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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 1995 Mar;24(3):239-245. Korean. Original Article.
Chung JT , Kim TS , Lim YJ , Kim GK , Rhee BA , Leem W .
Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract

Discitis is a rare complication of disc surgery. During a 8-year-period, 1765 patients were operated for lumbar disc herniation and 28 patients(1.6%) developed postoperative discitis. The characteristic symptoms were severe back pain(75%) and muscle spasm(64%). The laboratory findings were an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate(93%) and mildly elevated white blood cell count(54%). In bacterial culture, staphylococcus aureus in three cases and Streptococcus epidermidis in one were grown. Typical radiographic findings were narrowing of the disc space and end-plate resorption. There was a high incidence of chronic low back pain in the patients with discitis at long-term follow up. We recommended treatment with both immobilization of the spine and the administration of appropriate antibiotics for more than 6 weeks.

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