Technical changes in paraspinous muscle flap surgery have increased salvage rates of infected spinal wounds.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to introduce modifications in paraspinous muscle flap surgery and compare this new variation's ability to salvage infected hardware with the classic technique. Infected posterior spine wounds are a difficult problem for reconstructive surgeons. As per experience, hardware retention in infected wounds maintains spinal stability, decreases length of stay, and decreases the wound healing complication rate.
METHODS: An 11-year retrospective office and hospital chart review was conducted between July 1996 and August 2007. All patients who underwent paraspinous muscle flap reconstruction for postspine surgery wound infections during this time period were included. There were 51 patients in the study representing the largest reported series, to date, for this procedure. Twenty-two patients underwent treatment using the modified technique and 29 patients were treated using the classic technique.
RESULTS: There was no statistical difference between the 2 groups in demographics, medical history, or reason for initial spine surgery. The hardware salvage rate associated with the modified technique was greater than the rate associated with the classic technique (95.4% vs 75.8%; P = .03). There were fewer postreconstruction wound healing complications requiring hospital readmission in the modified technique group than the classic group (13.6% vs 44.8%; P = .04). Patients in the modified technique group demonstrated a shorter mean length of stay than the patients in the classic group (23.7 days vs 29.7; P = .25).
CONCLUSIONS: The modified paraspinous muscle flap technique is an excellent option for spinal wound reconstruction, preservation of spinal hardware, and local infection control.
Recommended CitationMericli, Alexander F; Moore, John H; Copit, Steven E; Fox, James W; and Tuma, Gary A, "Technical changes in paraspinous muscle flap surgery have increased salvage rates of infected spinal wounds." (2008). Department of Surgery Faculty Papers. Paper 93.