Necrotizing Fasciitis: A Life-threatening Complication of Intraoperative Electromyography

Shoakazemi A, Moisi M, Tubbs RS, Wingerson M, Ajayi O, Zwillman ME, Gottlieb J, Hanscom D.Necrotizing Fasciitis: A Life-threatening Complication of Intraoperative Electromyography.Cureus. 2016 Jan 25;8(1):e468. doi: 10.7759/cureus.468.


Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring is a commonly used practice during spine surgery. Complications of electromyography (EMG) needle electrode placement are very uncommon. We present a patient who was infected with necrotizing fasciitis in her left thigh due to an EMG needle electrode during a two-stage complex spine procedure. This case demonstrates that providers should continue to meticulously adhere to protocol when inserting and removing EMG needles, but also be cognizant during postoperative observation of the possibility of infection caused by EMG needles.