Journal List > J Korean Soc Spine Surg > v.8(4) > 1035987

J Korean Soc Spine Surg. 2001 Dec;8(4):513-519. Korean.
Published online December 31, 2001.
Copyright © 2001 Korean Society of Spine Surgery
Pyogenic L4-5 Spondylitis Managed with Percutaneous Drainage Followed by Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion - A Case Report -
Yong-Min Kim, M.D., Choong-Hee Won, M.D., Joong-Bae Seo, M.D., Eu-Sung Choi, M.D., Ho-Seung Lee, M.D. and Sung-Moon Um, M.D.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea.

Address reprint requests to Yong-Min Kim, M.D. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chungbuk National University Hospital, #62 Gaeshin-dong, Cheongju 360-711, Korea. Tel: 82-43-269-6077, Fax: 82-43-274-8719, Email:

Study Design

A case report and review of literature.


Mostly operative treatment for pyogenic spondylits has been performed via anterior approach, which is often followed by greater morbidity and late sequelae. Efficacy of percutaneous drainage and posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), which are increasingly applied with favorable results, as an alternative of anterior surgery was investigated.

Material and Method

A case of pyogenic L4-5 spondylitis with psoas abscess but without neurologic deficit in a 66-year old lady was reviewed. Percutaneous drainage under fluoroscopic guide was performed. 7 weeks later, curettage of disc space and posterior lumbar interbody fusion using autogeous graft was performed to get rid of dead space and achieve stability. Administration of antimicrobial agents followed.


Infection was controlled successfully. Clinical features including ambulatory function improved. Solid fusion was achieved.


In treating pyogenic spondylitis with moderate abscess, percutaneous drainage and posterior lumbar interbody fusion seemed to be one of alternatives of anterior surgery.

Keywords: Lumbar; Pyogenic spondylitis; Percutaneous drainage; Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)


Fig. 1
A. Initial lateral radiographs shows mild narrowing of L4-5 disc space and subchondral sclerosis adjacent to the end plates.

B. Initial T2-weighted coronal image reveals high signal intensity in L4-5 disc space and moderate bilateral psoas abscess without significant bone destruction.

Click for larger image

Fig. 2
A. Lateral X-ray at 7 weeks post-PCD shows progression of bony destruction.

B. Preoperative T2-weighted sagittal image reveals expanded intervertebral dead space filled with fluid, L4-5.

C. T2 coronal image shows widened dead space and irregular bony destruction.

Click for larger image

Fig. 3
A. After thorough curettage of intervertebral dead space and copious irrigation, transpedicular screws were inserted.

B. Continuous suction drainage for 3 weeks followed.

Click for larger image

Fig. 4
A. Complete solid fusion at postoperative 1 year.

B. Lateral X-ray shows good sagittal alignment.

Click for larger image

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