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1.  Effect of fibrin glue on the prevention of persistent cerebral spinal fluid leakage after incidental durotomy during lumbar spinal surgery 
European Spine Journal  2009;18(8):1169-1174.
Approximately one million spinal surgeries are performed in the United States each year. The risk of an incidental durotomy (ID) and resultant persistent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage is a significant concern for surgeons, as this complication has been associated with increased length of hospitalization, worse neurological outcome, and the development of CSF fistulae. Augmentation of standard dural suture repair with the application of fibrin glue has been suggested to reduce the frequency of these complications. This study examined unintended durotomies during lumbar spine surgery in a large surgical patient cohort and the impact of fibrin glue usage as part of the ID repair on the incidence of persistent CSF leakage. A retrospective analysis of 4,835 surgical procedures of the lumbar spine from a single institution over a 10-year period was performed to determine the rate of ID. The 90-day clinical course of these patients was evaluated. Clinical examination, B-2 transferrin assay, and radiographic imaging were utilized to determine the number of persistent CSF leaks after repair with or without fibrin glue. Five hundred forty-seven patients (11.3%) experienced a durotomy during surgery. Of this cohort, fibrin glue was used in the dural repair in 278 patients (50.8%). Logistic models evaluating age, sex, redo surgery, and the use of fibrin glue revealed that prior lumbar spinal surgery was the only univariate predictor of persistent CSF leak, conferring a 2.8-fold increase in risk. A persistent CSF leak, defined as continued drainage of CSF from the operative incision within 90 days of the surgery that required an intervention greater than simple bed rest or over-sewing of the wound, was noted in a total of 64 patients (11.7%). This persistent CSF leak rate was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in patients with prior lumbar surgery (21%) versus those undergoing their first spine surgery (9%). There was no statistical difference in persistent CSF leak between those cases in which fibrin glue was used at the time of surgery and those in which fibrin glue was not used. There were no complications associated with the use of fibrin glue. A history of prior surgery significantly increases the incidence of durotomy during elective lumbar spine surgery. In patients who experienced a durotomy during lumbar spine surgery, the use of fibrin glue for dural repair did not significantly decrease the incidence of a persistent CSF leak.
PMCID: PMC2899517  PMID: 19283413
CSF leak; Lumbar spine surgery; Tisseel; Fibrin glue; Incidental durotomy
2.  Spontaneous resolution of postoperative lumbar pseudomeningoceles: A report of four cases 
Indian Journal of Orthopaedics  2013;47(4):417-421.
Pseudomeningocele is an extradural cerebrospinal fluid collection arising from a dural defect, that may be congenital, traumatic, or more commonly as a result of postoperative complication. Majority of the postoperative pseudomeningoceles occurring after lumbar spine surgeries are small and resolve spontaneously. However, large pseudomeningoceles are rare and spontaneous resolution of such pseudomeningoceles has not been described. We report four cases of postoperative large lumbar pseudomeningoceles that presented as asymptomatic soft fluctuant swelling over the back which resolved spontaneously. We also reviewed the related literatures and operative records of these patients to find the possible mechanism of occurrence, their management, prevention, and reasons for spontaneous resolution. We conclude that nonoperative management under close observation can be employed for asymptomatic postoperative large lumbar pseudomeningoceles. Surgical exploration and repair should be reserved for symptomatic cases presenting with clinical features of intracranial hypotension, worsening neurology, external fistula or infection, thereby avoiding morbidity and potential complications associated with surgical treatment.
PMCID: PMC3745699  PMID: 23960289
Giant pseudomeningocele; large pseudomeningocele; spontaneous resolution
3.  Management of giant pseudomeningoceles after spinal surgery 
Pseudomeningoceles are a rare complication after spinal surgery, and studies on these complex formations are few.
Between October 2000 and March 2008, 11 patients who developed symptomatic pseudomeningoceles after spinal surgery were recruited. In this retrospective study, we reported our experiences in the management of these complex, symptomatic pseudomeningoceles after spinal surgery. A giant pseudomeningocele was defined as a pseudomeningocele >8 cm in length. We also evaluated the risk factors for the formation of giant pseudomeningoceles.
All patients were treated successfully with a combined treatment protocol of open revision surgery for extirpation of the pseudomeningoceles, repair of dural tears, and implantation of a subarachnoid catheter for drainage. Surgery-related complications were not observed. Recurrence of pseudomeningocele was not observed for any patient at a mean follow-up of 16.5 months. This result was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging.
We conclude that a combined treatment protocol involving open revision surgery for extirpation of pseudomeningoceles, repair of dural tears, and implantation of a subarachnoid catheter for drainage is safe and effective to treat giant pseudomeningoceles.
