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1.  Paraspinal Abscess Communicated with Epidural Abscess after Extra-Articular Facet Joint Injection 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2007;48(4):711-714.
Facet joint injection is considered to be a safe procedure. There have been some reported cases of facet joint pyogenic infection and also 3 cases of facet joint infection spreading to paraspinal muscle and epidural space due to intra-articular injections. To the author's knowledge, paraspinal and epidural abscesses after facet joint injection without facet joint pyogenic infection have not been reported. Here we report a case in which extra-articular facet joint injection resulted in paraspinal and epidural abscesses without facet joint infection. A 50-year-old man presenting with acute back pain and fever was admitted to the hospital. He had the history of diabetes mellitus and had undergone the extra-articular facet joint injection due to a facet joint syndrome diagnosis at a private clinic 5 days earlier. Physical examination showed tenderness over the paraspinal region. Magnetic resonance image (MRI) demonstrated the paraspinal abscess around the fourth and fifth spinous processes with an additional epidural abscess compressing the thecal sac. The facet joints were preserved. The laboratory results showed a white blood cell count of 14.9 × 109 per liter, an erythrocyte sedimentation rate of 52mm/hour, and 10.88mg/dL of C-reactive protein. Laminectomy and drainage were performed. The pus was found in the paraspinal muscles, which was communicated with the epidural space through a hole in the ligamentum flavum. Cultures grew Staphylococcus aureus. Paraspinal abscess communicated with epidural abscess is a rare complication of extra-articular facet joint injection demonstrating an abscess formation after an invasive procedure near the spine is highly possible.
PMCID: PMC2628056  PMID: 17722247
Complication; infection; injection; facet joint
2.  Bilateral sternoclavicular joint septic arthritis secondary to indwelling central venous catheter: a case report 
Septic arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint is rare, comprising approximately 0.5% to 1% of all joint infections. Predisposing causes include immunocompromising diseases such as diabetes, HIV infection, renal failure and intravenous drug abuse.
Case presentation
We report a rare case of bilateral sternoclavicular joint septic arthritis in an elderly patient secondary to an indwelling right subclavian vein catheter. The insidious nature of the presentation is highlighted. We also review the literature regarding the epidemiology, investigation and methods of treatment of the condition.
SCJ infections are rare, and require a high degree of clinical suspicion. Vague symptoms of neck and shoulder pain may cloud the initial diagnosis, as was the case in our patient. Surgical intervention is often required; however, our patient avoided major intervention and settled with parenteral antibiotics and washout of the joint.
PMCID: PMC2390578  PMID: 18445257
3.  Circular smooth muscle contributes to esophageal shortening during peristalsis 
AIM: To study the angle between the circular smooth muscle (CSM) and longitudinal smooth muscle (LSM) fibers in the distal esophagus.
METHODS: In order to identify possible mechanisms for greater shortening in the distal compared to proximal esophagus during peristalsis, the angles between the LSM and CSM layers were measured in 9 cadavers. The outer longitudinal layer of the muscularis propria was exposed after stripping the outer serosa. The inner circular layer of the muscularis propria was then revealed after dissection of the esophageal mucosa and the underlying muscularis mucosa. Photographs of each specimen were taken with half of the open esophagus folded back showing both the outer longitudinal and inner circular muscle layers. Angles were measured every one cm for 10 cm proximal to the squamocolumnar junction (SCJ) by two independent investigators. Two human esophagi were obtained from organ transplant donors and the angles between the circular and longitudinal smooth muscle layers were measured using micro-computed tomography (micro CT) and Image J software.
RESULTS: All data are presented as mean ± SE. The CSM to LSM angle at the SCJ and 1 cm proximal to SCJ on the autopsy specimens was 69.3 ± 4.62 degrees vs 74.9 ± 3.09 degrees, P = 0.32. The CSM to LSM angle at SCJ were statistically significantly lower than at 2, 3, 4 and 5 cm proximal to the SCJ, 69.3 ± 4.62 degrees vs 82.58 ± 1.34 degrees, 84.04 ± 1.64 degrees, 84.87 ± 1.04 degrees and 83.72 ± 1.42 degrees, P = 0.013, P = 0.008, P = 0.004, P = 0.009 respectively. The CSM to LSM angle at SCJ was also statistically significantly lower than the angles at 6, 7 and 8 cm proximal to the SCJ, 69.3 ± 4.62 degrees vs 80.18 ± 2.09 degrees, 81.81 ± 1.75 degrees and 80.96 ± 2.04 degrees, P = 0.05, P = 0.02, P = 0.03 respectively. The CSM to LSM angle at 1 cm proximal to SCJ was statistically significantly lower than at 3, 4 and 5 cm proximal to the SCJ, 74.94 ± 3.09 degrees vs 84.04 ± 1.64 degrees, 84.87 ± 1.04 degrees and 83.72 ± 1.42 degrees, P = 0.019, P = 0.008, P = 0.02 respectively. At 10 cm above SCJ the angle was 80.06 ± 2.13 degrees which is close to being perpendicular but less than 90 degrees. The CSM to LSM angles measured on virtual dissection of the esophagus and the stomach on micro CT at the SCJ and 1 cm proximal to the SCJ were 48.39 ± 0.72 degrees and 50.81 ± 1.59 degrees. Rather than the angle of the CSM and LSM being perpendicular in the esophagus we found an acute angulation between these two muscle groups throughout the lower 10 cm of the esophagus.
