Modified skin incision for avoiding the lesser occipital nerve and occipital artery during retrosigmoid craniotomy: potential applications for enhancing operative working distance and angles while minimizing the risk of postoperative neuralgias and intraoperative hemorrhage

R. Shane Tubbs, Fabian N. Fries, Charles Kulwin, Martin M. Mortazavi, Marios Loukas, Aaron Cohen-Gadol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronic postoperative neuralgias and headache following retrosigmoid craniotomy can be uncomfortable for the patient. We aimed to better elucidate the regional nerve anatomy in an effort to minimize this postoperative complication. Ten adult cadaveric heads (20 sides) were dissected to observe the relationship between the lesser occipital nerve and a traditional linear versus modified U incision during retrosigmoid craniotomy. Additionally, the relationship between these incisions and the occipital artery were observed. The lesser occipital nerve was found to have two types of course. Type I nerves (60%) remained close to the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and some crossed anteriorly over the sternocleidomastoid muscle near the mastoid process. Type II nerves (40%) left the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and swung medially (up to 4.5 cm posterior to the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle) as they ascended over the occiput. The lesser occipital nerve was near a midpoint of a line between the external occipital protuberance and mastoid process in all specimens with the type II nerve configuration. Based on our findings, the inverted U incision would be less likely to injure the type II nerves but would necessarily cross over type I nerves, especially more cranially on the nerve at the apex of the incision. As the more traditional linear incision would most likely transect the type I nerves and more so near their trunk, the U incision may be the overall better choice in avoiding neural and occipital artery injury during retrosigmoid approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Volume32
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Fingerprint

Craniotomy
Arteries
Hemorrhage
Muscles
Skin
Mastoid
Regional Anatomy
Headache
Head
Wounds and Injuries

Keywords

  • Anatomy
  • Lesser occipital nerve
  • Nerves
  • Occiput
  • Retrosigmoid craniotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

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title = "Modified skin incision for avoiding the lesser occipital nerve and occipital artery during retrosigmoid craniotomy: potential applications for enhancing operative working distance and angles while minimizing the risk of postoperative neuralgias and intraoperative hemorrhage",
abstract = "Chronic postoperative neuralgias and headache following retrosigmoid craniotomy can be uncomfortable for the patient. We aimed to better elucidate the regional nerve anatomy in an effort to minimize this postoperative complication. Ten adult cadaveric heads (20 sides) were dissected to observe the relationship between the lesser occipital nerve and a traditional linear versus modified U incision during retrosigmoid craniotomy. Additionally, the relationship between these incisions and the occipital artery were observed. The lesser occipital nerve was found to have two types of course. Type I nerves (60{\%}) remained close to the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and some crossed anteriorly over the sternocleidomastoid muscle near the mastoid process. Type II nerves (40{\%}) left the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and swung medially (up to 4.5 cm posterior to the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle) as they ascended over the occiput. The lesser occipital nerve was near a midpoint of a line between the external occipital protuberance and mastoid process in all specimens with the type II nerve configuration. Based on our findings, the inverted U incision would be less likely to injure the type II nerves but would necessarily cross over type I nerves, especially more cranially on the nerve at the apex of the incision. As the more traditional linear incision would most likely transect the type I nerves and more so near their trunk, the U incision may be the overall better choice in avoiding neural and occipital artery injury during retrosigmoid approaches.",
keywords = "Anatomy, Lesser occipital nerve, Nerves, Occiput, Retrosigmoid craniotomy",
author = "Tubbs, {R. Shane} and Fries, {Fabian N.} and Charles Kulwin and Mortazavi, {Martin M.} and Marios Loukas and Aaron Cohen-Gadol",
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T1 - Modified skin incision for avoiding the lesser occipital nerve and occipital artery during retrosigmoid craniotomy

T2 - potential applications for enhancing operative working distance and angles while minimizing the risk of postoperative neuralgias and intraoperative hemorrhage

AU - Tubbs, R. Shane

AU - Fries, Fabian N.

AU - Kulwin, Charles

AU - Mortazavi, Martin M.

AU - Loukas, Marios

AU - Cohen-Gadol, Aaron

PY - 2016/10/1

Y1 - 2016/10/1

N2 - Chronic postoperative neuralgias and headache following retrosigmoid craniotomy can be uncomfortable for the patient. We aimed to better elucidate the regional nerve anatomy in an effort to minimize this postoperative complication. Ten adult cadaveric heads (20 sides) were dissected to observe the relationship between the lesser occipital nerve and a traditional linear versus modified U incision during retrosigmoid craniotomy. Additionally, the relationship between these incisions and the occipital artery were observed. The lesser occipital nerve was found to have two types of course. Type I nerves (60%) remained close to the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and some crossed anteriorly over the sternocleidomastoid muscle near the mastoid process. Type II nerves (40%) left the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and swung medially (up to 4.5 cm posterior to the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle) as they ascended over the occiput. The lesser occipital nerve was near a midpoint of a line between the external occipital protuberance and mastoid process in all specimens with the type II nerve configuration. Based on our findings, the inverted U incision would be less likely to injure the type II nerves but would necessarily cross over type I nerves, especially more cranially on the nerve at the apex of the incision. As the more traditional linear incision would most likely transect the type I nerves and more so near their trunk, the U incision may be the overall better choice in avoiding neural and occipital artery injury during retrosigmoid approaches.

AB - Chronic postoperative neuralgias and headache following retrosigmoid craniotomy can be uncomfortable for the patient. We aimed to better elucidate the regional nerve anatomy in an effort to minimize this postoperative complication. Ten adult cadaveric heads (20 sides) were dissected to observe the relationship between the lesser occipital nerve and a traditional linear versus modified U incision during retrosigmoid craniotomy. Additionally, the relationship between these incisions and the occipital artery were observed. The lesser occipital nerve was found to have two types of course. Type I nerves (60%) remained close to the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and some crossed anteriorly over the sternocleidomastoid muscle near the mastoid process. Type II nerves (40%) left the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and swung medially (up to 4.5 cm posterior to the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle) as they ascended over the occiput. The lesser occipital nerve was near a midpoint of a line between the external occipital protuberance and mastoid process in all specimens with the type II nerve configuration. Based on our findings, the inverted U incision would be less likely to injure the type II nerves but would necessarily cross over type I nerves, especially more cranially on the nerve at the apex of the incision. As the more traditional linear incision would most likely transect the type I nerves and more so near their trunk, the U incision may be the overall better choice in avoiding neural and occipital artery injury during retrosigmoid approaches.

KW - Anatomy

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KW - Nerves

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KW - Retrosigmoid craniotomy

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