Transient Monoplegia as a Result of Unilateral Femoral Artery Ischemia Detected by Multimodal Intraoperative Neuromonitoring in Posterior Scoliosis Surgery: A Case Report

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This is to report a case of 16-year-old girl with transient right lower limb monoplegia as a result of femoral artery ischemia detected by multimodal intraoperative spinal cord neuromonitoring (MISNM) during posterior correction surgery of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

A patient with a marfanoid body habitus and LENKE IA type scoliosis with the right thoracic curve of 48° of Cobb angle was admitted for posterior spinal fusion from Th6 to L2. After selective pedicle screws instrumentation and corrective maneuvers motor evoked potentials (MEP) began to decrease with no concomitant changes in somato-sensory evoked potentials recordings.

The instrumentation was released first partially than completely with rod removal but the patient demonstrated constantly increasing serious neurological motor deficit of the whole right lower limb. Every technical cause of the MEP changes was eliminated and during the wake-up test the right foot was found to be pale and cold with no popliteal and dorsalis pedis pulses palpable. The patient was repositioned and the pelvic pad was placed more cranially. Instantly, the pulse and color returned to the patient's foot. Following MEP recordings showed gradual return of motor function up to the baseline at the end of the surgery, whereas somato-sensory evoked potentials were within normal range through the whole procedure.

This case emphasizes the importance of the proper pelvic pad positioning during the complex spine surgeries performed in prone position of the patient. A few cases of neurological complications have been described which were the result of vascular occlusion after prolonged pressure in the inguinal area during posterior scoliosis surgery when the patient was in prone position. If incorrectly interpreted, they would have a significant impact on the course of scoliosis surgery.

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