Combined Anterior and Posterior Surgeries in the Treatment of Spinal Tuberculous Spondylitis

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Methods for the treatment of tuberculous spondylitis still are controversial. The authors treated 32 consecutive patients with a two-stage surgical technique combined with antituberculous chemotherapy for 1 year. After anterior debridement, fusion with autogenous anterior iliac tricortical strut bone graft was done, and in a second stage, posterior instrumentation and fusion with autogenous posterior iliac corticocancellous bone graft was done 11 days (range, 4–22 days) later. Postoperatively, patients were encouraged to ambulate with brace protection as early as possible. Twenty-nine patients were followed up for a minimum of 2 years (median, 4.7 years; range, 2–10 years) of whom 28 patients achieved solid fusion (97%). All patients had improvement of back pain including the only patient with pseudarthrosis. Neurologic deficits completely recovered in 84% (16 of 19) of patients after 3 months. Kyphotic deformity improved in all 29 patients (34.6° versus 17.3°) with the average correction angle of 17.3°. Clinically, 27 patients had achieved a satisfactory outcome (93%). There were no evident surgical complications. The authors, therefore, recommend a two-stage surgical technique combined with antituberculous chemotherapy to treat patients with severe vertebral body destruction attributable to tuberculosis because of its high success rate and a low complication rate.

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