Spinal Discitis – Inflammation of the Spinal Discs

Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 10, 2014

spinal discitisSpinal Discitis (or Diskitis) is an uncommon condition in which the spaces between the spinal discs become inflamed, putting pressure on the discs themselves and causing pain. Here we will talk about signs and symptoms of discitis, as well as a few options for prevention and treatment.

Causes & Symptoms of Discitis

Discitis is a rare condition found mostly in young children (often in conjunction with osteomyelitis). It is usually the result of a bacterial infection, but can also be caused by a pre-existing autoimmune disorder. The condition also sometimes appears in patients following back surgery. The primary symptoms that indicate discitis include:

  • Moderate to severe back pain
  • Fever
  • Pain in the stomach or abdomen
  • Posture changes

Keep an eye out for these symptoms in your child or especially following a back surgery. These signs may be indicative of a discitis bacterial infection. Thankfully, the condition is easily treated.

Treatment Options

The first step in treating discitis is diagnosing the underlying cause of the condition. If it is the result of a bacterial infection, the discitis can typically be treated easily with oral antibiotics. Other instances may require additional means of treatment. If the condition is caused by an autoimmune disorder, anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed. If the discitis is chronic, steroid injections may be helpful in reducing pain. Finally, when the discitis is extreme, surgery may be necessary to reconstruct the affected area of the spine and reduce pain in the long run.

If you or your child is experiencing back pain or any other symptoms associated with discitis, it is important to make an appointment with your doctor. Living with discitis without treating it will lead to a lot of unnecessary pain that can be avoided by visiting your physician and crafting a plan for treatment.

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