H. Pascal-Moussellard, G. Broc, V. Pointillart, F. Siméon, J. M. Vital, J. Sénégas

December 1998, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp 438 - 444 Original article Read Full Article 10.1007/s005860050105

First Online: 10 December 1998

The authors report their experience concerning complications of spinal metastasis surgery. The purpose of this study was to assess the frequency of such complications and analyse the factors influencing their occurrence. The records of 145 patients treated between 1982 and 1991 for metastatic disease of the spine were retrospectively reviewed for intra- and postoperative complications. Other factors such as radiation therapy, emergent nature of surgery, and neurologic deficits were analysed for potential correlations with the frequency of complications. Twenty-seven (18.6%) patients developed postoperative complications. Wound dehiscence and infection (11%) were the most frequent complications. Statistical analysis showed a significant influence of three factors: preoperative radiation therapy, paraplegia before surgery, and surgery under emergency conditions. The rate of complications in this surgery is lower than might be expected and can be significantly reduced. Surgery should be performed before radiation therapy and before appearance of substantial neurologic deficits.

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