Spinal cord herniation as a complication of en bloc, multilevel, anterior thoracic vertebrectomy for a giant cell tumor: success of posterior cord reduction and dural repair

Case report

Khandkar A. Kawsar M.R.C.S., F.C.P.S., M.S., Robin Bhatia M.A., Ph.D., F.R.C.S.(SN), and Adrian C. T. H. Casey F.R.C.S., F.R.C.S.(SN)
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  • National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, United Kingdom
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Iatrogenic spinal cord herniation is a rare complication following spinal stabilization surgery. The authors present a case of circumferential thoracic tumor decompression and fixation by anterior instrumentation complicated by delayed anterior spinal cord herniation. This complication resulted in progressive paraparesis 5 years after the original procedure. The patient underwent reexploration and repair of the dural defect, resulting in the reduction of the spinal cord to its normal position. The patient's paraparesis improved significantly after dural repair. Although progression of neurological deficit can be very slow, repair of the dural defect can restore normal spinal cord alignment and improve neurological deficit. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of spinal cord herniation following an anterior thoracic vertebrectomy.

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Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Khandkar A. Kawsar, M.R.C.S., F.C.P.S., M.S., Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham B15 2WB, United Kingdom. email: drkawsar@yahoo.com.

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online September 19, 2014; DOI: 10.3171/2014.8.SPINE13933.

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