Predictors of Skip Laminotomy for Placement of Paddle Leads for Spinal Cord Stimulation.

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OBJECTIVES: Placement of a standard paddle lead for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) requires a laminotomy for positioning of the lead within the epidural space. During initial placement, an additional laminotomy or laminectomy, termed a "skip" laminotomy, may be necessary at a higher level to pass the lead to the appropriate midline position. Patient and radiographic factors that predict the need for a skip laminotomy have yet to be identified.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Participants who underwent SCS paddle placement at Albany Medical Center between 2016 and 2017 were identified. Operative reports were reviewed to identify the paddle type, level of initial laminotomy, target level, and skip laminotomy level. Preoperative thoracic magnetic resonance images (MRIs) were reviewed, and spinal canal diameter, interpedicular distance, and dorsal cerebral spinal fluid thickness were measured for each participant when available.

RESULTS: A total of 106 participants underwent thoracic SCS placement. Of these, 97 had thoracic MRIs available for review. Thirty-eight participants required a skip laminotomy for placement of the paddle compared with 68 participants who did not. There was no significant difference in demographic features including age, sex, body mass index, and surgical history. Univariate analyses that suggested trends were selected for further analysis using binary logistic regression. Level of initial laminotomy (odds ratio [OR] = 1.51, p = 0.028), spinal canal diameter (OR = 0.71, p = 0.015), and dorsal cerebrospinal fluid thickness (OR = 0.61, p = 0.011) were correlated with skip laminotomy. Target level (OR = 1.27, p = 0.138) and time from trial (1.01, p = 0.117) suggested potential association. The multivariate regression was statistically significant, X

CONCLUSIONS: This study aims to characterize the patient and radiographic factors that may predict the need to perform a skip laminotomy during the initial placement of SCS paddles. Here, we show that radiographic and anatomic variables, primarily spinal canal diameter, play an important role in predicting the need for a skip laminotomy. Furthermore, we suggest that target level for placement and level of initial laminotomy also may contribute. Further investigation of the predictive factors for performing a skip laminotomy would help optimize surgical planning and preoperative patient selection and counseling.





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