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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X


DUNN, RN  and  JACOBSOHN, MJ. Optimising safety in the spine theatre. SA orthop. j. [online]. 2009, vol.8, n.3, pp.33-39. ISSN 2309-8309.

With the proliferation of spinal surgery, both in numbers of cases annually and variety of surgery, there has been an increase in complications and associated litigation. Fager reports that up to 40% of cases were non-defensible. A review of the published literature was performed to highlight some of the more common aspects in an effort to highlight them to the spine surgeon in an attempt to reduce their incidence and optimise safety in theatre. The following issues are discussed: Wrong level surgery Patient positioning Infection risk and rituals Neurophysiological monitoring Neuronavigation.

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