Proper Responding Strategies to Neuromonitoring Alerts During Correction Step in Posterior Vertebral Column Resection Patients With Severe Rigid Deformities Can Reduce Postoperative Neurologic Deficits

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Study Design.

Retrospective study.


To analyze the intraoperative neuromonitoring (IOM) changes in posterior vertebral column resection (PVCR) for severe rigid deformity patients, and describe our stepwise responding strategies.

Summary of Background Data.

Obvious neurological deficit risk accompanied with PVCR correction has been emphasized repeatedly.


The records of 46 patients who underwent PVCR achieved IOM were reviewed. IOM alerts triggered responding protocols: (1) exchange the convex corrective rod to concave stabilizing rod, (2) appropriate compression for spinal shortening, (3) reversed in situ rod bending, (4) translation technique and unisegmental derotation, (5) adjacent segmental resection.


The overall scoliotic correction rate was 65.4% (from 112 ± 28.6 to 39 ± 13.4) and segmental kyphotic correction rate was 64.2% (from 101 ± 37.3 to 36 ± 19.2). During correction step, somatosensory-evoked potential warning (3) and somatosensory-evoked potential/transcranial motor-evoked potential warning (8) were detected in 11 patients (23.9%). Probable cause identification including rule out IOM technical factors, residual impingement, and if there was unstable spinal column (1), spinal cord excessive tension on concave side (3), and the excessive opposite spinal displacement between two aspects of resected area (7). After rod change (1), compression (2), bending (3), derotation (3), and adjacent resection (2), all IOM changes went to under warning criteria. All 11 patients revealed neurologically intact postoperatively. There was no difference of correction rate between IOMs alert or not. However, adult, extremely severe or sharp angular curves tend to be more common in IOM alert patients.


As three-dimensional spinal column divided and relinked in PVCR, and the correction maneuvers were restricted on single dimension, inevitably resulted in spinal cord tension changes and spinal column opposite displacement. To timely identify them, prompt interventions should be performed, and even enlarge the resected area to reduce the abrupt turning tendency of the spinal cord.


Level of Evidence: 5

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