Surgical Failures

  • F. Postacchini
  • G. Cinotti


A failure in surgical treatment should be distinguished from a complication. The latter term — as currently used in medicine — includes extraordinary events, often unpredictable and sometimes correctable intraoperatively, which render abnormal the operative or postoperative course; however, complications do not necessarily affect the surgical outcome. A failure occurs when the expected result has not been achieved, due to events which may normally cause a deviation from the usual course. Failures may be the result of factors inherent to the treated condition, related to other conditions, or due to intraoperative or postoperative complications. The distinction between complications and failures is often difficult and at times arbitrary. However, it is important not only for taxonomic reasons, but also for the different therapeutic and legal implications that are involved in the two situations. In this chapter, we analyze the failures which are not related to surgical complications.


Spinal Canal Disc Herniation Facet Joint Lumbar Disc Lumbar Disc Herniation 
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© Springer-Verlag Wien 1999

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  • F. Postacchini
  • G. Cinotti

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