Treating thoracic infective spondylodiscitis with anterior surgical approaches carry a relatively high risk of perioperative and postoperative complications. Posterior approaches have been reported to result in lower complication rates than anterior procedures, but more evidence is needed to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of 1-stage posterior approaches for treating infectious thoracic spondylodiscitis.
Preoperative and postoperative clinical data, of 18 patients who underwent 2 types of 1-stage posterior procedures, costotransversectomy and transforaminal thoracic interbody debridement and fusion and 7 patients who underwent anterior debridement and reconstruction with posterior instrumentation, were retrospectively assessed.
The clinical outcomes of patients treated with 1-stage posterior approaches were generally good, with good infection control, back pain relief, kyphotic angle correction, and either partial or solid union for fusion status. Furthermore, they achieved shorter surgical time, fewer postoperative complications, and shorter hospital stay than the patients underwent anterior debridement with posterior instrumentation.
The results suggested that treating thoracic spondylodiscitis with a single-stage posterior approach might prevent postoperative complications and avoid respiratory problems associated with anterior approaches. Single-stage posterior approaches would be recommended for thoracic spine infection, especially for patients with medical comorbidities.