Use of the microvascular free fibula transfer as a salvage reconstruction for failed anterior spine surgery due to chronic osteomyelitis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Several factors influence the osseous union of spinal fusions, including the substrate used for arthrodesis, the biology of the fusion bed, as well as local host factors. While cancellous bone grafting is useful in simple cases with no major bony defects, corticocancellous strut grafts are indicated in reconstructions requiring mechanical support. The size and location of the spinal defect to be reconstructed determine what type of vascularized bone graft is indicated. According to the literature, locations suitable for reconstruction using a microvascular free fibula graft include the cervical spine and, less frequently, the cervicothoracic, thoracic, thoracolumbar, and lumbar spine. Using the microvascular free vascularized fibula graft as a salvage procedure for failed anterior spine surgery due to bacterial spinal osteomyelitis has not been reported. METHODS AND RESULTS: Four cases of spinal osteomyelitis after attempted spinal fusion are presented. In all cases, a microvascular free fibula graft was successfully used for secondary spinal fusion and clearance of documented bacterial osteomyelitis. The operative approach is described. CONCLUSIONS: Use of the vascularized free fibula graft for correction of primary and secondary spinal deformities, as well as for reconstruction after excision of malignant spine tumors, has been well documented. On the basis of their experience, the authors also recommend microvascular fibula transplantation as a salvage procedure for failed anterior spine surgery due to chronic osteomyelitis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Erdmann, D; Meade, RA; Lins, RE; McCann, RL; Richardson, WJ; Levin, LS

Published Date

  • June 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 117 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 2438 - 2445

PubMed ID

  • 16772953

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1529-4242

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States