A spinal infection is a rare, but often serious, form of disease that occurs when bacteria, fungi, or viruses invade the spinal tissues. These foreign agents can attack pretty much any part of the spine that you can image.
What happens if you have an infection in your spine?
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.
Can a spinal infection cause paralysis?
An untreated spinal cord abscess can lead to spinal cord compression. It can cause permanent, severe paralysis and nerve loss. It may be life threatening. If the abscess is not drained completely, it may return or cause scarring in the spinal cord.
How is spinal infection diagnosed?
If a spinal infection is suspected, imaging scans,such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are typically ordered, often utilizing contrast dye to highlight the areas of damage.
What does a spinal infection feel like?
Spinal Canal Infections
Severe back pain with fever and local tenderness in the spinal column. Nerve root pain radiating from the infected area. Weakness of voluntary muscles and bowel/bladder dysfunction. Paralysis.
Is a spinal cord abscess fatal?
Epidural abscess of the spinal column is a rare condition that can be fatal if left untreated.
What is spinal sepsis?
Spinal sepsis (spinal epidural or subdural abscess) is a rare condition, which, if not diagnosed rapidly, can lead to paralysis or death. It is difficult to diagnose in its early stages as the symptoms are as yet non-specific.
What does osteomyelitis pain feel like?
This pain is usually described as dull or aching and may worsen during activity. The person may also experience fever and night sweats. In addition to pain, some cancerous bone lesions can cause stiffness, swelling, or tenderness in the affected area. The pain may come and go and may be worse or better at night.