Antibiotic Use in Adult Spine Deformity Surgery: Results From the AO Spine Surveillance of the Management of Patients With Adult Spine Deformity.


Study design

Cross-sectional international survey with literature review.


To evaluate the evidence for these strategies and to understand the current trends in prophylactic antibiotic use during ASD surgery through an international survey.


An online survey was conducted among international AO Spine members regarding the peri-operative management of patients with ASD. The details of perioperative systemic and topical antibiotic use were solicited. Descriptive data were summarized for the responding surgeons who perform at least 10 long-segment fusions of >5 levels extending to the pelvis annually.


The literature supports the use of prophylactic antibiotic effective against gram positive organisms. The use of topical vancomycin remains debated, and there is limited evidence for topical tobramycin use. A total of 116 responses were received. 74 (64%) surgeons use topical vancomycin, most usually deep to the fascia only 45 (61%). The most usual dose used is 1-2 g. 4 (3%) surgeons use topical tobramycin deep to fascia. Following surgery, 90 (78%) surgeons use prophylactic cephalosporin with 3 (3%) using cloxacillin, 5 (4%) using ciprofloxacin and 9 (8%) using vancomycin and 6 (5%) using clindamycin either in addition or alone.


The present survey identifies a trend towards systemic and topical antibiotic prophylaxis primarily targeted at gram positive pathogens. The use of topical tobramycin, proposedly effective against gram negative infections, remains uncommon. There is a lack of consensus in the selection of perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis, thus a prospective study of the rates of infection with each strategy would be useful to inform guidelines.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Rocos, Brett, So Kato, Stephen J Lewis, Christopher I Shaffrey, Lawrence G Lenke and undefined AO spine knowledge forum deformity (2023). Antibiotic Use in Adult Spine Deformity Surgery: Results From the AO Spine Surveillance of the Management of Patients With Adult Spine Deformity. Global spine journal. p. 21925682231201240. 10.1177/21925682231201240 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Brett Rocos

Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I joined the team at Duke University Health from London, UK, where I was a Consultant Adult and Paediatric Spine Surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust and Honorary Consultant Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. I completed my surgical training in in the South West of the UK and at the University of Toronto, and am fellowship trained in adult spine surgery, paediatric spine surgery, orthopaedic trauma surgery, research and healthcare management.

I am driven to support patients at every stage of their care, from clinic assessment, through surgery to discharge. Making sure that every person, adult, child, family or friend understands what’s wrong, helping them to choose the right treatment for them, and what the recovery will be like is an important priority.

My research activity focusses on finding effective new treatments for spinal disorders and bringing them to patients. Focusing on spinal deformity, I have led investigations in the UK, Canada and the USA, and I sit on the Global AO Knowledge Forum for Deformity and the Research Grants Committee at the Scoliosis Research Society. I have lectured in North America and Europe about the treatment of spine disorders for the Scoliosis Research Society, Global Spine Congress, AO Spine and Eurospine, and I have worked hard to produce research that improves the care for spine patients wherever they live. Lastly, I review for several orthopaedic journals and I am Deputy Editor of the Bone and Joint 360, a leading publication with a global readership.

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