PMCID: PMC2848136  PMID: 20302667
4.  Cauda equina entrapment in a pseudomeningocele after lumbar Schwannoma extirpation 
European Spine Journal  2009;19(Suppl 2):158-161.
Incidental or intentional durotomy causing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage, leading to the formation of a pseudomeningocele is a known complication in spinal surgery. Herniation of nerve roots into such a pseudomeningocele is very rare, but can occur up to years after initial durotomy and has been described to cause permanent neurologic deficit. However, cauda equina fiber herniation and entrapment into a pseudomeningocele has not been reported before. Here, we present a case of symptomatic transdural cauda equina herniation and incarceration into a pseudomeningocele, 3 months after extirpation of a lumbar Schwannoma. A 59-year-old man, who previously underwent intradural Schwannoma extirpation presented 3 months after surgery with back pain, sciatica and loss of bladder filling sensation caused by cauda equina fiber entrapment into a defect in the wall of a pseudomeningocele, diagnosed with magnetic resonance imaging. On re-operation, the pseudomeningocele was resected and the herniated and entrapped cauda fibers were released and replaced intradurally. The dura defect was closed and the patient recovered completely. In conclusion, CSF leakage can cause neurological deficit up to years after durotomy by transdural nerve root herniation and subsequent entrapment. Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of this potentially devastating complication. The present case also underlines the importance of meticulous dura closure in spinal surgery.
PMCID: PMC2899623  PMID: 19924448
Pseudomeningocele; Dura defect; Nerve root entrapment
5.  Clinical outcomes of degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis treated with lumbar decompression and the Cosmic “semi-rigid” posterior system 
SAS Journal  2010;4(4):99-106.
Although some investigators believe that the rate of postoperative instability is low after lumbar spinal stenosis surgery, the majority believe that postoperative instability usually develops. Decompression alone and decompression with fusion have been widely used for years in the surgical treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. Nevertheless, in recent years several biomechanical studies have shown that posterior dynamic transpedicular stabilization provides stabilization that is like the rigid stabilization systems of the spine. Recently, posterior transpedicular dynamic stabilization has been more commonly used as an alternative treatment option (rather than rigid stabilization with fusion) for the treatment of degenerative spines with chronic instability and for the prevention of possible instability after decompression in lumbar spinal stenosis surgery.
A total of 30 patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (19 women and 11 men) were included in the study group. The mean age was 67.3 years (range, 40–85 years). Along with lumbar decompression, a posterior dynamic transpedicular stabilization (dynamic transpedicular screw–rigid rod system) without fusion was performed in all patients. Clinical and radiologic results for patients were evaluated during follow-up visits at 3, 12, and 24 months postoperatively.
The mean follow-up period was 42.93 months (range, 24–66 months). A clinical evaluation of patients showed that, compared with preoperative assessments, statistically significant improvements were observed in the Oswestry and visual analog scale scores in the last follow-up control. Compared with preoperative values, there were no statistically significant differences in radiologic evaluations, such as segmental lordosis angle (α) scores (P = .125) and intervertebral distance scores (P = .249). There were statistically significant differences between follow-up lumbar lordosis scores (P = .048). There were minor complications, including a subcutaneous wound infection in 2 cases, a dural tear in 2 cases, cerebrospinal fluid fistulas in 1 case, a urinary tract infection in 1 case, and urinary retention in 1 case. We observed L5 screw loosening in 1 of the 3-level decompression cases. No screw breakage was observed and no revision surgery was performed in any of these cases.
Posterior dynamic stabilization without fusion applied to lumbar decompression leads to better clinical and radiologic results in degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. To avoid postoperative instability, especially in elderly patients who undergo degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis surgery with chronic instability, the application of decompression with posterior dynamic transpedicular stabilization is likely an important alternative surgical option to fusion, because it does not have fusion-related side effects, is easier to perform than fusion, requires a shorter operation time, and has low morbidity and complication rates.
PMCID: PMC4365643  PMID: 25802657
Lumbar spinal stenosis; Posterior dynamic stabilization; Microlumbar decompression; Spinal fusion; Spinal instability
6.  Retropharyngeal pseudomeningocele formation as a traumatic atlanto-occipital dislocation complication: case report and review 
European Spine Journal  2007;17(Suppl 2):253-256.
