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Vocal Cord Paresis After Posterior Spinal Fusion to Treat Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

A Case Report

Rao, Rameshwar R., PhD1; Ha, Jennifer, MD2; Farley, Frances A., MD3; Koopmann, Charles F., MD, MHSA2; Caird, Michelle S., MD3,a

doi: 10.2106/JBJS.CC.16.00090
Case Reports

Case: A 15-year-old girl with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with a 50° curve underwent posterior spinal fusion from T3 to T11. After discharge from the hospital, the patient reported dysphonia and dysphagia. Flexible nasendoscopy confirmed left vocal cord paresis. Stretch injury to the recurrent laryngeal nerve from the left T5 pedicle screw or intubation may have caused the vocal cord paresis. The pedicle screw was removed during revision surgery. Postsurgically, the patient demonstrated immediate and ultimately full recovery and no longer had any symptoms.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first case report of vocal cord paresis most likely caused by pedicle screw position after posterior spinal fusion.

1University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan

2Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan

3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan

aE-mail address for M.S. Caird:

Copyright © 2016 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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