Title

Post-infectious deformity of the spine

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

9-1-2016

Journal

Seminars in Spine Surgery

Volume

28

Issue

3

DOI

10.1053/j.semss.2015.07.005

Abstract

© 2016 Elsevier Inc. Vertebro-discal infections of the spine often lead to significant bone destruction that results in deformities of the spinal column. The age of the patient, geographic location within the vertebral column, type of organism, as well as delay in initiating treatment are all factors that may influence the development as well as progression of the deformity. Sagittal plane malalignment is commonly encountered in clinical practice, although coronal plane deformity as well as mixed kyphoscoliotic curves are occasionally seen. Symptoms resulting from post-infectious deformity can range from a small kyphus producing a minor cosmetic deformity to a severely angulated spinal column that affects respiratory capacity, and may even result in spinal cord dysfunction due to the chronic pressure effects on the neural elements. The ability to prognosticate those deformities that are likely to progress can play a substantial role in minimizing the occurrence of major spinal malalignment. While deformity that occurs during active disease is easier to correct surgically, the deformity of healed disease is often rigid and requires technically demanding osteotomies and bony resections, procedures that have become increasingly common.

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