Background: The peroneal nerve is at risk when excising tumors in the proximal fibula. The rate of nerve injuries during proximal fibular tumor resection varies from 3% to 20%. Our goal was to report our experience with resection of osteochondromas in the proximal fibula and describe the technique and utility of neuromonitoring during excision of proximal fibular osteochondromas (PFO).
Methods: Patients with a diagnosis of symptomatic PFO who had undergone excision at one institution from 1994 to 2018 were included. An institutional review board-approved retrospective review was performed. Intraoperative neuromonitoring was provided from 2006 on by a single group utilizing a multimodality protocol.
Results: This study contains 29 patients who had excision of osteochondromas in the proximal fibula. Of these 29 consecutively monitored patients, there were 34 involved extremities. Intraoperative neuromonitoring alerts occurred in 10/29 (34.5%) procedures, which included 3 electromyography (EMG) (30%), 2 motor-evoked potential (20%), 1 somatosensory-evoked potential (10%), and 4 alerts with a combination of EMG/motor-evoked potential/somatosensory-evoked potential changes (40%). The interventions that were taken resulted in resolution of the neuromonitoring changes in all procedures. Postoperatively, we noted 2 (6.9%) new mild sensory deficits, which resolved during follow up. There were 3 patients in whom pre-existing sensory-motor deficits improved but not completely after surgery, 1 motor weakness, and 2 with residual paresthesia. In those initially presenting with paresis, there was improvement in 8 of the 8 extremities by the last follow-up visit. Pain as a symptom was resolved in all cases. There were no iatrogenic foot drop injuries. The average follow up was 32.2 months.
Conclusions: Neuromonitoring during PFO excision demonstrated a high number of alerts, all of which resolved following timely corrective action. The use of neuromonitoring may help decrease the risk of iatrogenic postoperative neurological deficits following fibular osteochondroma surgery.
Level of evidence: Level IV.
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