Neurosurgery Blog


Daily bibliographic review of the Neurosurgery Department. La Fe University Hospital. Valencia, Spain

Expandable vs Static Cages in Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Neurosurgery 81:69–74, 2017

One criticism of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is the inability to increase segmental lordosis (SL). Expandable interbody cages are a relatively new innovation theorized to allow improvement in SL.

OBJECTIVE: To compare changes in SL and lumbar lordosis (LL) after TLIF with nonexpandable vs expandable cages. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients who were ≥18 years old and underwent single-level TLIF between 2011 and 2014. Patients were categorized by cage type (static vs expandable). Primary outcome of interestwas change in SL and LL from preoperative values to those at 1 month and 1 year postoperatively.

RESULTS: A total of 89 patients were studied (48 nonexpandable group, 41 expandable group). Groups had similar baseline characteristics. For SL, median (interquartile range) improvement was 3◦ for nonexpandable and 2◦ for expandable (unadjusted, P = .09; adjusted, P = .68) at 1 month postoperatively, and 3◦ for nonexpandable and 1◦ for expandable (unadjusted, P=.41; adjusted, P=.28) at 1 year postoperatively. For LL, median improvement was 1◦ for nonexpandable and 2◦ for expandable (unadjusted, P = .20; adjusted, P = .21), and 2◦ for nonexpandable and 5◦ for expandable (unadjusted, P = .15; adjusted, P=.51) at 1 year postoperatively. After excluding parallel expandable cages, there was still no difference in SL or LL improvement at 1month or 1 year postoperatively between static and expandable cages (both unadjusted and adjusted, P > .05).

CONCLUSION: Patients undergoing single-level TLIF experienced similar improvements in SL and LL regardless of whether nonexpandable or expandable cages were placed.

Contralateral supraorbital keyhole approach to medial optic nerve

J Neurosurg 126:940–944, 2017

The authors describe the supraorbital keyhole approach to the contralateral medial optic nerve and tract, both in a series of cadaveric dissections and in 2 patients. They also discuss the indications and contraindications for this procedure.

METHODS In 3 cadaver heads, bilateral supraorbital keyhole minicraniotomies were performed to expose the ipsilateral and contralateral optic nerves. The extent of exposure of the medial optic nerve was assessed. In 2 patients, a contralateral supraorbital keyhole approach was used to remove pathology of the contralateral medial optic nerve and tract.

RESULTS The supraorbital keyhole craniotomy provided better exposure of the contralateral superomedial nerve than it did of the same portion of the ipsilateral nerve. In both patients gross-total resections of the pathology was achieved.

CONCLUSIONS The authors demonstrate the suitability of the contralateral supraorbital keyhole approach for lesions involving the superomedial optic nerve.


The expanded trans/supraorbital approach for large space-occupying lesions of the anterior fossa

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:881–887

The supraorbital rim often interferes with the required upward movement of the instruments for resection of large frontal-lobe tumours through a classic supraorbital craniotomy. Here, we present the expanded trans/supraorbital approach to overcome these limitations.

Methods After an eyebrow skin incision, a one-piece bone flap was created incorporating the orbital rim and roof. Basal extension of the craniotomy allowed for a better intracranial visualisation with improved manoeuvrability and angulation of the instruments without using brain retraction.

Conclusions This approach poses a feasible alternative to large frontal craniotomies for frontal-lobe tumours, for which a regular supraorbital craniotomy is insufficient.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Associated With Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Secondary Fusion Rates Following Open vs Minimally Invasive Decompression

Neurosurgery 80:355–367, 2017

Decompression without fusion is a treatment option in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) associated with stable low-grade degenerative spondylolis- thesis (DS). A minimally invasive unilateral laminotomy (MIL) for “over the top” decom- pression might be a less destabilizing alternative to traditional open laminectomy (OL). OBJECTIVE: To review secondary fusion rates after open vs minimally invasive decom- pression surgery.

METHODS: We performed a literature search in Pubmed/MEDLINE using the keywords “lumbar spondylolisthesis” and “decompression surgery.” All studies that separately reported the outcome of patients with LSS+DS that were treated by OL or MIL (transmuscular or subperiosteal route)were included in our systematic review and meta-analysis. The primary end point was secondary fusion rate. Secondary end points were total reoperation rate, postoperative progression of listhetic slip, and patient satisfaction.

RESULTS: We identified 37 studies (19 with OL, 18 with MIL), with a total of 1156 patients, that were published between 1983 and 2015. The studies’evidence was mostly level 3 or 4. Secondary fusion rates were 12.8% after OL and 3.3% after MIL; the total reoperation rates were 16.3% after OL and 5.8% after MIL. In the OL cohort, 72% of the studies reported a slip progression compared to 0% in the MIL cohort, respectively. After OL, satisfactory outcome was 62.7% compared to 76% after MIL.

