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Posterior stabilization strategies following resection of cervicothoracic junction tumors: review of 90 consecutive cases

Placantonakis, Dimitris G; Laufer, Ilya; Wang, Jeremy C; Beria, Jasmine S; Boland, Patrick; Bilsky, Mark
OBJECT: In this retrospective analysis the authors describe the assessment and outcomes of 90 patients who underwent placement of posterior instrumentation at the cervicothoracic junction following the resection of a primary or metastatic tumor during a 10-year period. METHODS: All patients underwent a posterolateral laminectomy including uni- or bilateral facetectomy, and 44 patients additionally required vertebral body resection and reconstruction. In patients who underwent C-6 or C-7 decompression, the posterior instrumentation strategies changed from the use of lateral mass plate systems (LMPSs) to lateral mass screw/rod systems (LMSRSs). Similarly, for T1-3 tumor decompression, the strategy shifted from sublaminar hook/rod systems (SHRSs) to the use of pedicle screw systems (PSSs) in which the surgeon used either a 6.25-mm rod or dual-diameter rods with or without a connector. RESULTS: The overall surgical complication rate was 19% including fixation failure in 11 patients (12%), 6 of whom required reoperation. Fixation failure rates for cervical decompression decreased from 2 (29%) of 7 patients in the LMPS group to 0 (0%) of 8 in the LMSRS group (p = 0.2). The fixation failure rates for thoracic decompression were 7 (15%) of 48 patients in the SHRS group, and there was a decrease to 2 (7%) of 27 in the PSS group (p = 0.48). Neurological and functional outcomes including American Spinal Injury Association, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, and Medical Research Council muscle strength and pain scores remained stable or improved in 94, 96, 100, and 96% of patients, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Current posterior instrumentation strategies involving LMSRSs and PSSs provide excellent and safe stabilization of the cervicothoracic junction following resection of primary or metastatic tumors
PMID: 18764742
ISSN: 1547-5654
CID: 111493