Vertebral artery and esophageal injuries are rare but feared complications of cervical spine surgery. Appropriate understanding of treatment algorithms for prompt intervention in the event of a vertebral artery injury minimizes the risk of exsanguination and/or profound neurologic consequences. Esophageal injuries are often more subtle, and although intraoperative injuries can sometimes be diagnosed at the time of surgery, they frequently do not present until the week after surgery. They can additionally be seen as a late complication of instrumentation usage and/or failure. Expedient diagnosis and management of these injuries minimize their impact and allow for optimal treatment outcome.
- Cervical spine
- Vertebral artery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine