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Thomas J. Wilson, R. Shane Tubbs and Lynda J. S. Yang

OBJECTIVE

The authors hypothesized that when the anatomical variant of an anconeus epitrochlearis is present, the risk of developing cubital tunnel syndrome would be reduced by replacing the normal roof of the cubital tunnel (Osborne's ligament) with a more forgiving muscular structure, the anconeus epitrochlearis. The authors further hypothesized that when the presence of an anconeus epitrochlearis contributes to ulnar neuropathy, it would be secondary to muscular hypertrophy, thereby making it more likely to occur in the dominant arm. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to evaluate these hypotheses.

METHODS

This retrospective cohort study was performed by reviewing the records of all adult patients who underwent operative intervention for cubital tunnel syndrome between 2005 and 2014 as the experimental group and all asymptomatic patients in the medical literature who were part of a series reporting the prevalence of an anconeus epitrochlearis as the control group. The primary outcome of interest was the presence of an anconeus epitrochlearis in asymptomatic individuals versus patients with cubital tunnel syndrome.

RESULTS

During the study period, 168 patients underwent decompression of the ulnar nerve for cubital tunnel syndrome, and an anconeus epitrochlearis was found at surgery in 9 (5.4%) patients. The control group consisted of 634 asymptomatic patients from the medical literature, and an anconeus epitrochlearis was present in 98 (15.5%) of these patients. An anconeus epitrochlearis was present significantly less frequently in the symptomatic patients than in asymptomatic individuals (p < 0.001). Among patients undergoing surgical decompression, an anconeus epitrochlearis was associated with symptoms in the dominant arm (p = 0.037).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors found that an anconeus epitrochlearis was present significantly less often in patients with cubital tunnel syndrome than in asymptomatic controls. The mechanism of protection may be that this muscle decreases the rigidity of the entrance into the cubital tunnel. When an anconeus epitrochlearis does contribute to cubital tunnel syndrome, it is significantly more likely to occur in the dominant arm, possibly due to repetitive use and hypertrophy of the anconeus epitrochlearis. The presence of an anconeus epitrochlearis may be protective against the development of cubital tunnel syndrome, although this is a preliminary finding.

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Thomas J. Wilson, B. Matthew Howe, Shelby A. Stewart, Robert J. Spinner and Kimberly K. Amrami

OBJECTIVE

This study aimed to define a set of clinicoradiological parameters with a high specificity for the diagnosis of intraneural perineurioma, obviating the need for operative tissue diagnosis.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively reviewed MR images obtained in a large cohort of patients who underwent targeted fascicular biopsy and included only those patients for whom the biopsy yielded a diagnosis. Clinical and radiological findings were then tested for their ability to predict a tissue diagnosis of intraneural perineurioma. The authors propose a new set of diagnostic criteria, referred to as the Perineurioma Diagnostic Criteria. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of several clinicoradiological methods of diagnosis were compared.

RESULTS

A total of 195 patients who underwent targeted fascicular biopsy were included in the cohort, of whom 51 had a tissue diagnosis of intraneural perineurioma. When the clinicoradiological methods used in this study were compared, the highest sensitivity (0.86), negative predictive value (0.95), and F1 score (0.88) were observed for the decision trees generated in C5.0 and rPart, whereas the highest specificity (1.0) and positive predictive value (1.0) were observed for the Perineurioma Diagnostic Criteria.

CONCLUSIONS

This study identified clinical and radiological features that are associated with a diagnosis of perineurioma. The Perineurioma Diagnostic Criteria were determined to be the following: 1) no cancer history, 2) unifocal disease, 3) moderate to severe hyperintensity on T2-weighted MR images, 4) moderate to severe contrast enhancement, 5) homogeneous contrast enhancement, 6) fusiform shape, 7) enlargement of the involved nerves, and 8) age ≤ 40 years. Use of the Perineurioma Diagnostic Criteria obviates the need for tissue diagnosis when all of the criteria are satisfied.

