Cervical spinal cord injury after thoracic spinal instrumentation: A case series

Sylvester T. Youlo, Michael T. Merrick, Jeffrey A. Cassidy, Matthew A. Halanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


STUDY DESIGN.: Retrospective case report of 2 cases. OBJECTIVE.: To describe 2 cases of cervical spinal cord injury/vascular insult after posterior instrumentation of thoracic/thoracolumbar scoliosis. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: Spinal cord injury is an uncommon but well-documented complication associated with spinal deformity surgery. The midthoracic spinal cord is most vulnerable to these presumed vascular insults. Injuries above the level of instrumentation are rare. METHODS.: In this report, we review the clinical histories of 2 adolescent females undergoing posterior spinal fusion with subsequent cervical spinal cord injuries. RESULTS.: In both cases, intraoperative cervical alignment appeared neutral and all hardware appeared appropriately positioned. Spinal cord monitoring demonstrated changes in 1 patient but not in the other. With time, both patients improved clinically. CONCLUSION.: Cervical spinal cord injuries may occur after distal deformity correction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1704-E1708
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 15 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescent
  • cervical
  • complication
  • deformity
  • paralysis
  • pediatrics
  • posterior spinal fusion
  • scoliosis
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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