How are spinal infections treated

Move: Inflammation of the spine

Diagnosis / therapy / contact person


Explanation of terms and causes

Inflammation of the spine is a rare but serious condition. Usually bacteria trigger the clinical picture, in exceptional cases a fungal attack. Both bones and intervertebral discs can become inflamed. There are different ways in which the pathogens get into or to the vertebral bones. In most cases there is already inflammation in the body and any bacteria present reach the spine through the bloodstream. It is rare for pathogens to get into the bones or the intervertebral disc during surgery on the spine.

Symptoms and ailments

The inflammation is generally manifested by severe back pain, especially when you are resting and at night. The inflammation is often accompanied by fever, fatigue, and weight loss. If the nerve tissue is also attacked, muscle weakness, radiating pain in the arms and legs and severe pressure pain in the back or neck are often the result.


X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging show typical changes that occur in inflamed vertebral bodies or intervertebral discs. A blood test generally provides information about increased inflammation levels in the body. Inflammatory agents can be detected microbiologically by means of computed tomography or image converter-assisted puncture.



The treatment is based on the severity of the spinal column findings. In the case of uncomplicated inflammation, conservative therapy with antibiotics is possible. In addition, the spine can be immobilized using a corset to prevent further irritation. Surgery is required if the inflammation spreads despite drug treatment or if the spine threatens to become unstable. The inflamed tissue is then removed as completely as possible and the spine is stiffened at the unstable point if necessary. The treatment of inflamed intervertebral discs is usually tedious. Intervertebral discs are only sparsely supplied by the body. Medicines only reach the disc to a limited extent.


? If bacteria are responsible for the inflamed spine, the patient has to take antibiotics for a longer period of time. Regular x-ray and laboratory examinations control the healing process.

Contact Person

Spinal center
Chief Physician Klaus-Eberhard Kirsch

Tel 0421.8778-253
Fax 0421.8778-103
[email protected]