FacultyFocus 1 | 2020

Focus on spinal infections—from prevention to cure

AO Spine continues to share important outcomes from AO Spine studies and draws members’ attention to the Focus Issues from AO Spine North America, with a closer look at the special issue on spinal infections.

Every year, AO Spine North America (AOSNA) publishes a special Focus Issue; these collections of articles focus on current hot topics, treatment recommendations, guidelines, and existing controversies in spine care. These publications present the most up-to-date, evidence-based reviews of the hottest topics in spine care for clinicians and researchers.


A recent popular issue is the Focus Issue on Spinal Infections, published in the AO Spine’s official journal, the Global Spine Journal (GSJ).


“As we are all aware, spinal infections are a prevalent part of our daily treatment regimen as spine surgeons—whether these infections are in our elective practice or emergencies”, Editor James Harrop says. “This focused, evidence-based review of spinal infections, whether iatrogenic or spontaneous, provides insight on how to improve our practices and provide better care for our patients”.


The Focus Issue on Spinal Infection provides a current baseline of evidence-based literature to help direct patient care and future studies. The nine articles cover infection in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine; surgical and postoperative spine infection in spine surgery; how to identify patients with an increased risk; etiology; how to prevent, identify, and diagnose any postoperative spine surgical infection; and how to most efficiently treat infections. The journal concludes with an insight and a global perspective into treatment of spinal tuberculosis.


“At best, a Focus Issue provides a framework of best evidence for current best practices”, AO Spine Knowledge Forum Trauma member Alex Vaccaro explains, adding that this is also why the Focus Issues are so popular. “They give the reader the possibility to sit down with one source in hand and find answers.”





Additional reading on spinal infections For additional reading on spinal infections, AO Spine recommends the AO Spine Masters Series, Volume 10. Published in mid-2018, it provides a concise, state-of-the-art review on all aspects of spinal infections from basic science and epidemiology to fundamental surgical and nonsurgical approaches. The book offers insights and discussion of underlying pathologies, imaging and diagnosis, and surgical techniques, and includes an added focus on issues specific to children, coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), postoperative problems, geriatric patients, and pseudarthrosis.

FacultyFocus 1 | 2020