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Femoral nerve neuromonitoring for lateral lumbar interbody fusion surgery

Silverstein, Justin W; Block, Jon; Smith, Michael L; Bomback, David A; Sanderson, Scott; Paul, Justin; Ball, Hieu; Ellis, Jason A; Goldstein, Matthew; Kramer, David L; Arutyunyan, Grigoriy; Marcus, Joshua; Mermelstein, Sara; Slosar, Paul; Goldthwaite, Noel; Lee, Sun Ik; Reynolds, James; Riordan, Margaret; Pirnia, Nick; Kunwar, Sandeep; Hasan, Saqib; Bizzini, Bruce; Gupta, Sarita; Porter, Dorothy; Mermelstein, Laurence E
BACKGROUND CONTEXT/BACKGROUND:The transpsoas lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) technique is an effective alternative to traditional anterior and posterior approaches to the lumbar spine; however, nerve injuries are the most reported postoperative complication. Commonly used strategies to avoid nerve injury (eg, limiting retraction duration) have not been effective in detecting or preventing femoral nerve injuries. PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the efficacy of emerging intraoperative femoral nerve monitoring techniques and the importance of employing prompt surgical countermeasures when degraded femoral nerve function is detected. STUDY DESIGN/SETTING/METHODS:We present the results from a retrospective analysis of a multi-center study conducted over the course of 3 years. PATIENT SAMPLE/METHODS:One hundred and seventy-two lateral lumbar interbody fusion procedures were reviewed. OUTCOME MEASURES/METHODS:Intraoperative femoral nerve monitoring data was correlated to immediate postoperative neurologic examinations. METHODS:Femoral nerve evoked potentials (FNEP) including saphenous nerve somatosensory evoked potentials (snSSEP) and motor evoked potentials with quadriceps recordings were used to detect evidence of degraded femoral nerve function during the time of surgical retraction. RESULTS:In 89% (n=153) of the surgeries, there were no surgeon alerts as the FNEP response amplitudes remained relatively unchanged throughout the surgery (negative group). The positive group included 11% of the cases (n=19) where the surgeon was alerted to a deterioration of the FNEP amplitudes during surgical retraction. Prompt surgical countermeasures to an FNEP alert included loosening, adjusting, or removing surgical retraction, and/or requesting an increase in blood pressure from the anesthesiologist. All the cases where prompt surgical countermeasures were employed resulted in recovery of the degraded FNEP amplitudes and no postoperative femoral nerve injuries. In two cases, the surgeons were given verbal alerts of degraded FNEPs but did not employ prompt surgical countermeasures. In both cases, the degraded FNEP amplitudes did not recover by the time of surgical closure, and both patients exhibited postoperative signs of sensorimotor femoral nerve injury including anterior thigh numbness and weakened knee extension. CONCLUSIONS:Multimodal femoral nerve monitoring can provide surgeons with a timely alert to hyperacute femoral nerve conduction failure, enabling prompt surgical countermeasures to be employed that can mitigate or avoid femoral nerve injury. Our data also suggests that the common strategy of limiting retraction duration may not be effective in preventing iatrogenic femoral nerve injuries.
PMID: 34343664
ISSN: 1878-1632
CID: 5064262

Motor evoked potentials for femoral nerve protection in transpsoas lateral access surgery of the spine

Block, Jon; Silverstein, Justin W; Ball, Hieu T; Mermelstein, Laurence E; DeWal, Hargovind S; Madhok, Rick; Basra, Sushil K; Goldstein, Matthew J
Detecting potential intraoperative injuries to the femoral nerve should be the main goal of neuromonitoring of lateral lumber interbody fusion (LLIF) procedures. We propose a theory and technique to utilize motor evoked potentials (MEPs) to protect the femoral nerve (a peripheral nerve), which is at risk in LLIF procedures. MEPs have been advocated and widely used for monitoring spinal cord function during surgical correction of spinal deformity and surgery of the cervical and thoracic spine, but have had limited acceptance for use in lumbar procedures. This is due to the theoretical possibility that MEP recordings may not be sensitive in detecting an injury to a single nerve root considering there is overlapping muscle innervation of adjacent root levels. However, in LLIF procedures, the surgeon is more likely to encounter lumbar plexus elements than nerve roots. Within the substance of the psoas muscle, the L2, L3, and L4 nerve roots combine in the lumbar plexus to form the trunk of the femoral nerve. At the point where the nerve roots become the trunk of the femoral nerve, there is no longer any alternative overlapping innervation to the quadriceps muscles. Insult to the fully formed femoral nerve, which completely blocks conduction in motor axons, should theoretically abolish all MEP responses to the quadriceps muscles. On multiple occasions over the past year, our neuro-monitoring groups have observed significantly degraded amplitudes of the femoral motor and/or sensory evoked potentials limited to only the surgical side. Most of these degraded response amplitudes rapidly returned to baseline values with a surgical intervention (i.e., prompt removal of surgical retraction).
PMID: 26036119
ISSN: 2164-6821
CID: 5014832

Malignant osseous tumors of the pediatric spine

Kim, Han Jo; McLawhorn, Alexander S; Goldstein, Matthew J; Boland, Patrick J
In the pediatric population, malignant osseous tumors of the spine include osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, lymphoma, and metastatic neuroblastoma. Although these tumors are rare, prompt diagnosis and recognition are critical to the overall prognosis. Improved understanding of the natural history of spine deformity, combined with advances in imaging, surgical technology, radiation therapy, and chemotherapeutic regimens, has improved survival rates and decreased rates of local recurrence-especially recurrence of low-grade lesions. Prognosis for patients with high-grade lesions with distant metastasis on presentation remains exceedingly poor. Recognition of these spine tumors and prompt referral to a tertiary care center that specializes in oncology can optimize patient outcomes.
PMID: 23027694
ISSN: 1067-151x
CID: 5014822