Asian Spine J.  2015 Apr;9(2):295-298. 10.4184/asj.2015.9.2.295.

Hypoglossal Nerve Palsy as a Complication of an Anterior Approach for Cervical Spine Surgery

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan. t.yasuda@hama-med.ac.jp

Abstract

A recurrent laryngeal nerve injury is known as a complication referring to an anterior cervical spine surgery. However, hypoglossal nerve injury is not well known yet. Herein we report a rare case of a 39-years-old male with a hypoglossal nerve injury after C3/4 osteophyte resection with Smith-Robinson approach. In this case there appeared difficulties of articulation and tongue movement with deviation of the tongue to the left side after the surgery and we diagnosed a hypoglossal nerve injury due to retraction against the nerve during the operation. During the operative approach to the upper cervical spine we had to retract the internal carotid artery and the soft tissue to reach the vertebrae. This retract was the cause of the hypoglossal nerve injury. A gently traction and intermittent release is important to avoid a hypoglossal nerve damage.

Keyword

Hypoglossal nerves; Cervical vertebrae

MeSH Terms

Carotid Artery, Internal
Cervical Vertebrae
Female
Humans
Hypoglossal Nerve
Hypoglossal Nerve Diseases*
Hypoglossal Nerve Injuries
Male
Osteophyte
Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Injuries
Spine*
Tongue
Traction
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