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Clinical Note
June 2005

Pharyngeal Perforation and Pseudodiverticulum Formation After Anterior Cervical Spine Plating

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;131(6):523-525. doi:10.1001/archotol.131.6.523

Financial Disclosure: None.

Pharyngeal perforation is a rare but extremely serious complication of anterior cervical spinal surgery. Surgical fixation of the anterior cervical vertebral bodies is indicated after severe flexion injury with fracture and destabilization. The surgery is performed via an open incision and anterior approach to the cervical vertebrae.1 Perforation of the pharynx as a result of anterior cervical spine surgery may present immediately in the perioperative period or may have a more insidious onset weeks, months, or even years after surgery.28 Such perforations may result in life-threatening complications such as mediastinitis, meningitis, and sepsis.9 We report a case of delayed pharyngeal perforation and pseudodiverticulum formation that presented approximately 2 years after anterior plating of the cervical spine.

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