Combined approach for excision of cervical nerve tumors with dural extension



Tumors of the cervical plexus are rare. Often these tumors are found on routine exam as asymptomatic masses. We present our experience in managing four patients with tumors with dural extension. Three of these lesions were neurilemomas and one was a meningioma. Symptoms and signs included weakness and hypoesthesia. Evaluation included complete neurologic examination with electromyography (EMG). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was the best diagnostic tool to see tumor extent into the epidural and intradural space. Computed tumography (CT) or plain x-rays were used to evalute the degree of destruction of the cervical spine. The surgical removal of these tumors was performed by a two-team approach. A posterior laminectomy was xcombined with an anterior neck exploration. Follow-up shows persistent upper extremity weakness in two patients, hypesthesia in three patients, and anesthesia of the anterior chest wall in two patients. Patients with these lesions should be informed of the potential neurologic consequences of removal.