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Misplaced Cervical Screws Requiring Reoperation.

TitleMisplaced Cervical Screws Requiring Reoperation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPeterson JC, Arnold PM, Smith ZA, Hsu WK, Fehlings MG, Hart RA, Hilibrand AS, Nassr A, Rahman R'KK, Tannoury CA, Tannoury T, Mroz TE, Currier BL, De Giacomo AF, Fogelson JL, Jobse BC, Massicotte EM, K Riew D
JournalGlobal Spine J
Volume7
Issue1 Suppl
Pagination46S-52S
Date Published2017 Apr
ISSN2192-5682
Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: A multicenter, retrospective case series.

OBJECTIVE: In the past several years, screw fixation of the cervical spine has become commonplace. For the most part, this is a safe, low-risk procedure. While rare, screw backout or misplaced screws can lead to morbidity and increased costs. We report our experiences with this uncommon complication.

METHODS: A multicenter, retrospective case series was undertaken at 23 institutions in the United States. Patients were included who underwent cervical spine surgery from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2011, and had misplacement of screws requiring reoperation. Institutional review board approval was obtained at all participating institutions, and detailed records were sent to a central data center.

RESULTS: A total of 12 903 patients met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. There were 11 instances of screw backout requiring reoperation, for an incidence of 0.085%. There were 7 posterior procedures. Importantly, there were no changes in the health-related quality-of-life metrics due to this complication. There were no new neurologic deficits; a patient most often presented with pain, and misplacement was diagnosed on plain X-ray or computed tomography scan. The most common location for screw backout was C6 (36%).

CONCLUSIONS: This study represents the largest series to tabulate the incidence of misplacement of screws following cervical spine surgery, which led to revision procedures. The data suggest this is a rare event, despite the widespread use of cervical fixation. Patients suffering this complication can require revision, but do not usually suffer neurologic sequelae. These patients have increased cost of care. Meticulous technique and thorough knowledge of the relevant anatomy are the best means of preventing this complication.

DOI10.1177/2192568216687527
Alternate JournalGlobal Spine J
PubMed ID28451491
PubMed Central IDPMC5400184