Bowel injury as a complication of microdisectomy: Case report and literature review

John K. Houten, Anthony K. Frempong-Boadu, Marc S. Arkovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

13 Scopus citations


Intestinal injury is a rare complication of lumbar disc surgery, resulting from inadvertent penetration of the anterior annulus fibrosus and anterior longitudinal ligament. Patients typically complain of abdominal pain and distention developing over the course of several days. Imaging with plain upright chest radiographs or abdominal computed tomography may demonstrate free air in the abdominal cavity. We report a case of intestinal perforation after microscopic lumbar discectomy and present the diagnostic postoperative imaging. In addition, we review the relevant literature and discuss techniques that may be employed to avoid this complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-250
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2004



  • Bowel injury
  • Discectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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