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Orthop Clin North Am. 1991 Jul;22(3):491-501.

Infectious disease of the spine. Diagnostic and treatment considerations.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.


Excellence in treating spinal infections demands recognition of the fact that all spine infections are potential disasters. One needs to possess a complete knowledge of the pathology and pathogenesis of these disorders. An aggressive diagnostic approach is required. Surgery may be required for diagnosis, abscess drainage, neurologic involvement, deformity, or refractoriness to conservative therapy. Selection of the proper operation, as well as its skillful execution, are prerequisites. These goals, along with the appropriate use of antibiotics, and, most importantly, vigilance for the presence of spinal infection, will allow us to avoid the high rates of morbidity and mortality experienced by others in the past.

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