Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2017

Comments

This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Global Spine Journal

Volume 7, Issue 1, April 2017, Pages 120S-126S.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1177/2192568216687754. Copyright © Schroeder et al.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: A multicentered retrospective case series.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence and circumstances surrounding the development of a symptomatic postoperative epidural hematoma in the cervical spine.

METHODS: Patients who underwent cervical spine surgery between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2011, at 23 institutions were reviewed, and all patients who developed an epidural hematoma were identified.

RESULTS: A total of 16 582 cervical spine surgeries were identified, and 15 patients developed a postoperative epidural hematoma, for a total incidence of 0.090%. Substantial variation between institutions was noted, with 11 sites reporting no epidural hematomas, and 1 site reporting an incidence of 0.76%. All patients initially presented with a neurologic deficit. Nine patients had complete resolution of the neurologic deficit after hematoma evacuation; however 2 of the 3 patients (66%) who had a delay in the diagnosis of the epidural hematoma had residual neurologic deficits compared to only 4 of the 12 patients (33%) who had no delay in the diagnosis or treatment (P = .53). Additionally, the patients who experienced a postoperative epidural hematoma did not experience any significant improvement in health-related quality-of-life metrics as a result of the index procedure at final follow-up evaluation.

CONCLUSION: This is the largest series to date to analyze the incidence of an epidural hematoma following cervical spine surgery, and this study suggest that an epidural hematoma occurs in approximately 1 out of 1000 cervical spine surgeries. Prompt diagnosis and treatment may improve the chance of making a complete neurologic recovery, but patients who develop this complication do not show improvements in the health-related quality-of-life measurements.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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