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Papers of the Week

2021 Mar 04




Simultaneous Combined Major Arterial and Lumbar Plexus Injury During Primary Extra Lateral Interbody Fusion: Case Report and Review of the Literature.


Extra lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) has been established in recent years as an effective approach to address degenerative lumbar disc disease (DLDD). Although neurological and vascular complications during XLIF have been reported, to our knowledge, a combination of simultaneous vascular and neurovascular complication during XLIF has not been reported to date. A 72-year-old female patient was admitted to our orthopaedic department because of back pain associated with severe neuropathic radicular pain to her both lower extremities, incomplete paraplegia and low back fistula with serous secretion for several weeks. She had been wheel-chair bound since nine years before her admission in our department when she had her initial XLIF operation in another institution. Intraoperatively, an aorta lesion occurred, which was emergently addressed, along with lumbar plexus injury. Since then, she had an extensive history of subsequent operations that ended with a T10-S1 posterior lumbar fusion, with no improvement of her neurological condition, complicated by hardware-induced infection. She underwent her last operation in our department; removal of the posterior lumbar construct and extensive debridement of the posterior lumbar spine. We present this rare case and we perform an extensive literature review. Although XLIF has been established in recent years, the report of major vascular injuries, although rare, has questioned its safety profile. Spine surgeons should be aware of catastrophic major neurovascular complications associated with this procedure and be prepared to address them.