Spinal infections can be caused by bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms that invade the spine and its structures.
Infections that affect the spine, such as spinal meningitis or discitis, which can lead to pain, inflammation, and neurological complications.
Spinal infections can occur through various means:
- Hematogenous Spread: The most common route of infection is through the bloodstream. Bacteria or fungi from another site in the body, such as the urinary tract or respiratory system, can enter the bloodstream and spread to the spine.
- Direct Contamination: In some cases, infections can occur directly due to surgical procedures, trauma, or invasive spinal interventions that introduce microorganisms into the spinal area.
- Spreading from Nearby Structures: Infections in nearby tissues, such as the skin or soft tissues of the back, can spread to the spine.
Spinal infections can affect different parts of the spine, including the vertebrae, intervertebral discs, spinal canal, or the tissues surrounding the spine.
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Common symptoms of spinal infections may include:
- Back or Neck Pain: Persistent and worsening pain in the affected area, which can be localized or radiate to other parts of the body.
- Fever: An elevated body temperature often accompanies spinal infections.
- Stiffness and Limited Mobility: Difficulty moving the spine due to pain and inflammation.
- Neurological Symptoms: In severe cases, spinal infections can compress the spinal cord or nerves, leading to neurological deficits, such as weakness, numbness, or loss of sensation in the limbs.
- Swelling and Redness: Infections near the skin or soft tissues of the back can cause visible swelling and redness.