J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg 2022; 83(03): 217-223
DOI: 10.1055/s-0041-1725950
Original Article

Proper Head Rotation when Performing Microvascular Decompression for Hemifacial Spasm: An Orthometric Consideration Based on Preoperative MRI

Hak-cheol Ko
1   Department of Neurosurgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
1   Department of Neurosurgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Hee Sup Shin
1   Department of Neurosurgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
› Author Affiliations


Background The classic surgical position for microvascular decompression (MVD) is lateral decubitus with the head rotated 10 degrees away from the affected side. In this study, we measured the angles of the posterior fossa, specifically focusing on the surgical corridors used in MVD surgery for hemifacial spasm (HFS), to identify the proper surgical position.

Method The following parameters were assessed on preoperative magnetic resonance images (MRI): petrous angle (PA), sigmoid angle (SA), sigmoid diameter (SD), and root exit zone–sigmoid sinus edge angle (REZ-SEA).

Results The mean PA was 59.7 ± 5.6 degrees, SA was 16.8 ± 8.6 degrees, SD was 13.4 ± 3.5 mm, and the mean REZ-SEA was 59.6 ± 5.8 degrees. The difference between the maximum SA to avoid cerebellar hemisphere injury and the minimum REZ-SEA required to verify the facial nerve REZ is assumed to be the usable range of angles for the operative microscope; the average midpoint of this range was 38.2 ± 6.4 degrees.

Conclusion Turning the patient's head 10 degrees away from the affected side was generally appropriate for performing MVD surgery because it provided a mean microscope angle of 48 degrees. However, some patients had corner values for the sigmoid angle, REZ-SEA, and sigmoid sinus diameter. Rotating a patient's head based on precise calculations from preoperative MRI helps to achieve successful surgery.

Publication History

Received: 13 March 2020

Accepted: 02 November 2020

Article published online:
15 February 2022

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