En bloc resection of a giant cell tumor in the sacrum via a posterior-only approach without nerve root sacrifice: Technical case report

Mohamad Bydon, Rafael De La Garza-Ramos, Chetan Bettegowda, Ian Suk, Jean Paul Wolinsky, Ziya L. Gokaslan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND IMPORTANCE: Giant cell tumors (GCTs) are rare primary bone neoplasms. The best long-Term prognosis is achieved via complete tumor excision, but this feat is challenging in the spine due to proximity of blood vessels and nervous tissue. When occurring in the sacrum, GCTs have been removed in an en bloc fashion via combined anterior/posterior approaches, oftentimes with nerve root sacrifice. The purpose of this article is to present a case of a single-staged, posterior-only approach for en bloc resection of a sacral GCT without nerve root sacrifice. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A 45-year-old female presented with intractable lower back and leg pain, saddle anesthesia, and lower extremity weakness. She underwent imaging studies, which revealed a lesion involving the S1 and S2 vertebral bodies. Computed tomography guided biopsy revealed the lesion to be a GCT. The patient underwent a posterior-only approach without nerve root sacrifice to achieve an en bloc resection, followed by lumbopelvic reconstruction. CONCLUSION: Sacrectomy via a single-staged posterior approach with nerve root preservation is a challenging yet feasible procedure for the treatment of giant cell tumors in carefully selected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E472-E478
JournalClinical Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • En bloc
  • Giant cell tumor
  • Nerve root
  • Posterior only
  • Sacrectomy
  • Sacrum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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