Retropharyngeal pseudomeningocele after atlanto-occipital dislocation is a rare complication, with only five cases described in the literature. It develops when a traumatic dural tear occurs allowing cerebrospinal fluid outflow, and it often appears associated with hydrocephalus. We present a case of a 29-year-old female who suffered a motor vehicle accident causing severe brain trauma and spinal cord injury. At hospital arrival the patient scored three points in the Glasgow Coma Scale. Admission computed tomography of the head and neck demonstrated subarachnoid hemorrhage and atlanto-occipital dislocation. Three weeks later, when impossibility to disconnect her from mechanical ventilation was noticed, a magnetic resonance imaging of the neck showed a large retropharyngeal pseudomeningocele. No radiological evidence of hydrocephalus was documented. Given the poor neurological status of the patient, with spastic quadriplegia and disability to breathe spontaneously due to bulbar-medullar injury, no invasive measure was performed to treat the pseudomeningocele. Retropharyngeal pseudomeningocele after atlanto-occipital dislocation should be managed by means of radiological brain study in order to assess for the presence of hydrocephalus, since these two pathologies often appear associated. If allowed by neurological condition of the patient, shunting procedures such as ventriculo-peritoneal or lumbo-peritoneal shunt placement may be helpful for the treatment of the pseudomeningocele, regardless of craniocervical junction management.
PMCID: PMC2525892  PMID: 17973127
Atlanto-occipital dislocation; Pseudomeningocele; Retropharyngeal; Spinal cord injury
7.  Bilateral subdural haematomata and lumbar pseudomeningocele due to a chronic leakage of liquor cerebrospinalis after a lumbar discectomy with the application of ADCON-L gel 
We report on a patient who underwent lumbar disc surgery with application of ADCON-L gel. Postoperatively he suffered from acute headache, nausea, and vomiting. A lumbar pseudomeningocele was demonstrated on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Furthermore, cranial MRI revealed bilateral, chronic subdural haematomata which indicated intracranial hypotension syndrome or continuous leakage of cerebrospinal fluid at the lumbar site.
With conservative treatment the problems were gradually reduced and eventually the subdural haematomata were no longer detected. The pseudomeningocele persisted over a 4 month period of observation.
Because of the complications we found, the local application of ADCON-L during lumbar disc surgery should be critically evaluated.
PMCID: PMC1739715  PMID: 15965222
8.  Decreased Rate of CSF Leakage Associated with Complete Reconstruction of Suboccipital Cranial Defects 
Background Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage represents a major source of morbidity following microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery. The objective of this study was to retrospectively assess whether complete versus incomplete reconstruction of the suboccipital cranial defect influences the incidence of CSF leakage following MVD.
Methods We reviewed the charts of 100 patients who consecutively underwent MVD for trigeminal neuralgia by two attending neurosurgeons between July 2004 and April 2010. Operative variables including incomplete or complete calvarial reconstruction, primary dural closure or dural closure with adjunct, and use of lumbar drainage were recorded. The effect of complete calvarial reconstruction on the incidence of postoperative CSF leakage was examined using a multivariate logistic regression model.
Results Of the 36 patients whose wound closure was reconstructed with a complete cranioplasty, 2 (5.6%) patients experienced a postoperative CSF leak. Of the 64 patients whose wound closure was augmented with an incomplete cranioplasty, 15 (23.4%) experienced a postoperative CSF leak. There was suggestive but inconclusive evidence that the risk of CSF leakage following MVD was smaller with complete reconstruction of calvarial defect than with incomplete reconstruction (two-sided p value = 0.059), after accounting for age, dural closure method, use of lumbar drainage, and previous MVD.
Conclusion Complete reconstruction of the suboccipital cranial defect decreases the risk of CSF leakage.
PMCID: PMC3424035  PMID: 23905005
cerebrospinal fluid leak; pseudomeningocele; suboccipital; craniectomy; microvascular decompression
9.  Complications of Minimally Invasive, Tubular Access Surgery for Cervical, Thoracic, and Lumbar Surgery 
Minimally Invasive Surgery  2014;2014:451637.
The object of the study was to review the author's large series of minimally invasive spine surgeries for complication rates. The author reviewed a personal operative database for minimally access spine surgeries done through nonexpandable tubular retractors for extradural, nonfusion procedures. Consecutive cases (n = 1231) were reviewed for complications. There were no wound infections. Durotomy occurred in 33 cases (2.7% overall or 3.4% of lumbar cases). There were no external or symptomatic internal cerebrospinal fluid leaks or pseudomeningoceles requiring additional treatment. The only motor injuries were 3 C5 root palsies, 2 of which resolved. Minimally invasive spine surgery performed through tubular retractors can result in a low wound infection rate when compared to open surgery. Durotomy is no more common than open procedures and does not often result in the need for secondary procedures. New neurologic deficits are uncommon, with most observed at the C5 root. Minimally invasive spine surgery, even without benefits such as less pain or shorter hospital stays, can result in considerably lower complication rates than open surgery.
PMCID: PMC4109131  PMID: 25097785
10.  Intracranial fat migration: A newly described complication of autologous fat repair of a cerebrospinal fluid leak following supracerebellar infratentorial approach 
Graphical abstract
Magnetic resonance imaging of postoperative autologous adipose tissue graft repair. T2 axial demonstrates the epidural fat inside the subarachnoid, and the intraparenchymal space of the occipital lobe, extending into the basal cistern, prepontine cistern, and ventricle.
