Sho Masuda, Akinobu Suzuki, Shinji Takahashi, Koji Tamai, Hiroaki Nakamura

December 2022, Volume 31, Issue 12, pp 3703 - 3707 Case Report Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-07014-9

First Online: 05 October 2021


To present a case of delayed aortic perforation due to a nondisplaced fracture of the 9th rib after vertebral osteotomy for degenerative kyphoscoliosis in patients with osteoporosis.


A 78-year-old female patient with osteoporosis had undergone T9-iliac correction surgery for degenerative kyphoscoliosis. After 2 years, the patient underwent T10 pedicle subtraction osteotomy for a T10 vertebral fracture and progression of kyphosis. Postoperatively, the patient had been doing well for 3 weeks; however, just before the day of discharge, she died following a cardiopulmonary arrest. An autopsy was performed with the consent of her family.


Autopsy revealed a large amount of blood and a clot in the left thoracic cavity. Aortic perforation was found just in front of a nondisplaced fracture of the left 9th rib.


This report describes a new critical complication after spinal correction surgery. Even without pedicle screw malposition, aortic injuries can happen to patients with osteoporosis after corrective osteotomy for degenerative kyphoscoliosis due to positional change of aorta and fragility of the ribs. The spine surgeon should be aware of this type of complication, and rib fractures around the aorta after vertebral osteotomy should not be neglected even when there is no displacement.

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