PEEK cage cervical ventral fusion in spondylodiscitis.

Research paper by Yvonne Y Mondorf, Michael R MR Gaab, Joachim M K JM Oertel

Indexed on: 17 Sep '09Published on: 17 Sep '09Published in: Acta Neurochirurgica


Cervical spondylodiscitis is a quite rare finding regarding the number and the common location of spinal abscesses in the lumbar region. While in thoracic and lumbar discitis, single-step surgery with neural decompression, disc space evacuation, and subsequent fusion is well known, there is no such report in cervical discitis. Here the authors present their experience with ventral polyetherketone (PEEK) cage fusion in cervical spondylodiscitis in a single-step procedure.Between January 2006 and November 2008, five patients (three men, two woman; ages 71, 77, 58, 66 and 66 years) suffering from cervical spondylodiscitis and epidural abscess underwent disc evacuation, myelon decompression and subsequent ventral fusion using an empty PEEK cage disc replacement in one single setting. All five patients presented with significant neurological symptoms like cervicobrachialgia, tetraparesis and disturbance of the urinary incontinence. In all five patients, disc evacuation, myelon decompression and cervical fusion using a PEEK cage disc replacement in a single-stage surgery were performed. All wounds were closed primarily. Postoperatively, all patients received a specific antibiotic therapy for at least 6 weeks.This treatment strategy was successful in all patients with respect to clinical signs, laboratory parameters and radiological findings. All patients improved neurologically. Follow-up revealed a stable osteosynthesis without signs of instability. One cage was explanted despite neurological improvement and normal infectious parameters at another surgical department. No complications were observed.In all, abscess drainage and ventral fusion with PEEK-cage disc replacement in one single setting was proven to be a successful treatment option in cervical discitis and spinal epidural abscess.