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A novel endoscope-assisted technique for lateral lumbar interbody fusion: feasibility study, technical note, and operative video

Irene Say, Tianyi Niu, Jasmine A. Thum, Mark M. Archie, David C. Chen, and Daniel C. Lu

The lateral approach to the spine is generally well tolerated, but reports of debilitating injury to the lumbar plexus, iliac vessels, ureter, and abdominal viscera are increasingly recognized, likely related to the lack of direct visualization of these nearby structures. To minimize this complication profile, the authors describe here a novel, minimally invasive, endoscope-assisted technique for the LLIF and evaluate its clinical feasibility. Seven consecutive endoscope-assisted lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) procedures by the senior authors were reviewed for the incidence of approach-related complications. One patient had a postoperative approach-related complication. This patient developed transient ipsilateral thigh hip flexion weakness that resolved spontaneously by the 3-month follow-up. No patient experienced visceral, urological, or vascular injury, and no patient sustained a permanent neurological injury related to the procedure. The authors’ preliminary experience suggests that this endoscope-assisted LLIF technique may be clinically feasible to mitigate vascular, urological, and visceral injury, especially in patients with previous abdominal surgery, anomalous anatomy, and revision operations. It provides direct visualization of at-risk structures without significant additional operative time. A larger series is needed to determine whether it reduces the incidence of lumbar plexopathy or visceral injury compared with traditional lateral approaches.

Full access

Natural history of the aging spine: a cross-sectional analysis of spinopelvic parameters in the asymptomatic population

Mark Attiah, Bilwaj Gaonkar, Yasmine Alkhalid, Diane Villaroman, Rogelio Medina, Christine Ahn, Tianyi Niu, Joel Beckett, Christopher Ames, and Luke Macyszyn

OBJECTIVE

There have been numerous studies demonstrating increased pain and disability when patients’ spinopelvic parameters fall outside of certain accepted ranges. However, these values were established based on patients suffering from spinal deformities. It remains unknown how these parameters change over a lifetime in asymptomatic individuals. The goal of this study was to define a range of spinopelvic parameters from asymptomatic individuals.

METHODS

Sagittal scoliosis radiographs of 210 asymptomatic patients were evaluated. All measurements were reviewed by 2 trained observers, supervised by a trained clinician. The following parameters and relationships were measured or calculated: cervical lordosis (CL), thoracic kyphosis (TK), lumbar lordosis (LL), pelvic incidence (PI), sagittal vertical axis (SVA), cervical SVA (cSVA), and T1 slope, TK/LL, truncal inclination, pelvic tilt (PT), LL−PI, LL/PI, and T1 slope/PI. Patients were stratified by decade of life, and regression analysis was performed to delineate the relationship between each consecutive age group and the aforementioned parameters.

RESULTS

Cervical lordosis (R2 = 0.61), thoracic kyphosis (R2 = 0.84), SVA (R2 = 0.88), cSVA (R2 = 0.51), and T1 slope (R2 = 0.77) all increase with age. Truncal inclination (R2 = 0.36) and T1 slope/CL remain stable over all decades (R2 = 0.01). LL starts greater than PI, but in the 6th decade of life, LL becomes equal to PI and in the 7th decade becomes smaller than PI (R2 = 0.96). The ratio of TK/LL is stable until the 7th decade of life (R2 = 0.81), whereas PT is stable until the 6th decade (R2 = 0.92).

CONCLUSIONS

This study further refines the generally accepted LL = PI + 10° by showing that patients under the age of 50 years should have more LL compared to PI, whereas after the 5th decade the relationship is reversed. SVA was not as sensitive across age groups, exhibiting a marked increase only in the 7th decade of life. Given the reliable increase of CL with age, and the stability of T1 slope/CL, this represents another important relationship that should be maintained when performing cervical deformity/fusion surgery. This study has important implications for evaluating adult patients with spinal deformities and for establishing corrective surgical goals.

Open access

A modern multidisciplinary approach to a large cervicothoracic chordoma using staged en bloc resection with intraoperative image-guided navigation and 3D-printed modeling: illustrative case

Nathan J. Pertsch, Owen P. Leary, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana, David D. Liu, Tianyi Niu, Albert S. Woo, Thomas T. Ng, Adetokunbo A. Oyelese, Jared S. Fridley, and Ziya L. Gokaslan

BACKGROUND

Cervicothoracic junction chordomas are uncommon primary spinal tumors optimally treated with en bloc resection. Although en bloc resection is the gold standard for treatment of mobile spinal chordoma, tumor location, size, and extent of involvement frequently complicate the achievement of negative margins. In particular, chordoma involving the thoracic region can require a challenging anterior access, and en bloc resection can lead to a highly destabilized spine.

OBSERVATIONS

Modern technological advances make en bloc resection more technically feasible than ever before. In this case, the successful en bloc resection of a particularly complex cervicothoracic junction chordoma was facilitated by a multidisciplinary surgical approach that maximized the use of intraoperative computed tomography–guided spinal navigation and patient-specific three-dimensional–printed modeling.

