Sensorineural hearing loss after spine surgery treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy: two case reports.Undersea Hyperb Med. 2018 Mar-Apr; 45(2):217-224.UH
Acute idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSNHL) following lumbar spinal surgery is an exceedingly rare phenomenon. This paper presents a case of ISSNHL presenting acutely after lumbar spine decompression and fusion treated with transtympanic steroids and hyperbaric oxygen (HBO₂) therapy. It also presents the ironic case of SSNHL secondary to presumed viral pathology sustained by the patient's operative surgeon who was treated with transtympanic steroids and HBO₂ as well. Proposed etiologies of the patient's ISSNHL include: hypotension, prone operative position, malfitted/malpositioned headrest, microemboli from a cell-saver, and nitrous oxide anesthesia. The role of systemic hypotension as an etiology of ISSNHL is discussed given the fact that there are no reported cases of ISSNHL in orthopedic procedures performed with permissive hypotension. The initiation of steroids and HBO₂ therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for ISSNHL when started within 14 days of symptom onset. HBO₂ and transtympanic steroids were initiated 10 days earlier in the operative surgeon, which showed to be a better treatment modality compared to the postoperative patient. ISSNHL in the acute postoperative period of lumbar spinal fusion surgery presents a unique treatment dilemma because systemic steroids are routinely avoided over concerns of pseudarthrosis. Of the seven documented cases of ISSNHL following lumbar spine surgery, none underwent HBO₂ as a treatment modality.