date, there are no studies assessing the effect of this complication on long-term outcome. Therefore, the authors set out to assess the effect of symptomatic pseudomeningocele on patient outcomes following suboccipital decompression for CM-I.

Methods

The study comprised 50 adult patients with CM-I who underwent suboccipital craniectomy and C-1 laminectomy with or without duraplasty. Clinical presentation, radiological studies, operative variables, and complications were assessed for each case. Baseline and 1-year postoperative patient-reported outcomes were assessed to determine improvement in pain, disability, and quality of life. The extent of improvement was compared for patients with and without development of a postoperative symptomatic pseudomeningocele.

Results

A symptomatic pseudomeningocele developed postoperatively in 9 patients (18%). There was no difference with regard to clinical, radiological, or operative variables for patients with or without a postoperative pseudomeningocele. Patients without a pseudomeningocele had significant improvement in all 9 patient-reported outcome measures assessed. On the other hand, patients with pseudomeningocele only had significant improvement in headache (as measured on the Numeric Rating Scale) and headache-related disability (as measured on the Headache Disability Index) but no improvement in quality of life. Twenty-nine (71%) of 41 patients without a pseudomeningocele reported improvement in health status postoperatively compared with only 3 (33%) of 9 patients with a postoperative pseudomeningocele (p = 0.05).

Conclusions

Surgical management of CM-I in adults provides significant and sustained improvement in pain, disability, general health, and quality of life. Development of a postoperative symptomatic pseudomeningocele has lingering effects at 1 year, and it significantly diminishes the overall benefit of suboccipital decompression for CM-related symptoms. Further research is needed to accurately predict which patients may benefit from decompression alone without duraplasty.

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Two-year comprehensive medical management of degenerative lumbar spine disease (lumbar spondylolisthesis, stenosis, or disc herniation): a value analysis of cost, pain, disability, and quality of life

Clinical article

Scott L. Parker, Saniya S. Godil, Stephen K. Mendenhall, Scott L. Zuckerman, David N. Shau, and Matthew J. McGirt

Object

Current health care reform calls for a reduction of procedures and treatments that are less effective, more costly, and of little value (high cost/low quality). The authors assessed the 2-year cost and effectiveness of comprehensive medical management for lumbar spondylolisthesis, stenosis, and herniation by utilizing a prospective single-center multidisciplinary spine center registry in a real-world practice setting.

Methods

Analysis was performed on a prospective longitudinal quality of life spine registry. Patients with lumbar spondylolisthesis (n = 50), stenosis (n = 50), and disc herniation (n = 50) who had symptoms persisting after 6 weeks of medical management and who were eligible for surgical treatment were entered into a prospective registry after deciding on nonsurgical treatment. In all cases, comprehensive medical management included spinal steroid injections, physical therapy, muscle relaxants, antiinflammatory medication, and narcotic oral agents. Two-year patient-reported outcomes, back-related medical resource utilization, and occupational work-day losses were prospectively collected and used to calculate Medicare fee–based direct and indirect costs from the payer and societal perspectives. The maximum health gain associated with medical management was defined as the improvement in pain, disability, and quality of life experienced after 2 years of medical treatment or at the time a patient decided to cross over to surgery.

Results

The maximum health gain in back pain, leg pain, disability, quality of life, depression, and general health state did not achieve statistical significance by 2 years of medical management, except for pain and disability in patients with disc herniation and back pain in patients with lumbar stenosis. Eighteen patients (36%) with spondylolisthesis, 11 (22%) with stenosis, and 17 (34%) with disc herniation eventually required surgical management due to lack of improvement. The 2-year improvement did not achieve a minimum clinically important difference in any outcome measure. The mean 2-year total cost (direct plus indirect) of medical management was $6606 for spondylolisthesis, $7747 for stenosis, and $7097 for herniation.

Conclusions

In an institution-wide, prospective, longitudinal quality of life registry that measures cost and effectiveness of all spine care provided, comprehensive medical management did not result in sustained improvement in pain, disability, or quality of life for patients with surgically eligible degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis, stenosis, or disc herniation. From both the societal and payer perspective, continued medical management of patients with these lumbar pathologies in whom 6 weeks of conservative therapy failed was of minimal value given its lack of health utility and effectiveness and its health care costs. The findings from this real-world practice setting may more accurately reflect the true value and effectiveness of nonoperative care in surgically eligible patient populations.

