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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2008 September;52(3):71-4


lingua: Inglese

Sectioning of filum terminale externum using a rigid endoscope through the sacral hiatus. Cadaver study

Mourgela S. 1, Anagnostopoulou S. 2, Sakellaropoulos A. 3, Koulousakis A. 4, Warnke J. P. 5

1 Neurosurgical Department, “St. Savas” Anticancer Institute, Athens, Greece 2 Department of Anatomy, Medical School University of Athens, Athens, Greece 3 Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine “Athineon B” Hospital, Athens, Greece 4 Department for Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany 5 Neurosurgical Department Paracelsus Clinic, Zwickau, Germany


Aim. Tethered cord syndrome (TCS) is a stretch-induced functional disorder of the spinal cord, which is directly related to filum fixation. Classic surgical approaches to the filum involve open surgery and include varying amounts of spinal bone removal. In an effort to reduce the morbidity and mortality of these procedures, the authors explored a less invasive method. They evaluated the ability, safety and feasibility for endoscopic sectioning of the filum terminale externum by performing upward orientated navigation in the extradural sacral spinal canal through the sacral hiatus using a rigid endoscope.
Methods. Four adult, phenol-formalin embalmed cadavers were used for endoscopic section of the filum terminale externum at the tip of thecal sac. After preparing the anatomical area of sacral hiatus, a rigid endoscope (Storz, of 3.8 mm external diameter with two working channels, of 1 mm each, one for suction-irrigation and one as working) was inserted into the extradural sacral spinal canal and the filum terminale externum was identified and cut easily at the distal end of thecal sac at the level of S2. In all cases, it was possible to manipulate the rigid endoscope and inspect the full length of the extradural sacral spinal canal, especially at the S1-S2 level.
Results. The results indicate that the tested transhiatal approach for upward orientated extradural endoscopy represents a minimally invasive procedure that provides an appropriate and feasible route to the extradural sacral spinal canal.
Conclusion. Such approach is an attractive alternative for filum terminale externum sectioning in cases where tethered cord syndrome is not accompanied by any other pathology. Moreover if filum terminale internum sectiong is indicated, it can be performed in second stage.

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