Spinal infections occur when the vertebral column, the intervertebral discs, the dural sac (the covering around the spinal cord) or the space around the spinal cord become infected by bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic pathogens. Although rare, without diagnosis and timely treatment, spinal infections can lead to other complications including:
Spinal Infection Diagnosis
Fungal organisms or bacteria located in the lumbar or lumbosacral spine are the primary causes of pediatric spinal infections. As result of their general and non-specific symptoms, spinal infections may initially be a delayed diagnosis.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the most common and beneficial method medical professionals use to reach an early diagnosis of spinal infection in children. Pediatric spinal infections are most frequently identified between the ages of 2 and 8 years old and can range from benign to aggressive cases. Depending on the severity and the length of time the spine goes untreated, the infection can develop into Discitis Osteomyelitis or Intramedullary abscesses.
Spinal Infection Treatment
Treatment plans for children with a spinal infection generally include immobilization and rest. Immediate antimicrobial therapy is also a core piece of treating the spine to target and kill the bacteria. Bone fusion of the infected spinal disc space may occur as a result of effective treatment. Early detection and rapid response are essential to achieving the best outcome.