Endoscope-Assisted Abscess Drainage Secondary to Endoscope-Assisted Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: 1-Year Follow-Up WORLD NEUROSURGERY Madhavan, K., Burks, S., Chieng, L., Veeravagu, A., Wang, M. Y. 2017; 107: 511–14


Endoscopic discectomy and fusions have been gaining popularity in the recent past and are noted to be safe for their application in elderly population. The procedure involves ultra-small incision for discectomy followed by placement of percutaneous screws in awake patients. Treatment of advanced spinal pathology with endoscope-assisted techniques is challenging. Although not common with the endoscopic approach, postoperative infection can be problematic, as there are no established guidelines on its management.A 76-year-old female patient underwent lumbar 4-5 endoscopic-assisted transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion for severe degenerative changes leading to back and radicular leg pain. She did well postoperatively and was discharged home the following day. She presented to the outside hospital with new onset of severe back pain, sepsis, and positive methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus with blood culture and demonstrated no improvement while on antibiotics.Initial magnetic resonance imaging revealed postoperative changes only. With positive blood culture and localized pain, she was then offered to undergo a percutaneous drainage of the abscess. Under local anesthesia and intravenous sedation, a small pocket of collection was found along the endoscopic trajectory from previous surgery. After evacuation of the collection, the interbody device was irrigated with vancomycin through endoscope. Postoperatively, immediate symptomatic improvement was noted in back pain. She was discharged home on oxacillin and continues to do well at 12 months' follow-up with excellent fusion.The present case illustrates the successful treatment of a surgical-site infection after endoscope-assisted transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion via a repeat percutaneous endoscopic approach.

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