Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 39

Thread: Possible Surgical Complications

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,104

    Possible Surgical Complications

    One member has requested a list of complications from scoliosis surgery. The following list is everything I've heard of.

    Short-Term:
    Infection
    Pulmonary embolus
    Epidural hematoma
    Extreme blood loss
    ileus
    Trochanteric bursitis
    Neurologic damage - minor
    Neurologic damage - major
    Death
    Lymphedema
    Leg swelling
    DVT
    Heart issues
    Pneumonia
    Blindness
    UTI
    Dural tear

    Long-Term:
    Significant neurologic damage
    Minor neurologic damage
    Infection requiring rehospitalization
    Painful or prominent implants
    Coronal or sagittal imbalance
    Lymphedema
    Blindness
    Incisional hernia
    Increased pain
    Pseudarthrosis/failure to fuse, broken implants
    Numbness
    Pancreatitis
    Gall bladder disease
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    Linda there one rare one Superior mesenteric artery (SMA) syndrome
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,598

    Surgical Complications

    I had mild pulmonary atelectasis postop.
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Other than all that.....a piece of cake. ;^)
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    875
    Linda---do you have any information on fractures above the fusion,or juncional kyphosis, As this is what happen to me--I need the info for someone else. Also any info on a time line--such as is there a number of years later that a problem can come up.Thanks
    Last edited by jackieg412; 06-24-2013 at 07:50 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    I was given this list at my surgeon's appt. and it very nearly did my head in. I set the date for surgery that day , but couldn't go ahead with it. I became depressed thinking about my miserable options. But after a while, I realised that each of these items on the list are rare and *most* are fixable. And life wasn't going so well for me as my scoliosis was progressing rapidly and my future looked increasingly grim. So I got as fit and healthy as I could to minimise my risks, and with that fitness came a new confidence. When I set my second surgery date, I had a completely different mindset.

    It's a shock to see that list, but I think along with those risks should come a list of percentages of patients these risks actually happen to. All surgeries carry risks, unfortunately.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,136
    Jackie

    I sent you a few PJK links.....and as much as the PM system will allow....

    I have to add to the long term list.....

    Adhesions....(scar tissue) internal adhesions to be specific.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    7,104
    Jackie...

    As you'll find, I assume, by looking at the links that Ed provided, that PJK is very common in adult patients, and probably increases with age. Fractures within or above the fusion are also common in patients with poor bone quality. A lot of surgeons have started cementing vertebrae at the top and bottom of the fusion for at risk patients.

    As far as a time line, we think that PJK occurs early (between surgery and 6 weeks postop). I don't know the timeline for fractures. Everything else will present in the early postop period, with the exception of late onset infections, which while rare, can occur years after surgery.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,598
    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Jackie...

    As you'll find, I assume, by looking at the links that Ed provided, that PJK is very common in adult patients, and probably increases with age. Fractures within or above the fusion are also common in patients with poor bone quality. A lot of surgeons have started cementing vertebrae at the top and bottom of the fusion for at risk patients.

    As far as a time line, we think that PJK occurs early (between surgery and 6 weeks postop). I don't know the timeline for fractures. Everything else will present in the early postop period, with the exception of late onset infections, which while rare, can occur years after surgery.

    --Linda
    What is PJK?
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    9,281
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,598
    Quote Originally Posted by Singer View Post
    Other than all that.....a piece of cake. ;^)
    Chris, you are so funny! If some of the side effects don't kill you, the recovery just might!

    I also laughed since your comment came after my post about the pulmonary atelectasis. The pulmonary atelectasis wasn't as scary as the response team that came to my rescue. Postoperatively, I suddenly had chest pain and shortness of breath. I waited a few minutes trying to do some slow deep breathing, but the SOB continued as did the chest pain. I knew that pulmonary embolus was a post operative possibility, so I pressed the call button. The med assistant finally answered my call, and leisurely strolled into the room, then quickly pressed some call button to summon a rapid response team that supposedly assembles within 5 minutes. In short order, there were 2 MDs, a couple of RNs and I had an O2 mask on, an IV in, and they ordered an EKG and a chest X-ray which were done very quickly. Apparently, the team is timed for the response within 5 minutes and they all were proud, after the tests were done, that they had accomplished their goal. The whole thing to me was funny as it took the MA 10 minutes to answer my call bell! The X-ray just showed some mild atelectasis, so I ended up blowing a pressure controlled machine to expand that section of lung.

    Susan
    Last edited by susancook; 07-12-2013 at 02:31 PM.
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal Spinal Cord Injury T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone
    2018: Removal L4,5 screw

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    9,281
    In August 2010, I performed a posterior thoracic laminectomy decompression and extension fusion with osteotomies to correct his kyphosis. This problem is called “PJK” -- proximal junctional kyphosis — and is a complication that can happen after spinal fusions, especially longer fusions. The reason for this problem is that there are higher loads at this junction point wear old fusion ends and unfused spine begins.
    http://drlloydhey.blogspot.com/2011/...cuba-trip.html
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,707
    Yikes! What a scary list!

    I asked Dr. Lenke about some of the most major complications (and I didn't even include "death") and his comment was "less that one per cent".
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,262
    Quote Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
    Yikes! What a scary list!

    I asked Dr. Lenke about some of the most major complications (and I didn't even include "death") and his comment was "less that one per cent".
    That is just what Dr Bederman said ; less than one per cent
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,136
    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferG View Post
    I was given this list at my surgeon's appt. and it very nearly did my head in. I set the date for surgery that day , but couldn't go ahead with it. I became depressed thinking about my miserable options. But after a while, I realised that each of these items on the list are rare and *most* are fixable. And life wasn't going so well for me as my scoliosis was progressing rapidly and my future looked increasingly grim. So I got as fit and healthy as I could to minimise my risks, and with that fitness came a new confidence. When I set my second surgery date, I had a completely different mindset.

    It's a shock to see that list, but I think along with those risks should come a list of percentages of patients these risks actually happen to. All surgeries carry risks, unfortunately.
    For newbie’s that are reading this “eye opening” thread.......... Jen explains things best with her post, I just had to comment on it.

    Surgeons are required to notify you of certain complications, and they don’t want to scare you, but its something that we need to to know about. I remember my “discussions” with my surgeon, and it was an eye opener I must say. Its impossible to list all orthopedic complications, or when they “might” or “could” happen.....I walked out of that meeting a complete zombie. I mean, what the heck? Why am I doing this? and also why did I wait so long? Double trouble. Man-o-man.

    I think that the bottom line when I went back into the office for discussions was hearing him say “It will help”. Those words sealed the deal. Nobody ever wants any of this stuff to happen, but the body is just TOO complicated.....things can happen, and they happen with the best of surgeons. Surgery is usually a last ditch effort, and this thread will help many understand this statement, or at least take their time in making a decision. Scoliosis surgery is serious surgery, its something that you just don’t rush into....but you also don’t want to wait till the door slams shut. It’s a tricky decision.

    I was told to get online and join a scoliosis forum. Great advice I must say, I didn’t post before my surgeries but was reading here.

    Deep down, I knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy thing.....I also knew that my “healing attitude” was going to have to be good. My success DEPENDED on it.

    Children have this healing attitude “built in”....... As scared as they might be, they quickly realize that they have to get the job done. It essentially becomes a mission, and if something happens, they adapt quickly. They also have total trust in their surgeons. Maybe this is a good way to look at it, learn from the kids....they teach us so much.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •