Complications of revision spinal surgery

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  • Department of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa
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Surgical treatment for symptomatic cervical and lumbar spondylosis has become prevalent in recent years. With this increased intervention, increasing numbers of patients experience persistent symptoms and require revision spinal surgery. Although many aspects of the workup and operation are similar for both primary and revision surgery, there are special considerations that must be examined when determining if a patient is a candidate for revision surgery.

Preoperative workup should include evaluation for spinal instability. Intraoperatively, scar tissue may complicate the procedure, and care must be taken to avoid incidental durotomy. The prognosis for a revision surgery can be predicted best by the patient's outcome after the primary surgery. As with any surgical procedure, patient selection is imperative for successful outcome.

Abbreviation used in this paper:MR = magnetic resonance.

Surgical treatment for symptomatic cervical and lumbar spondylosis has become prevalent in recent years. With this increased intervention, increasing numbers of patients experience persistent symptoms and require revision spinal surgery. Although many aspects of the workup and operation are similar for both primary and revision surgery, there are special considerations that must be examined when determining if a patient is a candidate for revision surgery.

Preoperative workup should include evaluation for spinal instability. Intraoperatively, scar tissue may complicate the procedure, and care must be taken to avoid incidental durotomy. The prognosis for a revision surgery can be predicted best by the patient's outcome after the primary surgery. As with any surgical procedure, patient selection is imperative for successful outcome.

Abbreviation used in this paper:MR = magnetic resonance.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Timothy C. Ryken, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, Iowa 52242. timothy-ryken@uiowa.edu..

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