CONCLUSION: In patients with LSS and DS, minimally invasive decompression is associated with lower reoperation and fusion rates, less slip progression, and greater patient satisfaction than open surgery.


Transulcal parafascicular minimally invasive approach to deep and subcortical cavernomas

J Neurosurg 125:1360–1366, 2016

Cavernomas comprise 8%–15% of intracranial vascular lesions, usually supratentorial in location and superficial. Cavernomas in the thalamus or subcortical white matter represent a unique challenge for surgeons in trying to identify and then use a safe corridor to access and resect the pathology.

Previous authors have described specific open microsurgical corridors based on pathology location, often with technical difficulty and morbidity.

This series presents 2 cavernomas that were resected using a minimally invasive approach that is less technically demanding and has a good safety profile. The authors report 2 cases of cavernoma: one in the thalamus and brainstem with multiple hemorrhages and the other in eloquent subcortical white matter. These lesions were resected through a transulcal parafascicular approach with a port-based minimally invasive technique.

In this series there was complete resection with no neurological complications. The transulcal parafascicular minimally invasive approach relies on image interpretation and trajectory planning, intraoperative navigation, cortical cannulation and subcortical space access, high-quality optics, and resection as key elements to minimize exposure and retraction and maximize tissue preservation. The authors applied this technique to 2 patients with cavernomas in eloquent locations with excellent outcomes.


The Mini-Open Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy for Flat-Back Syndrome and Kyphosis Correction

Operative Neurosurgery 12:309–316, 2016

The pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) has been a mainstay treatment for flat-back syndrome. The morbidity of open deformity correction can be high, and minimally invasive applications may reduce such morbidity.

OBJECTIVE: To describe an operative technique of the mini-open PSO.

METHODS: Two patients underwent percutaneous fixation above and below the PSO, and the PSO was performed in a mini-open fashion. The correction was obtained by cantilever.

RESULTS: The patient who underwent the L3 PSO had a prior fusion from T11 to L4 for scoliosis 35 years ago. On presentation at 62 years of age, he had a pelvic incidence of 54, lumbar lordosis of 23, sagittal vertical axis of 114 cm, and pelvic tilt of 25. He underwent an anterior lumbar interbody fusion at L5-S1 followed by a min-open L3 PSO. He had a postoperative lumbar lordosis of 64 (correction of 41), and his sagittal vertical axis went to 13 cm. His Oswestry Disability Index and visual analog scale scores decreased after surgery. The second patient was 64 years of age and underwent an L1 PSO. He had 43 of kyphosis from T10 to L2. He had a preoperative pelvic incidence of 63, lumbar lordosis of 35, pelvic tilt of 24, and sagittal vertical axis of 3 cm. His postoperative kyphosis improved from 43 to 32.

CONCLUSION: The mini-open PSO can achieve significant lordosis, although it is heavily reliant on anterior arthrodesis. Larger studies are needed to compare this approach with an open PSO.

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with the ROSA Spine robot and intraoperative flat-panel CT guidance

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with the ROSATM Spine robot and intraoperative flat-panel CT guidance

Acta Neurochir (2016) 158:1125–1128

Circumferential arthrodesis is commonly used to treat degenerative lumbar diseases. Minimally invasive techniques may enable faster recovery and reduce the incidence of postoperative infections.

Methods: We report on the surgical technique of a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) procedure performed with the assistance of a new robotic device (ROSATM Spine) and intraoperative flat-panel CT guidance.

Conclusions: The combined use of this new robotic device and intraoperative CT enables accurate and safe arthrodesis in the treatment of degenerative lumbar disc diseases.

Endoscopic versus microscopic surgery using a port retractor

Comparison of endoscope- versus microscope-assisted resection of deep-seated intracranial lesions using a minimally invasive port retractor system

J Neurosurg 124:799–810, 2016

Tubular brain retractors may improve access to deep-seated brain lesions while potentially reducing the risks of collateral neurological injury associated with standard microsurgical approaches. Here, microscope-assisted resection of lesions using tubular retractors is assessed to determine if it is superior to endoscope-assisted surgery due to the technological advancements associated with modern tubular ports and surgical microscopes.

Methods Following institutional approval of the tubular port, data obtained from the initial 20 patients to undergo transportal resection of deep-seated brain lesions were analyzed in this study. The pathological entities of the resected tissues included metastatic tumors (8 patients), glioma (7), meningioma (1), neurocytoma (1), radiation necrosis (1), primitive neuroectodermal tumor (1), and hemangioblastoma (1). Surgery incorporated endoscopic (5 patients) or microscopic (15) assistance. The locations included the basal ganglia (11 patients), cerebellum (4), frontal lobe (2), temporal lobe (2), and parietal lobe (1). Cases were reviewed for neurological outcomes, extent of resection (EOR), and complications. Technical data for the port, surgical microscope, and endoscope were analyzed.

