Thoracolumbar Vertebral Reconstruction After Surgery for Metastatic Spinal Tumors: Long-Term Outcomes.

Alan T. Villavicencio, M.D.; Rod J. Oskouian, M.D.; Cliff Roberson, M.D.; John Stokes, M.D.; Jongsoo Park, M.D.; Christopher I. Shaffrey, M.D.; J. Patrick Johnson, M.D.


Neurosurg Focus. 2005;19(3) 

In This Article


Reconstructive thoracolumbar vertebrectomy has been established as an effective treatment option in patients with metastatic disease. Patients typically present with progressive neurological deficit and severe pain that threatens their neurological function and quality of life. Patients are encouraged to receive maximal medical therapy (radiation or chemotherapy) before surgery to reduce the tumor burden, and often postoperatively as well. Anterior decompression and stabilization of the spine in these patients allows direct access to the pathological entity for en bloc resection of the tumors and decompression of the spinal cord. Significant neurological improvement and decreased pain can be obtained in select patients. More importantly, we have found that quality of life is a major factor that can be significantly improved with surgery, primarily by maintaining the patient's ambulatory status and bladder function.