CONCLUSION: The oblique angulation of the CSM may contribute to the significantly greater shortening of distal esophagus when compared to the mid and proximal esophagus during peristalsis.
PMCID: PMC3436046  PMID: 22969194
Esophageal shortening; Gastroesophageal junction; Circular smooth muscle; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Esophageal contraction
4.  Bilateral Asymmetrical Traumatic Sternoclavicular Joint Dislocations 
Unilateral and bilateral sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) dislocations are rare injuries. The difficulty in assessing this condition often leads to delay in diagnosis and treatment. We report a rare case of bilateral asymmetrical traumatic SCJ dislocations in a 45-year-old male. The right anterior SCJ dislocation was reduced in the emergency room (ER) and resulted in residual instability. The left posterior SCJ dislocation was asymptomatic and unnoticed for six months. It is important for ER physicians and orthopaedic surgeons to be able identify and treat this condition. All suspected SCJ dislocations should be evaluated by computed tomography (CT) scan for confirmation of the diagnosis and evaluation of both SCJs. Posterior SCJ dislocation is a potentially fatal injury and should not be overlooked due to the presence of other injuries. Surgical intervention is often necessary in acute and old cases.
PMCID: PMC3524004  PMID: 23275851
Shoulder; Sternoclavicular joint; Dislocations; Emergency; Case report; Saudi Arabia
5.  Sternoclavicular Joint Infection: Classification of Resection Defects and Reconstructive Algorithm 
Archives of Plastic Surgery  2012;39(6):643-648.
Aggressive treatment of sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) infection involves systemic antibiotics, surgical drainage and resection if indicated. The purpose of this paper is to describe a classification of post resectional SCJ defects and highlight our reconstructive algorithm. Defects were classified into A, where closure was possible often with the aid of topical negative pressure dressing; B, where parts of the manubrium, calvicular head, and first rib were excised; and C, where both clavicular, first ribs and most of the manubrium were resected.
Twelve patients (age range, 42 to 72 years) over the last 8 years underwent reconstruction after SCJ infection. There was 1 case of a type A defect, 10 type B defects, and 1 type C defect. Reconstruction was performed using the pectoralis major flap in 6 cases (50%), the latissimus dorsi flap in 4 cases (33%), secondary closure in 1 case and; the latissimus and the rectus flap in 1 case.
All wounds healed uneventfully with no flap failure. Nine patients had good shoulder motion. Three patients with extensive clavicular resection had restricted shoulder abduction and were unable to abduct their arm past 90°. Internal and external rotation were not affected.
We highlight our reconstructive algorithm which is summarised as follows: for an isolated type B SCJ defect we recommend the ipsilateral pectoralis major muscle for closure. For a type C bilateral defect, we suggest the latissimum dorsi flap. In cases of extensive infection where the thoracoacromial and internal mammary vessels are thrombosed, the pectoralis major and rectus abdominus cannot be used; and the latissimus dorsi flap is chosen.
PMCID: PMC3518009  PMID: 23233891
Sternoclavicular joint; Infectious arthritis; Surgical flap
6.  Septic arthritis of unilateral lumbar facet joint with contiguous abscess, without prior intervention 
BMJ Case Reports  2012;2012:bcr0920114849.
A 40-year-old female patient presented with persistent severe back pain radiating to the right leg, abdominal pain and constipation. Other clinical symptoms included nausea, vomiting and high-grade fever. Clinical examination showed generalised abdominal and lower back tenderness. There was no sensory loss or motor weakness in lower limbs, however investigations showed raised inflammatory markers. Radiographs of the lumbar spine and hip joint were normal. MRI revealed a septic arthritis of the right L3/4 facet joint, associated with a large abscess extending anteriorly to the right paraspinal muscles and posteriorly into the right posterolateral aspect of the epidural space in the central spinal canal, with moderate compression of the dural sac. Unlike any other reported similar case, this septic arthritis developed without prior medical intervention. The patient was treated successfully with ultrasound guided drainage of the facet joint/abscess and antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC3339176  PMID: 22602829
7.  Cervical squamocolumnar junction-specific markers define distinct, clinically relevant subsets of low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions 
Low grade cervical squamous abnormalities [low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL, CIN1)] can be confused with or followed by high grade (HSIL, CIN2/3) lesions, expending considerable resources. Recently, a cell of origin for cervical neoplasia was proposed in the squamocolumnar junction (SCJ); HSILs are almost always SCJ marker-positive (+) but LSILs include SCJ+ and negative (−) subsets. Abnormal cervical biopsies from 214 patients were classified by two experienced pathologists ("panel") as LSIL or HSIL using published criteria. SILs were scored SCJ+ and SCJ- using SCJ-specific antibodies (Keratin7, AGR2, MMP7 and GDA). Assessments of interobserver agreement, p16ink4 staining pattern, proliferative index and outcome were compared. The original diagnostician agreed with the panel diagnosis of HSIL and SCJ- LSIL in all cases (100%). However for SCJ+ LSIL, panelists disagreed with each other on 15% and with the original diagnostician on 46.2%. Comparing SCJ- and SCJ+ LSILs, 60.2% and 94.9% scored p16ink4 positive, 23% and 74.4% showed strong (full-thickness) p16ink4 staining, and 0/54 (0%) and 8/33 (24.2%) with follow-up had an HSIL outcome respectively. Some SCJ+ LSILs are more likely to both generate diagnostic disagreement and be associated with HSIL. Conversely, SCJ- LSILs generate little observer disagreement and when followed, have a very low risk of HSIL outcome. Thus, SCJ biomarkers in conjunction with histology may segregate LSILs with very low risk of HSIL outcome and conceivably could be used as a management tool to reduce excess allocation of resources to the followup of these lesions.
