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Home >> Specialities >> Neurosciences >> Spine Surgery >> Spinal Infections

Spinal Infections

Spinal Infections are rare but potentially life-threatening diseases caused by bacterial or fungal invasion of the tissues in any part of the spine, including the Spinal Discs, Meninges, and Spinal Canal. Some infections may even spread to the spinal cord. These can give rise to complications like pain, inflammation, muscle weakness, and paralysis and can even make your spine vulnerable to fractures.

What causes Spinal Infections?
Spinal infections are caused by the spread of harmful bacteria and fungi to the spine, usually via the bloodstream. Some people may develop the infection after undergoing pelvic surgery as the veins in the lower spine pass through the pelvis. Some dental procedures may also elevate the risk of the same. The risks of spinal infections are high in people who take intravenous drugs.

What are the symptoms of Spinal Infections?
Symptoms of Spinal Infections vary from one person to another depending upon the area of the spine that has been affected.

  • Patients with an infection of the cervical spine are likely to experience neck pain, stiffness and limited range of motion
  • Patients with infection of the intervertebral disc space present with symptoms like muscle spasms, unintended weight loss, pain, fever and persistent back pain
  • Patients with an infection of the spinal canal experience back pain and tenderness, along with fever
  • Patients with infection of the adjacent soft tissue may experience pain in the upper abdomen or back, which may radiate towards the hips and thighs.

How can Surgery help the patient?
Surgery is recommended for patients with severe spinal infections, who are not responding to any of the prescribed medications. The aim of the surgery is to:

  • Clean/remove the infected tissues
  • Ensure healthy blood flow to the affected area to facilitate swift recovery
  • To enhance spinal stability 
  • To restore function and improve mobility 

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