•We examine a case of fat graft migration following autologous fat repair of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak that occurred after a supracerebellar infratentorial approach.•Symptoms from migration resolved with supportive care.•Physicians should be aware of the possibility of autologous fat migration when explaining fat graft CSF leak repair to patients.•Physicians should consider supportive care when autologous fat migration occurs.
Intracranial fat migration following autologous fat graft and placement of a lumbar drain for cerebrospinal fluid leak after pineal cyst resection surgery has not been previously reported.
Case presentation
The authors present a case of a 39-year-old male with a history of headaches who presented for removal of a pineal cyst from the pineal region. He subsequently experienced cerebrospinal fluid leak and postoperative Escherichia coli (E. Coli) wound infection, and meningitis, which were treated initially with wound washout and antibiotics in addition to bone removal and primary repair with primary suture-closure of the durotomy. A lumbar drain was left in place. The cerebrospinal fluid leak returned two weeks following removal of the lumbar drain; therefore, autologous fat graft repair and lumbar drain placement were performed. Three days later, the patient began experiencing right homonymous hemianopia and was found via computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging to have autologous fat in the infra‑ and supratentorial space, including intraparenchymal and subarachnoid spread. Symptoms began to resolve with supportive care over 48 hours and had almost fully resolved within one week.
This is the first known report of a patient with an autologous fat graft entering the subarachnoid space, intraparenchymal space, and ventricles following fat graft and lumbar drainage.
This case highlights the importance of monitoring for complications of lumbar drain placement.
PMCID: PMC4336425  PMID: 25557086
CSF, cerebrospinal fluid; CT, computed tomography; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; Autologous fat graft; Cerebrospinal fluid leak; Graft migration; Posterior fossa; Supracerebellar infratentorial approach; Pineal cyst
11.  Perioperative Complications of Total En Bloc Spondylectomy: Adverse Effects of Preoperative Irradiation 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98797.
Total en bloc spondylectomy (TES) is associated with a high complication rate because it is technically demanding and involves patients compromised by cancer. Specifically, perioperative complications are more likely to occur in patients receiving preoperative irradiation. We examined the perioperative complications associated with TES in patients receiving preoperative irradiation.
Seventy-seven patients underwent TES between May 2010 and April 2013. We performed a retrospective review of prospectively collected data for 50 patients with metastatic tumors of the thoracic spine, excluding patients with primary spinal tumors, lumbar spinal metastasis, and combined anterior and posterior approach TES. Patients were divided into 2 groups: those with preoperative irradiation (RT-TES group, 18 patients) and those without preoperative irradiation (TES group, 32 patients). The following perioperative complications, occurring within 2 months of surgery, were compared between the groups: intraoperative dural injuries, epidural hematomas, deep surgical-site infections, postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage, wound dehiscence, pleural effusions, and neurological deficits.
Significant differences in patient characteristics were not observed between the RT-TES and TES groups. Perioperative TES complications occurred in 20/50 patients (40.0%). The complication rate in the RT-TES group was 77.8% (14 out of 18), threefold higher than the 18.8% (6 out of 32) in the TES group (P<0.01). The incidence of complications, including intraoperative dural injuries, postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage, wound dehiscence, and pleural effusions, was significantly higher in the RT-TES group (P<0.01).
The perioperative complication rate associated with TES for spinal metastasis was significantly higher among patients receiving preoperative irradiation than among those not receiving preoperative irradiation.
PMCID: PMC4043789  PMID: 24893004
12.  Burr Hole Drainage : Could Be Another Treatment Option for Cerebrospinal Fluid Leakage after Unidentified Dural Tear during Spinal Surgery? 
Authors report a rare case of acute intracranial subdural and intraventricular hemorrhage that were caused by intracranial hypotension resulted from cerebrospinal fluid leakage through an unidentified dural tear site during spinal surgery. The initial brain computed tomography image showed acute hemorrhages combined with preexisting asymptomatic chronic subdural hemorrhage. One burr hole was made over the right parietal skull to drain intracranial hemorrhages and subsequent drainage of cerebrospinal fluid induced by closure of the durotomy site. Among various methods to treat cerebrospinal fluid leakage through unidentified dural injury site, primary repair and spinal subarachnoid drainage are well known treatment options. The brain imaging study to diagnose intracranial hemorrhage should be taken before selecting the treatment method, especially for spinal subarachnoid drainage. Similar mechanism to its spinal counterpart, cranial cerebrospinal fluid drainage has not been mentioned in previous article and could be another treatment option to seal off an unidentified dural tear in particular case of drainage of intracranial hemorrhage is needed.
