Critical care in orthopedic and spine surgery

Crit Care Clin. 2003 Jan;19(1):33-53. doi: 10.1016/s0749-0704(02)00052-0.


Complications of orthopedic and spine operations can be life threatening. Proper patient selection, careful planning of patient care, and prophylactic measures are important determinants of a successful outcome. After elective orthopedic surgery such as total joint replacement, the intensivist should be aware of potential systemic complications common to any major surgical intervention (pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, sepsis, myocardial infarction) and also of procedure-specific problems (cement-related cardiac events, fat embolism) and local complications (neurovascular injuries). Patients undergoing spine procedures should have close neurologic monitoring for immediate and delayed deficits.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, General
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip* / adverse effects
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee
  • Critical Care
  • Decompression, Surgical
  • Embolism, Fat / etiology
  • Humans
  • Orthopedic Procedures*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Scoliosis / surgery
  • Spinal Diseases / surgery*
  • Spinal Fusion