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An Update on Hemilaminectomy of the Cranial Thoracic Spine: Review of 6 Cases

Kathryn Y Bray, Peter J Early, Natasha J Olby, Melissa J Lewis.

Background: The optimal surgical approach to relieve spinal cord compression in the cranial thoracic spine is not well described, and the anatomy of the cranial thoracic vertebrae creates added surgical difficulty.
Aim: This study describes the surgical approach, treatment, and outcome of three dogs and three cats that underwent a cranial thoracic hemilaminectomy for the treatment of extradural spinal cord compression. Surgical positioning was tailored to avoid extensive dissection and provide for a restricted, careful approach.
Methods: Three dogs and three cats presenting for cranial thoracic spinal cord compression requiring surgical intervention were included.
Results: All patients were discharged within five days. No patients experienced postoperative deterioration in neurologic status, and four animals had improved neurologic status at discharge.
Conclusion: In cases with cranial thoracic spinal cord compression, the spinous processes can be spared, extensive muscle dissection minimized, and successful outcomes achieved with the appropriate positioning and limited approach.

Key words: Thoracic; Intervertebral Disc Disease; Hemilaminectomy; Myelopathy

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