Major complications and sequelae after total en bloc spondylectomy for malignant spinal tumors

Morio Matsumoto, Tomohiro Hikata, Akio Iwanami, Naobumi Hosogane, Kota Watanabe, Ken Ishii, Masaya Nakamura, Yoshiaki Toyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-451
Number of pages10
JournalNeurosurgery Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Complication
  • Malignant
  • Spinal tumor
  • Total en bloc spondylectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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