Results EOR was considered total in 14 (70%), near total (> 95%) in 4 (20%), and subtotal (< 90%) in 2 (10%) of 20 patients. Incomplete resection was associated with the basal ganglia location (p < 0.05) and use of the endoscope (p < 0.002). Four of 5 (80%) endoscope-assisted cases were near-total (2) or subtotal (2) resection. Histopathological diagnosis, presenting neurological symptoms, and demographics were not associated with EOR. Complication rates were low and similar between groups.

Conclusions Initial experience with tubular retractors favors use of the microscope rather than the endoscope due to a wider and 3D field of view. Improved microscope optics and tubular retractor design allows for binocular vision with improved lighting for the resection of deep-seated brain lesions.

Minimally invasive tubular microdiscectomy for recurrent lumbar disc herniation

MIS discectomy

J Neurosurg Spine 24:48–53, 2016

The aim of the study was to investigate the safety and ef cacy of minimally invasive tubular microdiscec- tomy for the treatment of recurrent lumbar disc herniation (LDH). As opposed to endoscopic techniques, namely micro- endoscopic and endoscopic transforaminal discectomy, this microscopically assisted technique has never been used for the treatment of recurrent LDH.

Methods: Thirty consecutive patients who underwent minimally invasive tubular microdiscectomy for recurrent LDH were included in the study. The preoperative and postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) scores for pain, the clinical outcome according to modified Macnab criteria, and complications were analyzed retrospectively. The minimum follow-up was 1.5 years. Student t-test with paired samples was used for the statistical comparison of pre- and postoperative VAS scores. A p value < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

Results: The mean operating time was 90 ± 35 minutes. The VAS score for leg pain was significantly reduced from 5.9 ± 2.1 preoperatively to 1.7 ± 1.3 postoperatively (p < 0.001). The overall success rate (excellent or good outcome according to Macnab criteria) was 90%. Incidental durotomy occurred in 5 patients (16.7%) without neurological consequences, CSF fistula, or negative influence to the clinical outcome. Instability occurred in 2 patients (6.7%).

Conclusions: The clinical outcome of minimally invasive tubular microdiscectomy is comparable to the reported success rates of other minimally invasive techniques. The dural tear rate is not associated to higher morbidity or worse outcome. The technique is an equally effective and safe treatment option for recurrent LDH.

Surgical Outcomes for Minimally Invasive vs Open Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion


Neurosurgery 77:847–874, 2015

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)—or MI-TLIF—has been increasing in prevalence compared with open TLIF (O-TLIF) procedures. The use of MI-TLIF is an evolving technique with conflicting reports in the literature about outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the impact of MI-TLIF in comparison with O-TLIF for early and late outcomes by using the Visual Analog Scale for back pain (VAS-back) and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). Secondary end points include blood loss, operative time, radiation exposure, length of stay, fusion rates, and complications between the 2 procedures.

METHODS: During August 2014, a systematic literature search was performed identifying 987 articles. Of these, 30 met inclusion criteria. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed by using both pooled and subset analyses based on study type.

RESULTS: Our meta-analysis demonstrated that MI-TLIF reduced blood loss (P < .001), length of stay (P < .001), and complications (P = .001) but increased radiation exposure (P < .001). No differences were found in fusion rate (P = .61) and operative time (P = .34). A decrease in late VAS-back scores was demonstrated for MI TLIF (P < .001), but no differences were found in early VAS-back, early ODI, and late ODI.

CONCLUSION: MI-TLIF is associated with reduced blood loss, decreased length of stay, decreased complication rates, and increased radiation exposure. The rates of fusion and operative time are similar between MI-TLIF and O-TLIF. Differences in long-term outcomes in MI-TLIF vs O-TLIF are inconclusive and require more research, particularly in the form of large, multi-institutional prospective randomized controlled trials.

Subsidence after lateral interbody fusion

Assessment and classi cation of subsidence after lateral interbody fusion using serial computed tomography

J Neurosurg Spine 23:589–597, 2015

Intervertebral cage settling during bone remodeling after lumbar lateral interbody fusion (LIF) is a common occurrence during the normal healing process. Progression of this settling with endplate collapse is defined as subsidence. The purposes of this study were to 1) assess the rate of subsidence after minimally invasive (MIS) LIF by CT, 2) distinguish between early cage subsidence (ECS) and delayed cage subsidence (DCS), 3) propose a descriptive method for classifying the types of subsidence, and 4) discuss techniques for mitigating the risk of subsidence after MIS LIF.

