Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring during surgery for tethered cord syndrome.

Abstract

AIM The tethered cord syndrome refers to a variety of lesions that can cause the conus medullaris to be low-lying or incapable of movement within the spinal canal. Permanent or temporary neurological complications were reported following surgical release. In this report, peri- and postoperative results in cases with tethered cord syndrome that were followed by multimodal intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (MIONM) methods are presented. MATERIAL AND METHODS An IONM system (Nicolet CR Endeavor) was used for monitoring during tethered cord surgery. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs), motor evoked potentials (MEPs), direct nerve root/rootlet stimulation, free-run electromyography (EMG) and F-waves were used during tethered cord surgery of 10 cases to prevent possible nerve injuries. RESULTS MEP and SEP recordings did not change in any of the cases during surgery. The nervous tissue was identified and differentiated from connective tissue in three cases when motor responses were elicited with direct stimulation of nerve roots. None of the cases had neurological deficits following the operation. CONCLUSION Direct nerve root/rootlet stimulation should be one of the components of MIONM during surgery for tethered cord syndrome to prevent postoperative neurological deficits.

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