Cervical Osteomyelitis:  An Unusual Complication of Tonsillectomy

Thomas A. Tami, MC; J. Kenneth Burkus, MC; C. Gordon Strom, MC
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(9):992-994. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860090090027.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

• Tonsillectomy is one of the most common operations performed by the otolaryngologist. Deep-neck infections are among the possible complications associated with this procedure. We encountered a case of osteomyelitis of the cervical spine occurring subsequent to an otherwise uncomplicated tonsillectomy. Although never previously reported with tonsillectomy to our knowledge, cervical osteomyelitis has been associated with other procedures and infections of the head, neck, and maxillofacial regions. Mechanisms that might explain this occurrence include direct extension via fascial planes, direct venous and lymphatic spread, and hematogenous dissemination from the contaminated surgical site. Treatment consisted of drainage and débridement of the infection, cervical immobilization, and long-term antibiotic administration. Healing was complete and cervical mobility and stability were normal at three months. Early recognition of this unusual complication of tonsillectomy is imperative to avoid potential neurologic sequelae.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1987;113:992-994)


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.