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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-34

Neurosurgical management of patients with Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome: A descriptive case series

1 Department of Neurosurgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA
2 Department of Neurosurgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA
3 Department of Neurosurgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital; Department of Neurosurgery, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA

Correspondence Address:
Mitchell B Rock
Georgetown University School of Medicine, 3900 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.jcvjs_127_22

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Introduction: Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a connective tissue disorder that has been linked to several neurological problems including Chiari malformations, atlantoaxial instability (AAI), craniocervical instability (CCI), and tethered cord syndrome. However, neurosurgical management strategies for this unique population have not been well-explored to date. The purpose of this study is to explore cases of EDS patients who required neurosurgical intervention to better characterize the neurological conditions they face and to better understand how neurosurgeons should approach the management of these patients. Methods: A retrospective review was done on all patients with a diagnosis of EDS who underwent a neurosurgical operation with the senior author (FAS) between January 2014 and December 2020. Demographic, clinical, operative, and outcome data were collected, with additional radiographic data collected on patients chosen as case illustrations. Results: Sixty-seven patients were identified who met the criteria for this study. The patients experienced a wide array of preoperative diagnoses, with Chiari malformation, AAI, CCI, and tethered cord syndrome representing the majority. The patients underwent a heterogeneous group of operations with the majority including a combination of the following procedures– suboccipital craniectomy, occipitocervical fusion, cervical fusion, odontoidectomy, and tethered cord release. The vast majority of patients experienced subjective symptomatic relief from their series of procedures. Conclusions: EDS patients are prone to instability, especially in the occipital-cervical region, which may predispose these patients to require a higher rate of revision procedures and may require modifications in neurosurgical management that should be further explored.

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