Novel Surgical Treatment Strategies for Unstable Lumbar Osteodiscitis: A 3-Patient Case Series
Background: Lumbar osteomyelitis frequently affects patients with medical comorbidities and poor preoperative health. Surgery is indicated when medical management fails or patients present with spinal instability or neural compromise. Successful arthrodesis can be difficult and sometimes requires alternative surgical techniques. Objective: To report 3 novel methods, each illustrated by a case, for achieving arthrodesis for lumbar osteomyelitis. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 3 cases of surgical treatment of lumbar osteomyelitis. Novel aspects of the surgical techniques are reported, as are perioperative clinical details and imaging results. Results: In the first patient, a vascularized iliac crest graft on a quadratus lumborum pedicle was rotated into the posterolateral fusion bed of the affected level. In the second, an anterior approach with debridement of affected lumbar levels was followed by rotation of a vascularized iliac crest graft on an iliacus muscle pedicle into the anterior lumbar defect. In the third, a structural, nonvascularized iliac crest graft was harvested via a lateral approach to provide better surgical access, and an autologous tricortical bone graft was obtained for placement in the debridement defect. Follow-up imaging suggested successful early incorporation of all the grafts in the fusion beds. Conclusion: Patients with multiple risk factors for pseudarthrosis and recurrent infection often require alternative surgical strategies to augment fusion. These 3 novel methods for lumbar debridement, fixation, and fusion using vascularized or nonvascularized autograft accommodate posterior, anterior, and lateral surgical approaches. Further experience with these techniques is required to compare outcomes with those of traditional techniques.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Bohl, Michael A.; Hlubek, Randall J.; Turner, Jay D.; Reece, Edward M.; Kakarla, Udaya Kumar; and Chang, Steve W., "Novel Surgical Treatment Strategies for Unstable Lumbar Osteodiscitis: A 3-Patient Case Series" (2018). Neurosurgery. 297.