J Spinal Disord 1995 Aug;8(4):278-83
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, USA.
Postoperative wound infections following spinal fusion with instrumentation often present diagnostic and therapeutic difficulties. This article reviews 34 such infections. An infection rate of 3.7% was noted. Depending on various clinical indicators, treatment strategies included short-course antibiotics, prolonged intravenous antibiotics, or intravenous antibiotics followed by suppressive antibiotics and eventual hardware removal. To eradicate these infections, removal of instrumentation is often required; this option, however, may result in an unstable spine. Treatment algorithms were developed for treatment of postoperative spinal surgical site infections and to minimize the possibility of spine instability. All patients were cured of their infections.