Methods A total of 128 consecutive patients (with 178 treated levels in total) underwent MIS LIF performed by a single surgeon. The subsidence was deemed to be ECS if it was evident on postoperative Day 2 CT images and was therefore the result of an intraoperative vertebral endplate injury and deemed DCS if it was detected on subsequent CT scans (≥ 6 months postoperatively). Endplate breaches were categorized as caudal (superior endplate) and/or cranial (inferior endplate), and as ipsilateral, contralateral, or bilateral with respect to the side of cage insertion. Subsidence seen in CT images (radiographic subsidence) was measured from the vertebral endplate to the caudal or cranial margin of the cage (in millimeters). Patient-reported outcome measures included visual analog scale, Oswestry Disability Index, and 36-Item Short Form Health Survey physical and mental component summary scores.

Results Four patients had ECS in a total of 4 levels. The radiographic subsidence (DCS) rates were 10% (13 of 128 patients) and 8% (14 of 178 levels), with 3% of patients (4 of 128) exhibiting clinical subsidence. In the DCS levels, 3 types of subsidence were evident on coronal and sagittal CT scans: Type 1, caudal contralateral, in 14% (2 of 14), Type 2, caudal bilateral with anterior cage tilt, in 64% (9 of 14), and Type 3, both endplates bilaterally, in 21% (3 of 14). The mean subsidence in the DCS levels was 3.2 mm. There was no significant difference between the numbers of patients in the subsidence (DCS) and no-subsidence groups who received clinical benefit from the surgical procedure, based on the minimum clinically important difference (p > 0.05). There was a significant difference between the fusion rates at 6 months (p = 0.0195); however, by 12 months, the difference was not significant (p = 0.2049).

Conclusions The authors distinguished between ECS and DCS. Radiographic subsidence (DCS) was categorized using descriptors for the location and severity of the subsidence. Neither interbody fusion rates nor clinical outcomes were affected by radiographic subsidence. To protect patients from subsidence after MIS LIF, the surgeon needs to take care with the caudal endplate during cage insertion. If a caudal bilateral (Type 2) endplate breach is detected, supplemental posterior fixation to arrest progression and facilitate fusion is recommended.

Minimally invasive subfrontal route for the resection of medial temporal region intrinsic tumors

Minimally invasive subfrontal route for the resection of medial temporal region intrinsic tumors

Acta Neurochir (2015) 157:1971–1974

The mesial temporal region (MTR) comprises important components of the limbic system, as well as vital neurovascular structures. Because of its important functional role, as much healthy brain tissue as possible must be preserved while targeting resection of MTR lesions.

Methods A frontal minicraniotomy is used to access the MTR through a subfrontal approach. By opening the most medial part of the Sylvian fissure, the uncus-amygdala complex is exposed, and through this, the head of the hippocampus can be reached and removed as well.

Conclusions This approach is extremely suitable for MTR lesions, as it provides the advantage of sparing the most important functional structures of the temporal lobe, the temporal stem, and the limen insulae, as well as the optic radiations and the fronto-occipital connections.

Posterior thoracic corpectomy with cage reconstruction for metastatic spinal tumors

mini-open and open transpedicular corpectomy

J Neurosurg Spine 23:217–227, 2015

Spinal metastases most commonly affect the vertebral bodies of the spinal column, and spinal cord compression is an indication for surgery. Commonly, an open posterior approach is employed to perform a transpedicular costotransversectomy or lateral extracavitary corpectomy. Because of the short life expectancies in patients with metastatic spinal disease, decreasing the morbidity of surgical treatment and recovery time is critical. One potential approach to decreasing morbidity is utilizing minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Although significant advances have been made in MIS of the spine, data supporting the utility of MIS are still emerging. This study compared outcomes of patients who underwent mini-open versus traditional open transpedicular corpectomy for spinal metastases in the thoracic spine.

Methods A consecutive cohort from 2006 to 2013 of 49 adult patients who underwent thoracic transpedicular corpectomies for spinal metastases was retrospectively identified. Patients were categorized into one of 2 groups: open surgery and mini-open surgery. Mini-open transpedicular corpectomy was performed with a midline fascial incision over only the corpectomy level of interest and percutaneous instrumentation above and below that level. The open procedure consisted of a traditional posterior transpedicular corpectomy. Chi-square test, 2-tailed t-test, and ANOVA models were employed to compare perioperative and follow-up outcomes between the 2 groups.

