Introduction: Laminoplasty is a well described alternative to laminectomy in the treatment of certain spinal pathology. A novel device, the BoneScalpel by Misonix, is an ultrasonic osteotome that allows the surgeon to cut the bone while preserving the underlying soft tissue, potentially reducing the risk of dural laceration. In addition, it allows for very fine cuts as narrow as 0.5 mm. We used the BoneScalpel to perform osteoplastic laminoplasties in 2 patients undergoing surgery for spinal cord tumors and describe our preliminary findings.
Methods: Two patients who were undergoing planned laminoplasty for spinal cord tumors were brought to the OR and standard exposure of the appropriate lamina was carried out. In order to perform the laminoplasty, the BoneScalpel was used to cut troughs on either side of the lamina. The cut lamina were then disconnected rostrally and caudally from the posterior spinal ligament, and removed as one unit. Once the tumor resection was completed and dura closed, the bone was replaced with small bone plating systems.
Results: Successful laminoplasty was carried out in both cases. No known damage to the underlying soft tissue, dura or neural elements was identified.
Conclusions: The BoneScalpel is a potentially useful and safe device in performing osteoplastic laminoplasty. As it allows for a more narrow trough than conventional drilling, less bone is ultimately removed. This could be especially useful in the pediatric population where the smaller defect in the approximated bone may lead to improved healing. Further studies should be carried out to explore this as a potential option.