Spinal Infection

Treatment for Spinal Infection in Orange County

Serious physical conditions can result from an infection in the spine. Although it is rare for such infections to occur, it is important that it is treated rapidly and effectively. When the spinal column becomes infected with bacteria or fungus it will create a variety of serious and dangerous conditions. These infections can result from back surgery, or when a patient has needed several surgeries to address a condition in one area of the spine. The infections can occur within a short period of time after the surgery, or many months following surgery. Specific risk factors make some patients more likely to have a get a spinal infection, including those with cancer, diabetes, those who are obese, and those who have poor nutrition.

The infection could affect different parts of the spine, including the discs, the covering of the spine (dural sac) or can affect the area around the spinal cord itself. The symptoms vary but are similar to other infections, and can include stiffness in the neck, fever, chills, severe headaches, weakness, pains, a tingling sensation, and numbness in the extremities. Any such condition should be immediately checked out by one of our medical team, as failure to quickly treat infection can be dangerous. Other symptoms that individuals may experience could be loss of weight, painful urination and others. When infection has occurred after an operation, the infection could be evidenced by the wound showing bruising, swelling or draining.

Treating Spinal Infections

The infection must be confirmed through testing, which could include a variety of types of procedures. An MRI, cultures and others are part of how the specialist will confirm that infection exists, and what type of bacteria or fungus is involved. The MRI can usually assist in identifying that there is spinal infection, its location, the extent and what damage is taking place. The various types of infection could include osteomyelitis, discitis, epidural abscess or those that that have occurred after surgery, or post-operative infection. The treatment will vary depending upon the degree of infection, the type of bacteria or fungal infection and the area of the spinal cord affected. The medical team of specialists at Chapman Medical Center can fully evaluate the condition, the extent, and the treatment will address the infection and its location and severity.

Contact the Chapman Spine and Orthopedic Institute for diagnosis and treatment of spinal infections after surgery or other causes.