Author(s): Swanson AN, Pappou IP, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Chronic vertebral osteomyelitis is a disease of substantial morbidity. Although uncommon to most spinal surgeons, the incidence of pyogenic and granulomatous spondylitis worldwide is on the rise. Although antibiotic therapy remains the initial treatment for most patients, surgical debridement with or without stabilization may be required for effective eradication of the disease. Indications for surgery in pyogenic and granulomatous osteomyelitis include the need to obtain a bacteriologic diagnosis when other methods have failed, the presence of a clinically significant abscess, an infection refractory to prolonged nonoperative treatment, cord compression with considerable neurologic deficit, and substantial deformity or spinal instability. Currently, controversy remains regarding the timing of surgery, the approach used, and the use of instrumentation. We reviewed the contemporary literature available through the Medline database, focusing on larger case series and, when existing, prospective randomized trials. The rationale for surgical treatment of the most common pathogens (eg, Mycobacterium tuberculae and Staphylococcus aureus) is reviewed. Commonly, anterior debridement with or without posterior instrumentation is used for cases of advanced disease, but more limited approaches may have a role in less severe cases or patients unable to tolerate extensive surgery. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study, level III (systematic review of level III studies). Please see the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
This article was published in Clin Orthop Relat Res
and referenced in Journal of Spine