Results In the analysis, there were 21 patients who had mini-open surgery and 28 patients who had open surgery. The mean age was 57.9 years, and 59.2% were male. The tumor types encountered were lung (18.3%), renal/bladder (16.3%), breast (14.3%), hematological (14.3%), gastrointestinal tract (10.2%), prostate (8.2%), melanoma (4.1%), and other/unknown (14.3%). There were no significant intergroup differences in demographics, comorbidities, neurological status (American Spinal Injury Association [ASIA] grade), number of corpectomies performed, and number of levels instrumented. The open group had a mean operative time of 413.6 minutes, and the mini-open group had a mean operative time of 452.4 minutes (p = 0.329). Compared with the open group, the mini-open group had significantly less blood loss (917.7 ml vs 1697.3 ml, p = 0.019) and a significantly shorter hospital stay (7.4 days vs 11.4 days, p = 0.001). There was a trend toward a lower perioperative complication rate in the mini-open group (9.5%) compared with the open group (21.4%), but this was not statistically significant (p = 0.265). At follow-up, there were no significant differences in ASIA grade (p = 0.342), complication rate after the 30-day postoperative period (p = 0.999), or need for surgical revision (p = 0.803). The open approach had a higher overall infection rate of 17.9% compared with that in the mini-open approach of 9.5%, but this was not statistically significant (p = 0.409).

Conclusions The mini-open transpedicular corpectomy is associated with less blood loss and shorter hospital stay compared with open transpedicular corpectomy. The mini-open corpectomy also trended toward lower infection and complication rates, but these did not reach statistical significance.

Three-Dimensional Computed Tomography-Based Spinal Navigation in Minimally Invasive Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Three-Dimensional Computed Tomography-Based Spinal Navigation in Minimally Invasive Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion4

Operative Neurosurgery 11:259–267, 2015

As with most minimally invasive spine procedures, lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) requires the use of biplanar fluoroscopy for localization and safe interbody cage placement. Computed tomography (CT)-based intraoperative spinal navigation has been shown to be more effective than fluoroscopic guidance for posterior-based approaches such as pedicle screw instrumentation. However, the use of spinal navigation in LLIF has not been well studied.

OBJECTIVE: To present the technique for using an intraoperative cone-beam CT and image-guided navigation system in LLIF and to provide a preliminary analysis of outcomes.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed a prospectively acquired database and the electronic records of patients undergoing LLIF with spinal navigation. Eight patients were identified. Postoperative neurological deficits were recorded. All patients underwent postprocedural CT and x-ray imaging for analysis of accuracy of cage placement. Accuracy of cage placement was determined by location within the disk space.

RESULTS: The mean age was 66 years, and 6 patients were women. A mean 2.8 levels were treated with a total of 22 lateral cages implanted via navigation. All cages were placed within quarters 1 to 2 or 2 to 3, signifying the anterior half or middle portions of the disk space. There were no sensory or motor deficits postoperatively.

CONCLUSION: Use of an intraoperative cone-beam CT with an image-guided navigation system is feasible and safe and appears to be accurate, although a larger study is required to confirm these results.

Endoscopic endonasal resection of skull base chondrosarcomas

Endoscopic endonasal resection of skull base chondrosarcomas- technique and early results

J Neurosurg 122:735–742, 2015

The authors of this study sought to report the technique and early clinical outcomes of a purely endonasal endoscopic approach for resection of petroclival chondrosarcomas.

Methods Between 2010 and 2014, 8 patients (4 men and 4 women) underwent endonasal endoscopic operations to resect petroclival chondrosarcomas at 2 institutions. The patients’ mean age was 44.8 years (range 30–64 years). One of the patients had previously undergone radiation therapy and another a staged craniotomy. Using volumetric software, an independent neuroradiologist assessed the extent of the resections on MRI scans taken immediately after surgery and at the 3-month follow-up. Immediate complications and control of symptoms were also recorded. In addition, the authors reviewed the current literature on surgical treatment of chondrosarcoma.

Results The mean preoperative tumor diameter and volume were 3.4 cm and 9.8 cm3, respectively. Six patients presented with cranial neuropathies. Endonasal endoscopic surgery achieved > 95% resection in 5 of the 8 patients and < 95% resection in the remaining 3 patients. One of the 6 neuropathies resolved, and the remaining 5 partially improved. One instance of postoperative CSF leakage required a reoperation for repair; no other complications associated with these operations were observed. All of the patients underwent adjuvant radiotherapy.

Conclusions According to the authors’ experience, the endoscopic endonasal route is a safe and effective approach for the resection of appropriately selected petroclival chondrosarcomas.

