Vascularized Spinous Process Graft Rotated on a Paraspinous Muscle Pedicle for Lumbar Fusion: Technique Description and Early Clinical Experience



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Background: Vascularized bone grafts (VBGs) are described as having superior osteogenicity, osteoconductivity, and osteoinductivity compared with other graft types and have been used in high-risk patients to augment arthrodesis. Pedicled VBGs are rotated on an intact vascular pedicle and therefore maintain all the benefits of VBGs but avoid many of the challenges and additional morbidity of free-tissue transfer. This study describes a novel surgical technique for rotating vascularized spinous process into the posterolateral space for augmenting arthrodesis in patients undergoing posterolateral fusion (PLF). Methods: A technique is described for rotating the spinous process into the posterolateral space on an intact vascular pedicle of paraspinal muscle. Early clinical and radiographic outcomes are reported for 4 patients who have undergone this procedure. Results: Four patients were treated with a single or 2-level PLF combined with posterior, anterior, or lateral interbody fusion and vascularized spinous process graft. Three-month postoperative computed tomography scans demonstrated a dislodged graft in 1 patient and successful arthrodesis in 3 patients. Additional operative time taken for graft harvest and implantation ranged from 22 minutes for the first patient to 6 minutes for the fourth patient. Conclusions: Rotation of vascularized spinous process graft for augmentation of posterolateral arthrodesis in the lumbar spine is a potentially safe, effective surgical technique that results in successful arthrodesis in as little as 3 months but requires further study. This technique is expected to add little additional time or morbidity to the traditional lumbar PLF because it requires no separate incision or additional bone removal.

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World Neurosurgery





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