To describe an iatrogenic aortic injury by pedicle screw
instrumentation during posterior reconstructive surgery of spinal deformity.
Summary of Background Data.
Iatrogenic major vascular injuries during anterior instrumentation procedures have been reported by several authors, but there have been few reports regarding iatrogenic major vascular injuries during posterior instrumentation procedures.
A 57-year-old woman with thoracolumbar kyphosis due to osteoporotic T12 vertebral fracture underwent posterior correction and fusion (T10–L2), using segmental pedicle screw
construct concomitant with T12 pedicle subtraction osteotomy. Postoperative routine plain radiographs and computed tomography myelography demonstrated a misplaced left T10 pedicle screw
, which was in contact with the posteromedial aspect of the thoracic aorta
, and suspected penetration of the aortic wall. The patient underwent removal of the pedicle screw
, and repair of the penetrated aortic wall through a simultaneous anterior-posterior approach.
The patient tolerated the procedure well without neurologic sequelae, and was discharged several days after removal of a left tube thoracostomy. Plain radiographs demonstrated solid fusion at the osteotomy site and no loosening of hardware. Preoperative neurologic symptoms improved completely at 18-months follow-up.
Use of pedicle screw
instrumentation has the potential to cause major vascular injury during posterior spinal surgery, and measures to prevent this complication must be taken. Timely diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent both early and delayed complications and death.