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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


A Blast of Mistakes: Undiagnosed Cervical Spondylolisthesis Following a Bomb Explosion

Unusual clinical course, Mistake in diagnosis, Patient complains / malpractice

Riccardo Caruso, Luigi Marrocco, Emanuele Piccione, Venceslao Wierzbicki

Italy Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Am J Case Rep 2017; 18:320-323

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.902357

Available online: 2017-03-30

Published: 2017-03-30


BACKGROUND: A case of spinal trauma had an unusual clinical course due to medical mistakes, from which we can learn some important lessons.
CASE REPORT: We report a case of spondylolisthesis following a bomb explosion, which went undiagnosed for a long time because of a series of mistakes that are highlighted in this article. What makes this case unique is that the spondylolisthesis developed during hospital stay, but the patient had no loss of mobility, strength, or sensitivity.
CONCLUSIONS: This case shows that establishing the conditions of an organ or a body part upon admission to hospital may not be enough when a patient has suffered extensive and serious trauma, and that it is necessary to carry out more checkups over time, especially if there are new clues and symptoms.

Keywords: Arthrodesis, Cervical Vertebrae, Spinal Cord Compression, Spinal Cord Injuries, spondylolisthesis