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CLINICAL STUDY
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 223-232

Extramedullary foramen magnum tumors and their surgical management: An experience with 29 cases


1 Department of Neurosurgery, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pathology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Awadhesh Kumar Jaiswal
Department of Neurosurgery, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Rae Bareily Road, Lucknow 226 014, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1793-5482.146616

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Introduction: Surgical management of foramen magnum (FM) tumors is challenging by virtue of their location and vital neurovascular relationships. The ideal approach to anterior/anterolateral tumors continue to evoke controversy even in the modern era. In this article, we present and discuss our experience in the surgical management of these tumors. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study includes 29 consecutive patients (mean age 36.6 years, M: F = 2.63:1) of extramedullary tumors at the surgical foramen magnum, operated at our center, between 2007 and 2012. Results: Their mean duration of symptoms was 14. 6 months. A majority of the patients presented with motor symptoms (quadri/paraparesis, n = 21, 72.4%), neck pain with/without suboccipital radiation (n = 16, 55.2%) and sensory symptoms like tingling/numbness (n = 16, 55.2%). There were nine extradural (31%) and 20 intradural tumors (69%). Most of the tumors were located posterolateral to the neuraxis (n = 13, 44.8%). Nerve sheath tumors (n = 11, 38%) and meningiomas (n = 5, 17.2%) were the most commonly encountered histologies in our series. The standard posterior approach was the most frequently employed surgical approach (n = 20, 69%). Operative mortality and morbidity were 3.4 and 18.9%, respectively. At a mean follow-up of 27.3 months, 13 out of the 18 available patients improved. Conclusion: A majority of the foramen magnum tumors are amenable to excision via the standard posterior approach. Small anterior dural-based meningiomas/recurrent tumors may require a lateral approach like the far lateral approach.


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