International Orthopaedics

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 457–464

Infections in spinal instrumentation

  • Antoine Gerometta
  • Juan Carlos Rodriguez Olaverri
  • Fabian Bitan
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00264-011-1426-0

Cite this article as:
Gerometta, A., Olaverri, J.C.R. & Bitan, F. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) (2012) 36: 457. doi:10.1007/s00264-011-1426-0


Surgical-site infection (SSI ) in the spine is a serious postoperative complication. Factors such as posterior surgical approach, arthrodesis, use of spinal instrumentation, age, obesity, diabetes, tobacco use, operating-room environment and estimated blood loss are well established in the literature to affect the risk of infection. Infection after spine surgery with instrumentation is becoming a common pathology. The reported infection rates range from 0.7% to 11.9%, depending on the diagnosis and complexity of the procedure. Besides operative factors, patient characteristics could also account for increased infection rates. These infections after instrumented spinal fusion are particularly difficult to manage due to the implanted, and possibly infected, instrumentation. Because the medical, economic and social costs of SSI after spinal instrumentation are enormous, any significant reduction in risks will pay dividends. The goal of this literature review was to analyse risk factors, causative organisms, diagnostic elements (both clinical and biological), different treatment options and their efficiency and consequences and the means of SSI prevention.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoine Gerometta
    • 1
  • Juan Carlos Rodriguez Olaverri
    • 2
  • Fabian Bitan
    • 3
  1. 1.Orthopedic Resident Lenox Hill HospitalNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Orthopedic Surgery, NYU School of MedicineSpine Orthopedic Attending Lenox Hill HospitalNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Orthopedic Surgery at Albert Einstein College of MedicineChief of Spine Services at Lenox Hill HospitalNew YorkUSA