Minimally invasive lateral fusion for adjacent disease

Minimally invasive lateral interbody fusion for the treatment of rostral adjacent-segment lumbar degenerative stenosis without supplemental pedicle screw fixation

J Neurosurg Spine 21:861–866, 2014

Adjacent-segment degeneration and stenosis are common in patients who have undergone previous lumbar fusion. Treatment typically involves a revision posterior approach, which requires management of postoperative scar tissue and previously implanted instrumentation. A minimally invasive lateral approach allows the surgeon to potentially reduce the risk of these hazards. The technique relies on indirect decompression to treat central and foraminal stenosis and placement of a graft with a large surface area to promote robust fusion and stability in concert with the surrounding tensioned ligaments. The goal in this study was to determine if lateral interbody fusion without supplemental pedicle screws is effective in treating adjacent-segment disease.

Methods. For a 30-month study period at two institutions, the authors obtained all cases of lumbar fusion with new back and leg pain due to adjacent-segment stenosis and spondylosis failing conservative measures. All patients had undergone minimally invasive lateral interbody fusion from the side of greater leg pain without supplemental pedicle screw fixation. Patients were excluded from the study if they had undergone surgery for a nondegenerative etiology such as infection or trauma. They were also excluded if the intervention involved supplemental posterior instrumented fusion with transpedicular screws. Postoperative metrics included numeric pain scale (NPS) scores for leg and back pain. All patients underwent dynamic radiographs and CT scanning to assess stability and fusion after surgery.

Results. During the 30-month study period, 21 patients (43% female) were successfully treated using minimally invasive lateral interbody fusion without the need for subsequent posterior transpedicular fixation. The mean patient age was 61 years (range 37–87 years). Four patients had two adjacent levels fused, while the remainder had single-level surgery. All patients underwent surgery without conversion to a traditional open technique, and recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein–2 was used in the interbody space in all cases. The mean follow-up was 23.6 months. The mean operative time was 86 minutes, and the mean blood loss was 93 ml. There were no major intraoperative complications, but one patient underwent subsequent direct decompression in a delayed fashion. The leg pain NPS score improved from a mean of 6.3 to 1.9 (p < 0.01), and the back pain NPS score improved from a mean of 7.5 to 2.9 (p < 0.01). Intervertebral settling averaged 1.7 mm. All patients had bridging bone on CT scanning at the last follow-up, indicating solid bony fusion.

Conclusions. Adjacent-segment stenosis and spondylosis can be treated with a number of different operative techniques. Lateral interbody fusion provides an attractive alternative with reduced blood loss and complications, as there is no need to re-explore a previous laminectomy site. In this limited series a minimally invasive lateral approach provided high fusion rates when performed with osteobiological adjuvants.

Outcomes of MITLIF and open TLIF approaches

Short-term and long-term outcomes of minimally invasive and open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusions- is there a difference?

Neurosurg Focus 35 (2):E6, 2013

Previous studies comparing minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MITLIF) with open TLIF have demonstrated that MITLIF reduces blood loss and decreases postoperative pain while preserving fusion rates and reducing complications. In this study, the authors wanted to compare outcomes of MITLIF with those of open TLIF to determine whether MITLIF also improves postoperative functional mobility and decreases the usage of pain medication.

Methods. In total, 75 consecutive patients who underwent either single-level open TLIF or MITLIF at the University of California, San Francisco, between 2006 and 2011 were included, and patients were followed up for an average of 5.05 years. Fifty patients underwent MITLIF and 25 underwent open TLIF. Primary outcomes included administration of morphine-equivalent narcotics and functional status on postoperative Day 1. Secondary outcomes included operative characteristics, complications, long-term fusion rates, and visual analog scale (VAS) scores.

Results. No statistically significant differences in age, sex, body mass index (BMI), level of disease, or surgical indication were detected between the open TLIF and MITLIF groups. Similarly, preoperative medication usage did not significantly differ between these groups. Intraoperatively, compared with TLIF, MITLIF resulted in decreased lengths of operation, lower blood loss, and fewer complications (p < 0.05). Total administration of morphine-equivalent pain medication in the hospital also tended to be lower in the MITLIF than in the TLIF group. Functional assessment by physical therapy on postoperative Day 1 demonstrated higher function in the MITLIF patients for transfer-related tasks, ambulatory ability, and distance walked than in the TLIF patients (p < 0.05). This translated to shorter inpatient hospitalizations (6.05 vs 4.8 days for open TLIF vs MITLIF patients, respectively, p = 0.006) and an average cost reduction of $3885 per MITLIF patient. Long-term fusion rates were 92% in the MITLIF group and 100% in the open TLIF group (p = 0.09). Preoperative VAS pain scores were 7.1 for the MITLIF patients and 7.6 for the TLIF patients (p = 0.26). At the last follow-up, the reported VAS pain score was 2.9 in the MITLIF patients and 3.5 in the open TLIF patients, but this difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.25). There was also no statistically significant difference in the degree change in this score (p = 0.44).

