Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus thoracic spondylitis late after cervical spine surgery

Hippokratia 2009, 13(1):49-51

PP. Tsitsopoulos, D. Zevgaridis, I. Anagnostopoulos, J. Harms, P. Tsitsopoulos


Background: Spondylodiscitis is a known and serious complication of spinal surgery. A rare case of a late and remote thoracis spondrylitis due to methicillin resestant staphylococcus aureus following cervical surgery is presented. Case report: A 50 year-old-male was treated for cervical degenerative disease via a combined anterior and posterior cervical approach (discectomy with fusion and laminectomy). Three years later a cervical epidural abscess was formed which wad treated successfully conservatively. After 18 months he developed spondylitis of the second thoracic vertebra. The patient was further treated surgically via a dorsolateral extracavitary thoracic approach. Laboratory analysis revealed Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) spondylitis sensitive to linezolid. Inflammation markers declined and clinical symptoms ameliorated. At 12-month follow-up the patient did not show any evidence of recurrence of the infection. Conclusions: A high rate of suspicion must be maintained in patients presenting with signs of spinal infection and neurological impairment even many years after the initial operation. Optimal investigation and outcome require close clinical monitoring and a well coordinated multidisciplinary approach.