Objective: Unilateral hemilaminectomy (UHIL), an alternative surgical approach to intradural lesions, involves a unilateral approach to meningeal opening that provides an adequate window for tumor extraction while leaving most of the vertebral structures intact. The techniques and results of a modified hemilaminectomy technique with spinal endoscopy is discussed and limited unilateral hemilaminectomy for intradural tumors (UHIT) evaluated prospectively. Methods: Relevant clinical variables, operative reports, histological findings, pre- and post-operative imaging, and follow-up data for 11 consecutive patients (five males, six females; mean age 63.36 ± 20.69 years) who underwent modified hemilaminectomy over a 3 year time period were analyzed. Contrast-enhanced MRI was used to demonstrate the side, size and location of the suspected tumor or intradural lesion and CT to evaluate the bone anatomy. Post-operative MRI and CT allowed evaluation of anatomy following resection. Results: Lesions included meningiomas (n = 2), neuromas (n = 3), and metastases, cysts or gliomas (n = 6). Pre-operative indications in order of incidence included cord compression, claudication, lower back pain, radiculopathy, paraplegia, weakness, incontinence, and generalized neuro-deterioration. There were no major complications, and no spinal deformity or instability at final follow up (mean, 13 months; range, 3-36 months). Conclusion: Our data suggest that there is a place for the UHIT approach. This minimally invasive approach is useful for resecting all intradural tumors. UHIL is a useful minimally invasive technique for resecting intradural spinal tumors with maximal preservation of musculoligamentous attachments and posterior bony elements and should be considered an improvement on currently employed techniques.
- Arachnoid cyst
- Intradural tumor