PMCID: PMC3579086  PMID: 23439677
Cerebrospinal fluid; Intracranial hemorrhage; Intracranial hypotension; Spine surgery
13.  Symptomatic Pneumocephalus Associated with Lumbar Dural Tear and Reverse Trendelenburg Positioning: A Case Report and Review of the Literature 
Symptomatic pneumocephalus is a rare complication of degenerative lumbar spine surgery. This is a case report of a patient who developed transient diplopia associated with pneumocephalus following lumbar spine surgery complicated by a dural tear. The diplopia improved as the pneumocephalus resolved. Factors involved in the development of pneumocephalus include an unintended durotomy and intraoperative reverse Trendelenburg positioning that was utilized to decrease the risk of postoperative vision loss. When encountering cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage intraoperatively, spine surgeons should level the operating table until closure of the dural defect to prevent potential complications associated with pneumocephalus. If postoperative patients complain of severe headaches or display a focal cranial neurologic deficit, then a computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain should be ordered and evaluated. Consulting neurologists should be aware of the circumstances surrounding this rare complication.
PMCID: PMC3881439  PMID: 24455345
14.  Neurological recovery after surgical treatment of giant cervical pseudomeningoceles extending to lumbar spine associated with previous brachial plexus injury 
European Spine Journal  2010;19(Suppl 2):206-210.
The authors describe a case of 28-year-old man who presented with cervical myelopathy and lumbar radiculopathy due to the giant cervical pseudomeningocele extending to the lumbar spine at 10 years after previous brachial plexus injury. To evaluate the communicating tract between pseudomeningocele and subarachnoidal space, the multidetector-row helical CT with simultaneous myelography was performed preoperatively. The surgical treatment in the cervical spine included the resection of pseudomeningocele and the repair of dural defects communicating into the cyst following multi-level laminoplasty and foraminotomies. At 6 years after surgery, the significant neurologic recovery and complete obliteration of cysts in the whole spine area were maintained. This serves as the first report describing the significant neurologic recovery after the surgical treatment of giant cervical pseudomeningocele extending to the lumbar spine after previous brachial plexus injury.
PMCID: PMC2899636  PMID: 20383537
Giant pseudomeningocele; Cervical spine; Lumbar spine; Communicating tract; Surgical treatment
15.  Utilization of Preoperative Cerebrospinal Fluid Drain in Skull Base Surgery 
Skull Base  2007;17(2):133-139.
Objective: Retrospectively assess the efficacy of lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage placed preoperatively in skull base operations in decreasing the incidence of postoperative CSF fistula. Methods: A retrospective review of 150 patients undergoing a posterior fossa craniotomy from 1989 to 2000 was conducted. Patients were divided into those receiving preoperative lumbar drains and those that did not. The rates of postoperative CSF leakage were compared between the two groups. Patient data were analyzed to determine if there were other comorbidities affecting the postoperative incidence of CSF leakage such as smoking, diabetes, or hypertension. Results: Between 1989 and 1994, 25/72 (35%) patients with no preoperative lumbar drain had a postoperative CSF leak. From 1995 to 2000, 9/78 (12%) patients with a preoperative lumbar drain had a CSF leak. This was a 23% decreased incidence of postoperative CSF leakage and a significant decrease in the probability (p < 0.001) of CSF leakage in patients treated with a preoperative lumbar drain. The comorbidities of diabetes, smoking, or hypertension did not increase the probability of a CSF leak (p = 0.43). Conclusions: A preoperatively placed lumbar drain can significantly lower the rate of postoperative CSF leakage after skull base surgery. The drain is a well-tolerated adjunct to dural closure and helps increase surgical exposure of the posterior fossa. The comorbidities of diabetes, smoking, or hypertension do not contribute to an increased rate of CSF leakage.
PMCID: PMC1876157  PMID: 17768443
Cerebrospinal fluid fistula; lumbar drain; retrosigmoid; translabyrinthine
16.  Intraspinous postlaminectomy pseudomeningocele 
European Spine Journal  2002;12(3):325-327.
Pseudomeningoceles are uncommon complications of lumbar surgery. They are encapsulated cerebrospinal fluid collections developing extradurally as a consequence of incidental dural tears. They are typically located in the paraspinal compartment and occasionally reach the subcutaneous space. We describe the case of a patient in whom a postlaminectomy pseudomeningocele developed over a 10-year period within the L5 spinous process and remained completely encircled within its bony boundaries. The surgical implications of this finding are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3615490  PMID: 12800007
Laminectomy Lumbar surgery Pseudomeningocele Spinous process
17.  Life-threatening posterior fossa cyst induced by pseudomeningocele after operation for acoustic neuroma 
Surgical Neurology International  2015;6(Suppl 2):S101-S103.
