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Spinal Infections: A Review

Ansari, Sohail; Ashraf, Ahmed Najib; Moutaery, Khalaf Al


Spinal infections continue to be an important source of death and complications in the developing countries. With recent advances in imaging techniques and the advent of a new generation of antimicrobials, there has been a considerable decrease in the incidence. However, there are still many pitfalls in the management of spinal infections. Early diagnosis and use of appropriate antibiotics and surgical instrumentation remain the mainstay of management. Bacterial infections (i.e., pyogenic osteomyelitis, tuberculous spondylitis, and spinal brucellosis) are the most common types seen in the Middle East. Other varieties of vertebral osteomyelitis from viral, fungal, or parasitic organisms are also seen. In this paper the authors review the standard management of spinal infections and briefly overview their experience in dealing with these infections.

Division of Neurosurgery, Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Khalaf Al Moutaery, Division of Neurosurgery, Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital, PO Box 7891, Riyadh 11159, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. E-mail:

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.