North American Spine Society Annual Meeting

North American Spine Society Annual Meeting

May 03, 2016
1 min read

Study: Postoperative infection after ACDF is low

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CHICAGO — The incidence of postoperative infection after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is low, according to data presented here at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting.

“Given that there is so much data for surgical site infections for other spinal approaches, it is extremely interesting to get a better idea of [the] infection rate for anterior cervical. Fortunately, it is low. However, [we are] still at a point where there is not much data — level 3 — [on the] incidence of management, where we could say that urgent wound irrigation, debridement, culture and thorough workup is needed to exclude esophageal injury in your practice,” George M. Ghobrial, MD, said.

Ghobrial and colleagues studied the management and incidence of surgical site infection after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF). In the retrospective, multicenter case series study, the investigators used the AOSpine North America Clinical Research Network to review the medical records of 17,625 patients who had cervical spine surgery from C2 to C7 between 2005 and 2011. Researchers identified patients who underwent ACDF according to the database and reviewed the information for the occurrence of postoperative anterior cervical infection. Ghobrial and colleagues identified 8,887 patients from 17 centers that provided data for posterior anterior cervical infection. Mean patient age was 57.5 years, and the mean BMI was 22.02.

Overall, the researchers found six postoperative infections after ACDF for a mean rate of 0.07%. Of the total infections identified, half were found in patients who were smokers and most of these patients were female. Two patients had myelopathy and three patients had radiculopathy-type complaints. The mean length of stay was 4.7 days. Ghobrial said all patients were treated aggressively with surgery and improvement was seen in all patients. – by Kristine Houck, MA, ELS


Ghobrial GM, et al. Paper #628. Presented at: American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting. April 30-May 4, 2016; Chicago.

Disclosure: Ghobrial reports no relevant financial disclosures.