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Journal of Craniovertebral Junction and Spine
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 198-209

Conservative versus operative management of postoperative lumbar discitis

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2 Department of Anesthesiology, Sarkari Karmachari Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
3 GP, The Hashemite University School of Medicine, Alzarqa, Jordan
4 Department of Neurosurgery, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, Bangladesh
5 Department of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery Clinic, Birgunj, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
Kamrul Ahsan
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcvjs.JCVJS_111_20

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Background: Treatment option of postoperative discitis (POD) is either conservative or operative, but till date, there are no established validated protocols of the treatment of postoperative lumbar discitis. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of conservative versus operative management of POD following single-level lumbar discectomy. Methods: We prospectively studied a total of 38 cases of POD. The patients were diagnosed clinically, radiologically, and by laboratory investigations and followed up with serial erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein, X-ray, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging. Demographic data, clinical variables, length of hospital stay, duration of antibiotic treatment, and posttreatment complications were collected, and pre- and postoperative assessment was done using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score. Functional outcome of the study was measured by the modified criteria of Kirkaldy–Willis. Results: VAS score for pain was significantly decreased in both groups after treatment. However, posttreatment differences were not statistically significant. In posttreatment mean JOA score, differences were not statistically significant in both groups except the mean difference (−0.47) of restriction of daily activities, which was statistically significant (95% confidence interval: −0.88–−0.07, P = 0.025, unpaired t-test). About 73.7% and 84.2% of the patients had a satisfactory functional outcome in conservative and operative management groups, respectively, at the end of 12-month follow-up. Conclusions: Operative management yielded better outcomes than traditional conservative treatment in terms of functional outcomes, length of hospital stays, and duration of antibiotic treatment as determined by both the pain and daily activity levels.

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