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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 276-278

Esophageal perforation following cervical spine surgery: A review with considerations in airway management

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA
2 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Correspondence Address:
Marc S Orlewicz
3990 John R, Rm 2901, 2-Hudson, Detroit, Michigan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5151.124164

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Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a commonly performed surgery for the treatment of spondylosis, radiculopathy, myelopathy, and trauma to the cervical spine. Esophageal perforation is a rare yet serious complication following ACDF with an incidence of 0.02 to 1.52%. We describe a case of a 24-year-old man who underwent ACDF and corpectomy following a motor vehicle accident who subsequently developed delayed onset esophageal perforation requiring surgical intervention. We believe that the detailed review of the surgical management of esophageal perforation following cervical spine surgery will provide a deeper understanding for the Intensivist in regards to postoperative airway management in these types of patients. Careful extubation over a soft flexible exchange catheter should take place to help reduce the risk of perforation in the event reintubation is required.

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