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Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi. 2009 Apr;100(4):104-7.

Case of critical complication after surgery for ankylosing spinal hyperostosis.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kyushu Central Hospital, 3-23-1 Shiobaru, Minami-ku, Fukuoka, 815-8588, Japan.


We experienced a case who received a bone resection for ankylosing spinal hyperostosis through the anterior approach. He subsequently became asphyxic and suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest owing to a postoperative hematoma. His complaint before the surgery was sticking of his throat and dyspnea that continued for 3 years. X-ray films revealed an osteophyte on the anterior side of the C3-C6 vertebral bodies, and we made an anterior approach under general anesthesia. There were no problems during the surgery. After being returned to the ward without intubation, he complained that he had a catch in his throat that progressed little by little, and subsequently suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest at 5 hours after surgery. Upon revival, he had brain hypoxia. He passed away owing to malnutrition and pneumonia at 4 years after the surgery. To prevent this complication, it is important to have an understanding of this condition. We should have alerted the nurses that such a complication may occur after anterior spinal surgery. It is also important to be aware that intubation of such a case becomes difficult once the trachea has become compressed and curved because of a hematoma.

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