What is Pyogenic Vertebral osteomyelitis?
Pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis is sometimes known as spondylodiskitis, is the most commonly encountered form of a vertebral infection. Depending on the source of the infection, spinal osteomyelitis can be bacterial, viral, fungal and even a result of TB (tuberculosis).
Typically seen in adults and the elderly, pyrogenic osteomyelitis is most prominent between the ages of 50 and 60 years old.
Causes of Vertebral Osteomyelitis
Considering that pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis is an infection affecting the vertebra, it occurs most often due to direct open spinal trauma or from infections in adjacent structures and the hematogenous spread of bacteria to a vertebra. Often times this will occur postoperatively, as the patient’s spinal area is still “open” following a procedure.
Some common risk factors for this condition include:
- Recent Infection such as Pneumonia
- IV Drug Abuse
- Medications that negatively impact the immune system
- Poor Nutrition
- Spinal Trauma or fractures
Again, considering that pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis is considered a spinal infection, the associated symptoms will often mimic that of a conventional bacterial infection in addition to certain symptoms affecting the spine.
The most common symptoms include:
- Severe pain – Will often wake patients during the night, however it will often worsen with movement.
- Radiculopathy – Depending on the region of the spine the infection is located.
- Possible spinal compression
- Skin abrasions are possible, but rare.
When treating an infectious condition like pyogenic vertebral osteomyelitis, which affects a sensitive area like the spine – it is important to address both the needs of the spine’s structure, as well as the infection itself.
In order to do this, we will generally recommend a combination of either antibiotics or antivirals (depending on the type of infection) and spinal treatment – depending on what occurs with the spine, the vertebra and its structure.
Non-Surgical Options include:
- Bracing – To prevent pain and future deformities.
- Infection Treatment – Broad-Spectrum antibiotics, newer generation antibiotics for more resistant strains, other specific treatments for other infection strains – including MRSA, Staph and more.
- Decompression Surgery
- Spinal Stabilization – With spinal instrumentation and/or spinal fusion.
- Spinal Fusion
- Disc/Vertebra Replacement
For more information on all spinal infection, other spinal conditions, or to schedule a consultation contact Dr. Arutyunyan today.