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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

Clinical outcomes following resection of paraspinal ganglioneuromas: a case series of 15 patients

Jacob L. Goldberg, Ibrahim Hussain, Joseph A. Carnevale, Alexandra Giantini-Larsen, Ori Barzilai, and Mark H. Bilsky

OBJECTIVE

Paraspinal ganglioneuromas are rare tumors that arise from neural crest tissue and can cause morbidity via compression of adjacent organs and neurovascular structures. The authors investigated a case series of these tumors treated at their institution to determine clinical outcomes following resection.

METHODS

A retrospective review of a prospectively collected cohort of consecutive, pathology-confirmed, surgically treated paraspinal ganglioneuromas from 2001 to 2019 was performed at a tertiary cancer center.

RESULTS

Fifteen cases of paraspinal ganglioneuroma were identified: 47% were female and the median age at the time of surgery was 30 years (range 10–67 years). Resected tumors included 9 thoracic, 1 lumbar, and 5 sacral, with an average maximum tumor dimension of 6.8 cm (range 1–13.5 cm). Two patients had treated neuroblastomas that matured into ganglioneuromas. One patient had a secretory tumor causing systemic symptoms. Surgical approaches were anterior (n = 11), posterior (n = 2), or combined (n = 2). Seven (47%) and 5 (33%) patients underwent gross-total resection (GTR) or subtotal resection with minimal residual tumor, respectively. The complication rate was 20%, with no permanent neurological deficits or deaths. No patient had evidence of tumor recurrence or progression after a median follow-up of 68 months.

CONCLUSIONS

Surgical approaches and extent of resection for paraspinal ganglioneuromas must be heavily weighed against the advantages of aggressive debulking and decompression given the complication risk of these procedures. GTR can be curative, but even patients without complete tumor removal can show evidence of excellent long-term local control and clinical outcomes.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

Cervicothoracic junction instrumentation strategies following separation surgery for spinal metastases

Vikram B. Chakravarthy, Ibrahim Hussain, Ilya Laufer, Jacob L. Goldberg, Anne S. Reiner, Jemma Villavieja, William Christopher Newman, Ori Barzilai, and Mark Bilsky

OBJECTIVE

The cervicothoracic junction (CTJ) is a challenging region to stabilize after tumor resection for metastatic spine disease. The objective of this study was to describe the outcomes of patients who underwent posterolateral decompression and instrumented fusion (i.e., separation surgery across the CTJ for instability due to metastatic disease).

METHODS

The authors performed a single-institution retrospective study of a prospectively collected cohort of patients who underwent single-approach posterior decompression and instrumented fusion across the CTJ for metastatic spine disease between 2011 and 2018. Adult patients (≥ 18 years old) who presented with mechanical instability, myelopathy, and radiculopathy secondary to metastatic epidural spinal cord compression (MESCC) of the CTJ (C7–T1) from 2011 to 2018 were included.

RESULTS

Seventy-nine patients were included, with a mean age of 62.1 years. The most common primary malignancies were non–small cell lung (n = 17), renal cell (11), and prostate (8) carcinoma. The median number of levels decompressed and construct length were 3 and 7, respectively. The average operative time, blood loss, and length of stay were 179.2 minutes, 600.5 ml, and 7.7 days, respectively. Overall, 58 patients received adjuvant radiation, and median dose, fractions, and time from surgery were 27 Gy, 3 fractions, and 20 days, respectively. All patients underwent lateral mass and pedicle screw instrumentation. Forty-nine patients had tapered rods (4.0/5.5 mm or 3.5/5.5 mm), 29 had fixed-diameter rods (3.5 mm or 4.0 mm), and 1 had both. Ten patients required anterior reconstruction with poly-methyl-methacrylate. The overall complication rate was 18.8% (6 patients with wound-related complications, 7 with hardware-related complications, 1 with both, and 1 with other). For the 8 patients (10%) with hardware failure, 7 had tapered rods, all 8 had cervical screw pullout, and 1 patient also experienced rod/screw fracture. The average time to hardware failure was 146.8 days. The 2-year cumulative incidence rate of hardware failure was 11.1% (95% CI 3.7%–18.5%). There were 55 deceased patients, and the median (95% CI) overall survival period was 7.97 (5.79–12.60) months. For survivors, the median (range) follow-up was 12.94 (1.94–71.80) months.

