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1.  A minimally invasive technique for percutaneous lumbar facet augmentation: Technical description of a novel device 
We describe a new posterior dynamic stabilizing system that can be used to augment the mechanics of the degenerating lumbar segment. The mechanism of this system differs from other previously described surgical techniques that have been designed to augment lumbar biomechanics. The implant and technique we describe is an extension-limiting one, and it is designed to support and cushion the facet complex. Furthermore, it is inserted through an entirely percutaneous technique. The purpose of this technical note is to demonstrate a novel posterior surgical approach for the treatment of lumbar degenerative.
This report describes a novel, percutaneously placed, posterior dynamic stabilization system as an alternative option to treat lumbar degenerative disk disease with and without lumbar spinal stenosis. The system does not require a midline soft-tissue dissection, nor subperiosteal dissection, and is a truly minimally invasive means for posterior augmentation of the functional facet complex. This system can be implanted as a stand-alone procedure or in conjunction with decompression procedures.
One-year clinical results in nine individual patients, all treated for degenerative disease of the lower lumbar spine, are presented.
This novel technique allows for percutaneous posterior dynamic stabilization of the lumbar facet complex. The use of this procedure may allow a less invasive alternative to traditional approaches to the lumbar spine as well as an alternative to other newly developed posterior dynamic stabilization systems.
PMCID: PMC3229771  PMID: 22145084
Interspinous; minimally invasive; posterior dynamic stabilization
2.  Sacral laminoplasty and cystic fenestration in the treatment of symptomatic sacral perineural (Tarlov) cysts: Technical case report 
Perineural cysts of the sacrum, or Tarlov cysts, are cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-filled sacs that commonly occur at the intersection of the dorsal root ganglion and posterior nerve root in the lumbosacral spine. Although often asymptomatic, these cysts have the potential to produce significant symptoms, including pain, weakness, and/or bowel or bladder incontinence. We present a case in which the sacral roof is removed and reconstructed via plated laminoplasty and describe how this technique could be of potential use in maximizing outcomes.
We describe technical aspects of a sacral laminoplasty in conjunction with cyst fenestration for a symptomatic sacral perineural cyst in a 50-year-old female with severe sacral pain, lumbosacral radiculopathy, and progressive incontinence. This patient had magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT)-myelographic evidence of a non-filling, 1.7 × 1.4 cm perineural cyst that was causing significant compression of the cauda equina and sacral nerve roots. This surgical technique was also employed in a total of 18 patients for symptomatic tarlov cysts with their radiographic and clinical results followed in a prospective fashion.
Intraoperative images, drawings, and video are presented to demonstrate both the technical aspects of this technique and the regional anatomy. Postoperative MRI scan demonstrated complete removal of the Tarlov cyst. The patient's symptoms improved dramatically and she regained normal bladder function. There was no evidence of radiographic recurrence at 12 months. At an average 16 month followup interval 10/18 patients had significant relief with mild or no residual complaints, 3/18 reported relief but had persistent coccydynia around the surgical area, 2/18 had primary relief but developed new low back pain and/or lumbar radiculopathy, 2/18 remained at their preoperative level of symptoms, and 1/18 had relief of their preoperative leg pain but developed new pain and neurological deficits.
Sacral laminoplasty and microscopic cystic fenestration is a feasible approach in the operative treatment of this difficult, and often controversial, spinal pathology. This technique may be used further and studied in an attempt to minimize potential surgical morbidity, including CSF leaks, cyst recurrence, and sacral insufficiency fractures.
PMCID: PMC3205499  PMID: 22059124
Laminoplasty; perineural cyst; sacral; Tarlov cyst
3.  Minimally invasive percutaneous transpedicular screw fixation: increased accuracy and reduced radiation exposure by means of a novel electromagnetic navigation system 
Acta Neurochirurgica  2010;153(3):589-596.
Minimally invasive percutaneous pedicle screw instrumentation methods may increase the need for intraoperative fluoroscopy, resulting in excessive radiation exposure for the patient, surgeon, and support staff. Electromagnetic field (EMF)-based navigation may aid more accurate placement of percutaneous pedicle screws while reducing fluoroscopic exposure. We compared the accuracy, time of insertion, and radiation exposure of EMF with traditional fluoroscopic percutaneous pedicle screw placement.
Minimally invasive pedicle screw placement in T8 to S1 pedicles of eight fresh-frozen human cadaveric torsos was guided with EMF or standard fluoroscopy. Set-up, insertion, and fluoroscopic times and radiation exposure and accuracy (measured with post-procedural computed tomography) were analyzed in each group.
