Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Spondylodiscitis Overview

Another name for Spondylodiscitis is Discitis.

What is discitis?
A person with discitis (diskitis) has swelling or irritation of the space between the bones of the spine caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Discitis is considered when there is osteomyelitis of a vertebral body (in the spine). In most cases, discitis spreads through the bloodstream to the spine from another location in the body. Possible sites include pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and a soft tissue infection. Staphylococcus aureus is the organism most commonly found. Discitis is rare and is normally only seen in children under the age of 10.

What are the symptoms of discitis?
The symptoms of discitis include a low grade fever, chills, stiffness in the back, back pain, abdominal pain, irritability, and difficulty getting up and standing.

How does the doctor treat discitis?
The treatment of discitis includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and narcotic pain medications to reduce pain. Antibiotic selection is based on the isolated organism. Intravenous antibiotics are usually administered for 6 to 8 weeks. Immobilization is necessary, particularly in the early stage of the disease.

Continue to Spondylodiscitis Symptoms

Last Updated: Jul 23, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Spondylodiscitis References
  1. Bhavan KP, Kirmani N. Hematogenous vertebral osteomyelitis. Mo Med. 2009 Jul-Aug;106(4):277-82. [19753920]
  2. Cottle L, Riordan T. Infectious spondylodiscitis. J Infect. 2008 Jun;56(6):401-12. Epub 2008 Apr 28. [18442854]
  3. Mikhael MM, Bach HG, Huddleston PM, Maus TP, Berbari EF. Multilevel diskitis and vertebral osteomyelitis after diskography. Orthopedics. 2009 Jan;32(1):60. [19226022]
  4. Titlic M, Josipovic-Jelic Z. Spondylodiscitis. Bratisl Lek Listy. 2008;109(8):345-7. [18837241]
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