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Sudden painless loss of vision following spine surgery: lessons learnt in darkness
  1. Uvaraj R Nalli1,
  2. Bosco Aju1,
  3. Eswar Ramakrishnan1 and
  4. Sathish Muthu2
  1. 1Institute of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, Madras Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  2. 2Government Hospital, Velayuthampalayam, Karur, Tamil Nadu, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sathish Muthu; drsathishmuthu{at}


A 26-year-old male driver presented with a history of pain in the neck for the past 1 week following trauma due to a road traffic accident. The patient had no neurological deficit. He had type 1 diabetes and was on regular oral hypoglycemics. After radiological investigations, the patient was diagnosed to have traumatic AO Spine Classification type C translational injury involving anterolisthesis of C6 over C7. After a detailed preoperative assessment, the patient was taken up for surgery. The patient underwent posterior stabilisation with instrumentation from C5 to T2. On extubation from anaesthesia, he immediately complained of complete painless loss of this vision in his left eye. Ophthalmological investigations attributed the cause to be due to central retinal artery occlusion. The patient was discharged with reassurance on the 20th postoperative day with minimal improvement in his vision and at 6-month follow-up, his vision improved to 1/60 and was advised for close follow-up.

  • eye
  • trauma
  • trauma CNS /PNS
  • ophthalmology
  • orthopaedic and trauma surgery

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it has been published online. The order of the authors has been changed.

  • Contributors URN: Conceptualisation, data curation, formal analysis, investigations, methodology, administration, resources and supervision. SM: Resources, supervision, validation, visualisation, writing original drafts and reviewing drafts. BA: Conceptualisation, data curation, formal analysis, investigations and methodology. ER: Investigations, methodology and review and editing of the draft.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.