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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 110-113

Delayed-onset pneumothorax after posterior spinal fusion for idiopathic scoliosis: Report of two cases

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hidetomi Terai
Dr. Hidetomi Terai, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University, 1-5-7, Asahimachi, Abenoku, Osaka.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/isj.isj_16_19

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Most complications related to posterior spinal fusion (PSF) are reported to be caused by direct injury of the pedicle screws or by an indirect mechanical load generated by the deformity correction during surgery. Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is caused by the rupture of bulla/bleb, and is a very rare complication after scoliosis surgery. Herein, we present two cases of delayed-onset PSP after scoliosis surgery. In Case 1, an 18-year-old woman with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (Lenke 1CN) underwent PSF at T2-L2. The correction rate was 80%. The patient was discharged at 2 weeks after the operation. On the 18th postoperative day, she suddenly felt dyspnea after back pain at home, and walked to an outpatient clinic. She was diagnosed with PSP of the left lung by whole spine X-ray. In Case 2, a 20-year-old woman with idiopathic scoliosis (Lenke 6CN) underwent PSF at T3-L4. The correction rate was 73.6% in the thoracic region and 67.5% in the lumbar region. The patient felt dyspnea at three months after the operation. She was diagnosed with PSP (tension pneumothorax) in the left lung by whole spine X-ray. Both cases underwent video-assisted bulla resection following several days of emergency thoracic drainage, after which the subjects became asymptomatic. PSP should be considered as a complication of PSF when patients show dyspnea following back pain at several weeks after the operation. The presence of bullae/blebs should be examined by perioperative computed tomography to predict the occurrence of PSP.

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