Follow-Up Evaluation of Resected Lumbar Vertebral Chordoma Over 11 Years: A Case Report


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Abstract

Study Design.A case report with an 11-year follow-up assessment after resection and reconstruction for lumbar chordoma is given. The literature relevant to this topic is reviewed.Objectives.To report the long-term outcome in a case of lumbar chordoma, to review the literature on vertebral chordoma, and to outline the rationale for surgical resection in such cases.Summary of Background Data.Chordoma is a malignant bone tumor that grows slowly, often recurs locally, and metastasizes late. Although different treatment approaches exist, including radiation and surgery, the only curative treatment is early and complete surgical excision of the tumor. Immediate spinal stability must be achieved with appropriate replacement or bone graft with rigid fixation.Methods.The 11-year follow-up evaluation of a 42-year-old woman with L3 and L4 vertebral body chordoma treated with complete removal, femoral shaft allograft replacement, fusion, and rigid metal fixation is reported. The patient was observed with serial physical examinations, radiographs, and laboratory studies over 11 years.Results.At this writing, 11 years after the resection of the L3 and L4 chordoma, the patient is asymptomatic without evidence of recurrence or metastasis.Conclusions.As reported, vertebral chordomas are not curable, but the authors’ experience contradicts this. The surgeon should aim at a wide, or at least a marginal, excision followed by a stable reconstruction.

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