Infections & Tumors

These rare cases of disease refer to infestation of bacteria in the intervertebral disks, the vertebral bones, the spinal canal or adjacent soft tissues. Discitis refers to an infection of the intervertebral disk while osteomyelitis refers to infection of the vertebral bone. These infections can be caused by bacteria or fungi, viruses or may even occur after a spinal procedure or surgery.
In general, infections are caused due to bacteria spreading to the spine through the bloodstream. If the bacteria infect the vertebral disk, the condition is called discitis in which the disk space degenerates. The infection may then spread to the bones, called osteomyelitis. The bone, weakened by this infection may cause fracture and crumbling of the bone. Symptoms usually start with a localized tenderness in the back or neck which worsens with movement and is unable to be treated with conservative methods. Overall symptoms may include general fever and unexplained weightloss.

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