Novel approach using ultrasonic bone curettage and transoral robotic surgery for en bloc resection of cervical spine chordoma: case report

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Chordomas are rare, locally aggressive neoplasms that develop from remnants of the notochord. The typical approach to chordomas of the clivus and axial cervical spine often limits successful en bloc resection. In this case report, authors describe the first-documented transoral approach using both transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for exposure and the Sonopet bone scalpel under navigational guidance to achieve en bloc resection of a cervical chordoma. This 27-year-old man had no significant past medical history (Charlson Comorbidity Index 0). During a trauma workup following a motor vehicle collision, a CT of the patient’s cervical spine demonstrated an incidental 2.2-cm lesion situated along the posterior aspect of the C2 vertebral body. Postoperative imaging showed successful en bloc resection with adequate placement of hardware, and the pathology report demonstrated negative resection margins. The patient tolerated the procedure well, and because of the successful en bloc resection, radiation has been deferred. At 7 months postoperatively, the patient returned to work in New York City. Contrasted MRI at 15 months postoperatively showed the patient to be disease free. This approach offers a promising way forward in the treatment of these complex tumors.

ABBREVIATIONS TORS = transoral robotic surgery.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

Correspondence Neil R. Malhotra: Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. neil.malhotra@uphs.upenn.edu.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online March 1, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2018.11.SPINE181162.Disclosures Dr. O’Malley receives royalties from the University of Pennsylvania through Olympus for the FKWO retractor.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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