Perioperative vision loss in cervical spinal surgery

Brandon C. Gabel, Arthur Lam, Jens R. Chapman, Rod J. Oskouian, Ahmad Nassr, Bradford L. Currier, Arjun S. Sebastian, Paul M. Arnold, Steven R. Hamilton, Michael G. Fehlings, Thomas E. Mroz, K. Daniel Riew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Design: Retrospective multicenter case series. Objective: To assess the rate of perioperative vision loss following cervical spinal surgery. Methods: Medical records for 17 625 patients from 21 high-volume surgical centers from the AOSpine North America Clinical Research Network who received cervical spine surgery (levels from C2 to C7) between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2011, inclusive, were reviewed to identify occurrences of vision loss following surgery. Results: Of the 17 625 patients in the registry, there were 13 946 patients assessed for the complication of blindness. There were 9591 cases that involved only anterior surgical approaches; the remaining 4355 cases were posterior and/or circumferential fusions. There were no cases of blindness or vision loss in the postoperative period reported during the sampling period. Conclusions: Perioperative vision loss following cervical spinal surgery is exceedingly rare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91S-95S
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number1_suppl
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • PION
  • blindness
  • ischemic optic neuropathy
  • spine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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