Sacral osteomyelitis after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis: Report of four cases

William E. Taylor, Bruce G. Wolff, John H. Pemberton, Michael J. Yaszemski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: This study describes an institutional experience with sacral osteomyelitis after proctocolectomy and ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. METHODS: A total of 2,375 patients underwent ileal pouch-anal anastomosis at the Mayo Clinic between January 1981 and January 2002. In addition, we have served as a tertiary referral base for patients with complications after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis performed at other institutions. Review of our ileal pouch-anal anastomosis prospective database and directed search of the central pathology, microbiology, radiology, and surgical records at the Mayo Clinic was performed using these keywords: osteomyelitis, ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease. RESULTS: Two of 2,375 patients (0.08 percent) with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis performed at our institution have had sacral osteomyelitis. In addition, two patients have been referred for continuing care after construction of an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis and diagnosis of sacral osteomyelitis at another institution. Two of the four patients maintained normal pouch function after sacral debridement and a period of fecal stream diversion. One patient remains diverted with resolved sacral osteomyelitis after debridement. The last patient died from squamous-cell cancer involving the sacrum. CONCLUSIONS: Sacral osteomyelitis is a rare and heretofore unreported complication of ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. Conservative measures using antibiotics alone proved unsuccessful, and delaying definitive management may have contributed to the degeneration of a chronic sacral abscess into squamous-cell cancer. With more aggressive treatment comprising sacral debridement, long-term antibiotics, and fecal diversion, pouch function can potentially be preserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-918
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Ileal pouch-anal anastomosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Sacral osteomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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