LESSONS

The authors review the surgical planning and specific techniques that facilitated the successful en bloc resection of this right-sided chordoma via image-guided parasagittal osteotomy across 2 stages. The integration of emerging visualization technologies into complex spinal column tumor management may help to provide optimal oncological care for patients with challenging primary tumors of the mobile spine.

Free access

Toward more accurate documentation in neurosurgical care

Rohaid Ali, Sohail Syed, Rahul A. Sastry, Hael Abdulrazeq, Belinda Shao, G. Dean Roye, Curtis E. Doberstein, Adetokunbo Oyelese, Tianyi Niu, Ziya L. Gokaslan, and Albert Telfeian

OBJECTIVE

Accurate clinical documentation is foundational to any quality improvement endeavor as it is ultimately the medical record that is measured in assessing change. Literature on high-yield interventions to improve the accuracy and completeness of clinical documentation by neurosurgical providers is limited. Therefore, the authors sought to share a single-institution experience of a two-part intervention to enhance clinical documentation by a neurosurgery inpatient service.

METHODS

At an urban, level I trauma, academic teaching hospital, a two-part intervention was implemented to enhance the accuracy of clinical documentation of neurosurgery inpatients by residents and advanced practice providers (APPs). Residents and APPs were instructed on the most common neurosurgical complications or comorbidities (CCs) and major complications or comorbidities (MCCs), as defined by Medicare. Additionally, a “system-based” progress note template was changed to a “problem-based” progress note template. Prepost analysis was performed to compare the CC/MCC capture rates for the 12 months prior to the intervention with those for the 3 months after the intervention.

RESULTS

The CC/MCC capture rate for the neurosurgery service line rose from 62% in the 12 months preintervention to 74% in the 3 months after intervention, representing a significant change (p = 0.00002).

CONCLUSIONS

Existing clinical documentation habits by neurosurgical residents and APPs may fail to capture the extent of neurosurgical inpatients with CC/MCCs. An intervention that focuses on the most common CC/MCCs and utilizes a problem-based progress note template may lead to more accurate appraisals of neurosurgical patient acuity.

Free access

Existing clinical evidence on the use of cellular bone matrix grafts in spinal fusion: updated systematic review of the literature

Spencer C. Darveau, Owen P. Leary, Elijah M. Persad-Paisley, Elias A. Shaaya, Adetokunbo A. Oyelese, Jared S. Fridley, Prakash Sampath, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana, Ziya L. Gokaslan, and Tianyi Niu

OBJECTIVE

Spinal fusion surgery is increasingly common; however, pseudarthrosis remains a common complication affecting as much as 15% of some patient populations. Currently, no clear consensus on the best bone graft materials to use exists. Recent advances have led to the development of cell-infused cellular bone matrices (CBMs), which contain living components such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Relatively few clinical outcome studies on the use of these grafts exist, although the number of such studies has increased in the last 5 years. In this study, the authors aimed to summarize and critically evaluate the existing clinical evidence on commercially available CBMs in spinal fusion and reported clinical outcomes.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic search of the MEDLINE and PubMed electronic databases for peer-reviewed, English-language original articles (1970–2020) in which the articles’ authors studied the clinical outcomes of CBMs in spinal fusion. The US National Library of Medicine electronic clinical trials database (www.ClinicalTrials.gov) was also searched for relevant ongoing clinical trials.

RESULTS

Twelve published studies of 6 different CBM products met inclusion criteria: 5 studies of Osteocel Plus/Osteocel (n = 354 unique patients), 3 of Trinity Evolution (n = 114), 2 of ViviGen (n = 171), 1 of map3 (n = 41), and 1 of VIA Graft (n = 75). All studies reported high radiographic fusion success rates (range 87%–100%) using these CBMs. However, this literature was overwhelmingly limited to single-center, noncomparative studies. Seven studies disclosed industry funding or conflicts of interest (COIs). There are 4 known trials of ViviGen (3 trials) and Bio4 (1 trial) that are ongoing.

CONCLUSIONS

CBMs are a promising technology with the potential of improving outcome after spinal fusion. However, while the number of studies conducted in humans has tripled since 2014, there is still insufficient evidence in the literature to recommend for or against CBMs relative to cheaper alternative materials. Comparative, multicenter trials and outcome registries free from industry COIs are indicated.

Restricted access

Optimizing surgical management of facet cysts of the lumbar spine: systematic review, meta-analysis, and local case series of 1251 patients

Arjun Ganga, Owen P. Leary, Aayush Setty, Kevin Xi, Albert E. Telfeian, Adetokunbo A. Oyelese, Tianyi Niu, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana, Ziya L. Gokaslan, Patricia Zadnik Sullivan, and Jared S. Fridley

OBJECTIVE

Lumbar facet cysts (LFCs) can cause neurological dysfunction and intractable pain. Surgery is the current standard of care for patients in whom conservative therapy fails, those with neurological deficits, and those with evidence of spinal instability. No study to date has comprehensively examined surgical outcomes comparing the multiple surgical treatment options for LFCs. Therefore, the authors aimed to perform a combined analysis of cases both in the literature and of patients at a single institution to compare the outcomes of various surgical treatment options for LFC.

