J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2021 Oct;56(5):419-426. 10.4055/jkoa.2021.56.5.419.

Is It Appropriate to Insert Pedicle Screws at an Infected Vertebral Body in the Treatment of Lumbar Pyogenic Spondylodiscitis?

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Bundang Jesaeng Hospital, Seongnam, Korea


In the surgical treatment of pyogenic lumbar spondylodiscitis, screw insertion at the affected vertebra has been avoided because of biofilm formation, and the risk of infection recurrence. The authors analyzed the success rate of infection treatment while minimizing the number of instrumented segments by inserting pedicle screws into the affected vertebrae. Therefore, this study examined the usefulness of this technique.
Materials and Methods
From January 2000 to June 2018, among patients with pyogenic lumbar spondylodiscitis treated surgically, group A consisted of patients with pedicle screws inserted directly at the affected vertebrae (28 cases), and group B underwent fusion by inserting screws at the adjacent normal vertebrae due to bone destruction of the affected vertebral pedicle (20 cases). The classified clinical results were analyzed retrospectively. All patients were treated via the posterior-only approach, so the affected disc and sequestrum were removed. Posterior interbody fusion was performed with an autogenous strut bone graft, and the segments were then stabilized with pedicle screw systems. The hospitalization period, operation time, amount of blood loss, EQ-5D index, duration of intravenous antibiotics, and the clinical and radiological results were analyzed.
In group A, the number of instrumented segments, operation time, blood loss, and EQ-5D index at one month postoperatively showed significant improvement compared to group B. There were no significant differences in the duration of antibiotic use, hospitalization, radiological bone union time, sagittal angle correction rate, and recurrence rate.
Minimal segmental fixation, in which pedicle screws were inserted directly into the affected vertebrae through the posterior approach, reduced the surgery time and blood loss, preserved the lumbar motion by minimizing fixed segments and showed rapid recovery without spreading or recurrence of infection. Therefore, this procedure recommended for the surgical treatment of lumbar pyogenic spondyodiscitis.


lumbar spine; pyogenic spondylodiscitis; interbody fusion; pedicle screw insertion at the infected vertebral body
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