Pseudomeningocele is the term used to describe fluid accumulation due to the leakage of cerebrospinal fluid into the surrounding soft tissue. It may cause complications such as cosmetic deformities, chronic meningitis, and/or impingement on vital structures resulting in neurological deficits; nevertheless, life-threatening posterior fossa cyst formation is a rare event.
Case Description:
We report a case of posterior fossa cyst formation induced by pseudomeningocele with brain stem compression leading to coma with pupillary dilation. These symptoms occurred after an operation for left acoustic neuroma. After emergent decompression and dural repair, the patient recovered well without experiencing any further neurological deficits.
We discuss the clinical features, possible pathophysiological mechanisms, and treatment options for pseudomeningocele. Although most cases of pseudomeningocele follow a benign course and need only conservative treatment, the potential attendant complications, such as an enlarged cyst, may still have fatal consequences. We believe that it is beneficial to take an aggressive attitude toward this condition and to consider the possibility of surgical interventions more seriously.
PMCID: PMC4392549  PMID: 25883852
Acoustic neuroma; cyst; pseudomeningocele
18.  Intracranial hemorrhage following lumbar spine surgery 
European Spine Journal  2012;21(10):2091-2096.
Intracranial hemorrhage is a serious but rare complication of spinal surgery, which can occur in the intracerebral, cerebellar, epidural, or subdural compartment.
To describe patients with intracranial hemorrhage after lumbar spinal surgery and present clinical and diagnostic imaging findings.
In this retrospective study, medical records of 1,077 patients who underwent lumbar spinal surgery in our tertiary referral neurosurgery center between January 2003 and September 2010 were studied. The original presentations of the patients before the surgical intervention were herniated lumbar disc, spinal canal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, lumbar spinal trauma, and lumbar spine and epidural tumor. The operations performed consisted of discectomy, multiple level laminectomy, stabilization and fusion, lumbar instrumentation, and lumbar spinal and epidural tumor resection.
Four cases developed intracranial hemorrhage including acute subdural hematoma (one case), epidural hematoma (one case), and remote cerebellar hemorrhage (two cases). The clinical and diagnostic imaging characteristics along with treatments performed and outcomes of these four patients are described and the pertinent literature regarding post-lumbar spinal surgery intracranial hemorrhages is reviewed.
Though rare, intracranial hemorrhage can occur following lumbar spinal surgery. This complication may be asymptomatic or manifest with intense headache at early stages any time during the first week after surgery. Dural tear, bloody CSF leakage, focal neurologic symptoms, and headache are indicators of potential intracranial hemorrhage, which should be considered during or following surgery and necessitate diagnostic imaging.
PMCID: PMC3463703  PMID: 22349967
Intracranial hemorrhage; Lumbar spine surgery; Remote cerebellar hemorrhage; Subdural hematoma; Epidural hematoma
19.  Accidental Durotomy in Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Frequency, Risk Factors, and Management 
The Scientific World Journal  2015;2015:532628.
Purpose. To assess the frequency, risk factors, and management of accidental durotomy in minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS TLIF). Methods. This single-center study retrospectively investigates 372 patients who underwent MIS TLIF and were mobilized within 24 hours after surgery. The frequency of accidental durotomies, intraoperative closure technique, body mass index, and history of previous surgery was recorded. Results. We identified 32 accidental durotomies in 514 MIS TLIF levels (6.2%). Analysis showed a statistically significant relation of accidental durotomies to overweight patients (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2; P = 0.0493). Patient age older than 65 years tended to be a positive predictor for accidental durotomies (P = 0.0657). Mobilizing patients on the first postoperative day, we observed no durotomy-associated complications. Conclusions. The frequency of accidental durotomies in MIS TLIF is low, with overweight being a risk factor for accidental durotomies. The minimally invasive approach seems to minimize durotomy-associated complications (CSF leakage, pseudomeningocele) because of the limited dead space in the soft tissue. Patients with accidental durotomy can usually be mobilized within 24 hours after MIS TLIF without increased risk. The minimally invasive TLIF technique might thus be beneficial in the prevention of postoperative immobilization-associated complications such as venous thromboembolism. This trial is registered with DRKS00006135.
PMCID: PMC4449940  PMID: 26075294
20.  Combat-Related Intradural Gunshot Wound to the Thoracic Spine: Significant Improvement and Neurologic Recovery Following Bullet Removal 
Asian Spine Journal  2015;9(1):127-132.