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Benjamin T. Himes, Thomas J. Wilson, Andres A. Maldonado, Naveen S. Murthy and Robert J. Spinner

The authors present a case of delayed peroneal neuropathy following a lateral gastrocnemius rotational flap reconstruction. The patient presented 1.5 years after surgery with a new partial foot drop, which progressed over 3 years. At operation, a fascial band on the deep side of the gastrocnemius flap was compressing the common peroneal nerve proximal to the fibular head, correlating with preoperative imaging. Release of this fascial band and selective muscle resection led to immediate improvement in symptoms postoperatively.

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Thomas J. Wilson, Jacob R. Joseph, Jonathan R. Dillman, Amer Heider and Lynda J. S. Yang

Patients presenting with enlarging fibrofatty masses in the extremities pose an interesting dilemma to clinicians, as the differential diagnosis in such cases ranges from benign to malignant, and from lesions optimally managed operatively to those managed nonoperatively. The differential diagnosis includes benign lipoma, liposarcoma, lipoblastoma, and fibrolipomatous hamartoma (lipomatosis) of the nerves. The authors present the case of a 14-year-old girl with an enlarging fibrofatty mass of the forearm, initially thought, based on diagnostic imaging, to be a fibrolipomatous hamartoma of the median nerve, but found to be a lipoblastoma without direct nerve involvement based on histopathological examination of the operative specimen. This case serves to illustrate the diagnostic predicament that can exist with such masses. The authors advocate the need to establish a tissue diagnosis while having a contingency plan for each of the diagnostic possibilities because the management of each lesion is markedly different. In this report, the authors consider the differential diagnosis of fibrofatty masses of the extremities that the peripheral nerve surgeon may encounter, and they highlight the significant differences in management strategies for each possible diagnosis.

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Thomas J. Wilson, Kate W. C. Chang, Suneet P. Chauhan and Lynda J. S. Yang

OBJECTIVE

Neonatal brachial plexus palsy (NBPP) occurs due to the stretching of the nerves of the brachial plexus before, during, or after delivery. NBPP can resolve spontaneously or become persistent. To determine if nerve surgery is indicated, predicting recovery is necessary but difficult. Historical attempts explored the association of recovery with only clinical and electrodiagnostic examinations. However, no data exist regarding the neonatal and peripartum factors associated with NBPP persistence.

METHODS

This retrospective cohort study involved all NBPP patients at the University of Michigan between 2005 and 2015. Peripartum and neonatal factors were assessed for their association with persistent NBPP at 1 year, as defined as the presence of musculoskeletal contractures or an active range of motion that deviated from normal by > 10° (shoulder, elbow, hand, and finger ranges of motion were recorded). Standard statistical methods were used.

RESULTS

Of 382 children with NBPP, 85% had persistent NBPP at 1 year. A wide range of neonatal and peripartum factors was explored. We found that cephalic presentation, induction or augmentation of labor, birth weight > 9 lbs, and the presence of Horner syndrome all significantly increased the odds of persistence at 1 year, while cesarean delivery and Narakas Grade I to II injury significantly reduced the odds of persistence.

CONCLUSIONS

Peripartum/neonatal factors were identified that significantly altered the odds of having persistent NBPP at 1 year. Combining these peripartum/neonatal factors with previously published clinical examination findings associated with persistence should allow the development of a prediction algorithm. The implementation of this algorithm may allow the earlier recognition of those cases likely to persist and thus enable earlier intervention, which may improve surgical outcomes.

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Thomas J. Wilson, William R. Stetler Jr., Wajd N. Al-Holou, Stephen E. Sullivan and Jeffrey J. Fletcher

Object

The authors conducted a study to review outcomes and management in patients in whom intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) develops during left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy.

Methods

This retrospective cohort study included all adult patients (18 years of age or older) at a single institution who underwent placement of an LVAD between January 1, 2003, and March 1, 2012. The authors conducted a detailed medical chart review, and data were abstracted to assess outcomes in patients in whom ICH developed compared to those in patients in whom ICH did not develop; to compare management of antiplatelet agents and anticoagulation with outcomes; to describe surgical management employed and outcomes achieved; to compare subtypes of ICH (intraparenchymal, subdural, and subarachnoid hemorrhage) and their outcomes; and to determine any predictors of outcome.

