Surgical Outcome & Cost Analysis of Single Stage Anterior Decompression and Cage Fixation in Patients with Thoracic and Lumbar Tuberculous Spondylitis: A Single Centre Experience Over Six – Years with Comprehensive Literature Review

  • FAIQA FILZA KHAN Department of Neurosurgery, Northwest General Hospital & Research Centre, Peshawar
  • MUHAMMAD MUKHTAR KHAN Department of Neurosurgery, Northwest General Hospital & Research Centre, Peshawar – Pakistan
  • ZAHOOR AHMED Department of Neurosurgery, Northwest General Hospital & Research Centre, Peshawar – Pakistan
  • TARIQ KHAN Department of Neurosurgery, Northwest General Hospital & Research Centre, Peshawar – Pakistan


Objective:  For Tuberculous spondylitis (TS) the optimal mode of management for extensive tuberculous spondylitis is still a subject of debate. We determined the outcome for single stage anterior decompression and cage fixation for dorso-lumbar TS.

Material and Methods:  This prospective study was conducted between 2012 and 2018. Worsening or new onset neurological deficit, increasing deformity, large paraspinal abscess and those not responding to anti-tuberculous drug therapy were included. Patients with severe comorbidities (> ASA class III) and recurrent cases were excluded. Demographics, clinical features, radiological characteristics, intraoperative details, postoperative complications and follow-up condition were recorded.

Results:  One patient with mean age of 45.6 ± 14.9 years with 17 (54.8%) males and 14 (45.2%) females. Mean symptoms duration was 71.9 ± 29.4 days. 41.9% had spasticity & 25.8% had sphincter dysfunction on presentation. Half (48%) of patients had a Frankel grade 3 or less bilaterally. Mean length of the procedure was 137.4 ± 19.9 minutes. 19.4% (n = 6) had postoperative pulmonary complications, 16.1% (n = 5) wound infection, 9.7% (n = 3) had worsening of neurologic deficit and one (3.2%) remained static. Graft extrusion and cage subsidence were noted in one (3.2%) patient each. Favorable outcome was observed in 83.9% (n = 26) while 16.1% (n = 5) had unfavorable outcome. Mean out-of-pocket cost was 164677.4 ± 11469.9 rupees (USD: 1187 approx).

Conclusion:  Timely spinal decompression with stabilization at the onset of the Pott’s disease in patients who fulfil the criteria as surgical candidates carries a promising outcome.


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