Background Bilateral C5 motor palsy is a rare but potentially debilitating complication after cervical spine decompression with very few reports in the published literature. Purpose To present a case of bilateral C5 motor palsy after anterior cervical decompression and fusion and discuss the incidence and risk factors of this complication. Study Design/Setting We report a case of a 57-year-old male who underwent a three level C3-C6 anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with instrumentation who developed a postoperative bilateral C5 motor palsy. Methods A review of the literature was performed regarding reports on and incidence of post-operative bilateral C5 palsy following either anterior or posterior cervical spine decompression. Results Bilateral C5 motor palsy is a rare complication of cervical spine decompression with an overall incidence of 0.38%. Although a group of risk factors have been suggested no single cause has been identified. Conclusions Bilateral C5 motor palsy is a rare but debilitating complication of cervical decompression.
- C5 palsy
- Cervical decompression