STUDY DESIGN:
A multicentered retrospective case series.

OBJECTIVE:
To determine the incidence and circumstances surrounding the development of a symptomatic postoperative epidural hematoma in the cervical spine.

METHODS:
Patients who underwent cervical spine surgery between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2011, at 23 institutions were reviewed, and all patients who developed an epidural hematoma were identified.

RESULTS:
A total of 16‚ÄČ582 cervical spine surgeries were identified, and 15 patients developed a postoperative epidural hematoma, for a total incidence of 0.090%. Substantial variation between institutions was noted, with 11 sites reporting no epidural hematomas, and 1 site reporting an incidence of 0.76%. All patients initially presented with a neurologic deficit. Nine patients had complete resolution of the neurologic deficit after hematoma evacuation; however 2 of the 3 patients (66%) who had a delay in the diagnosis of the epidural hematoma had residual neurologic deficits compared to only 4 of the 12 patients (33%) who had no delay in the diagnosis or treatment (P = .53). Additionally, the patients who experienced a postoperative epidural hematoma did not experience any significant improvement in health-related quality-of-life metrics as a result of the index procedure at final follow-up evaluation.

CONCLUSION:
This is the largest series to date to analyze the incidence of an epidural hematoma following cervical spine surgery, and this study suggest that an epidural hematoma occurs in approximately 1 out of 1000 cervical spine surgeries. Prompt diagnosis and treatment may improve the chance of making a complete neurologic recovery, but patients who develop this complication do not show improvements in the health-related quality-of-life measurements.





Polls results
1

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate how much this article will change your clinical practice?

NO change
BIG change
0% Article relates to my practice (0/0)
0% Article does not relate to my practice (0/0)
0% Undecided (0/0)
2

Will this article lead to more cost-effective healthcare?

0% Yes (0/0)
0% No (0/0)
0% Undecided (0/0)
3

Was this article biased? (commercial or personal)

0% Yes (0/0)
0% No (0/0)
0% Undecided (0/0)
4

What level of evidence do you think this article is?

0% Level 1 (0/0)
0% Level 2 (0/0)
0% Level 3 (0/0)
0% Level 4 (0/0)
0% Level 5 (0/0)