Tubercular spinal epidural abscess involving the dorsal-lumbar-sacral region without osseous involvement.
We analyzed 124 papers published in the English language literature to define the indications and timing of surgery in spinal TB and to evaluate the outcome of various surgical procedures for kyphosis and neural outcome. Surgery in spinal tuberculosis is indicated for diagnostic dilemma, neural complications, and prevention of kyphosis progression. Up to 76% canal encroachment is compatible with a normal neurologic state as the spinal cord tolerates gradually developing compression. Patients with relatively preserved cord size, but with edema/myelitis and predominantly fluid compression on MRI respond well to nonoperative treatment. We believe patients with extradural compression by granulation tissue with little fluid component compressing or constricting the cord circumferentially with cord edema/myelitis or myelomalacia need early surgical decompression. Transthoracic transpleural anterior decompression and extrapleural anterolateral decompression have similar results in the dorsal spine. Instrumented stabilization helps prevent graft-related complications when postdébridement defects exceed two disc spaces (4-5 cm). Progression of kyphosis may occur in a short-segment disease despite instrumented stabilization. Its outcome in a long-segment disease needs observation. The correction of healed kyphosis requires multistage surgery and is fraught with complications. Prospective studies are needed to define surgical approach, steps, stages, problems, and obstacles to correct severe kyphosis in spinal TB.