Operative Adjuncts and Technique for En Bloc Removal of Lumbar Intradural-Extramedullary Tumor: 2-Dimensional Operative Video

William Clifton, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Selby Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a surgical video illustrating the technique for en bloc resection of an intradural-extramedullary lumbar tumor. The patient is a 63-yr-old woman presenting with worsening bilateral leg pain. Imaging of her lumbar spine showed an enhancing, circumscribed intradural-extramedullary tumor compressing her cauda equina at the L2 level. With informed patient consent, an L1-L3 laminectomy was performed, and intraoperative ultrasound provided the tumor location in order to plan the dural opening as well as define the tumor boundaries with respect to the surrounding nerve roots. The nerve roots were found to be dorsal to the tumor on the ultrasound and appeared to be separate from the tumor capsule. After the dura was opened, the nerve roots were dissected from the tumor capsule and the filum was identified at its proximal and distal portions relative to the mass. The tumor appeared to be arising from the filum itself. Intraoperative electromyography monitoring and stimulation identified the motor roots around the filum and were dissected away. The filum was isolated and cut proximally in order to prevent upward displacement of the mass above the dural opening. The distal portion was then cut and the tumor was removed en bloc. The patient had good postoperative relief of her leg pain and no new neurologic or genitourinary complications. This case highlights the preoperative and intraoperative surgical planning as well as detailed technical aspects of en bloc intradural-extramedullary lumbar tumor resection with preservation of the tumor capsule in order to achieve gross total resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E235
JournalOperative neurosurgery (Hagerstown, Md.)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • EMG
  • Intradural
  • Lumbar
  • Myxopapillary ependymoma
  • Tumor
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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