CC BY 4.0 · Indian Journal of Neurotrauma 2023; 20(02): 116-123
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1762600
Original Article

Single Frontal Burr-Hole Craniostomy Under Local Anesthesia for Treating Chronic Subdural Hematoma in the Septuagenarians and Older Adults: Surgical Technique and Results

1   Department of Surgery, Division of Neurological Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, and University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
2   Department of Surgery, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Background Chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) is not a totally benign disease in the elderly patients, especially those aged 70 years and above. Hence, the surgical treatment of CSDH in aged patients needs to be as minimally disruptive as possible.

Methods An annotated description of the surgical technique of single frontal burr-hole craniostomy performed under local anesthesia and without closed tube drainage for evacuating CSDH in the septuagenarians and older adults is given. We also review the outcome of the procedure on a prospective consecutive cohort of patients in our service

Results Thirty patients, 25 males, aged 70 years and above successfully underwent this surgical procedure. Their mean age was 76.5 years (standard deviation, 4.3). The CSDH was bilateral in 30% (9/30), and more left sided in the rest, the unilateral cases, and was of mixed density radiologically, in most cases (73%, 22/30). Clinical presentation was mainly gait impairment, cognitive decline, and headache, and 57% (17/30) presented with coma or stupor as assessed by the Markwalder grading scale.

The surgery was successfully executed in all, median duration 45.0 minutes (interquartile range 37.3–60.0), and solely under local anesthesia in 77% (23/30) or with momentary short-acting sedation in the rest. The outcome was very good in 90.0% (27/30) using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) including two-third (20/30) completely asymptomatic (mRS 0) and 7/30 with only slight symptoms/disability, mRS ≤ 2. Three patients died perioperatively, all presenting in coma.

Conclusion This surgical technique appears very effectual for CSDH, is executed at a comparatively low cost, and, being much less disruptive than other traditional methods, may be a more homeostatic operative treatment in geriatric patients at least.

Ethics Approval and Consent to Participate

A letter of request for the audit of the senior author's operative surgical records in this report was stamped approved by the Directorate of Clinical Services, Research and Training of the authors' university teaching hospital, the University College Hospital, Ibadan. Although a reference number was not applicable for this letter of approval, a copy of the letter was uploaded as supplementary material during submission. Each patient or their relatives gave written informed consent for the surgical procedures described in this report

Consent for Publication

Written consent for publication was obtained from the patients whose identifying images are shown in this report.

Authors' Contributions

A.O.A. is responsible for conceptualization, methodology/surgical technique evolution, manuscript drafts through all the stages, project supervision, approval of the submitted version. B.I.U. is responsible for data curation, analysis, manuscript drafts, and approval of the submitted version.

Both the authors have read and approved the manuscript.

Publication History

Article published online:
06 March 2023

© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (

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