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Case Reports in Orthopedics
Volume 2018, Article ID 9076509, 5 pages
Case Report

Pyogenic Spondylitis Caused by Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Associated with Tracheostomy followed by Resection of Ossification of the Anterior Longitudinal Ligament

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Akita University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1-1 Hondo, Akita 010-8543, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Michio Hongo;

Received 29 October 2017; Accepted 17 January 2018; Published 18 February 2018

Academic Editor: Johannes Mayr

Copyright © 2018 Michio Hongo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Symptomatic ossification of the anterior longitudinal ligament (OALL) is rare. However, when the osteophyte enlarges and obstructive symptoms occur, the patient may require surgery. We present a case of pyogenic spondylitis caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus associated with tracheostomy followed by resection of OALL. A 69-year-old woman with OALL complained of dysphagia and suffocation, which was caused by prominent OALL at C4-5. Tracheostomy was performed, followed by osteophytectomy 6 weeks later. Two months after osteophytectomy, she complained of muscle weakness of the extremities, neck pain, and elevated temperature. Magnetic resonance imaging showed an intensity change at the C4-5 vertebrae and an epidural abscess that was causing cord compression requiring urgent decompression. Cultures identified methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. As osteolytic change and muscle weakness gradually progressed, she underwent anterior and posterior reconstruction with an autograft and instrumentation. Bone union was confirmed at 1 year postoperatively with improvement in neurological status. OALL has potentially the risk of airway obstruction. Therefore, appropriate diagnosis and prompt osteophytectomy are needed in cases of a large prominent ossification that puts the patient at risk of suffocation. However, it is noted that osteophytectomy following urgent tracheostomy carries the possible risk of infection.