This retrospective study looked at 33 consecutive patients with malignant, aggressive tumors in the thoracic and lumbar spine who underwent TES (24 men and 9 women; mean age 49.9 years; mean follow-up 3.6 years; 14 primary tumors and 19 metastatic tumors). TES was performed by a posterior-only approach in 15 patients and by a combined anterior and posterior approach in 18 patients. We classified complications as intraoperative, early (within 1 month after surgery), or late (>1 month after surgery), and examined the relationships between major complications and potentially related factors. Ten died of disease at 22.3 months after TES. Local recurrence was observed in 8 patients (24%) at an average of 15.4 months. Thirty-one major complications occurred in 24 patients (72.7%). There were 3 intraoperative, 17 early, and 11 late complications. Intraoperative complications included injury to the segmental artery, to the aorta, and to the spinal cord in 1 patient each. Early complications included prolonged chest tube drainage, cerebrospinal fluid leakage, and monoplegia due to the severing of nerve roots in 3 patients each, and pulmonary embolism, recurrent nerve palsy, pneumonia, endplate fracture, implant dislodgement, gastric ulcer, and ileus in 1 patient each. Late complications included implant failures in 8 patients and infection in 3 patients. Major complications were significantly associated with major blood loss (P=0.047). TES was frequently associated with major intraoperative, early, and late postoperative complications; most complications were managed successfully.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology