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Hyper Smash

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ulnar Neuropathy? If the surgery site is lower Lumosacral level, why should you monitor upper limp SSEPs?

This article in the latest Spine Journal (an electronic publication) demonstrates that upper limp SSEP monitoring is quite handy in detecting ulnar nerve neuropathy during lower back surgeries??.

PubMed-NCBI Spine J. 2008 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read Upper-limb somatosensory evoked potential monitoring in lumbosacral spine surgery: a prognostic marker for position-related ulnar nerve injury.

BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) is used to monitor integrity of the brain, spinal cord, and nerve roots during spinal surgery. It records the electrical potentials from the scalp after electrical stimulation of the peripheral nerves of the upper or lower limbs. The standard monitoring modality in lumbosacral spine surgery includes lower-limb SSEP and electromyography (EMG). Upper-limb SSEP monitoring has also been used to detect and prevent brachial plexopathy and peripheral nerve injury in thoracic and lumbosacral spine surgeries. We routinely monitor lower-limb SSEP and EMG in lumbosacral spine procedures at our institution. However, a few patients experienced postoperative numbness and/or pain in their ulnar distribution with uneventful lower-limb SSEP and EMG.

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