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The role of family and personal psychiatric history in postconcussion syndrome following sport-related concussion: a story of compounding risk

Andrew D. Legarreta, Benjamin L. Brett, Gary S. Solomon, and Scott L. Zuckerman

OBJECTIVE

Sport-related concussion (SRC) has become a major public health concern. Prolonged recovery after SRC, named postconcussion syndrome (PCS), has been associated with several biopsychosocial factors, yet the role of both family and personal psychiatric histories requires investigation. In a cohort of concussed high school athletes, the authors examined the role(s) of family and personal psychiatric histories in the risk of developing PCS.

METHODS

A retrospective cohort study of 154 high school athletes with complete documentation of postconcussion symptom resolution or persistence at 6 weeks was conducted. PCS was defined as 3 or more symptoms present 6 weeks after SRC. Three groups were defined: 1) positive family psychiatric history and personal psychiatric history (FPH/PPH), 2) positive FPH only, and 3) negative family and personal psychiatric histories (controls). Three bivariate regression analyses were conducted: FPH/PPH to controls, FPH only to controls, and FPH/PPH to FPH. Post hoc bivariate regression analyses examined specific FPH pathologies and PCS.

RESULTS

Athletes with FPH/PPH compared with controls had an increased risk of PCS (χ2 = 8.90, p = 0.018; OR 5.06, 95% CI 1.71–14.99). Athletes with FPH only compared with controls also had an increased risk of PCS (χ2 = 6.04, p = 0.03; OR 2.52, 95% CI 1.20–5.30). Comparing athletes with FPH/PPH to athletes with FPH only, no added PCS risk was noted (χ2 = 1.64, p = 0.247; OR 2.01, 95% CI 0.68–5.94). Among various FPH diagnoses, anxiety (χ2 = 7.48, p = 0.021; OR 2.99, 95% CI 1.36–6.49) and bipolar disorder (χ2 = 5.13, p = 0.036; OR 2.74, 95% CI 1.14–6.67) were significantly associated with the presence of PCS.

CONCLUSIONS

Concussed high school athletes with FPH/PPH were greater than 5 times more likely to develop PCS than controls. Athletes with only FPH were over 2.5 times more likely to develop PCS than controls. Those with an FPH of anxiety or bipolar disorder are specifically at increased risk of PCS. These results suggest that not only are athletes with FPH/PPH at risk for slower recovery after SRC, but those with an FPH only—especially anxiety or bipolar disorder—may also be at risk. Overall, this study supports taking a detailed FPH and PPH in the management of SRC.

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Do academic accommodations help students recover following sport-related concussion? A retrospective study of 96 youth athletes

Grant H. Rigney, Jacob Jo, Carter Burns, Kristen L. Williams, Douglas P. Terry, and Scott L. Zuckerman

OBJECTIVE

Many schools utilize academic accommodations to help athletes return-to-learn after sport-related concussion, yet little is known about the impact of accommodations on recovery. In a cohort of adolescent athletes with sport-related concussion, the authors sought to 1) describe academic accommodations, 2) determine predictors of receiving accommodations, and 3) determine how accommodations influenced recovery, as defined by days to return-to-learn, symptom resolution, and return-to-play.

METHODS

A retrospective survey study was undertaken that included all athletes between the ages of 12 and 24 years who were seen at a regional sport-related concussion center from April 1, 2020, to April 1, 2022. Demographic characteristics, past medical history, injury characteristics, school-related factors, and recovery were collected via a telephone-based survey and from medical charts. The independent variable was the use of academic accommodations by students. The outcome variables included days to return-to-learn, symptom resolution, and return-to-play. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed.

