Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Ahead of Print.
Lateral approaches to the spine are becoming increasingly popular methods for decompression, restoration of alignment, and arthrodesis. Although individual cases of intraoperative injuries to the renal vasculature and the ureters have been documented as rare complications of lateral approaches to the spine, the authors report the first known case of postoperative renal injury due to the delayed extrusion of the screw of a lateral plate/screw construct directly into the renal parenchyma. The migration of the screw from the L1 vertebra into the superior pole of the left kidney occurred nearly 5 years after the index procedure, and presented as painless hematuria. A traditional left-sided retroperitoneal approach had been used at the time of the initial surgery, and the same exposure was used to remove the hardware, which was done in conjunction with general surgery and urology.