Surgical Site Infections in Spinal Surgery

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Surgical site infections (SSIs) are a potentially devastating complication of spine surgery. SSIs are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as occurring within 30 days of surgery or within 12 months of placement of foreign bodies, such as spinal instrumentation. SSIs are commonly categorized by the depth of surgical tissue involvement (ie, superficial, deep incisional, or organ and surrounding space). Postoperative infections result in increased costs and postoperative morbidity. Because continued research has improved the evaluation and management of spinal infections, spine surgeons must be aware of these modalities. The controversies in evaluation and management of SSIs in spine surgery will be reviewed.

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