RESULTS

Of 300 athletes contacted, 96 consented to participate in this study (mean age ± SD 16.6 ± 2.6 years, 60.4% male). The mean return-to-learn was 9.0 ± 13.2 days. In total, 63.5% of athletes received some kind of school accommodation. The most common accommodations included extra time on tests (46/96 [47.9%] athletes) and extra time for assignments (43/96 [44.8%]), whereas preferential seating in class (0/96 [0.0%]) and reduced workloads (4/96 [4.2%]) were the least commonly used accommodations. Multivariable logistic regression revealed that White race (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.02–0.71, p = 0.03) and higher initial Post-Concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS) score (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01–1.07, p = 0.02) were predictive of receiving accommodations. Univariable models showed that receiving accommodations was not predictive of return-to-learn (β = 4.67, 95% CI −0.92 to 10.25, p = 0.10), symptom resolution (β = 24.71, 95% CI −17.41 to 66.83, p = 0.26), or return-to-play (β = 13.35, 95% CI −14.56 to 41.27, p = 0.35). Regarding other predictors of each outcome, several factors emerged irrespective of accommodations. Multivariable analysis revealed that longer time to return-to-learn was associated with a history of psychiatric illness (β = 8.00, 95% CI 1.71–14.29, p = 0.02) and initial PCSS score (β = 0.14, 95% CI 0.06–0.23, p < 0.01). Finally, predictors of days to return-to-play included school personnel who were knowledgeable of concussion (β = −5.07, 95% CI −9.93 to −0.21, p = 0.04) and higher initial PCSS score (β = 0.67, 95% CI 0.04–1.29, p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

The most common accommodation was extra time on tests/assignments, whereas reduced workload was the least common. White race and greater initial PCSS score were associated with receiving accommodations. Receiving accommodations did not significantly impact days to return-to-learn, symptom resolution, or return-to-play.

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A memorial to Clint Devin: spine surgeon, researcher, and mentor

Silky Chotai, Scott L. Zuckerman, Ahilan Sivaganesan, Anthony L. Asher, and Matthew J. McGirt

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Does recovery after sport-related concussion vary by time point in a season? A multi-sport investigation

Anthony E. Bishay, Kristen L. Williams, Jacob Jo, Samuel Fitch, Douglas P. Terry, and Scott L. Zuckerman

OBJECTIVE

Seasonality, or the specific point in time within a season in which the injury occurs, may have an impact on the recovery following sport-related concussions (SRCs). In a cohort of high school athletes across multiple sports, the authors sought to investigate the impact of seasonality on 1) concussion frequency, 2) acute symptom presentation (initial Post-Concussion Symptom Scale [PCSS] score), and 3) recovery outcomes, including the time to return to learn (RTL), symptom resolution (SR), and return to play (RTP).

METHODS

A retrospective, single-institution, cohort study was conducted with adolescent athletes aged 14–19 years who sustained an SRC between November 2017 and April 2022 and presented to a multidisciplinary specialty concussion clinic. The time from first practice to the end of the regular season was evenly trichotomized into early, middle, and late season. Teams that participated in the playoffs were included in a subanalysis. One-way ANOVA and independent t-tests were used to compare PCSS scores, RTL, SR, and RTP across seasonality. Univariable and multivariable regressions were used to determine predictors for recovery, defined as total days from initial visit to each outcome.

RESULTS

Of the 1504 eligible athletes, 620 high school athletes met inclusion criteria; 491 (79.2%) sustained a concussion during the regular season with 73 (14.9%), 136 (27.7%), and 282 (57.4%) concussions occurring in the early, middle, and late seasons, respectively. No differences were seen for initial PCSS score, RTL, SR, or RTP across early-, middle-, and late-season concussions. The initial PCSS score was significantly higher for playoff compared with regular-season concussions (playoffs: 33.4 ± 27.5; regular season: 23.3 ± 22.8; t = −1.979, p = 0.048). A subanalysis of playoff concussions (n = 24) compared with regular-season concussions showed that concussion in the playoffs was associated with a higher initial PCSS score in univariable (β = 0.093, p = 0.048) and multivariable (β = 0.112, p = 0.014) analyses.

CONCLUSIONS

The majority of concussions occurred during the late-season period. No difference in acute symptoms or recovery outcomes was seen when comparing the three regular season time points. Playoff concussions were associated with significantly increased symptom scores compared with nonplayoff concussions.