Iatrogenic spinal deformity

Neurosurgery. 2008 Sep;63(3 Suppl):104-16. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000320386.08993.BE.


Patients with postoperative spinal deformities are being identified with increasing frequency as the number of instrumented spinal operations increases. Thus, it is important for the neurosurgeon to understand ways to minimize postoperative deformity and to understand its operative and nonoperative management. A variety of intra- and postoperative risk factors have been associated with postoperative deformity, including patient age, operative positioning, preoperative medical condition, and the use of prior radiation therapy. The evaluation of all patients who have been suspected of iatrogenic deformity should include a detailed physical examination, plain x-rays, and computed tomographic or magnetic resonance imaging, depending on the condition. Conservative therapy includes physical therapy and pain control, which may be effective in some patients. However, patients with flat-back syndrome typically require reoperation. A wide variety of reoperative procedures may be performed, depending on the area of the pathological deformity, extent of disease, and patient condition.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Retracted Publication

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Iatrogenic Disease*
  • Radiography
  • Spinal Cord / abnormalities*
  • Spinal Cord / surgery*
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spinal Diseases / surgery*