Conclusions. The MITLIF approach achieves improved functional mobility, decreases the usage of postoperative pain medication, and significantly reduces cost compared with open TLIF while preserving long-term fusion rates. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study comparing the postoperative usage of pain medication between treatments in the postoperative period before discharge.

Minimally invasive treatment of intracerebral hemorrhage with magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound

Sonothrombolysis in ICH

J Neurosurg 118:1035–1045, 2013

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a major cause of death and disability throughout the world. Surgical techniques are limited by their invasive nature and the associated disability caused during clot removal. Preliminary data have shown promise for the feasibility of transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) sonothrombolysis in liquefying the clotted blood in ICH and thereby facilitating minimally invasive evacuation of the clot via a twist-drill craniostomy and aspiration tube.

Methods and Results. In an in vitro model, the following optimum transcranial sonothrombolysis parameters were determined: transducer center frequency 230 kHz, power 3950 W, pulse repetition rate 1 kHz, duty cycle 10%, and sonication duration 30 seconds. Safety studies were performed in swine (n = 20). In a swine model of ICH, MRgFUS sonothrombolysis of 4 ml ICH was performed. Magnetic resonance imaging and histological examination demonstrated complete lysis of the ICH without additional brain injury, blood-brain barrier breakdown, or thermal necrosis due to sonothrombolysis. A novel cadaveric model of ICH was developed with 40-ml clots implanted into fresh cadaveric brains (n = 10). Intracerebral hemorrhages were successfully liquefied (> 95%) with transcranial MRgFUS in a highly accurate fashion, permitting minimally invasive aspiration of the lysate under MRI guidance.

Conclusions. The feasibility of transcranial MRgFUS sonothrombolysis was demonstrated in in vitro and cadaveric models of ICH. Initial in vivo safety data in a swine model of ICH suggest the process to be safe. Minimally invasive treatment of ICH with MRgFUS warrants evaluation in the setting of a clinical trial.

Combined “Hybrid” Open and Minimally Invasive Surgical Correction of Adult Thoracolumbar Scoliosis: A Retrospective Cohort Study


Neurosurgery 72:151–159, 2013

Surgery for scoliosis requires extensive exposure, resulting in significant tissue injury and longer recovery times. To minimize morbidity in scoliosis surgery, several studies have shown successful application of a combination of minimally invasive techniques; however, the extent of scoliosis treated has been modest.

OBJECTIVE: To achieve some of the benefits of minimally invasive surgery and yet treat curves of greater degree, we have used a combined approach, incorporating both open and minimally invasive techniques.

METHODS: We analyzed a prospectively acquired database in addition to reviewing electronic records of patients undergoing hybrid surgery for thoracolumbar scoliosis. Nine patients were identified. The minimally invasive portion involved the lumbar region in all cases. Pain was assessed by the visual analog scale and disability was measured by the Oswestry Disability Index.

RESULTS: Mean preoperative scoliosis was 47.8 degrees, which was corrected to a mean 15.2 degrees. An average of 7.8 spinal levels was treated. Estimated blood loss averaged 1094.4 mL, and length of hospital stay averaged 7.2 days. Acute complications occurred in 2 patients. Longer term complications occurred in 2 patients, consisting of adjacent segment disease. The mean improvement in the visual analog scale score was 3.7 and the mean improvement on the Oswestry Disability Index was 30.5. Average follow-up was 29.2 months.

CONCLUSION: The hybrid approach for the treatment of scoliosis results in acceptable radiographic and clinical outcomes. Complications did not appear increased compared with those expected with scoliosis surgery. Although decreased adjacent tissue injury was achieved with the minimally invasive component of the procedure, a larger comparative study is required to determine magnitude of this benefit.

Failure of Percutaneous Remodeling of the Ligamentum Flavum and Lamina for Neurogenic Claudication

Neurosurgery 71:86–92, 2012 DOI: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31825356f5

Percutaneous remodeling of the ligamentum flavum and lamina (PRLL), commercially known as minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild technique), relies on fluoroscopy and epidural contrast to direct surgical instruments via a 6-mm cannula.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of PRLL and present, to our knowledge, the first reported imaging findings after PRLL.

METHODS: We performed a prospective study of PRLL for neurogenic claudication. Primary outcomes were Oswestry Disability Index, Short-Form 12 version 2.0 health survey, and visual analog scale for pain at 26 weeks. Analgesic use was also assessed. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging was performed at 12 weeks. Long-term failure, defined as the poststudy need for secondary surgery, was assessed up to 18 months.