CONCLUSIONS

Instrumented fusion across the CTJ demonstrated an 18.8% rate of postoperative complications and an 11% overall 2-year rate of hardware failure in patients who underwent metastatic epidural tumor decompression and stabilization.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

Comparing posterior cervical foraminotomy with anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in radiculopathic patients: an analysis from the Quality Outcomes Database

Praveen V. Mummaneni, Erica F. Bisson, Giorgos Michalopoulos, William J. Mualem, Sally El Sammak, Michael Y. Wang, Andrew K. Chan, Regis W. Haid, John J. Knightly, Dean Chou, Brandon A. Sherrod, Oren N. Gottfried, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Jacob L. Goldberg, Michael S. Virk, Ibrahim Hussain, Nitin Agarwal, Steven D. Glassman, Mark E. Shaffrey, Paul Park, Kevin T. Foley, Brenton Pennicooke, Domagoj Coric, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Eric A. Potts, Kai-Ming G. Fu, Anthony L. Asher, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to compare clinical and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) between posterior foraminotomy and anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) in patients presenting with cervical radiculopathy.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database was queried for patients who had undergone ACDF or posterior foraminotomy for radiculopathy. To create two highly homogeneous groups, optimal individual matching was performed at a 5:1 ratio between the two groups on 29 baseline variables (including demographic characteristics, comorbidities, symptoms, patient-reported scores, underlying pathologies, and levels treated). Outcomes of interest were length of stay, reoperations, patient-reported satisfaction, increase in EQ-5D score, and decrease in Neck Disability Index (NDI) scores for arm and neck pain as long as 1 year after surgery. Noninferiority analysis of achieving patient satisfaction and minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in PROs was performed with an accepted risk difference of 5%.

RESULTS

A total of 7805 eligible patients were identified: 216 of these underwent posterior foraminotomy and were matched to 1080 patients who underwent ACDF. The patients who underwent ACDF had more underlying pathologies, lower EQ-5D scores, and higher NDI and neck pain scores at baseline. Posterior foraminotomy was associated with shorter hospitalization (0.5 vs 0.9 days, p < 0.001). Reoperations within 12 months were significantly more common among the posterior foraminotomy group (4.2% vs 1.9%, p = 0.04). The two groups performed similarly in PROs, with posterior foraminotomy being noninferior to ACDF in achieving MCID in EQ-5D and neck pain scores but also having lower rates of maximal satisfaction at 12 months (North American Spine Society score of 1 achieved by 65.2% posterior foraminotomy patients vs 74.6% of ACDF patients, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS

The two procedures were found to be offered to different populations, with ACDF being selected for patients with more complicated pathologies and symptoms. After individual matching, posterior foraminotomy was associated with a higher reoperation risk within 1 year after surgery compared to ACDF (4.2% vs 1.9%). In terms of 12-month PROs, posterior foraminotomy was noninferior to ACDF in improving quality of life and neck pain. The two procedures also performed similarly in improving NDI scores and arm pain, but ACDF patients had higher maximal satisfaction rates.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

Does diabetes affect outcome or reoperation rate after lumbar decompression or arthrodesis? A matched analysis of the Quality Outcomes Database data set

Presented at the 2023 AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

James Mooney, Karim Rizwan Nathani, Daniel Zeitouni, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Michael Y. Wang, Domagoj Coric, Andrew K. Chan, Daniel C. Lu, Brandon A. Sherrod, Oren N. Gottfried, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Khoi D. Than, Jacob L. Goldberg, Ibrahim Hussain, Michael S. Virk, Nitin Agarwal, Steven D. Glassman, Mark E. Shaffrey, Paul Park, Kevin T. Foley, Dean Chou, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Luis M. Tumialán, Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, Eric A. Potts, Kai-Ming G. Fu, Regis W. Haid, John J. Knightly, Praveen V. Mummaneni, Erica F. Bisson, Anthony L. Asher, and Mohamad Bydon

OBJECTIVE

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a known risk factor for postsurgical and systemic complications after lumbar spinal surgery. Smaller studies have also demonstrated diminished improvements in patient-reported outcomes (PROs), with increased reoperation and readmission rates after lumbar surgery in patients with DM. The authors aimed to examine longer-term PROs in patients with DM undergoing lumbar decompression and/or arthrodesis for degenerative pathology.

METHODS

The Quality Outcomes Database was queried for patients undergoing elective lumbar decompression and/or arthrodesis for degenerative pathology. Patients were grouped into DM and non-DM groups and optimally matched in a 1:1 ratio on 31 baseline variables, including the number of operated levels. Outcomes of interest were readmissions and reoperations at 30 and 90 days after surgery in addition to improvements in Oswestry Disability Index, back pain, and leg pain scores and quality-adjusted life-years at 90 days after surgery.