PMCID: PMC3905241  PMID: 24076771
8.  Microperforation prolotherapy: a novel method for successful nonsurgical treatment of atraumatic spontaneous anterior sternoclavicular subluxation, with an illustrative case 
Surgical repair of an atraumatic spontaneous anterior subluxation of the sternoclavicular joint (herein referred to as the “SCJ”) is often associated with poor outcome expectations. With traditional treatment, successful conservative therapy usually incorporates major lifestyle alterations. This manuscript discusses a novel approach known as “microperforation prolotherapy”. To illustrate the technique, the care of a patient who benefitted from this treatment is reviewed.
To present a novel form of treatment with an illustrative case that demonstrates the potential efficacy of microperforation prolotherapy of the SCJ.
Patient and methods
A novel approach to treatment of bilateral subluxation of the sternoclavicular joint with microperforation prolotherapy is discussed. The clinical course of a 21-year-old male with bilateral subluxation of the SCJ, which seriously hampered the patient’s athletic and daily living activities, is used as a backdrop to the discussion.
Following microperforation prolotherapy, the instability of the SCJ was replaced by full stability, complete range of motion, and the opportunity to engage in all of the athletic endeavors previously pursued. There is no scar or other cosmetic defect resulting from the treatment received.
Anterior sternoclavicular joint subluxation has a poor record of complete recovery with surgical procedures or conservative measures with regard to providing restoration of full lifestyle function. This manuscript documents a novel microperforation prolotherapy treatment that induced healing and restored full stability to the ligament structures responsible for the condition in a completely safe and effective fashion, allowing the patient to resume full lifestyle activities without restriction. The exceptional response to treatment noted here is encouragement for further studies.
PMCID: PMC3781882  PMID: 24198570
sternoclavicular joint subluxation; shoulder pain; sternoclavicular instability; spontaneous instability; anterior subluxation
9.  Minimally Invasive Approach for Drainage of a Sacral Epidural Abscess 
Interventional Neuroradiology  2007;13(2):161-165.
Sacral epidural abscesses are rare infections, often managed with open surgery, especially in the presence of acute neurological symptoms. We report a novel approach for minimally invasive drainage of sacral epidural abscesses.
A 51-year-old man presented to the emergency department complaining of low back pain, generalized muscle pain, pain across several large joints, low-grade fever, and weakness of both legs for ten days. MRI of the patient's lumbosacral spine showed osteomyelitis involving his L5, S1 vertebrae, L5-S1 discitis, as well as anterior and posterior epidural abscesses extending from L5-S1 disc space to the S2 vertebral level. Under CT fluoroscopic guidance a 20-gauge spinal needle was inserted into the sacral hiatus, parallel to the pelvic surface of the sacral canal, and directed cranially. A 0.18-gauge microwire was then advanced through the 20-gauge needle. The 20-gauge needle was exchanged over the guidewire for an 18-gauge blunt tipped needle which was curved to approximate the contours of the sacral canal. The curved needle was inserted through the sacral hiatus with its concavity initially facing upwards, and then rotated 180° to gain access to epidural abscess.
Once anatomic access was established 5cc of thick purulent material was evacuated. The patient tolerated the procedure well, and no focal nerve root symptoms were noted following the procedure.
Image guided aspiration of sacral epidural abscesses can be carried out in a safe and effective manner using CT fluoroscopy. Aspiration of these abscesses combined with intravenous antibiotics may be an alternative to open surgery in select patients.
PMCID: PMC3345478  PMID: 20566144
sacral abscess, osteomielitis, spine, percutaneous drainage
Prevention of complications is one of the most important aspects of patient care in pain management. The objective of this study is to review documented complications in medical literature that are associated with interventional pain management, specifically those associated with joint, tendon, and muscle injections. We conducted Medline research from 1966 to November 2006 using keywords complication, injection, radiofrequency, closed claim, facet, zygophyseal joint, sacroiliac joint, shoulder, hip, knee, carpel tunnel, bursa, and trigger point. We found over 35 relevant papers in forms of original articles, case reports, and reviews. The most common complications appear to be infections that have been associated with virtually all of these injections. These infections include spondylodiscitis, septic arthritis, epidural abscess, necrotizing fasciitis, osteomyelitis, gas gangrene, and albicans arthritis. Other complications include spinal cord injury and peripheral nerve injuries, pneumothorax, air embolism, pain or swelling at the site of injection, chemical meningism, granulomatous inflammation of the synovium, aseptic acute arthritis, embolia cutis medicamentosa, skeletal muscle toxicity, and tendon and fascial ruptures. We suggest that many of the infectious complications may be preventable by strict adherence to aseptic techniques and that some of the other complications may be minimized by refining the procedural techniques with a clear understanding of the relevant anatomies.
