Posterior Vertebral Column Subtraction Osteotomy for Recurrent Tethered Cord Syndrome

Neurosurgery 88:637–647, 202

Few have explored the safety and efficacy of posterior vertebral column subtraction osteotomy (PVCSO) to treat tethered cord syndrome (TCS).

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate surgical outcomes after PVCSO in adults with TCS caused by lipomyelomeningocele, who had undergone a previous detethering procedure(s) that ultimately failed.

METHODS: This is a multicenter, retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected cohort. Patients were prospectively enrolled and treated with PVCSO at 2 institutions between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2018. Inclusion criteria were age ≥18 yr, TCS caused by lipomyelomeningocele, previous detethering surgery, and recurrent symptom progression of less than 2-yr duration. All patients undergoing surgerywith a 1-yr minimum follow-up were evaluated.

RESULTS: A total of 20 patients (mean age: 36 yr; sex: 15F/5M) met inclusion criteria and were evaluated. At follow-up (mean: 23.3±7.4 mo), symptomatic improvement/resolution was seen in 93% of patients with leg pain, 84% in back pain, 80% in sensory abnormalities, 80% in motor deficits, 55% in bowel incontinence, and 50% in urinary incontinence. Oswestry Disability Index improved froma preoperative mean of 57.7 to 36.6 at last followup (P < .01). Mean spinal column height reduction was 23.4 ± 2.7 mm. Four complications occurred: intraoperative durotomy (no reoperation), wound infection, instrumentation failure requiring revision, and new sensory abnormality.

CONCLUSION: This is the largest study to date assessing the safety and efficacy of PVCSO in adults with TCS caused by lipomyelomeningocele and prior failed detethering. We found PVCSO to be an excellent extradural approach that may afford definitive treatment in this particularly challenging population.

%d bloggers like this: