Osteomyelitis – When a Bone Infection Occurs in the Spine
Osteomyelitis is the medical term for an infection in a bone. Symptoms of osteomyelitis can include fever and chills, and pain and swelling in the affected area. In some cases the symptoms can be absent or mimic other conditions, making osteomyelitis difficult to diagnose. In children, osteomyelitis most commonly affects the long bones of the legs and upper arm, while adults are more likely to develop osteomyelitis in the bones that make up the spine (the vertebrae). This condition is called vertebral osteomyelitis or spinal osteomyelitis.
Osteomyelitis of the spine is not like other infections
Bones are normally resistant to infection. But a severe bone fracture or a deep puncture wound gives infections a route to enter bone. In other cases surgery can accidentally open a pathway for germs to enter a bone. Infections can likewise travel through the bloodstream or spread from nearby tissue. In the spine, infections frequently begin in the discs between the bones (this type of infection is called discitis) and then spreads into the adjacent vertebra. The most common treatments for spinal osteomyelitis are antibiotics and surgery to stabilize the spine and remove infected or dead portions of bone and disc. Antibiotics for osteomyelitis can target the particular type of bacteria causing the infection. Spinal osteomyelitis requires careful treatment, as the spine is the central part of the body that houses the spinal cord and nerve roots. The board certified physicians at New Jersey Spine Specialists have extensive experience treating spinal osteomyelitis, utilizing state-of-the-art procedures and tools. With spine surgery centers in Summit and Montclair, we’re convenient to patients from throughout New York and New Jersey including all of Union, Morris and Somerset Counties. Our Montclair office is particularly convenient if you live in Westfield, Florham Park, Morristown, Hackensack or, Glen Ridge. If you have questions about this or any other spinal condition, call or email us today to schedule a consultation at New Jersey Spine Specialists
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