During the study, researchers have found out a rare devastating complication that six risk factors are linked to blindness after spine surgery. ION known as ischemic optic neuropathy is actually the complication occurs when the optic nerve located behind the eyeball is injured. It is been estimated that from 1,000 spine surgeries as many as one is seen with this. Hence, according to the researchers in rare cases, it can happen to healthy patients at any age also.

Thus, for the new study, investigators gathered information from a large national database created by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) to identify patients who were blinded after spine surgery and compared the data to patients undergoing similar spine surgeries from 17 medical centers in North America but who did not experience vision loss.

The six factors estimated in the research study are being male; being obese; use of a surgical frame that places the head lower than the heart; the length of the surgery; amount of blood loss; and the use of certain fluids that replace lost blood.

Thus while making news release to ASA, Dr. Lorri Lee of the University of Washington, the study’s lead author, said that their research represents the largest study performed on this complication to date with very detailed data available for comparison. Further they added that the identification of the six major risk factors for ION hopefully means that some of these risk factors can be modified in certain situations. The study is published in the January issue of the journal Anesthesiology.