Tapia's Syndrome after Posterior Cervical Spine Surgery under General Anesthesia.J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2013 Nov; 54(5):423-5.JK
We present a case report to remind surgeons of this unusual complication that can occur in any surgery, even posterior cervical spine surgery under general anesthesia and discuss its causes, treatment methods, and the follow-up results in the literature. The peripheral Tapia's syndrome is a rare complication of anesthetic airway management. Main symptoms are hoarseness of voice and difficulty of tongue movement. Tapia's syndrome after endotracheal general anesthesia is believed to be due to pressure neuropathy of the vagus nerve and the hypoglossal nerve caused by the endotracheal tube. To our knowledge, no report has been published or given an explanation for Tapia's syndrome after posterior cervical spine surgery. Two patients who underwent posterior cervical surgery complained hoarseness and tongue palsy postoperatively. There is no direct anatomical relation between the operation, the vagus nerves and the hypoglossal nerves, and there is no record of displacement or malposition of the endotracheal tube. After several months, all symptoms are resolved. To avoid this problem in posterior cervical spine surgery, we suggest paying special attention to the position of the endotracheal tube to avoid excessive neck flexion before and during the positioning of the patient.