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Original Article

Med Arch. 2019; 73(1): 39-43

Conservative Treatment of Spondylodiscitis: Possible Therapeutic Solution in Case of Failure of Standard Therapy

Enrico Maria Bonura, David Joaquin Ortolà Morales, Domenico Fenga, Giuseppe Rollo, Luigi Meccariello, Danilo Leonetti, Francesco Traina, Francesco Centofanti, Michele Attilio Rosa.


Introduction: Spondylodiscitis (SD) is an uncommon disease but not rare, because it represents around 3–5% of all cases of osteomyelitis. Late diagnosis and/or inadequate treatment often cause irreversible damage to cause neurological deficit. Most require only conservative treatment, sometimes a surgical approach is required. Aim: The purpose of this study is to propose a conservative protocol to treat spondylodiscitis when the standard conservative treatment has failed. This alternative treatment has been for a long time at the Codivilla-Putti Institute. Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study of 192 consecutive patients who underwent paravertebral intramuscular injections of antibiotic associated with standard treatment at our Center from January 2010 to December 2015 with SD. Of this 192 patients we selected 98 who had already undergone standard antibiotic therapy at another hospital without resolution of the disease. All patients have performed our protocol that provides a total of 3 cycles, each of 3 weeks, repeated at approximately 5 weeks apart. For each patient we evaluated Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR), C-Reactive Protein (CRP), White Blood Cells (WBC) indexes, SF36 and VAS Score at the beginning and at the end of the treatment. Results: At a mean follow up of 22 months (range 60-12), clinical healing was achieved in 87 patients (88,9%) of cases with significant reduction in back pain and functional limitation. The VAS Score and the SF36 were better at the end of treatment compared to previous “GOLD STANDARD” treatments in the previous hospitalization in another hospital. In most cases there were slightly reduced in inflammatory indexes. Conclusion: There are no studies in the literature demonstrating the effective efficacy of local infiltrative treatment with antibiotics, associated with standard treatment protocol. We believe that our protocol in treating SD, favors an early functional recovery, and be able to offer more chance of success than the standard treatment.

Key words: Spondylodiscitis; Pyogenic spondylodiscitis; Spinal infection; Postoperative spondylodiscitis; Vertebral osteomyelitis; Antibiotic therapy; Conservative treatment.

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