PMCID: PMC2084363  PMID: 18591992
11.  Minimally invasive endoscopic treatment for lumbar infectious spondylitis: a retrospective study in a tertiary referral center 
Spinal infections remain a challenge for clinicians because of their variable presentation and complicated course. Common management approaches include conservative administration of antibiotics or aggressive surgical debridement. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of percutaneous endoscopic debridement with dilute betadine solution irrigation (PEDI) for treating patients with lumbar infectious spondylitis.
From January 2005 to July 2010, a total of 32 patients undergoing PEDI were retrospectively enrolled in this study. The surgical indications of the enrolled patients included single-level infectious spondylodiscitis, postoperative infectious spondylodiscitis, advanced infection with epidural abscess, psoas muscle abscess, pre-vertebral or para-vertebral abscess, multilevel infectious spondylitis, and recurrent infection after anterior debridement and fusion. Clinical outcomes were assessed by careful physical examination, Macnab criteria, regular serologic testing, and imaging studies to determine whether continued antibiotics treatment or surgical intervention was required.
Causative bacteria were identified in 28 (87.5%) of 32 biopsy specimens. Appropriate parenteral antibiotics for the predominant pathogen isolated from infected tissue biopsy cultures were prescribed to patients. Twenty-seven (84.4%) patients reported satisfactory relief of their back pain after PEDI. Twenty-six (81.3%) patients recovered uneventfully after PEDI and sequential antibiotic therapy. No surgery-related major complications were found, except 3 patients with transient paresthesia in the affected lumbar segment.
PEDI was successful in obtaining a bacteriologic diagnosis, relieving the patient’s symptoms, and assisting in the eradication of lumbar infectious spondylitis. This procedure could be an effective alternative for patients who have a poor response to conservative treatment before a major open surgery.
PMCID: PMC3986884  PMID: 24669940
Betadine; Endoscopic debridement; Infectious spondylitis; Minimally invasive surgery
12.  Chronic spinal subdural abscess mimicking an intradural–extramedullary tumor 
European Spine Journal  2013;22(Suppl 3):497-500.
Spinal subdural abscesses (SSA) are very rare disease. The etiologies of SSA are hematogenous spread, iatrogenic contamination, and local extension. Elevated WBC counts, ESR, and C-reactive protein are usually found in laboratory tests. But they are not sensitive indicators of SSA, especially chronic abscesses patient tend to have a less specific characteristic. We report the case of a healthy man with chronic subdural abscess referred to our hospital as an intradural–extramedullary (IDEM) tumor. The patient presented with voiding difficulty and pain in the back and left leg. In a contrast MRI scan, a rim-enhanced mass-like lesion was seen at the L5/S1 level. But adjacent ill-defined epidural fat enhancement that are unusual imaging manifestation for IDEM tumors was seen. He had no fever and normal WBC, ESR, and CRP. In addition, the patient had no previous infection history or other disease, but he did have an epidural block for back pain at another hospital 2 years previously. So, we repeated the MRI with a high-resolution 3-T scanner. The newly taken MR images in our hospital revealed a clear enlargement of lesion size compared to the previous MRI taken 1 week before in other hospital. We suspected a chronic spinal subdural abscess with recent aggravation and immediately performed surgical evacuation. In the surgical field, tensed dura was observed and pus was identified after opening the abscess capsule. Because chronic spinal subdural abscesses are difficult to diagnose, we could differentiate with IDEM tumor exactly and an exact history taking, contrast MRI are required.
PMCID: PMC3641243  PMID: 23397217
Spinal subdural abscess; Chronic spinal subdural abscess; Intradural–extramedullary tumor; Spinal cord tumor
13.  Arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint masquerading as rupture of the cervical oesophagus: a case report 
Sternoclavicular septic arthritis is a rare condition and accounts only for 1% of cases of septic arthritis in the general population. The most common risk factors are intravenous drug use, central-line infection, distant-site infection, immunosuppression, trauma and diabetes mellitus. This is a report of an unusual case where this type of arthritis was masquerading as rupture of the cervical oesophagus.
Case presentation
A 63-year-old man presented complaining of right neck pain and dysphagia following a bout of violent coughing. Physical examination revealed cellulitis extending from the right sternoclidomastoid region to the anterior upper chest. Computed tomography showed inflammatory changes behind the right sternoclavicular joint with mediastinitis and ipsilateral pleural effusion. These findings raised the suspicion of spontaneous rupture of the cervical oesophagus. Management involved jejunal feeding along with broad-spectrum antibiotics. The inflammation, however, relapsed after discontinuation of the antibiotics and this time, computed tomography pointed to a diagnosis of arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint. The patient responded completely to a 6-week course of oral penicillin, flucloxacillin and metronidazole.
Sternoclavicular arthritis is a rare condition that has been associated with a variety of predisposing factors. It may, however, occur in otherwise completely healthy individuals and should be included in the differential diagnosis of other inflammatory conditions of the neck and upper chest.
PMCID: PMC2639601  PMID: 19178739
14.  Escherichia coli – Marauding masquerading microbe 
Escherichia coli is a rare cause of monoarticular septic arthritis, but is an even rarer cause of polyarticular septic arthritis.
