Indexed on: 16 Nov '17Published on: 16 Nov '17Published in: Case reports in orthopedics
Chordoma arising from the cervical spine is rare and the traditional long-term prognosis is typically poor. Total en bloc spondylectomy with a wide margin is generally accepted to be the most appropriate management for thoracic and lumbar malignant tumors. However, this method is still challenging for the cervical spine because of the proximity of the tumor to the vertebral arteries and neural elements. Here, we report a 73-year-old man with a C5 vertebral chordoma treated with total piecemeal spondylectomy. Histological examination revealed pathognomonic physaliphorous cells with mucus-filled cytoplasm in the tumor, and the ratio of Ki-67-positive cells within the tumor was high (19.0%), showing active proliferation rate. Local recurrences were found at 9 months, 4 years and 2 months, and 6 years after the initial surgery. All the recurrences were encapsulated and isolated and treated with an additional en bloc resection successfully at each stage. Eight years after the initial total piecemeal spondylectomy, the patient maintained his intact neurological status without local recurrence or metastasis. The prognosis of cervical chordoma depends on the patient's age, surgical procedures, and histological features. In this report, we present that piecemeal spondylectomy is an alternative management for aged patients with cervical chordoma, even for those with high MIB-1 index.