Background: Postoperative deep infections are relatively common in children with instrumented spinal deformities, whose healing potential is somewhat compromised. Children with underlying diagnosis of cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other chronic debilitating conditions are particularly susceptible. Vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) is a newer technique to promote healing of wounds resistant to treatment by established methods. This article aims to review the efficacy of the VAC system in the treatment of deep spinal infections following spinal instrumentation and fusion in children and adolescents. Materials and Methods: We reviewed 33 patients with deep postoperative surgical site infection treated with wound VAC technique. We reviewed clinical and laboratory data, including the ability to retain the spinal hardware, loss of correction and recurrent infections. Results: All patients successfully completed their wound VAC treatment regime. None had significant loss of correction and one had persistent infection requiring partial hardware removal. The laboratory indices normalized in all but three patients. Conclusions: Wound VAC technique is a useful tool in the armamentarium of the spinal surgeon dealing with patients susceptible to wound infections, especially those with neuromuscular diseases. It allows for retention of the instrumentation and maintenance of the spinal correction. It is reliable and easy to use.
- Deep wound infection
- Spinal deformity
- VAC therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine