Send to

Choose Destination
J Craniovertebr Junction Spine. 2010 Jul;1(2):86-99. doi: 10.4103/0974-8237.77672.

Approaches to anterior and anterolateral foramen magnum lesions: A critical review.

Author information

Department of Neurological Surgery, Columbia University, New York.


Foramen magnum (FM) lesions represent some of the most complex cases for the modern neurosurgeon because of their location near vital brainstem structures, the vertebral arteries, and lower cranial nerves. In particular, anterior or anterolaterally located FM tumors have traditionally been most difficult to resect with high morbidity and mortality resulting from approaches through the posterior midline or transorally. For many neurosurgeons, the far lateral, extreme lateral approach, and more recently, endoscopic endonasal approaches have become the preferred modern methods for the resection of anterior or anterolateral FM tumors. In this review, we examine both operative and non-operative approaches to FM tumors, including surgical anatomy, surgical technique, and indications for operative intervention in these complex cases. In addition, we compared outcomes from prior series.


Foramen magnum; computed tomography; extreme lateral approach: Cerebrospinal fluid; foramen magnum; karnofsky performance scale; magnetic resonance angiogram; magnetic resonance imaging; meningioma; stereotactic radiosurgery; vertebral artery

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Medknow Publications and Media Pvt Ltd Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center