The vast majority of combat-related penetrating spinal injuries from gunshot wounds result in severe or complete neurological deficit. Treatment is based on neurological status, the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas, and local effects of any retained fragment(s). We present a case of a 46-year-old male who sustained a spinal gunshot injury from a 7.62-mm AK-47 round that became lodged within the subarachnoid space at T9-T10. He immediately suffered complete motor and sensory loss. By 24-48 hours post-injury, he had recovered lower extremity motor function fully but continued to have severe sensory loss (posterior cord syndrome). On post-injury day 2, he was evacuated from the combat theater and underwent a T9 laminectomy, extraction of the bullet, and dural laceration repair. At surgery, the traumatic durotomy was widened and the bullet, which was laying on the dorsal surface of the spinal cord, was removed. The dura was closed in a water-tight fashion and fibrin glue was applied. Postoperatively, the patient made a significant but incomplete neurological recovery. His stocking-pattern numbness and sub-umbilical searing dysthesia improved. The spinal canal was clear of the foreign body and he had no persistent CSF leak. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed contusion of the spinal cord at the T9 level. Early removal of an intra-canicular bullet in the setting of an incomplete spinal cord injury can lead to significant neurological recovery following even high-velocity and/or high-caliber gunshot wounds. However, this case does not speak to, and prior experience does not demonstrate, significant neurological benefit in the setting of a complete injury.
PMCID: PMC4330208  PMID: 25705346
Gunshot wound; Foreign body; Spinal cord injury; Laminectomy; Recovery of function
21.  Postoperative meningitis after spinal surgery: a review of 21 cases from 20,178 patients 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14:220.
Postoperative bacterial meningitis is a rare complication of spinal surgery and is considered to be a complication related to intraoperative incidental durotomy. A high index of suspicion for meningitis is essential in patients who have the clinical triad of fever, neck stiffness and consciousness disturbance during the postoperative period. A delay in diagnosis or treatment can lead to morbidity and mortality. Due to the low incidence of postoperative meningitis, very few studies have reported this complication. The purpose of this study was to report the clinical features, laboratory evaluations, treatment course and prognosis of 21 patients with post spinal surgery meningitis.
We retrospectively reviewed 21 patients (13 male, 8 female) with the diagnosis of postoperative meningitis after lumbar spinal surgery between January 2001 and Aug 2011. The median age of the patients was 67 years old (range 27 to 82 years) at the time of surgery. We recorded the preoperative diagnosis, operative methods, amount of drainage, clinical manifestations, laboratory evaluations, cerebrospinal fluid study, and infectious organisms. All patients diagnosed with postoperative meningitis received at least two weeks of antibiotic treatment. Clinical outcomes were assessed after at least two years of follow-up.
From January 2001 to August 2011, 20,178 spinal operations were performed in our institution, and 21 patients (0.10%) were diagnosed with postoperative meningitis. Eighteen patients (85.7%) had fever, 19 (90.5%) had neck stiffness, and 16 (76.2%) had consciousness disturbance. All patients had at least two of the classic triad. In addition, 9 patients (42.9%) had headache, 3 (14.3%) had focal neurological deficits, and 2 (9.5%) had seizure attacks. There was no mortality in this series. Postoperative meningitis showed no adverse effect on the results of spinal surgery after follow-up for at least two years.
Postoperative meningitis is a rare complication after spinal lumbar surgery. A high index of suspicion for meningitis should be maintained in patients with the clinical triad of fever, neck stiffness, and consciousness disturbance after spinal surgery. Intraoperative incidental durotomy is the most important predictor. An early diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic treatment can lead to a good outcome.
PMCID: PMC4013809  PMID: 24755138
Post spinal surgery; Postoperative meningitis; Complications
22.  Fibrin sealant augmentation with autologous pericranium for duraplasty after suboccipital decompression in Chiari 1 patients: A case series 
The Chiari 1 malformation (CM1) involves decent of the tonsils of the cerebellum through the foramen magnum. Symptomatic disease requires a posterior fossa decompression with or without an expansile duraplasty. To date, the optimal surgical treatment for CM1 has not been delineated. The extent of bony removal, size of the dural opening, necessity for expansion of the dural space, choice of materials for the duraplasty, and possible need for augmentation with dural sealant are all factors that continue to be debated amongst neurological surgeons worldwide. We herein evaluate the use of fibrin sealant augmentation in combination with locally harvested autologous pericranium for duraplasty in adult CM1 decompression.
Retrospective data collected from January 2006 to December 2011. Data were reviewed for surgical site infection or meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid leak, symptomatic pseudomeningocele, radiographic improvement of hindbrain compression, and postoperative recurrence of symptoms at a minimum of 1 year of follow-up. Outcomes were studied clinically, radiographically, as well as by using a patient-specific questionnaire.
Twenty-two consecutive patients were included. One patient required a revision for a delayed graft dehiscence in the setting of a rare form of aseptic meningitis with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis due to a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) allergy. All remaining patients had successful decompressions with full resolution of their symptoms except for one patient who had persistent headaches.
Autologous pericranium with dural sealant augmentation is an effective technique for expansile duraplasty in CM1 decompressions.
