Successful repair of esophageal perforation after anterior cervical fusion for cervical spine fracture.

By London Spine

Successful repair of esophageal perforation after anterior cervical fusion for cervical spine fracture.

J Clin Neurosci. 2011 Jul 18;

Authors: Ahn SH, Lee SH, Kim ES, Eoh W

Esophageal injury after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a rare complication that can be life threatening. The sternocleidomastoid (SCM) pedicled muscle flap has emerged as an effective and versatile tool for selected esophageal perforations. The authors report their surgical experience in three patients with an esophageal perforation after ACDF, and the steps taken to achieve successful repair using a SCM muscle flap. All three patients underwent ACDF at another hospital. Postoperatively, patients complained of severe dysphagia, neck swelling, fever, and alimentary fluid leakage. They were later referred to the author’s hospital for diagnostic evaluation and surgical treatment of an esophageal perforation. Esophageal perforation was diagnosed on esophagoscopy and esophagography, and treated by primary closure using an SCM muscle flap. Postoperatively, all patients had a good result. Surgery-related complications occurred in one patient with dysfunction of the recurrent laryngeal nerve. This study shows that esophagoscopic diagnosis and surgical treatment using a SCM muscle flap is highly effective in patients with an esophageal perforation related to ACDF.

PMID: 21775144 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]