European Spine Journal

, Volume 24, Supplement 4, pp 569–572 | Cite as

Rupture of the spleen following thoracoscopic spine surgery in a patient with chronic pancreatitis

  • Robert Bogner
  • Herbert Resch
  • Michael Mayer
  • Stefan Lederer
  • Reinhold Ortmaier
Case Report



To highlight the perioperative risk of intracapsular haematoma of the spleen or splenic ruptures during thoracoscopic spine surgery in patients with chronic pancreatitis.


A 38-year-old patient with an L1 burst fracture (AO A3.3) underwent a standard thoracoscopic corpectomy and replacement of the vertebral body with an extendable vertebral body replacement 10 days after posterior instrumentation of T12–L2. In patients history chronic abusive alcoholism with related diseases such as pancreatitis, followed by hemipancreatectomy was found. Six hours after the surgery, the patient became hemodynamically unstable. An emergency CT scan revealed a splenic rupture. Emergent splenectomy was performed.


After surgical treatment of the L1 burst fracture, a rupture of the spleen was detected. An immediate splenectomy was performed. At the 18-month follow-up, an unchanged stable position of the cage was observed on CT.


Due to its proximity to the thoracolumbar junction, the spleen is vulnerable to injury during spine surgery. If the patient has undergone previous intra-abdominal operations or chronic inflammation of the pancreas is found, special care of the spleen during the operation is necessary.


Splenic rupture Thoracoscopy Spinal fracture VBR Pancreatitis 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Bogner
    • 1
  • Herbert Resch
    • 1
  • Michael Mayer
    • 1
  • Stefan Lederer
    • 1
  • Reinhold Ortmaier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Traumatology and Sports InjuriesParacelsus Medical UniversitySalzburgAustria

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