Most surgery in wrong spot done on spine

The Boston Globe—July 30, 2008

Massachusetts surgeons have operated on the wrong location 38 times since 2006, with spine surgeries accounting for more mistakes than any other locations, prompting the state to take action in organizing an official inquiry as well as a blueprint to reduce further error.

Mistakes in surgeries involving the spine are particularly prevalent because the spine is a challenging surgical field, made up of vertebrae that look almost identical to one another. Each vertebra is little more than an inch tall, with only a small separation between the structures.

“You say how could you do a wrong level?” said Frank P. Cammisa Jr., M.D., chief of the spine service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. “You can see where it would be hard to determine what vertebrae you’re working on.”

To avoid mistakes, doctors count the vertebrae manually and take multiple X-rays of the spine to provide a surgical road map.

Read the rest of the article at boston.com.

 

Find a Physician

Conditions & Treatments

graphic: adult outline graphic: child outline
Select A Body Part
Conditions: Adult head Conditions: Adult spine Conditions: Adult shoulder Conditions: Adult elbow Conditions: Adult hand Conditions: Adult hip Conditions: Adult knee Conditions: Adult ankle Conditions: Adult head Conditions: Adult full body Conditions: Child spine Conditions: Child elbow Conditions: Child hip Conditions: Child hand Conditions: Child knee Conditions: Child ankle Conditions: Child full body

Complete Listing »

Media Contacts

Tracy Hickenbottom
Monique Irons
Sherry Randolph

212.606.1197
mediarelations@hss.edu

Social Media Contacts

Andrew Worob
Otis Gamboa
socialmediacontact@hss.edu