Case description
We report an unusual case of polyarticular septic arthritis with an atypical presentation caused by E. coli, the source of which was a left pyelonephritis. Our patient developed E coli sepsis resulting in polyarticular septic arthritis (PASA) in the absence of typical risk factors except for pre-existing osteoarthritis. The joints involved were the hip, ankle, sternoclavicular and L5/S1 joints. Of interest, ankle pain was not reported or evident until correlated with nuclear medicine scans. Furthermore, sternoclavicular joint involvement presented as left shoulder pain, resulting in an initial misdiagnosis of left shoulder septic arthritis. The patient was treated with surgical washout and antibiotic therapy. He was subsequently discharged from rehabilitation having returned to his baseline level of mobility. Future consideration will be given to total hip arthroplasty.
Literature review
There are no reported cases of E. coli PASA involving more than three joints in the absence of any recognized risk factors for septic arthritis.
Purpose and clinical relevance
Asymptomatic involvement of joints can occur in polyarticular septic arthritis and should be considered in all cases of monoarticular septic arthritis (MASA). We believe that clinical suspicion is the key to early and comprehensive diagnosis of polyarticular septic arthritis particularly when presenting in an atypical fashion with an atypical pathogen. Strong consideration should be given to performing nuclear imaging in cases of monoarticular septic arthritis where polyarticular involvement cannot be definitively ruled out.
PMCID: PMC3880952
Escherichia coli sepsis; Polyarticular septic arthritis; Septic arthritis; Nuclear medicine imaging; Bone-Gallium scan
15.  Percutaneous transpedicular discectomy and drainage in pyogenic spondylodiscitis 
European Spine Journal  2004;13(8):707-713.
The natural history of uncomplicated hematogenous pyogenic spondylodiscitis is self-limiting healing. However, a variable degree of bone destruction frequently occurs, predisposing the spine to painful kyphosis. Delayed treatment may result in serious neurologic complications. Early debridement of these infections by percutaneous transpedicular discectomy can accelerate the natural process of healing and prevent progression to bone destruction and epidural abscess. The purpose of this manuscript is to present our technique of percutaneous transpedicular discectomy (PTD), to revisit this minimally invasive surgical technique with stricter patient selection, and to exclude cases of extensive vertebral body destruction with kyphosis and neurocompression by epidural abscess, infected disc herniation, and foraminal stenosis. In a previously published report of 28 unselected patients with primary hematogenous pyogenic spondylodiscitis, the immediate relief of pain after PTD was 75%, and in the longterm follow-up, the success rate was 68%. Applying stricter patient selection criteria in a second series of six patients (five with primary hematogenous spondylodiscitis and one with secondary postlaminectomydiscectomy spondylodiscitis), all patients with primary hematogenous spondylodiskitis (5/5) experienced immediate relief of pain that remained sustained at 12–18 months follow-up. This procedure was not very effective, however, in the patient who suffered from postlaminectomy infection. This lack of response was attributed to postlaminectomydiscitis instability. The immediate success rate after surgery for unselected patients in this combined series of 34 patients was 76%. This technique can be impressively effective and the results sustained when applied in the early stages of uncomplicated spondylodiscitis and contraindicated in the presence of instability, kyphosis from bone destruction, and neurological deficit. The special point of this procedure is a minimally invasive technique with high diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness.
PMCID: PMC3454057  PMID: 15197626
Percutaneous transpedicular discectomy; Primary hematogenous pyogenic spondylodiscitis
16.  Diagnostic difficulties resulting from morphological image variation in spondylodiscitis MR imaging 
Polish Journal of Radiology  2012;77(3):25-34.
Spinal infection (discitis; spondylodiscitis) presents a wide spectrum of pathologies. The method of choice for spondylodiscitis imaging is magnetic resonance (MR). It provides detailed anatomical information, especially concerning epidural space and spinal cord. The main aim of this article is the description and evaluation of spondylodiscitis morphological variation visible in magnetic resonance imaging.
In this article we retrospectively analysed the patients diagnosed at the Department of Radiology of the Provincial Hospital No 2 in Rzeszów between October 2009 and October 2011. The subjects involved a group of five women aged 41–74 (mean 56.3 years) and eight men aged 46–69 (mean 61,3 years). All patients had spondylodiscitis symptoms. All patients underwent MRI examination before and after the contrast enhancement. In three patients additional CT examination was performed.
Following the MRI procedure all patients were diagnosed with typical symptoms of spondylodiscitis. It also revealed a number of pathologies resulting from morphological spondylodiscitis variation. Other pathologies found on the MR images of the study group patients involved epidural intra-canal spinal pathological masses causing spinal cord compression, lung abscess, pyothorax, paravertebral abscesses and epidural empyemas, abscess between adjacent vertebral bodies, abscesses beneath anterior longitudinal ligament, and iliopsoas muscle abscesses. In all cases a destruction of vertebral bodies with end plates loss restriction and cortical layer discontinuity was observed. Moreover, one person was diagnosed with pathological vertebral body fractures and liquefactive necrosis of the vertebral body.
Spondylodiscitis manifests itself in a great number of morphological variations visible on the radiological images. Apart from ordinary features of vertebral bodies and discs, progressive spinal destruction is observed together with reactive bone changes and soft tissue infiltration. The latter leads to a number of complications e.g. abscesses or even fistulas and also to the formation of obstacles in radiological images. The knowledge of radiological images together with overall evaluation of clinical and laboratory features enables a proper diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3447430  PMID: 23049578
spondylodiscitis; discitis; discovertebral junction
17.  Fatal outcome after insufficient spine fixation for pyogenic thoracic spondylodiscitis: an imperative for 360° fusion of the infected spine 
Pyogenic spondylodiscitis represents a potentially life-threatening condition. Due to the low incidence, evidence-based surgical recommendations in the literature are equivocal, and the treatment modalities remain controversial.
