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Year : 1999  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 188--95

Transoral decompression for craniovertebral osseous anomalies : perioperative management dilemmas.


Department of Neurosurgery, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rae Bareli Road, Lucknow, 226014, India., India

Correspondence Address:
V K Jain
Department of Neurosurgery, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rae Bareli Road, Lucknow, 226014, India.
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 10514577

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The surgical outcome of 74 patients, who underwent transoral decompression (TOD) for ventral irreducible craniovertebral junction anomalies between January 1989 to September 1997, was studied to evaluate the perioperative complications and problems encountered. The indications for TOD included irreducible atlantoaxial dislocation (n=24), basilar invagination (n=16), and a combination of both (n=35). Following TOD, occipitocervical stabilization using Jain's technique was carried out in 50 (67.5%) and atlantoaxial fusion using Brooks' construct in 18 (24.3%) patients. The pre- and postoperative radiology was compared to assess the adequacy of decompression and stability. The major morbidity included pharyngeal wound sepsis leading to dehiscence (20.3%) and haemorrhage (4%), valopharyngeal insufficiency (8.1%), CSF leak (6.7%) and inadequate decompression (6.7%). Neurological deterioration occurred transiently in 17 (22.9%) and was sustained in 7 (9.4%) patients. The mortality in six cases was due to operative trauma, exanguination from pharyngeal wound (one each), postoperative instability and inability to be weaned off from the ventilator (two each). Of the 47 (63.5%) patients available at follow up ranging from 3 months to 2 years, 26 (55.3%) showed improvement from their preoperative status while 14 (29.8%) demonstrated stabilization of their neurological deficits. Seven (14.9%) of them deteriorated. Though TOD is logical and effective in relieving ventral compression due to craniovertebral junction anomalies, it carries the formidable risks of instability, incomplete decompression, neurological deterioration, CSF leak, infection and palatopharyngeal dysfunction.






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