Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Vertebral Osteomyelitis Underlying Cause

Osteomyelitis is caused by a bacterial infection of the bone. The bacteria may enter the bone through an open injury to the skin, during surgery on the bone, or from the bloodstream.

The most common bacteria that cause osteomyelitis include:

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis
  • Streptococci
  • E. coli
  • Proteus

Vertebral osteomyelitis is a relatively uncommon infection that occurs primarily in adults over the age of 50. Vertebral osteomyelitis is often caused by a staphylococcus infection. Medical instrumentation, medical procedures, and spine surgery are considered to be risk factors for acquiring vertebral osteomyelitis.

Continue to Vertebral Osteomyelitis Anatomy

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Vertebral Osteomyelitis References
  1. Bhavan KP, Kirmani N. Hematogenous vertebral osteomyelitis. Mo Med. 2009 Jul-Aug;106(4):277-82. [19753920]
  2. Guglielmo BJ, Luber AD, Paletta D Jr, Jacobs RA. Ceftriaxone therapy for staphylococcal osteomyelitis: a review. Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Jan;30(1):205-7. [10619757]
  3. Mandracchia VJ, Sanders SM, Jaeger AJ, Nickles WA. Management of osteomyelitis. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2004 Jul;21(3):335-51, vi. [15246142]
  4. Shuford JA, Steckelberg JM. Role of oral antimicrobial therapy in the management of osteomyelitis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2003 Dec;16(6):515-9. [14624099]
  5. Steer AC, Carapetis JR. Acute hematogenous osteomyelitis in children: recognition and management. Paediatr Drugs. 2004;6(6):333-46. [15612835]
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