Case presentation
A 59 year-old patient presented with a history of thoracic spondylodiscitis resistant to antibiotic treatment for 6 weeks, progressive severe back pain, and a new onset of bilateral lower extremity weakness. Clinically, the patient showed a deteriorating spastic paraparesis of her lower extremities. An emergent MRI revealed a kyphotic wedge compression fracture at T7/T8 with significant spinal cord compression, paravertebral and epidural abscess, and signs of myelopathy. The patient underwent surgical debridement with stabilization of the anterior column from T6–T9 using an expandable titanium cage, autologous bone graft, and an anterolateral locking plate. The patient recovered well under adjunctive antibiotic treatment. She presented again to the emergency department 6 months later, secondary to a repeat fall, with acute paraplegia of the lower extremities and radiographic evidence of failure of fixation of the anterior T-spine. She underwent antero-posterior revision fixation with hardware removal, correction of kyphotic malunion, evacuation of a recurrent epidural abscess, decompression of the spinal canal, and 360° fusion from T2–T11. Despite the successful salvage procedure, the patient deteriorated in the postoperative phase, when she developed multiple complications including pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, bacterial meningitis, abdominal compartment syndrome, followed by septic shock with multiple organ failure and a lethal outcome within two weeks after revision surgery.
This catastrophic example of a lethal outcome secondary to failure of anterior column fixation for pyogenic thoracic spondylodiscitis underlines the notion that surgical strategies for the infected spine must be aimed at achieving absolute stability by a 360° fusion. This aggressive – albeit controversial – concept allows for an adequate infection control by adjunctive antibiotics and reduces the imminent risk of a secondary loss of fixation due to compromises in initial fixation techniques.
PMCID: PMC2654872  PMID: 19243602
18.  Spinal epidural abscess following blunt pelvic trauma 
European Spine Journal  2000;9(1):80-84.
A 17-year-old patient with pre-existing grade II spondylolisthesis of L5/S1 sustained a partial disruption of the left sacroiliac joint with haematoma of the iliac muscle after a fall. The haematoma probably led to occlusion of the left ureter, resulting in a urinary tract infection. After initial conservative treatment the patient developed fever and radicular pain of the left leg. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a left-sided epidural abscess at L5/S1, which had probably spread from the infected iliac haematoma along the injured sacroiliac joint. Prompt surgical drainage and antibiotic coverage with cefuroxime and flucloxacillin led to rapid clinical improvement. Staphylococcus aureus was identified as the pathogen. At follow-up 6 months postoperatively all symptoms had resolved, while MRI still revealed residual osseous oedema of the sacroiliac joint. The haematoma of the iliac muscle resolved without surgical intervention.
PMCID: PMC3611346  PMID: 10766083
Key words Epidural abscess; Pelvic trauma; Complication; Urinary tract infection
19.  Pelvic Primary Staphylococcal Infection Presenting as a Thigh Abscess 
Case Reports in Surgery  2013;2013:539737.
Intra-abdominal disease can present as an extra-abdominal abscess and can follow several routes, including the greater sciatic foramen, obturator foramen, femoral canal, pelvic outlet, and inguinal canal. Nerves and vessels can also serve as a route out of the abdomen. The psoas muscle extends from the twelfth thoracic and fifth lower lumbar vertebrae to the lesser trochanter of the femur, which means that disease in this muscle group can migrate along the muscle, out of the abdomen, and present as a thigh abscess. We present a case of a primary pelvic staphylococcal infection presenting as a thigh abscess. The patient was a 60-year-old man who presented with left posterior thigh pain and fever. Physical examination revealed a diffusely swollen left thigh with overlying erythematous, shiny, and tense skin. X-rays revealed no significant soft tissue lesions, ultrasound was suggestive of an inflammatory process, and MRI showed inflammatory changes along the left hemipelvis and thigh involving the iliacus muscle group, left gluteal region, and obturator internus muscle. The abscess was drained passively via two incisions in the posterior left thigh, releasing large amounts of purulent discharge. Subsequent bacterial culture revealed profuse growth of Staphylococcus aureus. The patient recovered uneventfully except for a moderate fever on the third postoperative day.
PMCID: PMC3628494  PMID: 23607037
20.  Low back pain (acute) 
Clinical Evidence  2011;2011:1102.
Low back pain affects about 70% of people in resource-rich countries at some point in their lives. Acute low back pain can be self-limiting; however, 1 year after an initial episode, as many as 33% of people still have moderate-intensity pain and 15% have severe pain. Acute low back pain has a high recurrence rate; 75% of those with a first episode have a recurrence. Although acute episodes may resolve completely, they may increase in severity and duration over time.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of oral drug treatments for acute low back pain? What are the effects of local injections for acute low back pain? What are the effects of non-drug treatments for acute low back pain? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to December 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 49 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acupuncture, advice to stay active, analgesics (paracetamol, opioids), back exercises, back schools, bed rest, behavioural therapy, electromyographic biofeedback, epidural corticosteroid injections, lumbar supports, massage, multidisciplinary treatment programmes, muscle relaxants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), spinal manipulation, temperature treatments (short-wave diathermy, ultrasound, ice, heat), traction, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
Key Points
Low back pain is pain, muscle tension, or stiffness, localised below the costal margin and above the inferior gluteal folds, with or without referred or radicular leg pain (sciatica), and is defined as acute when pain persists for <12 weeks. Low back pain affects about 70% of people in resource-rich countries at some point in their lives.Acute low back pain may be self-limiting, although there is a high recurrence rate with less-painful symptoms recurring in 50% to 80% of people within 1 year of the initial episode; 1 year later, as many as 33% of people still experience moderate-intensity pain and 15% experience severe pain.
