Spinal infections can be caused by either a bacterial or a fungal infection in another part of the body that has been carried into the spine through the bloodstream. The most common source of spinal infections is a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus, followed by Escherichia coli.
Spinal infections may occur after a urological procedure because the veins in the lower spine come up through the pelvis. The most common area of the spine affected is the lumbar region. Intravenous drug abusers are more prone to infections affecting the cervical region.
Intervertebral disc space infections probably begin in one of the contiguous endplates, and the disc is infected secondarily. In children, there is some controversy as to the origin. Most cultures and biopsies in children are negative, leading experts to believe that childhood discitis may not be an infectious condition, but caused by partial dislocation of the epiphysis (the growth area near the end of a bone), as a result of a flexion injury.
Symptoms of Spinal Infection
Symptoms of spinal Infection are vary based on the type of spinal infection but the general pain comes from the infection side.
- Sudden onset of pain
- sharp pain that can radiate to your arms or legs
- weakness that progresses rapidly
- loss of sensation below the area of the abscess
- paralysis below the area of the abscess
- loss of control of your bladder and bowels
Treatment of Spinal Infection
- Nonsurgical Treatment: If you want to go with the non-surgical treatment then the process is very long as compared to surgical treatment. The antibiotics medicine course duration is high and pain from this condition is high. Based on the patient’s condition and spinal infection type the treatment was decided. If the patient is neurologically and structurally stable, antibiotic treatment should be administered after the organism causing the infection is properly identified. Patients generally undergo antimicrobial therapy for a minimum of six to eight weeks. The type of medication is determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the patient’s specific circumstances, including his or her age.
- Surgical Treatment: Nonsurgical treatment should be considered first when patients have minimal or no neurological deficits and the morbidity and mortality rate of surgical intervention is high. However, surgery may be indicated when any of the following situations are present:
- Significant bone involvement
- Neurological deficits
- Sepsis with clinical toxicity caused by an abscess unresponsive to antibiotics
- Failure of needle biopsy to obtain needed cultures
- Failure of intravenous antibiotics alone to eradicate the infection