Complications Associated with the Technique of Pedicle Screw Fixation A Selected Survey of ABS Members

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A limited survey analysis of B17 surgical cases in which pedicle screw Implants were used was undertaken to ascertain the incidence and variety of associated complications. The different implant system used included variable spinal plating (n = 249), Edwards (n = 143), and AO fixateur interne (n = 101). The must common intraoperative problem was unrecognized screw misplacement (5.2%), Fracturing of the pedicle during screw insertion and iatrogenic celebrospinal fluid leak occurred in 4.2% of cases. The postoperative deep infection rate was 4.2%. Transient neuropraxia occurred in 2.4% of cases, and permanent nerve root Injury occurred in 2.3% of cases. Previously unreported injury to nerve roots occurred rate in the postoperative course in three cases. Screw breakage occurred in 2.9% of cases. All other complications had an Incidence of less than 2%. The authors conclude that pedicle screw placement may be associated with significant intraoperative and postoperative complications. This information is of value to surgsons using pedicle Implant systems at well as to their patients. Repeat surgery is associated with greater numbers at complications.

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