RESULTS

The matched decompression cohort comprised 7836 patients (3236 [41.3] females) with a mean age of 63.5 ± 12.6 years, and the matched arthrodesis cohort comprised 7336 patients (3907 [53.3%] females) with a mean age of 64.8 ± 10.3 years. In patients undergoing lumbar decompression, no significant differences in nonroutine discharge, length of stay (LOS), readmissions, reoperations, and PROs were observed. In patients undergoing lumbar arthrodesis, nonroutine discharge (15.7% vs 13.4%, p < 0.01), LOS (3.2 ± 2.0 vs 3.0 ± 3.5 days, p < 0.01), 30-day (6.5% vs 4.4%, p < 0.01) and 90-day (9.1% vs 7.0%, p < 0.01) readmission rates, and the 90-day reoperation rate (4.3% vs 3.2%, p = 0.01) were all significantly higher in the DM group. For DM patients undergoing lumbar arthrodesis, subgroup analyses demonstrated a significantly higher risk of poor surgical outcomes with the open approach.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with and without DM undergoing lumbar spinal decompression alone have comparable readmission and reoperation rates, while those undergoing arthrodesis procedures have a higher risk of poor surgical outcomes up to 90 days after surgery. Surgeons should target optimal DM control preoperatively, particularly for patients undergoing elective lumbar arthrodesis.

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Cover Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy and driving abilities: defining the prevalence and long-term postoperative outcomes using the Quality Outcomes Database

Nitin Agarwal, Sarah E. Johnson, Mohamad Bydon, Erica F. Bisson, Andrew K. Chan, Saman Shabani, Vijay Letchuman, Giorgos D. Michalopoulos, Daniel C. Lu, Michael Y. Wang, Raj Swaroop Lavadi, Regis W. Haid, John J. Knightly, Brandon A. Sherrod, Oren N. Gottfried, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Jacob L. Goldberg, Michael S. Virk, Ibrahim Hussain, Steven D. Glassman, Mark E. Shaffrey, Paul Park, Kevin T. Foley, Brenton Pennicooke, Domagoj Coric, Jonathan R. Slotkin, Cheerag Upadhyaya, Eric A. Potts, Luis M. Tumialán, Dean Chou, Kai-Ming G. Fu, Anthony L. Asher, and Praveen V. Mummaneni

OBJECTIVE

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) can cause significant difficulty with driving and a subsequent reduction in an individual’s quality of life due to neurological deterioration. The positive impact of surgery on postoperative patient-reported driving capabilities has been seldom explored.

METHODS

The CSM module of the Quality Outcomes Database was utilized. Patient-reported driving ability was assessed via the driving section of the Neck Disability Index (NDI) questionnaire. This is an ordinal scale in which 0 represents the absence of symptoms while driving and 5 represents a complete inability to drive due to symptoms. Patients were considered to have an impairment in their driving ability if they reported an NDI driving score of 3 or higher (signifying impairment in driving duration due to symptoms). Multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to evaluate mediators of baseline impairment and improvement at 24 months after surgery, which was defined as an NDI driving score < 3.

RESULTS

A total of 1128 patients who underwent surgical intervention for CSM were included, of whom 354 (31.4%) had baseline driving impairment due to CSM. Moderate (OR 2.3) and severe (OR 6.3) neck pain, severe arm pain (OR 1.6), mild-moderate (OR 2.1) and severe (OR 2.5) impairment in hand/arm dexterity, severe impairment in leg use/walking (OR 1.9), and severe impairment of urinary function (OR 1.8) were associated with impaired driving ability at baseline. Of the 291 patients with baseline impairment and available 24-month follow-up data, 209 (71.8%) reported postoperative improvement in their driving ability. This improvement seemed to be mediated particularly through the achievement of the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) in neck pain and improvement in leg function/walking. Patients with improved driving at 24 months noted higher postoperative satisfaction (88.5% vs 62.2%, p < 0.01) and were more likely to achieve a clinically significant improvement in their quality of life (50.7% vs 37.8%, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Nearly one-third of patients with CSM report impaired driving ability at presentation. Seventy-two percent of these patients reported improvements in their driving ability within 24 months of surgery. Surgical management of CSM can significantly improve patients’ driving abilities at 24 months and hence patients’ quality of life.