Inflammation of the intervertebral discs… its causes and symptoms

Written By Mark

Dr. David Kobosh said that discitis is an inflammation of the cartilage between the vertebrae, noting that it mostly affects the lumbar vertebrae, and in less cases it affects the thoracic or cervical vertebrae.

The German orthopedic surgeon explained that the factors that increase the risk of developing intervertebral disc inflammation are weak immunity, advanced age, obesity, diabetes, and kidney disease, in addition to drinking alcohol and smoking.

Bacteria and fungi

Inflammation of the intervertebral discs is often caused by bacteria such as staphylococci or streptococci, which reach the intervertebral discs through the bloodstream from other sites of inflammation in the body, such as the urinary tract or tooth root.

In less common cases, the cause of discitis may be fungi and parasites.

Serious consequences

Dr. Kubosh added that the symptoms of inflammation of the intervertebral discs are back pain, fever, and fatigue, stressing the need to consult a doctor immediately upon noticing these symptoms in order to undergo treatment in a timely manner to avoid the serious consequences that may result from the inflammation, which is represented by deformity of the spine.

Inflammation can also spread further throughout the body through the bloodstream, and in the worst case scenario, the risk of life-threatening blood poisoning increases.

Diagnosis and treatment

Intervertebral disc inflammation is diagnosed using X-rays and MRI, while treatment is done with medications such as antibiotics and analgesics, in addition to physical therapy.

In severe cases, stabilization of the spine using a corset or orthopedic device is used.