Split Calvarial Graft Cranioplasty for the Prevention of Headache After Retrosigmoid Resection of Acoustic Neuromas

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Abstract

Objective:

This study describes the technique and efficacy of split calvarial graft cranioplasty for the reconstruction of retrosigmoid/suboccipital defects following surgery for acoustic neuromas.

Study Design:

A prospective study of the technique of split calvarial graft cranioplasty, its postoperative healing, and incidence of postoperative headache.

Methods:

The technique requires splitting of the craniotomy bone flap into outer and inner table bone grafts. The combination of both bony grafts allows the coverage of a wider area of posterior fossa dura. This technique was used in 18 patients. All patients were followed for a minimum of 6 months. Eleven of 18 patients were followed for 1 year or longer. Four patients had three-dimensional computed tomography of their skull and area of split calvarial bone graft.

Results:

One of 18 patients had a persistent disabling headache at 1 year postoperatively. A natural contour of the retrosigmoid area was achieved in all patients. Three-dimensional computed tomography scan, obtained 6 months postoperatively, showed total coverage of the retrosigmoid area and fusion of the bone flap to the surrounding skull.

Conclusion:

The technique of split calvarial grafting of posterior fossa defects is a feasible, safe, and effective way of separating the nuchal musculature and posterior fossa dura. The technique also allows the restoration of the contour and bony covering of the retrosigmoid area. The technique is a simple alternative to other types of cranioplasties aimed at reducing the incidence of postoperative headache in patients with acoustic neuromas.

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