IONM REVIEW FOR SPINAL SURGERY

As we know, it is important to have highly skilled technologists that quickly detect neurological injuries which then facilitates immediate corrective measures. Bromedicon prides itself in maintaining highly-trained technologists that participate in mandatory monthly seminars.  The article ‘A Review of Intraoperative Monitoring for Spinal Surgery,’ written by Mark Stecker, discusses the significance of monitoring along with the critical aspect of highly trained technologists. Please enjoy, it is an interesting read!

Surg Neurol Int. 2012; 3(Suppl 3): S174–S187.
Published online 2012 Jul 17. doi:  10.4103/2152-7806.98579
PMCID: PMC3422092

A review of intraoperative monitoring for spinal surgery

Abstract

Background:

Intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring (IONM) is a technique that is helpful for assessing the nervous system during spine surgery.

Methods:

This is a review of the field describing the basic mechanisms behind the techniques of IONM. These include the most often utilized transcranial motor evoked potentials (Tc-MEPs), somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs), and stimulated and spontaneous EMG activity. It also describes some of the issues regarding practices and qualifications of practitioners.

Results:

Although the anatomic pathways responsible for the Tc-MEP and SSEP are well known and these clinical techniques have a high sensitivity and specificity, there is little published data showing that monitoring actually leads to improved patient outcomes. It is evident that IONM has high utility when the risk of injury is high, but may be only marginally helpful when the risk of injury is very low. The monitoring team must be well trained, be able to provide the surgeon feedback in real time, and coordinate activities with those of the surgical and anesthesia teams.

Conclusions:

Although IONM is a valuable technique that provides sensitive and specific indications of neurologic injury, it does have limitations that must be understood. Maintaining a high quality of practice with appropriately trained personnel is critical.