Esophageal perforation with a locking screw: a case report and review of the literature

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2007 Jul 1;32(15):E428-35. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e318074d56c.


Study design: A case report with a review of the literature.

Objectives: Anterior cervical spine surgery (ACS) has received widespread acceptance, and as a result, a variety of complications have been reported. Several cases of esophageal complications, arising from the use of various implants and grafts, have been described. The purpose of this article is to provide insight into the clinical presentation, diagnosis, types of involved implants, and the treatment of this entity.

Summary of background data: Previous reports of esophageal complications (esophageal perforation, diverticula, and stricture) after ACS are reviewed.

Methods: Retrospective case study and literature review.

Results: Redundant locking screws should be removed due to the potential for extrusion into the esophagus.

Conclusions: Regular, long-term follow-up of the patient undergoing anterior spine surgery is crucial. The wide range of possible complications mandates thorough workup. Early surgical treatment is imperative in the majority of esophageal complications.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Screws / adverse effects*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Cervical Vertebrae / pathology
  • Cervical Vertebrae / surgery
  • Esophagus / diagnostic imaging
  • Esophagus / injuries*
  • Esophagus / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal Fixators / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology
  • Radiculopathy / etiology
  • Radiculopathy / surgery
  • Radiography
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Compression / pathology
  • Spinal Cord Compression / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Compression / surgery
  • Spinal Fusion / adverse effects*
  • Spinal Fusion / instrumentation*
  • Spinal Stenosis / pathology
  • Spinal Stenosis / physiopathology
  • Spinal Stenosis / surgery