European Spine Journal

, Volume 14, Issue 9, pp 895–899 | Cite as

Spondylitis following vertebroplasty: a case report

  • Katharina E. SchmidEmail author
  • Bronek M. Boszczyk
  • Michael Bierschneider
  • Andreas Zarfl
  • Björn Robert
  • Hans Jaksche
Case Report


Purpose: Spondylitis is a rare complication of vertebroplasty with only one case report having been published to date. We report a further case of spondylitis after vertebroplasty that was managed successfully with conservative therapy. Methods: The clinical course of a 55-year-old patient with secondary osteoporosis due to liver cirrhosis from alcohol abuse is reported, in whom percutaneous vertebroplasty of three fractured vertebral bodies (L3–L5) was complicated by spondylitis at these levels. Results: Spondylitis of L3–L5 with paravertebral abscess formation and progressive collapse of L5 was detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment consisted of percutaneous aspiration of the paravertebral abscess and antibiotic therapy. No bacteria was identified despite cultures have been taken before antibiotic treatment. The patient was treated with intravenous ciprofloxacin and consecutive clindamycin for a total of 3 months. One year after the infection the MRI signs of spondylitis have resolved without further collapse of L5. Painlevels have improved significantly, allowing the patient to return to work, but are still higher than immediately after vertebroplasty. Conclusion: Spondylitis is a rare complication of vertebroplasty. In the presented case a satisfactory result could be achieved through conservative antibiotic therapy and restriction of movement.


Vertebroplasty Complications Spondylitis Conservative therapy Further vertebral collapse 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina E. Schmid
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bronek M. Boszczyk
    • 2
  • Michael Bierschneider
    • 1
  • Andreas Zarfl
    • 3
  • Björn Robert
    • 1
  • Hans Jaksche
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryBerufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik MurnauMurnauGermany
  2. 2.Spine Service, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, InselspitalUniversitätsspital BernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyBerufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik MurnauMurnauGermany

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