Cranial vault suspension for basilar invagination in patients with open cranial sutures: Technique and long-term follow-up. Illustrative case


Advocate Lutheran General Hospital


Background:Hajdu-Cheney syndrome (HCS) is an extremely rare genetic disorder characterized by severe osteoporosis, scoliosis, and persistent open cranial sutures (POCSs). Neurological complications include hydrocephalus, Chiari I malformations, and basilar invagination (BI). Surgical intervention in HCS is challenging due to severe osteoporosis, ligamentous laxity, POCSs, and extreme skeletal deformities. Herein, the authors present a case of BI repair in a patient with HCS and POCSs, requiring a novel technique of cranial vault suspension, with long-term follow-up.

Observations:A 20-year-old female with HCS and progressive symptomatic BI, initially managed with posterior fossa decompression and occipital to cervical fusion, subsequently required cranial vault expansion due to symptomatic shifting of her cranium secondary to POCS. This custom construct provided long-term stabilization and neurological improvement over a follow-up duration of 9.5 years. A literature review performed revealed three other cases of surgical intervention for BI in patients with HCS and clinicopathological characteristics of each case was compared to the present illustrative case.

Lessons:POCSs in patients with BI complicate traditional surgical approaches, necessitating more invasive techniques to secure all mobile cranial parts for optimal outcomes. Using this cranial vault suspension and fusion technique results in lasting neurological improvement and construct stability.

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