Introduction: The incidence of spondylodiscitis following lumbar microdiscectomy ranges from 0.2 to 4%. Our study aims to determine if surgical technique has any influence on the incidence of spondylodiscitis in patients undergoing lumbar microdiscectomy and to compare this to published rate of incidence of spondylodiscitis in the literature.
Methods: Retrospective audit in a single center over a period of 7 years operated by three groups of surgeons following three different surgical techniques.A total of 3063 patients were analysed from 2005 to 2011 for discitis post operatively. The male to female ratio was 1:1. The first group followed a standard micro-discectomy technique, the second group used antiseptic (Savlon) irrigation at the end of the procedure to irrigate the disc space and the third group followed standard microdiscectomy along with usage of a separate disc sucker when discectomy is performed. The number of patients operated in the individual groups was 559, 1122 and 1382.
Results: The total number of patients who had postoperative discitis was 3(0.10%) with a range of 0.07 to 0.18%. There was one case of discitis in each group. The incidence of spondylodiscitis in Group A, B and C were 0.18%, 0.09% and 0.07% respectively.
Conclusions: This study concludes that different techniques used for lumbar micro discectomy reveals that standard microsurgical technique with usage of antiseptic irrigation for the disc space and usage of separate disc sucker has lesser incidence of spondylodiscitis in comparison to standard micro discectomy. The overall incidence of discitis in our series remains less than the published results.
Patient Care: We establish the fact that adhering to a standard technique, operating time and the usage of antiseptic irrigation and separate disc sucker may prove beneficial in reducing the incidence of post operative discitis.
Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of the session the participants will be able to identify the key factors responsible for reducing the incidence of spondylodiscitis following lumbar microdiscectomy.