Wilson Z. Ray
Susan E. Mackinnon, Andrew Yee, and Wilson Z. Ray
Spinal cord injury (SCI) remains a significant public health problem. Despite advances in understanding of the pathophysiological processes of acute and chronic SCI, corresponding advances in translational applications have lagged behind. Nerve transfers using an expendable nearby motor nerve to reinnervate a denervated nerve have resulted in more rapid and improved functional recovery than traditional nerve graft reconstructions following a peripheral nerve injury. The authors present a single case of restoration of some hand function following a complete cervical SCI utilizing nerve transfers.
Rory K. J. Murphy, Wilson Z. Ray, and Susan E. Mackinnon
Complete loss of median nerve motor function is a rare but devastating injury. Loss of median motor hand function and upper-extremity pronation can significantly impact a patient's ability to perform many activities of daily living independently. The authors report the long-term follow-up in a case of median nerve motor fiber transection that occurred during an arthroscopic elbow procedure, which was then treated with multiple nerve transfers. Motor reconstruction used the nerves to the supinator and extensor carpi radialis brevis to transfer to the anterior interosseous nerve and pronator. Sensory sensation was restored using the lateral antebrachial cutaneous (LABC) nerve to transfer to a portion of the sensory component of the median nerve, and a second cable of LABC nerve as a direct median nerve sensory graft. The patient ultimately recovered near normal motor function of the median nerve, but had persistent pain symptoms 4 years postinjury.
Matthew R. MacEwan, Paul Gamble, Manu Stephen, and Wilson Z. Ray
Electrical stimulation of peripheral nerve tissue has been shown to accelerate axonal regeneration. Yet existing methods of applying electrical stimulation to injured peripheral nerves have presented significant barriers to clinical translation. In this study, the authors examined the use of a novel implantable wireless nerve stimulator capable of simultaneously delivering therapeutic electrical stimulation of injured peripheral nerve tissue and providing postoperative serial assessment of functional recovery.
Flexible wireless stimulators were fabricated and implanted into Lewis rats. Thin-film implants were used to deliver brief electrical stimulation (1 hour, 20 Hz) to sciatic nerves after nerve crush or nerve transection-and-repair injuries.
Electrical stimulation of injured nerves via implanted wireless stimulators significantly improved functional recovery. Brief electrical stimulation was observed to increase the rate of functional recovery after both nerve crush and nerve transection-and-repair injuries. Wireless stimulators successfully facilitated therapeutic stimulation of peripheral nerve tissue and serial assessment of nerve recovery.
Implantable wireless stimulators can deliver therapeutic electrical stimulation to injured peripheral nerve tissue. Implantable wireless nerve stimulators might represent a novel means of facilitating therapeutic electrical stimulation in both intraoperative and postoperative settings.
Jawad M. Khalifeh, Christopher F. Dibble, Ammar H. Hawasli, and Wilson Z. Ray
The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) is an adaptive, self-reported outcomes assessment tool that utilizes item response theory and computer adaptive testing to efficiently and precisely evaluate symptoms and perceived health status. Efforts to implement and report PROMIS outcomes in spine clinical practice remain limited. The objective of this retrospective cohort study is to evaluate the performance and psychometric properties of PROMIS physical function (PF) and pain interference (PI) among patients undergoing spine surgery.
The authors identified all patients who underwent spine surgery at their institution between 2016 and 2018, and for whom there was retrievable PROMIS data. Descriptive statistics were calculated to summarize demographics, operative characteristics, and patient-reported outcomes. Assessments were evaluated preoperatively, and postoperatively within 2 months (early), 6 months (intermediate), and up to 2 years (late). Pairwise change scores were calculated to evaluate within-subjects differences and construct responsiveness over time. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the association between PROMIS PF and PI domains. Subgroup analysis was performed based on the primary diagnoses of cervical radiculopathy, cervical myelopathy, or lumbar degenerative disease.
A total of 2770 patients (1395 males, 50.4%) were included in the analysis. The mean age at the time of surgery was 57.3 ± 14.4 years. Mean postoperative follow-up duration was 7.6 ± 6.2 months. Preoperatively, patients scored an average 15.1 ± 7.4 points below the normative population (mean 50 ± 10 points) in PF, and 15.8 ± 6.8 points above the mean in PI. PROMIS PF required a mean of 4.1 ± 0.6 questions and median 40 seconds (interquartile range [IQR] 29–58 seconds) to be completed, which was similar to PI (median 4.3 ± 1.1 questions and 38 seconds [IQR 27–59 seconds]). Patients experienced clinically meaningful improvements in PF and PI, which were sustained throughout the postoperative course. PROMIS instruments were able to capture anticipated changes in PF and PI, although to a lesser degree in PF early postoperatively. There was a strong negative correlation between PROMIS PF and PI scores at baseline (Pearson’s r = −0.72) and during follow-up appointments (early, intermediate, and late |r| > 0.6, each). Subgroup analysis demonstrated similar results within diagnostic groups compared to the overall cohort. However, the burden of PF limitations and PI was greater within the lumbar spine disease subgroup, compared to patients with cervical radiculopathy and myelopathy.
Patients receiving care at a tertiary spine surgery outpatient clinic experience significant overall disability and PI, as measured by PROMIS PF and PI computer adaptive tests. PROMIS PF and PI health domains are strongly correlated, responsive to changes over time, and facilitate time-efficient evaluations of perceived health status outcomes in patients undergoing spine surgery.
