Delayed Esophageal Perforation Diagnosed 12 Years After Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion: A Case Report and Review of Current Literature

J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev. 2022 Oct 13;6(10):e22.00080. doi: 10.5435/JAAOSGlobal-D-22-00080. eCollection 2022 Oct 1.


Esophageal perforation associated with anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a rare but serious complication. ACDF-related esophageal perforations can be acute or delayed. Delayed perforations more than 10 years after ACDF are exceedingly rare. Here, a delayed esophageal perforation discovered 12 years after a three-level ACDF is presented. This case highlights two main points. First, all diverticula after an ACDF warrant close clinical monitoring. Second, routine follow-up should be performed for patients with screw pullout to assist in early diagnosis of delayed esophageal perforation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae / surgery
  • Diskectomy / adverse effects
  • Esophageal Perforation* / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Perforation* / etiology
  • Esophageal Perforation* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Spinal Fusion* / adverse effects