NSAIDs have been shown to effectively improve symptoms compared with placebo. However, their use is associated with gastrointestinal adverse effects. Muscle relaxants may also reduce pain and improve overall clinical assessment, but are associated with some severe adverse effects including drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea.The studies examining the effects of analgesics such as paracetamol or opioids were generally too small to detect any clinically important differences.
We found no studies examining the effectiveness of epidural injections of corticosteroids in treating people with acute low back pain.
With regard to non-drug treatments, advice to stay active (be it as a single treatment or in combination with other interventions such as back schools, a graded activity programme, or behavioural counselling) may be effective. We don't know whether spinal manipulation improves pain or function compared with sham treatments.We found insufficient evidence to judge the effectiveness of acupuncture, back schools, behavioural therapy, massage, multidisciplinary treatment programmes (for either acute or subacute low back pain), lumbar supports, TENS, or temperature treatments in treating people with acute low back pain.We found no evidence examining the effectiveness of electromyographic biofeedback or traction in the treatment of acute low back pain. Back exercises may decrease recovery time compared with no treatment, but there is considerable heterogeneity among studies with regard to the definition of back exercise. There is a large disparity among studies in the definition of generic versus specific back exercise. Bed rest does not improve symptoms any more effectively than other treatments, but does produce a number of adverse effects including joint stiffness, muscle wasting, loss of bone mineral density, pressure sores, and venous thromboembolism.
PMCID: PMC3217769  PMID: 21549023
21.  Low back pain (chronic) 
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:1116.
Over 70% of people in developed countries develop low back pain (LBP) at some time. But recovery is not always favourable: 82% of non recent-onset patients still experience pain 1 year later. Many patients with chronic LBP who were initially told that their natural history was good spend months or years seeking relief.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of oral drug treatments? What are the effects of injection therapy? What are the effects of non-drug treatments? What are the effects of non-surgical and surgical treatments? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to April 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 64 systematic reviews or RCTs that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: acupuncture, analgesics, antidepressants, back schools, behavioural therapy, electromyographic biofeedback, exercise, injections (epidural corticosteroid injections, facet joint injections, local injections), intensive multidisciplinary treatment programmes, lumbar supports, massage, muscle relaxants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), non-surgical interventional therapies (intradiscal electrothermal therapy, radiofrequency denervation), spinal manipulative therapy, surgery, traction, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
Key Points
Over 70% of people in developed countries develop low back pain at some time, which usually improves within 2 weeks, however about 10% remained off work and about 20% had persistent symptoms at 1 year.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be more effective than placebo at improving pain intensity in people with chronic low back pain.
Opioid analgesics (with or without paracetamol) may improve pain and function compared with placebo. However, long-term use of NSAIDs or opioids may be associated with well-recognised adverse effects. We don't know whether antidepressants decrease chronic low back pain or improve function compared with placebo in people with or without depression. Benzodiazepines may improve pain, but studies of non-benzodiazepine muscle relaxants have given conflicting results.
CAUTION: Since the last update of this review, a drug safety alert has been issued on increased suicidal behaviour with antidepressants (
We don't know whether epidural corticosteroid injections or local injections with corticosteroids and local anaesthetic improve chronic low back pain in people without sciatica. Facet-joint corticosteroid injections may be no more effective than placebo at reducing pain.
Fusion surgery is more effective than standard rehabilitation for improving pain in people with chronic non-radicular low back pain, but it is no better than intensive rehabilitation with a cognitive behavioural component.
Exercise improves pain and function compared with other conservative treatments.
Intensive multidisciplinary treatment programmes improve pain and function compared with usual care, but less-intensive programmes do not seem beneficial.
Acupuncture, back schools, behavioural therapy, and spinal manipulation may reduce pain in the short term, but effects on function are unclear.
Massage may improve pain and function compared with sham or other active treatment.
We don't know whether electromyographic biofeedback, lumbar supports, traction, or TENS improve pain relief.
We also don't know whether intradiscal electrothermal therapy, radiofrequency denervation, or disc replacement improve pain relief or function.
PMCID: PMC3217809  PMID: 21418678
22.  Inflammation and intestinal metaplasia at the squamocolumnar junction in young patients with or without Helicobacter pylori infection 
Gut  2003;52(2):194-198.
Background: Intestinal metaplasia (IM) in the oesophagus is a known risk factor for adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus. The incidence of adenocarcinoma of the cardia and oesophagus has increased in Western countries simultaneously with a decrease in Helicobacter pylori prevalence.
Aims: To determine the association of H pylori infection with inflammation and IM at the squamocolumnar junction (SCJ) in young individuals.
Patients: A total of 168 (121 women; 72%) consecutive outpatients, ≤45 years, undergoing gastroscopy, and with no prior H pylori eradication treatment.
