Continuous Epidural Irrigation and Drainage Combined with Posterior Debridement and Posterior Lumbar Inter-Body Fusion for the Management of Single-Segment Lumbar Pyogenic Spondylodiscitis.

Purpose: To observe the clinical curative effect of continuous epidural irrigation combined with posterior debridement and posterior lumbar inter-body fusion with instrumentation for the therapy of single-segment lumbar pyogenic spongdylodiscitis. Methods: From June 2010 to November 2013, surgical treatment was performed in 18 patients with pyogenic spondylodiscitis. The surgical indications were progressive biomechanical instability, epidural abscesses, deterioration of neurologic status, and intractable back pain. All these patients received posterior decompression with posterior instrumentation, debridement of infected tissue, and inter-body fusion. Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) scores were used to assess clinical outcomes. The neural function was evaluated by the Frankel grading system. Laboratory and radiologic results were recorded during clinical follow-up for at least one year. Results: The average follow-up period was 18 months after the operation. The VAS scores decreased from an average of 7.1 points before the procedure to 2.6 points after operation. The neurologic deficits of all the patients were recovered to Frankel grade E. All of the examined laboratory parameters were normalized gradually. Imaging-documented fusion was achieved in each patient, and no implants failure was noted. No patients showed any evidence of recurrence or persistence of infection. Conclusion: In carefully selected patients, single-segment lumbar pyogenic spondylodiscitis can be cured successfully with continuous epidural irrigation and drainage combined with posterior debridement and posterior lumbar inter-body fusion. Instrumentation could provide immediate stability and reconstruction of the spine column, and the presence of instrumentation did not result in any persistence or recurrence of infection. Continuous epidural irrigation and drainage is an effective method facilitating the elimination of residual infection.

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