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Anterior Instrumentation for the Treatment of Spinal Tuberculosis*
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Investigation performed at the University of Ankara Medical School, Ibn-i Sina Hospital, Ankara
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1999 Sep 01;81(9):1261-7
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Background: Kyphosis and neurological impairment are the major residual problems of spinal tuberculosis after the microorganism has been eradicated with use of appropriate medications. Spinal instrumentation is needed to support anterior strut grafts in patients who have kyphosis that affects more than two levels. Most surgeons use posterior instrumentation. Anterior instrumentation, despite its advantages, has not been widely accepted, partly because of concerns about introducing foreign material into infected tissue. The purpose of the current study was to address those concerns.Methods: Twenty-two patients who had tuberculosis of the spine with moderate-to-severe localized kyphosis and sixteen patients who had more than two involved levels had stabilization with anterior instrumentation. Antituberculous medication was used postoperatively according to a standardized regimen. The patients were followed to determine if there was any recurrence of the disease and if the correction had been maintained.Results: The twenty-two patients who had involvement of one or two levels had an average correction of the deformity of 64 percent (range, 58 to 90 percent), and the sixteen patients who had more than two levels of involvement had an average correction of 81 percent (range, 75 to 97 percent). The correction was maintained in twenty-one patients, the maximum loss was 3 degrees in sixteen, and one patient died on the second postoperative day. There was no recurrence of the disease.Conclusions: We believe that anterior instrumentation is more effective than posterior instrumentation for reducing the deformity and stabilizing the vertebral column in patients who have kyphosis related to tuberculosis of the spine.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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