Intervertebral Disk Space Infection

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Summary:Infections of the intervertebral disc are rare, occurring in 1/250,000 per year. The major predisposing factors are age and intercurrent illness. Spinal infections are more common in the young and the elderly. They are more common with tuberculosis, IIIV positivity, intravenous drug use, and with any form of immunosuppression. Diskitis is the most common form. Postoperative diskitis is another important problem reported to occur between 2% to 3% of surgery. The more extensive the procedure, the more likely is infection. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common infection. Pain is the most common presenting factor. Patients are not usually seriously ill. Acute toxic symptoms are common. Typical presentation is with pain. Diagnosis is usually made through the use of imaging studies. White blood cell count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate are not always elevated. The treatment is with antibiotics. Some patients require surgical decompression. Symptoms and progressive disease by imaging are the usual indications for surgery.

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