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Pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis complicating abdominal penetrating injury: case report and review of the literature

Arianna Zefelippo12*, Paola M Bertazzoni12, Aldo M Marini1, Paolo De Rai1 and Ettore Contessini-Avesani12

Author Affiliations

1 General and Emergency Surgery Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico di Milano, via F. Sforza 35-20100, Milano, Italy

2 General Surgery Post-graduation School, University of Milan, via F. Sforza 35-20100, Milano, Italy

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World Journal of Emergency Surgery 2013, 8:56  doi:10.1186/1749-7922-8-56

Published: 27 December 2013


Pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis is a rare condition usually associated with endocarditis or spinal surgery. However, it may also occur following abdominal penetrating trauma with associated gastrointestinal perforation. Diagnosis might be challenging and appropriate treatment is essential to ensure a positive outcome. In trans-abdominal trauma, 48 hours of broad-spectrum antibiotics is generally recommended for prophylaxis of secondary infections. A case report of vertebral osteomyelitis complicating trans-colonic injury to the retroperitoneum is presented and clinical management is discussed in the light of literature review.

Vertebral osteomyelitis; Penetrating abdominal trauma; Post-traumatic infections