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Terence Verla, Jonathan G. Thomas, Vilmos Thomazy, Gregory N. Fuller, Aziz Shaibani and Ibrahim Omeis

Radiation therapy continues to play an extremely valuable role in the treatment of malignancy. The effects of radiation therapy on normal tissue can present in a delayed fashion, resulting in localized damage with pseudomalignant transformation, producing a compressive effect on the spinal cord or exiting nerve roots. Infiltration of inflammatory cells and the subsequent fibrotic response can result in the development of an inflammatory pseudotumor (benign tumor-like lesion) with subsequent mass effect. Herein, the authors present a rare case of inflammatory pseudotumor with fulminant cervicothoracic cord compression, developing 7 years after radiation therapy for breast cancer. The lesion recurred following resection but subsequently displayed complete and rapid resolution following steroid therapy. To the best of the authors' knowledge, no previous studies have reported such an incident.

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Ankit I. Mehta, Owoicho Adogwa, Isaac O. Karikari, Paul Thompson, Terence Verla, Ulysses T. Null, Allan H. Friedman, Joseph S. Cheng, Carlos A. Bagley and Robert E. Isaacs

Object

Intradural extramedullary (IDEM) neoplasms are uncommon lesions that can pose a challenge for resection. Numerous factors affect the resectability and ultimately the outcome of these lesions. The authors report their 10-year institutional experience with the resection of IDEM neoplasms, focusing on the effect of location on surgical outcomes.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective review of 96 consecutive patients who presented with a cervical and/or thoracic IDEM tumor that was resected between February 2000 and July 2009. All patients underwent MRI, and the axial location of the tumor was categorized as anterior, posterior, or lateral. Postoperative complications were assessed, as was neurological status at the patient's last follow-up clinic visit. Major complications assessed included CSF leakage requiring lumbar drainage, reexploration for epidural hematoma, and major postoperative neurological deficits.

Results

The mean ± SD age at presentation was 51.16 ± 17.87 years. Major surgical approach–related complications occurred in 15% of patients. Major non–approach related surgical complications occurred in 7.1% of patients, while minor complications occurred in 14.2% of patients. Postoperative neurological deficits occurred most commonly in the thoracic spine between T-1 and T-8. Based on axial spinal cord location, the surgery-related complications rates for all anterior tumors (n = 12) was 41.6%, whereas that for all lateral tumors (n = 69) was 4.4% and that for all posteriorly located tumors (n = 17) was 0%.

Conclusions

Spinal IDEM tumors that are anteriorly located in the upper thoracic spine were found to have the highest rate of surgery-related complications and postoperative neurological deficits. This finding may be associated with the unforgiving anatomy of the upper thoracic spine in which there is a higher cord-to-canal ratio and a tenuous vascular supply.

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Owoicho Adogwa, Terence Verla, Paul Thompson, Anirudh Penumaka, Katherine Kudyba, Kwame Johnson, Erin Fulchiero, Timothy Miller Jr., Kimberly B. Hoang, Joseph Cheng and Carlos A. Bagley

Object

Depression and persistent low-back pain (LBP) are common and disabling problems in elderly patients (> 65 years old). Affective disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are also common in elderly patients, with a prevalence ranging from 4% to 16%. Depressive symptoms are consistently associated with functional disability. To date, few studies have assessed the predictive value of baseline depression on outcomes in the setting of revision spine surgery in elderly patients. Therefore, in this study, the authors assessed the predictive value of preoperative depression on 2-year postoperative outcomes.

Methods

A total of 69 patients undergoing revision neural decompression and instrumented fusion for adjacent-segment disease (ASD, n = 28), pseudarthrosis (n = 17), or same-level recurrent stenosis (n = 24) were included in this study. Preoperative Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (ZDS) scores were assessed for all patients. Preoperative and 2-year postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) scores for back pain (VAS-BP) and leg pain (VAS-LP) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were also assessed. The association between preoperative ZDS score and 2-year improvement in disability was assessed via multivariate regression analysis.

Results

Compared with preoperative status, 2-year postoperative VAS-BP was significantly improved after surgery for ASD (9 ± 2 vs 4.01 ± 2.56, respectively; p = 0.001), as were pseudarthrosis (7.41 ± 1 vs 5.0 ± 3.08, respectively; p = 0.02) and same-level recurrent stenosis (7 ± 2.00 vs 5.00 ± 2.34, respectively; p = 0.003). Two-year ODI was also significantly improved after surgery for ASD (29 ± 9 vs 23.10 ± 10.18, respectively; p = 0.001), as were pseudarthrosis (28.47 ± 5.85 vs 24.41 ± 7.75, respectively; p = 0.001) and same-level recurrent stenosis (30.83 ± 5.28 vs 26.29 ± 4.10, respectively; p = 0.003). Independent of other factors—age, body mass index, symptom duration, smoking, comorbidities, severity of preoperative pain, and disability—increasing preoperative ZDS score was significantly associated with lower 2-year improvement in disability (ODI) after revision surgery in elderly patients with symptomatic ASD, pseudarthrosis, or recurrent stenosis.

Conclusions

The extent of preoperative depression is an independent predictor of less functional improvement following revision lumbar surgery in elderly patients with symptomatic ASD, pseudarthrosis, or recurrent stenosis. Timely diagnosis and treatment of depression and somatic anxiety in this cohort of patients may contribute to improvement in postoperative functional status.