Orthopedic Research Online Journal

Fishing in the Dark: Retrieving Broken Instruments during a Spinal Lumbar Discectomy

  • Open or Close Lee MJ1*, Moriarty M2 and McCoy GF3

    1University Hospital Waterford, Ireland

    2St James’s Hospital, Ireland

    3University Hospital Waterford, Ireland

    *Corresponding author: Matthew Lee, University Hospital Waterford, Dunmore Road, Waterford, Ireland, Tel: 003530864151500; Email: leemj@tcd.ie

Submission: February 21, 2018; Published: March 12, 2018

DOI: 10.31031/OPROJ.2018.02.000531

ISSN: 2576-8875
Volume2 Issue2


The equipment utilised in surgical operations must be durable and safe. Regular checks to ensure no signs of wear or fatigue (that may result in failure) should be incorporated into the sterilising and repackaging process. We present a case of equipment failure resulting in a lost foreign body during a lumbar spine discectomy and subsequent difficult retrieval. The potential consequences of such events may be profound for both the patient and the operating team. Lost foreign bodies are typically surgical swabs or needles with resultant complications either acute or delayed. Every effort to prevent such occurrences must be made as patient safety is of the utmost importance.

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