Unusual presentation of spinal cord compression related to misplaced pedicle screws in thoracic scoliosis
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Utilization of thoracic pedicle screws is controversial, especially in the treatment of scoliosis. We present a case of a 15-year-old girl seen 6 months after her initial surgery for scoliosis done elsewhere. She complained of persistent epigastric pain, tremor of the right foot at rest, and abnormal feelings in her legs. Clinical examination revealed mild weakness in the right lower extremity, a loss of thermoalgic discrimination, and a forward imbalance. A CT scan revealed at T8 and T10 that the right pedicle screws were misplaced by 4 mm in the spinal canal. At the time of the revision surgery the somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) returned to normal after screw removal. The clinical symptoms resolved 1 month after the revision. The authors conclude that after pedicle instrumentation at the thoracic level a spinal cord compression should be looked for in case of subtle neurologic findings such as persistent abdominal pain, mild lower extremity weakness, tremor at rest, thermoalgic discrimination loss, or unexplained imbalance.
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