Successfull management of a cervical oesophageal injury after an anterior cervical approach: a case report
The anterior surgical approach for spinal repair, with or without the insertion of stabilizing hardware, is an established procedure in the management of anterior cervical spine (ACS) pathology. Esophageal injury during this approach is a rare complication that can be life threatening. No treatment protocol has yet been standardized. In addition to conservative measures, several surgical approaches have been presented, ranging from primary repair to reconstruction with local, regional, or distant flaps. The SCM muscle flap, used as reinforcement of a primary suture or as a patch to the lesion is in our opinion an effective treatment for persisting or recurring esophageal fistulae after anterior cervical spine surgery.