Results

During the study period, 330 LVADs were placed and 36 patients developed an ICH (traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage in 10, traumatic subdural hematoma in 8, spontaneous intraventricular hemorrhage in 1, and spontaneous intraparenchymal hemorrhage in 17). All patients were treated with aspirin and warfarin at the time of presentation. With suspension of these agents, no thromboembolic events or pump failures were seen and no delayed rehemorrhages occurred after resuming these medications. Intraparenchymal hemorrhages had the worst outcomes, with a 30-day mortality rate in 59% compared with a 30-day mortality rate of 0% in patients with traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhages and 13% in those with traumatic subdural hematomas. Five patients with intraparenchymal hemorrhages were managed with surgical intervention, 4 of whom died within 60 days. The only factor found to be predictive of outcome was initial Glasgow Coma Scale score. No patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale score less than 11 survived beyond 30 days. Overall, the development of an ICH significantly reduced survival compared with the natural history of patients on LVAD therapy.

Conclusions

The authors' data suggest that withholding aspirin for 1 week and warfarin for 10 days is sufficient to reduce the risk of hemorrhage expansion or rehemorrhage while minimizing the risk of thromboembolic events and pump failure. Patients with intraparenchymal hemorrhage have poor outcomes, whereas patients with traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage or subdural hematoma have better outcomes.

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Thomas J. Wilson, Grant M. Kleiber, Ryan M. Nunley, Susan E. Mackinnon and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECTIVE

The sciatic nerve, particularly its peroneal division, is at risk for injury during total hip arthroplasty (THA), especially when a posterior approach is used. The majority of the morbidity results from the loss of peroneal nerve–innervated muscle function. Approximately one-third of patients recover spontaneously. The objectives of this study were to report the outcomes of distal decompression of the peroneal nerve at the fibular tunnel following sciatic nerve injury secondary to THA and to attempt to identify predictors of a positive surgical outcome.

METHODS

A retrospective study of all patients who underwent peroneal decompression for the indication of sciatic nerve injury following THA at the Mayo Clinic or Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis was performed. Patients with less than 6 months of postoperative follow-up were excluded. The primary outcome was dorsiflexion strength at latest follow-up. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the ability of the independent variables to predict a good surgical outcome.

RESULTS

The total included cohort consisted of 37 patients. The median preoperative dorsiflexion grade at the time of peroneal decompression was 0. Dorsiflexion at latest follow-up was Medical Research Council (MRC) ≥ 3 for 24 (65%) patients. Dorsiflexion recovered to MRC ≥ 4− for 15 (41%) patients. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, motor unit potentials in the tibialis anterior (OR 19.84, 95% CI 2.44–364.05; p = 0.004) and in the peroneus longus (OR 8.68, 95% CI 1.05–135.53; p = 0.04) on preoperative electromyography were significant predictors of a good surgical outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

After performing peroneal nerve decompression at the fibular tunnel, 65% of the patients in this study recovered dorsiflexion strength of MRC ≥ 3 at latest follow-up, potentially representing a significant improvement over the natural history.

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Thomas J. Wilson, Daniel A. Orringer, Stephen E. Sullivan and Parag G. Patil

Thoracic vertebral compression fractures are a known complication of generalized tetanus. The authors report the first known case of an L-2 burst fracture leading to cauda equina syndrome, as a result of generalized tetanus.

This 51-year-old man had generalized tetanus with a constellation of symptoms including compartment syndrome requiring fasciotomies, severe axial spasms and spasms of the extremities, autonomic dysreflexia, hypercarbic respiratory failure, and rhabdomyolysis. During the course of his illness, areflexic paraparesis developed in his lower extremities. He was found to have an L-2 burst fracture with retropulsion of a bone fragment resulting in cauda equina syndrome. Operative intervention was undertaken to decompress the cauda equina and stabilize the spine.

