Minimally Invasive Approach for the Resection of Spinal Neoplasm
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STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective Case Series. OBJECTIVE: To determine if extradural, intradural extramedullary, and intramedullary spinal neoplasms can be safely resected through a minimally invasive corridor. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: The use of minimally invasive approaches for resection of spinal neoplasms has been described for intradural schwannomas and ependymomas. We demonstrate that this approach can be extended to the resection of a variety of extradural, intradural and intramedullary spinal tumors. METHODS: We undertook a retrospective review of all patients presenting with clinical and radiographic evidence of spinal neoplasm that subsequently underwent a minimally invasive approach for resection of the tumor using the METRx MAST QUADRANT Retractor System (Medtronics, Memphis, TN). Primary endpoints analyzed include completeness of resection, postoperative neurologic status, operative time, blood loss, postoperative pain, length of hospital stay, and operative complications. RESULTS: Two cervical, seven thoracic and 13 lumbar neoplasms were identified in 20 patients operated on between September 2005 and May 2009. Mean intraoperative time was 210 minutes, blood loss 428 mL and average length of hospital stay was 3 days. Four patients required postoperative patient-controlled analgesia for pain control and an average of 5.8 doses of narcotic were given per patient. Two patients developed postoperative complications. Fifteen of 22 tumors (68%) were completely resected, with only one patient requiring repeat operation for residual tumor. All but one patient were improved from preoperative status at 6 months. CONCLUSION: Intramedullary, intradural and extradural spinal neoplasms can be resected through a minimally invasive approach without increased risk for adverse neurologic outcome. This technique may be an appropriate alternative to the open approach for well-circumscribed extramedullary lesions spanning one or two spinal levels. With increasing experience, reduced operative time, blood loss, complications, length of hospital stay, postoperative pain, and spinal instability may be seen.