METHODS

The authors performed a literature review in accordance with PRISMA guidelines and meta-analysis of the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases and reviewed all studies from database inception published until February 3, 2023. Studies that did not contain 3 or more cases, clearly specify follow-up durations longer than 6 months, or present new cases were excluded. Bias was evaluated using Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias in Nonrandomised Studies–of Interventions (ROBINS-I). The authors also reviewed their own local institutional case series from 2015 to 2020. Primary outcomes were same-level cyst recurrence, same-level revision surgery, and perioperative complications. ANOVA, common and random-effects modeling, and Wald testing were used to compare treatment groups.

RESULTS

A total of 1251 patients were identified from both the published literature (29 articles, n = 1143) and the authors’ institution (n = 108). Patients were sorted into 5 treatment groups: open cyst resection (OCR; n = 720), tubular cyst resection (TCR; n = 166), cyst resection with arthrodesis (CRA; n = 165), endoscopic cyst resection (ECR; n = 113), and percutaneous cyst rupture (PCR; n = 87), with OCR being the analysis reference group. The PCR group had significantly lower complication rates (p = 0.004), higher recurrence rates (p < 0.001), and higher revision surgery rates (p = 0.001) compared with the OCR group. Patients receiving TCR (3.01%, p = 0.021) and CRA (0.0%, p < 0.001) had significantly lower recurrence rates compared with those undergoing OCR (6.36%). The CRA group (6.67%) also had significantly lower rates of revision surgery compared with the OCR group (11.3%, p = 0.037).

CONCLUSIONS

While PCR is less invasive, it may have high rates of same-level recurrence and revision surgery. Recurrence and revision rates for modalities such as ECR were not significantly different from those of OCR. While concomitant arthrodesis is more invasive, it might lead to lower recurrence rates and lower rates of subsequent revision surgery. Given the limitations of our case series and literature review, prospective, randomized studies are needed.

Free access

Complex wound closure by plastic surgery following resection of spinal neoplasms minimizes postoperative wound complications in high-risk patients

Owen P. Leary, David D. Liu, Michael K. Boyajian, Sohail Syed, Joaquin Q. Camara-Quintana, Tianyi Niu, Konstantina A. Svokos, Joseph Crozier, Adetokunbo A. Oyelese, Paul Y. Liu, Albert S. Woo, Ziya L. Gokaslan, and Jared S. Fridley

OBJECTIVE

Wound breakdown and infection are common postoperative complications following resection of spinal neoplasms. Accordingly, it has become common practice at some centers for plastic surgeons to assist with closure of large posterior defects after spine tumor resection. In this study, the authors tested the hypothesis that plastic surgery closure of complex spinal defects improves wound outcomes following resection of spinal neoplastic disease.

METHODS

Electronic medical records of consecutive patients who underwent resection of a spinal neoplasm between June 2015 and January 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were separated into two subpopulations based on whether the surgical wound was closed by plastic surgery or neurosurgery. Patient demographics, preoperative risk factors, surgical details, and postoperative outcomes were collected in a central database and summarized using descriptive statistics. Outcomes of interest included rates of wound complication, reoperation, and mortality. Known preoperative risk factors for wound complication in spinal oncology were identified based on literature review and grouped categorically. The presence of each category of risk factors was then compared between groups. Univariate and multivariate linear regressions were applied to define associations between individual risk factors and wound complications.

RESULTS

One hundred six patients met inclusion criteria, including 60 wounds primarily closed by plastic surgery and 46 by neurosurgery. The plastic surgery population included more patients with systemic metastases (58% vs 37%, p = 0.029), prior radiation (53% vs 17%, p < 0.001), prior chemotherapy (37% vs 15%, p = 0.014), and sacral region tumors (25% vs 7%, p = 0.012), and more patients who underwent procedures requiring larger incisions (7.2 ± 3.6 vs 4.5 ± 2.6 levels, p < 0.001), prolonged operative time (413 ± 161 vs 301 ± 181 minutes, p = 0.001), and greater blood loss (906 ± 1106 vs 283 ± 373 ml, p < 0.001). The average number of risk factor categories present was significantly greater in the plastic surgery group (2.57 vs 1.74, p < 0.001). Despite the higher relative risk, the plastic surgery group did not experience a significantly higher rate of wound complication (28% vs 17%, p = 0.145), reoperation (17% vs 9%, p = 0.234), or all-cause mortality (30% vs 13%, p = 0.076). One patient died from wound-related complications in each group (p = 0.851). Regression analyses identified diabetes, multilevel instrumentation, and BMI as the factors associated with the greatest wound complications.

CONCLUSIONS

Involving plastic surgery in the closure of spinal wounds after resection of neoplasms may ameliorate expected increases in wound complications among higher-risk patients.

Free access

Abstracts of the 2017 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves Las Vegas, Nevada • March 8–11, 2017