The following describes the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of spinal infections. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
What are spinal infections?
Spinal infections can occur anywhere along the spine (vertebrae, discs, or the area immediately surrounding the spinal cord) and may be bacterial or fungal in nature. Left untreated, spinal infections can lead to chronic pain, paralysis, or death.
What causes spinal infections?
There are many factors that can cause spinal infections, including cancer, diabetes, HIV, obesity, and malnutrition. A spinal infection can also be the result of intravenous drug use, organ transplantation, or surgery.
What are the symptoms of spinal infections?
Common symptoms of spinal infections include:
- Fever and chills
- Constant pain in the neck and back
- Weakness and fatigue
How are spinal infections diagnosed?
Your Hurley physician will conduct a complete physical exam and order blood work to test for bacteria and fungus. In addition, CT scans, MRIs, bone scans, and X-rays may be ordered to help assess the damage caused by the infection.
How are spinal infections treated?
Spinal infections are treated with antibiotic or antifungal medications, depending on the type of infection you have. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to drain the infection or to remove the infected tissue. Your Hurley physician can recommend a course of treatment based on your particular case.