Spinal Infections

Spinal Infections

Spinal infections are rare, but, when they happen, they can be destructive if not treated promptly and properly. Infections can occur in the spinal bones or vertebrae in the soft discs that cushion each vertebra or in the soft tissue around the spine. At our, we address any spinal infections promptly and carefully.

Spinal Infection Symptoms
Different types of spinal infections produce different symptoms. Here are some of the primary spinal infections and symptoms:
  • Cervical spine infections cause neck pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.
  • Intervertebral disc space infections lead to severe back pain, fever, chills, weight loss, muscle spasms, and painful or difficult urination.
  • Spinal canal infections often produce severe back pain, tenderness, and fever.
  • Adjacent soft-tissue infections may trigger abdominal pain, pain in your upper abdomen or back (flank pain), or pain radiating to the hip and thigh.

Potential Causes of Spinal Infections
Bacterial or fungal infections can spread to the disc from elsewhere in the body, causing urinary tract infections or other infections. Tuberculosis remains one of the most common infections of the spine in India
Once the infection has passed through and out of the rest of your body, the infection often remains in the disc and may cause it to weaken, decay, and collapse. When this happens, the disc pushes against the spinal nerves, causing pain. If not treated, the infection can spread to the vertebrae, weakening the bones and causing them to collapse and press against the spinal cord, which can affect many body functions. If the infection is still not treated, the deformed vertebrae can fuse, press against the nerve roots, and lead to continuous pain.

Diagnosing Spinal Infections

Diagnosing spinal infection begins with a thorough history and a meticulous clinical examination. The doctor usually asks for X-rays, CT scan and MRI. Usually the first step is blood investigations, followed by biopsy. The biopsy usually reveals the organism which helps in further treatment.

Spinal Infection Treatment

Treatment of infections without any nerve damage and paralysis of muscles, usually is based on antibiotics, antifungals or anti-Tuberculosis drugs, based on the biposy. Surgery is offered in cases with nerve/spinal cord compression and/or instability. The surgery entails decompression, alignment of spinal column, stabilization and obtaining material for biopsy. The infection is treated with sensitive antibiotics for a long duration.