Is the Posterior-Only Approach Sufficient for Treating Cervical Spine Metastases? The Evidence from a Case Series

Enrico Gallazzi, Luca Cannavò, Giuseppe G. Perrucchini, Ilaria Morelli, Alessandro D. Luzzati, Carmine Zoccali, Gennaro Scotto

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Objectives: Few studies have evaluated surgical options in the treatment of cervical metastatic disease. The aim of this study is to report the surgical outcomes of patients treated with the posterior-only approach for metastatic cervical disease. Methods: In this retrospective analysis, all cases treated in our institution from 2009 to 2017 were reviewed. Six (20%) patients had intracompartimental lesions (Tomita 1–3), whereas 24 (80%) patients had extracompartimental lesions (Tomita 4–7), with extensive anterior column involvement. All patients were surgically treated with laminectomy and posterior stabilization. Pain and neurologic function were evaluated before and after surgery. Results: Thirty patients were included (15 female, 15 male), with a mean age of 60.6 ± 11.56 years (range 35–82 years). Lesions were located in 7 patients (23.3%) in the upper cervical spine and in 14 patients (46.6%) and in 9 patients (30,1%) in the mid-cervical and in the cervicothoracic junction, respectively. At a mean follow up of 13.7 ± 14.8 months, 15 (50%) patients died from their disease. Pain decreased in all patients after surgery, (preoperative NRS 5.57 ± 1.81 postoperative Numeric Rating Scale of 2.1 ± 1.0, P <0.00001). Two patients (6.7%) had significant neurologic worsening after surgery. Two (6.9%) patients had surgical-site infection that required reintervention. No mechanical failures were observed. Conclusions: In our series, posterior-only fixation provided postoperative pain relief and achieve spinal stability, ultimately improving the quality of life. In conclusion, posterior-approach decompression and stabilization is a safe and feasible procedure in patients with neurologic or mechanical instability for cervical spine metastasis.
Original languageItalian
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

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