Surgical site infection is reputed to be infrequent in anterior cervical spine surgery. Data on pathophysiological mechanism and risk factors are sparse. The relationship between local site infection and pharyngoesophageal perforation is unclear. The present study aimed: (1) to estimate the incidence of surgical site infection in anterior cervical spine surgery, (2) estimate the incidence of associated pharyngoesophageal perforation, and (3) suggest a decision-tree for early management of this two-fold issue.
Although with very low incidence, anterior cervical spine surgical site infection and pharyngoesophageal perforation are frequently associated.
Material and methods
A 2-center retrospective study included all anterior cervical spine surgeries between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2016. Data were provided by the two medical information departments. Patients undergoing anterior revision surgery on the cervical spine were included. Files were analyzed to determine whether the revision surgery was secondary to surgical site infection.
In total, 1475 patients with anterior cervical spine surgery were identified: 1180 in center A (80%) and 295 in center B (20%). The rate of revision surgery for surgical site infection was 0.34% (5/1475). There were 3 cases of pharyngoesophageal perforation (0.2%).
The incidence of revision surgery for anterior cervical spine surgical site infection was comparable to rates in the international literature (0.07–1.6%). An association between surgical site infection and pharyngoesophageal perforation was frequent, but not statistically significant. This complication is extremely serious, requiring urgent multidisciplinary management.
Level of evidence
IV, retrospective study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Surgical site infection, Cervical spine, Anterior surgery, Pharyngoesophageal perforation, Retrospective study, Incidence