Surgical management of contiguous multilevel thoracolumbar tuberculous spondylitis.
ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Tuberculous spondylitis (TBS) is the most common form of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis. The mainstay of TBS management is anti-tuberculous chemotherapy. Most of the patients with TBS are treated conservatively; however in some patients surgery is indicated. Most common indications for surgery include neurological deficit, deformity, instability, large abscesses and necrotic tissue mass or inadequate response to anti-tuberculous chemotherapy. The most common form of TBS involves a single motion segment of spine (two adjoining vertebrae and their intervening disc). Sometimes TBS involves more than two adjoining vertebrae, when it is called multilevel TBS. Indications for correct surgical management of multilevel TBS is not clear from literature. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We have retrospectively reviewed 87 patients operated in 10 years for multilevel TBS involving the thoracolumbar spine at our spine unit. Two types of surgeries were performed on these patients. In 57 patients, modified Hong Kong operation was performed with radical debridement, strut grafting and anterior instrumentation. In 30 patients this operation was combined with pedicle screw fixation with or without correction of kyphosis by osteotomy. Patients were followed up for correction of kyphosis, improvement in neurological deficit, pain and function. Complications were noted. On long-term follow-up (average 64 months), there was 9.34 % improvement in kyphosis angle in the modified Hong Kong group and 47.58 % improvement in the group with pedicle screw fixation and osteotomy in addition to anterior surgery (p < 0.001). Seven patients had implant failures and revision surgeries in the modified Hong Kong group. Neurological improvement, pain relief and functional outcome were the same in both groups. CONCLUSION: We conclude that pedicle screw fixation with or without a correcting osteotomy should be added in all patients with multilevel thoracolumbar tuberculous spondylitis undergoing radical debridement and anterior column reconstruction.
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ABSTRACT: There are few articles in the literature concerning anterior instrumentation in the surgical management of spinal tuberculosis in the exudative stage. So we report here 23 cases of active thoracolumbar spinal tuberculosis treated by one-stage anterior interbody autografting and instrumentation to verify the importance of early reconstruction of spinal stability and to evaluate the results of one-stage interbody autografting and anterior instrumentation in the surgical management of the exudative stage of throracolumbar spinal tuberculosis. Twenty-three patients, including two children (9 and 15 years old, respectively) and 21 adults with thoracolumbar spinal tuberculosis were treated surgically. T9 to L4 spinal segments were affected, and MRI/CT showed evident collapse of the vertebrae because of tuberculous destruction and paravertebral abscess. Neurological deficits were found in 15 patients. Before surgery, patients received standard anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy for 2 to 3 weeks. Under general endotracheal anaesthesia, the patients were placed in right recumbent positions, and a transthoracic, lateral extracavitary or extrapleural approach was chosen according to the tuberculosis lesion segment. After exposure, the tuberculous lesion region, including the collapsed vertebrae and in-between intervertebral disc, was almost completely resected in order to release the segmental spinal cord. Then, autologous iliac, rib or fibular graft was harvested to complete interbody fusion, and an anterior titanium-alloy plate-screw system was used to reconstruct the stability of the affected segments. Anti-tuberculosis chemotherapy was continued for at least 9 months, and the patients were supported with thoracolumbosacral orthosis for 6 months after surgery. All patients were followed up for an average of 2 years. All 23 cases were healed without chronic sinus formation or any recurrence of tuberculosis during the follow-up period. Spinal fusion occurred at a mean of 3.8 months after surgery. Of all patients with neurological deficits, 14 patients showed obvious improvement; only one patient with Frankel C lesion remained unchanged, but none of the patients got worse. During the follow-up period, a mean of 18 degrees of kyphosis correction was achieved after surgery in the adult group. Moderate progressive kyphosis because of this procedure fusion occurred postoperatively in a 9-year-old child after 2 1/2 years; another 15-year-old child did not demonstrate this phenomenon. Except for the early loosening of one screw in two cases (which did not affect the reconstruction of spinal stability), no other complications associated with this procedure were found during follow-up. Early reconstruction of spinal stability plays an important role in the surgical management of spinal tuberculosis. One-stage anterior interbody autografting and instrumentation in the surgical management of the exudative stage of spinal tuberculosis show more advantages in selected patients, but supplementary posterior fusion should be considered to prevent postoperative kyphosis when this procedure is performed in children.European Spine Journal 04/2004; 13(2):114-21. · 2.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis of the spine is probably one of the earliest diseases to have affected the human race. Over the past few decades, the epidemiology, pathology, natural history and diagnostic methodology have been well studied. The multinational prospective study on the efficacy of conservative chemotherapy and surgical treatment coordinated by the Medical Research Council has just completed a final 15-year follow-up report. Although it appears from this study that conservative treatment is as effective as surgical intervention for earlier and milder diseases, there are still reservations on the effect of such treatment at much longer follow-ups and for more severe diseases. Further developments in diagnosis using molecular genetic techniques, more effective antibiotics and more aggressive surgical protocols in the next millennium may help in solving the problems of late severe deformity and paraplegia in the debilitated immunocompromised patients.European Spine Journal 02/1999; 8(5):338-45. · 2.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The correction of severe post-tubercular kyphosis (PTK) is complex and has the disadvantage of being multiple staged with a high morbidity. Here, we describe the procedure and results of closing-opening osteotomy for correction of PTK which shortens the posterior column and opens the anterior column appropriately to correct the deformity without altering the length of the spinal cord. Seventeen patients with PTK (10 males; 7 females) with an average age of 18.3 +/- 10.6 years (range 4-40 years) formed the study group. There were ten thoracolumbar, one lumbar and six thoracic deformities. The number of vertebrae involved ranged from 2 to 5 (average 2.8). Preoperative kyphosis averaged 69.2 degrees +/- 25.1 degrees (range 42 degrees -104 degrees ) which included ten patients with deformity greater than 60 degrees . The average vertebral body loss was 2.01 +/- 0.79 (range 1.1-4.1). The neurological status was normal in 13 patients, Frankel's grade D in three patients and grade C in one. Posterior stabilization with pedicle screw instrumentation was followed by a preoperatively calculated wedge resection. Anterior column reconstruction was performed using rib grafts in four, tricortical iliac bone graft in five, cages in six, and bone chips alone and fibular graft in one patient each. Average operating time was 280 min (200-340 min) with an average blood loss of 820 ml (range 500-1,600 ml). The postoperative kyphosis averaged 32.4 degrees +/- 19.5 degrees (range 8 degrees -62 degrees ). The percentage correction of kyphosis achieved was 56.8 +/- 14.6% (range 32-83%). No patient with normal preoperative neurological status showed deterioration in neurology after surgery. The last follow-up was at an average of 43 +/- 4 months (range 32-64 months). The average loss of correction at the last follow-up was 5.4 degrees (range 3 degrees -9 degrees ). At the last follow-up, the mean preoperative pain visual analogue scale score decreased significantly from 9.2 (range 8-10 points) to 1.5 (range 1-2 points). There was also a significant decrease in mean preoperative Oswestry's Disability Index from 56.4 (range 46-68) to 10.6 (range 6-15). Complications were superficial wound infections in two, neurological deterioration in one, temporary jaundice in one and implant failure requiring revision in one. Single-stage closing-opening wedge osteotomy is an effective method to correct severe PTK. The procedure has the advantage of being a posterior only, single-stage correction, which allows for significant correction with minimal complications.European Spine Journal 12/2009; 19(4):583-92. · 2.13 Impact Factor