Sixty-two pedicle screws were placed under fluoroscopic guidance and 60 under EMF guidance. Ideal trajectories were achieved more frequently with EMF over all segments (62.7% vs. 40%; p = 0.01). Greatest EMF accuracy was achieved in the lumbar spine, with significant improvements in both ideal trajectory and reduction of pedicle breaches over fluoroscopically guided placement (64.9% vs. 40%, p = 0.03, and 16.2% vs. 42.5%, p = 0.01, respectively). Fluoroscopy time was reduced 77% with the use of EMF (22 s vs. 5 s per level; p < 0.0001) over all spinal segments. Radiation exposure at the hand and body was reduced 60% (p = 0.058) and 32% (p = 0.073), respectively. Time for insertion did not vary between the two techniques.
Minimally invasive pedicle screw placement with the aid of EMF image guidance reduces fluoroscopy time and increases placement accuracy when compared with traditional fluoroscopic guidance while adding no additional time to the procedure.
PMCID: PMC3040822  PMID: 21153669
Minimally invasive; Electromagnetic field navigation; Pedicle screw; Fluoroscopy; Accuracy
4.  Primary bony non-Hodgkin lymphoma of the cervical spine: a case report 
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma primarily originating from the bone is exceedingly rare. To our knowledge, this is the first report of primary bone lymphoma presenting with progressive cord compression from an origin in the cervical spine. Herein, we discuss the unusual location in this case, the presenting symptoms, and the management of this disease.
Case presentation
We report on a 23-year-old Caucasian-American man who presented with two months of night sweats, fatigue, parasthesias, and progressive weakness that had progressed to near quadriplegia. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging demonstrated significant cord compression seen primarily at C7. Surgical management, with corpectomy and dorsal segmental fusion, in combination with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy, halted the progression of the primary disease and preserved neurological function. Histological analysis demonstrated an aggressive anaplastic large cell lymphoma.
Isolated primary bony lymphoma of the spine is exceedingly rare. As in our case, the initial symptoms may be the result of progressive cervical cord compression. Anterior corpectomy with posterolateral decompression and fusion succeeded in preventing progressive neurologic decline and maintaining quality of life. The reader should be aware of the unique presentation of this disease and that surgical management is a successful treatment strategy.
PMCID: PMC2825519  PMID: 20205845
5.  A Comparison of the Degree of Lateral Recess and Foraminal Enlargement With Facet Preservation in the Treatment of Lumbar Stenosis With Standard Surgical Tools Versus a Novel Powered Filing Instrument: A Cadaver Study 
SAS Journal  2007;1(4):135-142.
The SurgiFile (SurgiFile, Inc., Carlsbad, California) is a specialized tool designed for the treatment of lateral recess and foraminal stenosis that allows surgeons to internally expand and decompress the entire length of the neural foramen while preserving the integrity of the overlying facet complex.
We used two cadaveric specimens in this study. After they removed the lamina and spinous processes of L2, L3, L4, and L5 from the dorsal spine, fellowship-trained spinal surgeons used the standard tools and the SurgiFile to the best of their experience and ability on alternating sides of each level to decompress the lateral recess and neural foramen while still preserving at least 50% of the dorsal facet complex. Using preoperative and postoperative fine-cut CT scans with axial and sagittal reconstructions, we evaluated the degree of decompression and the amount of preserved facet complex using analytical tests and recording the measurements.
The difference between the proximal recess and lateral foramen of the groups was statistically significant in the axial CT images. On sagittal reconstruction CT images, the difference between the two groups was significant (P < 0.05, Wilcoxon) only for the lateral foramen. Although a strong trend toward better area change was evident for the proximal recess measurements in the experimental tool sides, this did not achieve statistical significance. Macroscopic and CT scans measurements showed that the amount of facetectomy for adequate decompression with the SurgiFile was less than the amount achieved with the standard tools.
For the treatment of spinal stenosis, this novel powered-file instrument provides surgeons with a new means of decompressing the lateral recess and neural foramina. In this cadaveric study, procedures performed with the SurgiFile tool showed a statistically superior degree of decompression as compared with the standard surgical instruments and techniques.
PMCID: PMC4365583  PMID: 25802591
Foraminal stenosis; lateral recess; spinal stenosis; spinal surgery

Results 1-5 (5)