Devoted to diagnostic and interventional spine imaging and therapeutics


Use of Percutaneous Discectomy Device for Aspiration and Drainage of Infected Intervertebral Discs 2006

Interventional Spine

John P Fantauzzi, MD, Non ASSR Member
A Orlando Ortiz, MD, MBA, FACR, ASSR Member

Scientific Paper


To show that a percutaneous discectomy device may be used for aspiration and drainage of an infected intervertebral disc and that this technique can help guide medical management.

Methods & Materials

Two patients with suspected discitis underwent percutaneous biopsy of the infected disc. Initial passes made with 22 and 20 gauge needles failed to yield a tissue sample or fluid. Therefore aspiration biopsy was performed utilizing a percutaneous discectomy device (Dekompressor; Stryker, Kalamazoo, MI).


The aspiration device yielded 8 cc of purulent fluid in a 79-year-old male with post-operative discitis status-post recent lumbar laminectomy. This biopsy was positive for gram-positive cocci.

In a second patient, a 70-year-old female with a history of peritoneal cancer and low back pain, use of the discectomy device yielded a 1 cm core of disc tissue. Subsequent microbiologic analysis showed no evidence of infection in what ultimately was diagnosed as a post-traumatic disc.

Both patients tolerated the procedure well. Neither patient had been started on antibiotic therapy prior to the procedure.


The percutaneous discectomy device can be used to successfully obtain disc material for subsequent microbiologic and pathologic analysis.


No disclosures.