Methods: Biopsy specimens taken from the antrum, corpus, SCJ, and oesophagus were assessed according to the updated Sydney system, and type of IM (complete or incomplete) was determined. Serum samples from H pylori positive patients were studied for CagA antibodies.
Results: In 86% of 37 patients with gastritis in the antrum and/or corpus (24 histologically H pylori positive) and in 23% of 125 patients with a healthy stomach, inflammation was present in the glandular mucosa at the SCJ. In the latter, cardiac mucosa more often than fundic mucosa at the SCJ was inflamed (p<0.001), the inflammation was usually milder in nature, and was associated with signs of reflux disease. IM (incomplete or complete) at the SCJ was evident in nine of those 24 with a healthy stomach and inflamed cardiac mucosa at the SCJ but in none of those with H pylori gastritis.
Conclusions: IM at the SCJ can also appear in young individuals in whom it seems to be associated with reflux related isolated inflammation in cardiac mucosa at the SCJ but not with H pylori gastritis.
PMCID: PMC1774967  PMID: 12524399
intestinal metaplasia; squamocolumnar junction; gastritis; Helicobacter pylori
23.  Reduced Quadriceps Activation After Lumbar Paraspinal Fatiguing Exercise 
Journal of Athletic Training  2006;41(1):79-86.
Context: Although poor paraspinal muscle endurance has been associated with less quadriceps activation (QA) in persons with a history of low back pain, no authors have addressed the acute neuromuscular response after lumbar paraspinal fatiguing exercise.
Objective: To compare QA after lumbar paraspinal fatiguing exercise in healthy individuals and those with a history of low back pain.
Design: A 2 × 4 repeated-measures, time-series design.
Setting: Exercise and Sport Injury Laboratory.
Patients or Other Participants: Sixteen volunteers participated (9 males, 7 females; 8 controls and 8 with a history of low back pain; age = 24.1 ± 3.1 years, height = 173.4 ± 7.1 cm, mass = 72.4 ± 12.1 kg).
Intervention(s): Subjects performed 3 sets of isometric lumbar paraspinal fatiguing muscle contractions. Exercise sets continued until the desired shift in lumbar paraspinal electromyographic median power frequency was observed. Baseline QA was compared with QA after each exercise set.
Main Outcome Measure(s): An electric burst was superimposed while subjects performed a maximal quadriceps contraction. We used the central activation ratio to calculate QA = (FMVIC/[FMVIC + FBurst])* 100, where F = force and MVIC = maximal voluntary isometric contractions. Quadriceps electromyographic activity was collected at the same time as QA measurements to permit calculation of median frequency during MVIC.
Results: Average QA decreased from baseline (87.4% ± 8.2%) after the first (84.5% ± 10.5%), second (81.4% ± 11.0%), and third (78.2% ± 12.7%) fatiguing exercise sets. On average, the group with a history of low back pain showed significantly more QA than controls. No significant change in quadriceps median frequency was noted during the quadriceps MVICs.
Conclusions: The quadriceps muscle group was inhibited after lumbar paraspinal fatiguing exercise in the absence of quadriceps fatigue. This effect may be different for people with a history of low back pain compared with healthy controls.
PMCID: PMC1421484  PMID: 16619099
superimposed burst technique; quadriceps muscle inhibition; low back pain
24.  Salmonella enterica serovar Ohio septic arthritis and bone abscess in an immunocompetent patient: a case report 
Non-typhi Salmonella species cause severe extra-intestinal focal infection after occult bacteremia. Although the number of cases of non-typhi salmonellosis is increasing worldwide among patients with immunocompromising conditions such as human immunodeficiency virus infection, infection is uncommon in immunocompetent subjects. We report a case of septic arthritis and bone abscess due to a rare non-typhi Salmonella organism that developed after a prolonged asymptomatic period.
Case presentation
A 44-year-old Japanese immunocompetent man presented with acute-onset left knee pain and swelling. He had no history of food poisoning, and his most recent travel to an endemic area was 19 years ago. Salmonella enterica serovar Ohio was identified from samples of bone abscess and joint tissue. Arthrotomy and necrotic tissue debridement followed by intravenous ceftriaxone was successful.
Non-typhi Salmonella species only rarely cause extra-intestinal focal infections in immunocompetent patients. Our case suggests that non-typhi Salmonella species can cause severe focal infections many years after the occult bacteremia associated with food poisoning.
PMCID: PMC3416725  PMID: 22804866
Salmonella Ohio; Non-typhi salmonellosis; Extra-intestinal focal infection; Immunocompetent patient
25.  Spondylodiscitis Occurring after Diagnostic Lumbar Puncture: A Case Report 
Spondylodiscitis is a rare disease which is generally seen after long-term epidural catheterization. However, spondylidiscitis developing after diagnostic lumbar puncture is very rare. Early diagnosis has a crucial role in the management of the disease and inclines the morbidity rates. However, the diagnosis is often delayed due to the rarity and insidious onset of the disease usually presenting with low back pain which has a high frequency in the society. If it is diagnosed early before development of an abscess requiring surgery or neurological deficit, it responds to antimicrobial therapy quite well. We report 66-year-old male case of spondylodiscitis developing after diagnostic lumbar puncture. The patient was treated with antimicrobial therapy. After antimicrobial therapy, findings of spondylodiscitis were completely resolved and no recurrence was seen in the period of 9-month followup.
PMCID: PMC3586455  PMID: 23476837

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