Spontaneous healing of a shredded esophagus after ACDF without direct repair

Sumedh S. Shah, S. Shelby Burks, Dao M. Nguyen, Zoukaa B. Sargi, Joy Stephens-McDonnough, Michael Y. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Esophageal perforation is a catastrophic complication of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). While direct surgical repair has been reported as optimal for restoration of upper gut function, we present the case of a 58-year-old woman who achieved complete resolution when treated only with debridement and drainage. We find that a supportive approach, surgical management without direct repair, may play a vital role in select patient populations in order to avoid potentially long-term consequences or radical treatments, like esophageal diversion. Decisions regarding direct repair versus debridement and inspection only should be made on a case-by-case basis through a multidisciplinary approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-417
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurochirurgica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Anterior cervical fusion
  • Management esophageal injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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