Wilson Z. Ray, Vijay M. Ravindra, Meic H. Schmidt, and Andrew T. Dailey
Pelvic fixation is a crucial adjunct to many lumbar fusions to avoid L5–S1 pseudarthrosis. It is useful for treatment of kyphoscoliosis, high-grade spondylolisthesis, L5–S1 pseudarthrosis, sacral tumors, lumbosacral dislocations, and osteomyelitis. The most popular method, iliac fixation, has drawbacks including hardware prominence, extensive muscle dissection, and the need for connection devices. S-2 alar iliac fixation provides a useful primary or salvage alternative. The authors describe their techniques for using stereotactic navigation for screw placement.
The O-arm Surgical Imaging System allowed for CT-quality multiplanar reconstructions of the pelvis, and registration to a StealthStation Treon provided intraoperative guidance. The authors describe their technique for performing computer-assisted S-2 alar iliac fixation for various indications in 18 patients during an 18-month period.
All patients underwent successful bilateral placement of screws 80–100 mm in length. All placements were confirmed with a second multiplanar reconstruction. One screw was moved because of apparent anterior breach of the ilium. There were no immediate neurological or vascular complications due to screw placement. The screw length required additional instruments including a longer pedicle finder and tap.
Stereotactic guidance to navigate the placement of distal pelvic fixation with bilateral S-2 alar iliac fixation can be safely performed in patients with a variety of pathological conditions. Crossing the sacroiliac joint, choosing trajectory, and ensuring adequate screw length can all be enhanced with 3D image guidance. Long-term outcome studies are underway, specifically evaluating the sacroiliac joint.
Jan Fridén and Andreas Gohritz
Wilson Z. Ray, Chester K. Yarbrough, Andrew Yee, and Susan E. Mackinnon
The surgical management of lower brachial plexus injuries remains a challenging problem. Although nerve transfers have improved clinical outcomes following brachial plexus injuries, the majority of work has focused on upper trunk injuries. Complete lower plexus injuries often lack suitable donors for either nerve or tendon transfers. The authors describe their experience with isolated lower trunk injuries utilizing the nerve to the brachialis to reinnervate the anterior interosseous nerve.
Ammar H. Hawasli, Jawad M. Khalifeh, Ajay Chatrath, Chester K. Yarbrough, and Wilson Z. Ray
Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) has been adopted as an alternative technique to hasten recovery and minimize postoperative morbidity. Advances in instrumentation technologies and operative techniques have evolved to maximize patient outcomes as well as radiographic results. The development of expandable interbody devices allows a surgeon to perform MIS-TLIF with minimal tissue disruption. However, sagittal segmental and pelvic radiographic outcomes after MIS-TLIF with expandable interbody devices are not well characterized. The object of this study is to evaluate the radiographic sagittal lumbar segmental and pelvic parameter outcomes of MIS-TLIF performed using an expandable interbody device.
A retrospective review of MIS-TLIFs performed between 2014 and 2016 at a high-volume center was performed. Radiographic measurements were performed on lateral radiographs before and after MIS-TLIF with static or expandable interbody devices. Radiographic measurements included disc height, foraminal height, fused disc angle, lumbar lordosis, pelvic incidence, sacral slope, and pelvic tilt. Mismatch between pelvic incidence and lumbar lordosis were calculated for each radiograph.
A total of 48 MIS-TLIFs were performed, predominantly at the L4–5 level, in 44 patients. MIS-TLIF with an expandable interbody device led to a greater and more sustained increase in disc height when compared with static interbody devices. Foraminal height increased after MIS-TLIF with expandable but not with static interbody devices. MIS-TLIF with expandable interbody devices increased index-level segmental lordosis more than with static interbody devices. The increase in segmental lordosis was sustained in the patients with expandable interbody devices but not in patients with static interbody devices. For patients with a collapsed disc space, MIS-TLIF with an expandable interbody device provided superior and longer-lasting increases in disc height, foraminal height, and index-level segmental lordosis than in comparison with patients with static interbody devices. Using an expandable interbody device improved the Oswestry Disability Index scores more than using a static interbody device, and both disc height and segmental lordosis were correlated with improved clinical outcome. Lumbar MIS-TLIF with expandable or static interbody devices had no effect on overall lumbar lordosis, pelvic parameters, or pelvic incidence–lumbar lordosis mismatch.
Performing MIS-TLIF with an expandable interbody device led to a greater and longer-lasting restoration of disc height, foraminal height, and index-level segmental lordosis than MIS-TLIF with a static interbody device, especially for patients with a collapsed disc space. However, neither technique had any effect on radiographic pelvic parameters.
Wilson Z. Ray, Vijay M. Ravindra, Gregory F. Jost, Erica F. Bisson, and Meic H. Schmidt
As health care reform continues to evolve, demonstrating the cost effectiveness of spinal fusion procedures will be of critical value. Posterior subaxial cervical fusion with lateral mass screw and rod instrumentation is a well-established fixation technique. Subaxial transarticular facet fixation is a lesser known fusion technique that has been shown to be biomechanically equivalent to lateral mass screws for short constructs. Although there has not been a widespread adoption of transarticular facet screws, the screws potentially represent a cost-effective alternative to lateral mass rod and screw constructs. In this review, the authors describe an institutional experience with the use of lateral mass screws and provide a theoretical cost comparison with the use of transarticular facet screws.