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Marjan Alimi, Christoph P. Hofstetter, Se Young Pyo, Danika Paulo and Roger Härtl

OBJECT

Surgical decompression is the intervention of choice for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) when nonoperative treatment has failed. Standard open laminectomy is an effective procedure, but minimally invasive laminectomy through tubular retractors is an alternative. The aim of this retrospective case series was to evaluate the clinical and radiographic outcomes of this procedure in patients who underwent LSS and to compare outcomes in patients with and without preoperative spondylolisthesis.

METHODS

Patients with LSS without spondylolisthesis and with stable Grade I spondylolisthesis who had undergone minimally invasive tubular laminectomy between 2004 and 2011 were included in this analysis. Demographic, perioperative, and radiographic data were collected. Clinical outcome was evaluated using the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores, as well as Macnab's criteria.

RESULTS

Among 110 patients, preoperative spondylolisthesis at the level of spinal stenosis was present in 52.5%. At a mean follow-up of 28.8 months, scoring revealed a median improvement of 16% on the ODI, 2.75 on the VAS back, and 3 on the VAS leg, compared with the preoperative baseline (p < 0.0001). The reoperation rate requiring fusion at the same level was 3.5%. Patients with and without preoperative spondylolisthesis had no significant differences in their clinical outcome or reoperation rate.

CONCLUSIONS

Minimally invasive laminectomy is an effective procedure for the treatment of LSS. Reoperation rates for instability are lower than those reported after open laminectomy. Functional improvement is similar in patients with and without preoperative spondylolisthesis. This procedure can be an alternative to open laminectomy. Routine fusion may not be indicated in all patients with LSS and spondylolisthesis.

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Moo Seong Kim, Se Young Pyo, Young Gyun Jeong, Sun Il Lee, Yong Tae Jung and Jae Hong Sim

Object. The purpose of this study was to assess the benefits of radiosurgery for cavernous hemangioma.

Methods. Sixty-five cavernous hemangiomas were treated with gamma knife surgery (GKS) between October 1994 and December 2002. Forty-two patients attended follow up. The mean patient age was 37.6 years (range 7–60 years). The lesions were located in the frontal lobe in 12 cases, deep in the parietal lobe in five, in the basal ganglia in five, in the temporal in three, in the cerebellum in three, in the pons/midbrain in six, and in multiple locations in eight cases. The presenting symptoms were seizure in 12, hemorrhage in 11, and other in 19. The maximum dose was 26.78 Gy, and the mean margin dose was 14.55 Gy.

The mean follow-up period after radiosurgery was 29.6 months (range 5–93 months). The tumor decreased in size in 29 cases, was unchanged in 12, and increased in size in one. In the seizure group, seizures were controlled without anticonvulsant medication in nine cases (81.8%) after 31.3 months (range 12–80 months). After 93 months, one patient developed a cyst, which was resected. Rebleeding occurred in one case (2.3%). On T2-weighted imaging changes were seen in 11 cases (26.2%), in three (7.1%) of which neurological deterioration was correlated with imaging changes. In other cases these deficits were temporary.

Conclusions. The authors found that GKS was an effective treatment modality for cavernous hemangiomas, especially for those located within the brainstem, basal ganglia, or deep portions of the brain. It can reduce seizure frequency significantly although this takes time. In the group receiving a marginal dose below 15 Gy the patients fared better than when the dose exceeded 15 Gy.