PMCID: PMC3589833  PMID: 23493237
Autologous pericranium; chiari malformation; duraplasty; dural sealant
23.  Minimally Invasive Surgical Approaches in the Management of Tuberculosis of the Thoracic and Lumbar Spine 
Spinal tuberculosis is the most common form of skeletal tuberculosis. Various approaches have been described for surgical management of spinal tuberculosis, but many entail wide exposures with attendant morbidity; whether minimally invasive surgical (MIS) approaches are suitable is unknown.
We evaluated (1) neurologic results, (2) radiographic results, and (3) complications in patients with thoracic and lumbar spinal tuberculosis treated with two MIS approaches.
We retrospectively evaluated 22 patients with thoracic and lumbar tuberculosis managed surgically from October 2008 to February 2011 using MIS methods; one patient was lost to followup, leaving 21 patients with a minimum followup of 15 months (mean, 30 months; range, 15–59 months) for analysis. MIS approaches were used for patients with disease below D6 and minimum pedicle diameters of 4.5 mm to permit percutaneous screw placement. The MIS approach was divided into two groups depending on the extent of destruction of the vertebral body: a posterior-only group (n = 9), where posterior transpedicular decompression sufficed, and the hybrid group (n = 12), requiring anterior débridement and ventral-column reconstruction by conventional or mini-open thoracotomy. All but two patients with more than two contiguous bodies involvement underwent MIS posterior fixation by percutaneous transpedicular screws. Plain radiographs were evaluated for deformity correction and correction maintenance. Neurologic recovery and complications were ascertained by chart review.
All patients with neurologic deficits recovered completely with no motor deficits at followup; 13% improved by three grades, 53% by two grades, and 33% by one grade. Mean correction was 2.5° (thoracic) and 8° (lumbar) in the posterior-only group and 4.2° in the hybrid group. Some correction loss occurred with healing (2° and 1.6° in the posterior-only and hybrid groups, respectively), but in none of those who had fixation did this progress to more than preoperative status. Two of 22 patients (9%) had complications. One had a malposition of L5 screw causing painful radiculopathy without motor deficit and required repositioning. The other had an intraoperative dural tear repaired by onlay fascial patch and cerebrospinal fluid diversion. There were no approach-related complications, neurologic deterioration, or implant fatigue at last followup.
We found evidence of neurologic recovery, avoidance of deformity progression, and few complications with these MIS approaches. Comparative trials are called for between open and MIS approaches for patients with spinal tuberculosis.
Level of Evidence
Level IV, therapeutic study. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
PMCID: PMC4016460  PMID: 24474323
24.  Clinical experience with a novel bovine collagen dura mater substitute 
Asian Journal of Neurosurgery  2010;5(2):31-34.
Dural substitutes are used to achieve a watertight closure in situations where adequate closure is not possible .This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of use a new collagen matrix dural substitute ( Duradry, Tecnodry, Belo Horizonte MG) in repair or expansion of cranial and spinal dura-mater.
30 patients operated on between March and September 2008, were studied. Surgical logs were reviewed for sex, age, diagnosis, location of the graft, technique and presence of fistula or infection. The patients were followed-up for at least 3 months, and the presence of complications as cerebrospinal leakage, infection, aseptic meningitis, hydrocephalus, pseudomeningocele were analysed.
Only one patient presented with CSF fistula. No patients presented with wound infections, hydrocephalus, pseudomeningocele, meningitis, brain abscesses or signs of toxicity related to the material.
The new dural substitute used in this study is effective and safe, and the initial results are similar to those of other dural substitutes reported in the literature.
PMCID: PMC3201076  PMID: 22028756
Cerebrospinal fluid leak; Duraplasty; Collagen matrix
25.  Calcified pseudomeningocele of the lumbar spine: a review 
European Spine Journal  2012;22(Suppl 3):443-449.
In this article, we review the English literature of calcified pseudomeningoceles in the lumbar region.
A systematic review using the Medline Database using the varied nomenclature for pseudomeningoceles, as well as reviewing the reference lists of relevant article found.
We discuss the different pathological theories on formation of a pseudomeningocele, the formation of a calcified wall and the optimal management for this entity. To date, 17 cases have been described, of which 13 are reviewed here. Calcification of pseudomeningocele is a rare entity and in the lumbar spine this occurs postsurgically. The only predisposing factor is prior surgery to the lumbar spine. Computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MRI myelography in combination are the preoperative investigations of choice. The radiological work-up can be preoperatively diagnostic and is important in the surgical planning.
The treatment is surgicel removal and the decision to treat is based on patient symptoms and correlating these with imaging. There is an average reported follow-up of 1.7 years postoperatively for these patients and the reported outcome after surgery is good.
PMCID: PMC3641256  PMID: 23233216
Calcification; Postsurgical; Pseudomeningocele; Lumbar spine

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