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Spinal Discitis – How to Identify & Treat

  • Category: Spine Conditions
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: DR. HAMID ABBASI
Spinal Discitis – How to Identify & Treat

Spinal discitis is a serious condition that can lead to intense pain and issues with the spinal nerves if not treated appropriately. This patient education article will focus on the topic of “spinal discitis.” Specifically, we are going to talk about the causes of the condition and how it can be treated – from pain medications to spinal surgery.

What is Spinal Discitis?

Spinal Discitis (sometimes spelled “Diskitis”) is an infection that impacts the spinal discs between the vertebrae. Discitis is typically caused by a viral infection, bacterial infection, or an autoimmune disorder. It causes the discs in the spine to flare up and put undue pressure on the tissues, joints, and nerves surrounding the spinal column.

Discitis is most common in young children, patients with autoimmune disorders, and also post-surgery patients. Symptoms of spinal discitis can include any combination of the following:

  • Severe pain along the spine
  • Fever
  • Stiffness or loss of mobility in the spine
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Posture changes

If you present with any of these symptoms, your doctor will confirm a diagnosis by ordering a bone scan, blood test, and perhaps other diagnostic imaging tests like x-ray or MRI scans.

How is Discitis Best Treated?

Treating discitis is multi-faceted. First of all, if the condition is caused by an infection, you will be prescribed antibiotics. Other medications like NSAIDs or steroids can also be used to mitigate swelling and pain. If the discitis has caused significant issues in the spine (i.e. a pinched nerve), minimally invasive keyhole spine surgery may be the best option for long term treatment.

When spinal discitis is severe and needs to be treated with surgery, consider a minimally invasive keyhole Inspired Spine procedure. These surgical techniques have been developed with the patient in mind, and offer less blood loss, fewer risks, and shorter recovery times compared to other spine surgeries. To learn more about Inspired Spine procedures (the Inspired OLLIF or the Inspired MIS-DTIF), contact us today.