What are the possible intraoperative complications of surgery for idiopathic scoliosis?

Updated: Dec 02, 2020
  • Author: Charles T Mehlman, DO, MPH; Chief Editor: Jeffrey A Goldstein, MD  more...
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McKie and Herzenberg described coagulopathy as a complication of intraoperative blood salvage during scoliosis surgery. [137] These authors suggested that thrombin and Gelfoam that may have been aspirated along with salvaged blood may have contributed to the disseminated intravascular coagulation experienced by their 17-year-old patient. This effect of the thrombin and Gelfoam would have been in addition to that of hemodilution (hemodilution-induced platelet and leukocyte activation syndrome).

The importance of appropriate intraoperative spinal cord monitoring during scoliosis surgery is hardly debatable. Such monitoring can allow early recognition and treatment of spinal cord dysfunction. [138] Somatosensory and motor evoked potentials are commonly used to monitor spinal cord function. A Stagnara wake-up test may also still be employed if the surgeon desires. Current efforts at monitoring have helped achieve and maintain a very low rate of spinal cord injury (less than one half of one percent).


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