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Eur Spine J. 1998;7(1):50-4.

Vertebral osteomyelitis: an analysis of 38 surgically treated cases.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Faculty of Medicine, Sugitani, Japan.


The purpose of the study was to evaluate the characteristics of patients with vertebral osteomyelitis who were treated by anterior debridement and interbody fusion. Thirty-eight patients with vertebral osteomyelitis, who were treated between 1980 and 1993, were analyzed in terms of age at the occurrence of disease, duration of disease, type of onset symptoms, radiological type of vertebral destruction, species of pathogen, and surgical result. Thirty-one out of 38 patients (82%) were more than 40 years of age. The patients with severe vertebral destruction were significantly older than those with mild vertebral destruction. Vertebral destruction in the thoracic spine was significantly more severe than that in the lumbar spine. Staphylococcus aureus was identified in only six patients (32% of organism-determined cases). In the present patients who required anterior debridement and bone grafting for this disease, the prognosis was quite good after anterior interbody fusion in conjunction with antibiotics therapy.

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