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Int Orthop. 2012 Feb;36(2):433-8. doi: 10.1007/s00264-011-1442-0. Epub 2012 Feb 4.

Postoperative spondilodiscitis.

Author information

  • 1Spine Services, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, NY 10075, USA. agerometta@wanadoo.fr

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Postoperative spondylodiscitis is a primary infection of the nucleus pulposus with secondary involvement of the cartilaginous endplate and vertebral bone. Although uncommon, postoperative spondylodiscitis causes major morbidity and may be associated with serious long-term sequelae. Several risk factors had been identified, including immunosuppression, obesity, alcohol, smoking, diabetes and malnutrition.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A review of the literature was done to analyse the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of postoperative spondylodiscitis.

RESULTS:

We found that the principles of conservative treatment are to establish an accurate microbiological diagnosis, treat with appropriate antibiotics, immobilise the spine, and closely monitor for spinal instability and neurological deterioration. The purpose of surgical treatment is to obtain multiple cultures of bone and soft tissue, perform a thorough debridement of infected tissue, decompress neural structures, and reconstruct the unstable spinal column with bone graft with or without concomitant instrumentation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Appropriate management requires aggressive medical treatment and, at times, surgical intervention. If recognised early and treated appropriately, a full recovery can often be expected. Therefore, clinicians should be aware of the clinical presentation of such infections to improve patient outcome. A review of the literature was done to advance our understanding of the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and outcome of these infections.

PMID:
22307558
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3282860
Free PMC Article
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