Recurrence of Deep Surgical Site Infection in Cerebral Palsy After Spinal Fusion Is Rare

Amit Jain, Urvij M. Modhia, Dolores B. Njoku, Suken A. Shah, Peter O. Newton, Michelle C. Marks, Tracey P. Bastrom, Firoz Miyanji, Paul D. Sponseller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Study Design Retrospective review of prospective registry. Objectives To assess the following in children with cerebral palsy (CP) who develop deep surgical site infection (DSSI) after spinal fusion: (1) rate of infection recurrence after treatment; (2) treatments used; (3) radiographic outcomes; and (4) differences in Caregiver Priorities and Child Health Index of Life with Disabilities (CPCHILD) scores versus those of children with no infection (NI). Summary of Background Data Studies show high rates of surgical site infection in patients with CP but do not address late recurrence or quality-of-life effects. Methods One hundred fifty-one children with CP underwent spinal fusion surgery from 2008 through 2011 and had ≥2-year follow-up. Patients who developed DSSI were compared with patients with NI. Student t tests were used to analyze deformity; analysis of variance was used to analyze CPCHILD scores in both groups preoperatively and at final follow-up. Results Eleven patients developed DSSI. Causative organisms were polymicrobial infection (5 cases), Escherichia coli (2 cases), and Proteus mirabilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, and Peptostreptococcus (1 case each). All patients underwent irrigation and debridement and received at least 6 weeks of antibiotics. Six had negative-pressure-dressing-assisted wound closure; 5 had primary closure. At mean 4-year follow-up (range, 3–5 years) no patient had recurrent infection. From immediate postoperative to final follow-up, no patient had significant loss of coronal curve (p =.77) or pelvic obliquity (p =.71) correction. However, at final follow-up, comfort and emotions, overall quality-of-life, and total CPCHILD scores in the DSSI group were significantly lower compared with the NI group (p = .005,.022, and.026, respectively). Conclusions In children with CP who developed DSSI after spinal fusion, there was no recurrence of infection or deformity after infection treatment. CPCHILD scores in patients with DSSI were lower compared with the NI group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-212
Number of pages5
JournalSpine deformity
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2017


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deep surgical site infection
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Recurrence
  • Spinal fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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