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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 674-677

Missing disc fragment: A rare surgical experience

Department of Spine Services, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abhinandan Reddy Mallepally
Department of Spine Services, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Vasant Kunj, Sector C, New Delhi - 110 070
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_79_20

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About 35%–72% of lumbar disc herniations are associated with fragment migration. However, the posterior epidural migration is rare. We present a strange situation encountered during surgical decompression of the posterior migrated fragment. A 72-year-old male presented with a history of pain radiating to the left lower limb and Grade 3 power of the extensor hallucis longus. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a prolapsed intervertebral disc and a possible posterior epidural migration of disc fragment. Routine surgical steps for microdiscectomy were followed after confirmation of level using fluoroscopy. However, the extruded disc fragment was not seen, and both exiting and traversing roots were free with adequate mobility. After extensively searching for a disc in the spinal canal, suction fluid was filtered through a surgical mop used as a sieve. Material collected was sent for histopathological study. Biopsy report confirmed material filtered was indeed the intervertebral disc. Thus, accidental suction of disc material in case of the posterior epidural migrated disc is a possibility, and we should be vigilant about this scenario to avoid disaster.

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