Anterior dislodgement of the transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) cage is one of the severe complications seen in this procedure, which may cause an intraoperative major vessel injury. The objective of this report is to present a rare case of inferior vena cava (IVC) injury during revision surgery for removal of the anteriorly migrated cage.
The authors describe a case of 74-year-old woman with lumbar spinal canal stenosis and degenerative scoliosis. During the TLIF surgery, an inserted titanium cage at the L4–5 level dislodged anteriorly to the retroperitoneal space without massive bleeding from the disc space. In the second surgery, which was performed via an anterior retroperitoneal approach to remove the migrated cage, massive torrential bleeding occurred because of IVC injury. The laceration in the posterior wall of the IVC necessitated ligation of this vessel and both common iliac veins by a vascular surgeon. Postoperative edema of the lower extremities after ligation of the vessels was well tolerated, and the patient showed almost full recovery.
For removal surgery of an anteriorly migrated cage, the surgeon should be well prepared for the risk of IVC injury, including requesting the attendance of a vascular surgeon. Ligation of the infrarenal IVC is an acceptable solution in irreparable IVC injury.