The natural progression of tetanus can be complex, with a mixed picture ranging from spasms plus increased tone and reflexes to reduced tone and reflexes as presynaptic nerve terminals become damaged. The authors suggest that all sudden changes in the neurological examination should prompt consideration of diagnostic imaging before attributing such changes to natural progression of the disease.

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Thomas J. Wilson, William R. Stetler Jr., Wajd N. Al-Holou and Stephen E. Sullivan

Object

The objective of this study was to compare the accuracy of 3 methods of ventricular catheter placement during CSF shunt operations: the freehand technique using surface anatomy, ultrasonic guidance, and stereotactic neuronavigation.

Methods

This retrospective cohort study included all patients from a single institution who underwent a ventricular CSF shunting procedure in which a new ventricular catheter was placed between January 2005 and March 2010. Data abstracted for each patient included age, sex, diagnosis, method of ventricular catheter placement, site and side of ventricular catheter placement, Evans ratio, and bifrontal ventricular span. Postoperative radiographic studies were reviewed for accuracy of ventricular catheter placement. Medical records were also reviewed for evidence of shunt failure requiring revision through December 2011. Statistical analysis was then performed comparing the 3 methods of ventricular catheter placement and to determine risk factors for inaccurate placement.

Results

There were 249 patients included in the study; 170 ventricular catheters were freehand passed, 51 were placed using stereotactic neuronavigation, and 28 were placed under intraoperative ultrasonic guidance. There was a statistically significant difference between freehand catheters and stereotactic-guided catheters (p < 0.001), as well as between freehand catheters and ultrasound-guided catheters (p < 0.001). The only risk factor for inaccurate placement identified in this study was use of the freehand technique. The use of stereotactic neuronavigation and ultrasonic guidance reduced proximal shunt failure rates (p < 0.05) in comparison with a freehand technique.

Conclusions

Stereotactic- and ultrasound-guided ventricular catheter placements are significantly more accurate than freehand placement, and the use of these intraoperative guidance techniques reduced proximal shunt failure in this study.

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Thomas J. Wilson, Marie-Noëlle Hébert-Blouin, Naveen S. Murthy, Joaquín J. García, Kimberly K. Amrami and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECTIVE

The authors have observed that a subset of patients referred for evaluation of peroneal neuropathy with “negative” findings on MRI of the knee have subtle evidence of a peroneal intraneural ganglion cyst on subsequent closer inspection. The objective of this study was to introduce the nearly invisible peroneal intraneural ganglion cyst and provide illustrative cases. The authors further wanted to identify clues to the presence of a nearly invisible cyst.

METHODS

Illustrative cases demonstrating nearly invisible peroneal intraneural ganglion cysts were retrospectively reviewed and are presented. Case history and physical examination, imaging, and intraoperative findings were reviewed for each case. The outcomes of interest were the size and configuration of peroneal intraneural ganglion cysts over time, relative to various interventions that were performed, and in relation to physical examination and electrodiagnostic findings.

RESULTS

The authors present a series of cases that highlight the dynamic nature of peroneal intraneural ganglion cysts and introduce the nearly invisible cyst as a new and emerging part of the spectrum. The cases demonstrate changes in size and morphology over time of both the intraneural and extraneural compartments of these cysts. Despite “negative” MR imaging findings, nearly invisible cysts can be identified in a subset of patients.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors demonstrate here that peroneal intraneural ganglion cysts ride a roller coaster of change in both size and morphology over time, and they describe the nearly invisible cyst as one end of the spectrum. They identified clues to the presence of a nearly invisible cyst, including deep peroneal predominant symptoms, fluctuating symptoms, denervation changes in the tibialis anterior muscle, and abnormalities of the superior tibiofibular joint, and they correlate the subtle imaging findings to the internal fascicular topography of the common peroneal nerve. The description of the nearly invisible cyst may allow for increased recognition of this pathological entity that occurs with a spectrum of findings.