In his latest installment to the Total Spine series of instructional videos, Dr. Paul McCormick describes retropleural thoracotomy, a surgical technique used to treat complex spinal conditions of the thoracic and lumbar spine. “Retropleural thoracotomy is an important...
Ventral Spinal Cord Herniation
The spinal cord is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid (spinal fluid) throughout its course in the spinal canal. The spinal fluid serves as a buffer of fluid that surrounds the spinal cord providing protection and insulation from movements and trauma to the body. The spinal fluid is kept in place by two thin membranes- the arachnoid and dura. The arachnoid is a very thin see through membrane that is suspended in the spinal fluid while the dura is a slightly thicker and stronger membrane that surrounds the spinal fluid space.
A ventral spinal cord herniation may occur if a breach or weakness of the dura occurs. Spinal fluid can leak through this opening causing headaches as part of a condition called spontaneous intracranial hypotension. In rare circumstances, the spinal cord may be pushed forward and protrude through the breach in the dura to produce a ventral spinal cord herniation. This condition usually occurs in the thoracic spine and can cause numbness and weakness in the legs with walking difficulty as well as problems with bowel and bladder function. Treatment consists of microsurgical correction of the herniated spinal cord and repair of the abnormal opening of the dura. A video of a successful micro-neurosurgery for a Ventral Spinal Cord Herniation by Dr. Paul McCormick is illustrated below.
|Preparing for Your Appointment
Drs. Paul C. McCormick, Patrick C. Reid and Richard C.E. Anderson (Pediatric) are experts in treating spinal cord herniation. They can also offer you a second opinion.
Helpful Surgery Overviews
Dr. McCormick will choose the treatment method specific to each patient and situation. Some of the condition’s treatment options may be listed below.
Dr McCormick video on microsurgical resection of a synovial cyst causing severe lumbar spinal stenosis published in Operative Neurosurgery
Synovial Cysts are a benign and fairly common condition in adult patients. They can arise in most joints throughout the body. In most cases they are asymptomatic but in the spine they can enlarge to produce severe spinal stenosis and pressure on the spinal nerves...
Dr. McCormick invited speaker at 37th Annual Meeting of the Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
Dr. McCormick was a featured speaker at the recent 37th Annual Joint Spine Section Annual Spine Summit meeting held in San Diego. He presented at the Innovative Technology Special Session: Operative Video Segments. His presentation was entitled “Intramedullary Tumor,...