Asian Spine J.  2012 Dec;6(4):287-290.

Cortical Blindness Following Spinal Surgery: Very Rare Cause of Perioperative Vision Loss

  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.
  • 2Department of Orthopaedics, Friarage Hospital, Northallerton, United Kingdom.
  • 3Department of Orthopaedics, Freeman Hopstal, Newcastel upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
  • 4Department of Opthalmology, SCB Medical College, Cuttack, India.


A 38-year-old man was operated with posterior spinal decompression and pedicle screw instrumentation for his L2 fracture with incomplete neurological deficit. In the recovery, he complained of blindness in both eyes after twelve hours. Computed tomographic scan and magnetic resonance angiography revealed bilateral occipital lobe infarcts. He remained permanently blind even after three years follow-up. Though rare, perioperative vision loss is a potential complication following spine surgery in prone position. We report a rare occurrence of cortical blindness following lumbar spine surgery.


Blindness; Prone; Surgery; Spinal injuries; Postoperative vision loss
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