RESULTS: Ten subjects with an average age of 64 years (range, 41-81 years) were treated between September 2008 and January 2009. There were no major adverse events. Mean postoperative visual analog scale score remained significantly reduced throughout 26 weeks (P =.015, analysis of variance). Mean postoperative Oswestry Disability Index was also improved by 1 week and remained significant throughout 26 weeks (P = .024; analysis of variance). However, there was a trend toward increased reliance on narcotic type medications postoperatively. Imaging studies did not show significant decompression of the spinal canal in any patient. In the poststudy period, recurrent claudication requiring laminectomy developed in 6 patients (60%).

CONCLUSION: Throughout 26 weeks, pain and disability scores were decreased; however, PRLL did not improve the degree of stenosis on imaging studies. Although PRLL appears to be safe in this small cohort of patients, poststudy outcomes indicate that the failure rate is unacceptably high.


Neurosurgery Department. “La Fe” University Hospital. Valencia, Spain


Amazon Shop

The Safety and Feasibility of Image-Guided BrainPath-Mediated Trans-Sulcal Hematoma Evacuation

Haptic Virtual Reality Aneurysm Clipping

Subtemporal Approach for AICA Aneurysm Clipping

MCA Aneurysm Anatomical Classification Scheme

Blister Aneurysms of the Internal Carotid Artery

Bypass for Complex Basilar Aneurysms

Basilar Invagination and Atlanto-Axial Dislocation Video 1

Indocyanine Green Videoangiography “In Negative” Video 2

Indocyanine Green Videoangiography “In Negative” Video 1

Management of a Recurrent Coiled Giant Posterior Cerebral Artery Aneurysm

Bypass for Complex Basilar Aneurysms

Expanded Endonasal Approach for 2012 MERC

Endoscopic Endonasal Middle Clinoidectomy Video 1

Endoscopic Endonasal Middle Clinoidectomy Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Flash Fluorescence for MCA Bypass Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Flash Fluorescence for MCA Bypass Video 1

Neurosurgery CNS: Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Endoscopic Transventricular Lamina Terminalis Fenestration Video 1

Neurosurgery CNS: Surgery for Giant PCOM Aneurysms Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Surgery for Giant PCOM Aneurysms Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endovascular-Surgical Approach to Cavernous dAVF

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 4

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 3

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 2

Neurosurgery CNS: Lateral Supraorbital Approach Applied to Anterior Clinoidal Meningiomas Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Surgery of AVMs in Motor Areas

NeurosurgeryCNS: The Fenestrated Yaşargil T-Bar Clip

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Cotton-Clipping Technique to Repair Intraoperative Aneurysm Neck Tear Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS. ‘Double-Stick Tape’ Technique for Offending Vessel Transposition in Microvascular Decompression

NeurosurgeryCNS: Advances in the Treatment and Outcome of Brain Stem Cavernous Malformation Surgery: 300 Patients

3T MRI Integrated Neuro Suite

NeurosurgeryCNS: 3D In Vivo Modeling of Vestibular Schwannomas and Surrounding Cranial Nerves Using DIT

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 7

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 6

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 5

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 4

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microsurgery for Previously Coiled Aneurysms: Experience on 81 Patients: Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Corticotomy Closure Avoids Subdural Collections After Hemispherotomy

NeurosurgeryCNS: Operative Nuances of Side-to-Side in Situ PICA-PICA Bypass Procedure

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 3

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS. Waterjet Dissection in Neurosurgery: An Update After 208 Procedures: Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Fusiform Aneurysms of the Anterior Communicating Artery

NeurosurgeryCNS. Initial Clinical Experience with a High Definition Exoscope System for Microneurosurgery

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endoscopic Treatment of Arachnoid Cysts Video 2

NeurosurgeryCNS: Endoscopic Treatment of Arachnoid Cysts Video 1

NeurosurgeryCNS: Typical colloid cyst at the foramen of Monro.

NeurosurgeryCNS: Neuronavigation for Neuroendoscopic Surgery

NeurosurgeryCNS:New Aneurysm Clip System for Particularly Complex Aneurysm Surgery

NeurosurgeryCNS: AICA/PICA Anatomical Variants Penetrating the Subarcuate Fossa Dura

Craniopharyngioma Supra-Orbital Removal

NeurosurgeryCNS: Use of Flexible Hollow-Core CO2 Laser in Microsurgical Resection of CNS Lesions

NeurosurgeryCNS: Ulnar Nerve Decompression

NeurosurgeryCNS: Microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

NeurosurgeryCNS: ICG Videoangiography

NeurosurgeryCNS: Inappropiate aneurysm clip applications

Powered By Google Analytics

Total views

  • 0
%d bloggers like this: