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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 70  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 749--752

Trans-Oesophageal Migration of Pulled-Out Locking Screw (Zero-Profile Implant System) and its Retrieval Using Suction Catheter: A Technical Note

1 Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Neuro-Anesthesia, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shashwat Mishra
Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi - 110 049
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.344619

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Background: Intraoperative trans-esophageal migration of pulled-out screws, especially while using the zero-profile implant system, has been rarely reported in the literature. Objective: In this technical note, we are describing a simple technique to retrieve a trans-esophageally migrated pulled-out screw using a suction catheter. Material and Methods: A 32-year-old female presented with spastic quadriparesis. She underwent C5-C6 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). Nine months following the surgery, X-ray cervical spine showed implant loosening and failure of fusion across the instrumented disc space. However, during revision surgery, the loosened screw could not be located visually in the initial attempts, though it could be felt by probing the prevertebral space with the index finger. Intraoperative X-rays showed that the screw migrated curiously in the cranial direction as the surgical field was probed further manually. The screw was then finally retrieved using Magill's forceps assisted by video laryngoscopy assisted by intermittent negative pressure application via a blunt-tipped suction catheter. Results: She was discharged home on a Philadelphia collar, and at 1 year of follow-up, she was completely asymptomatic. Conclusion: Perforation of the aerodigestive tract by a displaced cervical spine implant is an uncommon complication. Manipulation during surgery may cause the implants embedded into the wall of the aerodigestive tract to become dislodged and then migrate into the pharyngeal lumen. In resource-constrained situations or when intraoperative endoscopy is not available, a trial of screw retrieval using a suction catheter may be attempted.


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Online since 20th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow