BACKGROUND: Margin-free en bloc resection is the best medical practice for primary vertebral chordoma and chondrosarcoma. Spinal reconstruction following total spondylectomy requires reconstructive interbody graft (allograft, devascularized autograft, vascularized autograft, or cage constructs) and instrumentation. An important consideration when choosing grafts and instrumentation is the durability and the long-term success of the fusion without subsidence. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the potential use of vascularized fibular autograft as a reconstructive strategy after en bloc resection. METHODS: We present a series of 16 patients who underwent spondylectomy for primary vertebral chordoma or chondrosarcoma with reconstruction using a vascularized fibular autograft and anterior/posterior instrumentation between January 2011 and April 2014. We report postoperative neurological outcome, 6-mo rates of fusion and graft subsidence, and other complications. RESULTS: Two patients passed away prior to 6-mo follow-up, and 1 patient was lost to follow-up. The mean follow-up time for the remaining 13 patients was 32 mo. Of these patients, 9 (69%) had evidence of fusion on the 6-mo follow-up computed tomography (CT) scan. Of the 4 patients who did not fuse, 2 had undergone surgery for new tumor diagnoses, 1 for hardware failure, and 1 for graft nonunion. Two patients (15%) had eventual graft subsidence along with hardware failure. CONCLUSIONS: Vascularized fibular strut grafts are a viable method for reconstruction following spondylectomy. We present the largest series of patients to date utilizing this technique. Further comparative studies examining vascularized grafts vs nonvascularized grafts or metallic cage constructs will be important in choosing the best reconstructive strategy.
- En bloc resection
- Spine tumor
- Vascularized fibular strut graft
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