Abducens nerve palsy after lumbar spinal fusion surgery with inadvertent dural tearing.
BACKGROUND Thoracic disc surgeries make up only a small number of all spine surgeries performed, but they can have a considerable number of postoperative complications. Numerous approaches have been developed and studied in an attempt to reduce the morbidity associated with the procedure; however, we still encounter cases that develop serious and unexpected outcomes. CASE PRESENTATION This case report presents a patient with abducens nerve palsy after minimally invasive surgery for thoracic disc herniation with an intraoperative spinal fluid fistula. A literature review of all cases related to this complication after spine surgery is included. Despite the uncommon nature of this type of complication, understanding the procedure itself, the principle occurrences and outcomes following the procedure, the physiopathogical features of abducens nerve palsy, and the possible adverse effects of spinal surgery, including minimally invasive procedures, can enable an early diagnosis of complications and facilitate the procedure. CONCLUSIONS In spite of being very rare and multifactorial, uni- or bilateral abducens nerve paralysis carries significant morbidity and can occur as a postoperative complication after conventional or minimally invasive spine surgery. This condition requires an accurate diagnosis and adequate multidisciplinary follow up.