Orthopedics Book

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Spinal Infection

Aka: Spinal Infection, Spinal Cord Infection, Spinal Osteomyelitis, Spinal Epidural Abscess, Epidural Abscess, Discitis
  1. See Also
    1. Osteomyelitis
    2. Vertebral Osteomyelitis
  2. Epidemiology
    1. Incidence: 0.2 to 2.8 cases per 10,000 per year
    2. Most common in ages 31 to 70 years old (peak Incidence ages 60-70 years old)
    3. Gender predominance: Males by a ratio >2:1
  3. Types: Spinal Infection
    1. Spinal Epidural Abscess (SEA) - typically the primary infection site
      1. Infection in the space between the Dura Mater and the adjacent Vertebral Column
    2. Disc space infection (Discitis)
    3. Vertebral infection
      1. Spondylitis
      2. Osteomyelitis
  4. Pathophysiology: Sources of Spinal Infection
    1. Hematogenous spread (50%)
    2. Contiguous spread (33%)
      1. Retropharyngeal Abscess
      2. Psoas Abscess
    3. Direct introduction of infection
      1. Spinal injection
      2. Spinal surgery
  5. Pathophysiology: Sites of Spinal Infection
    1. Most cases involve thoracolumbar spine
    2. Anterior Epidural Abscess (20%)
      1. Associated infections
        1. Disk space infection (Discitis)
        2. Vertebral Osteomyelitis
      2. Blunt Trauma and associated hematoma infection
      3. Direct extension from adjacent infection
        1. Retropharyngeal Abscess
        2. Retroperitoneal abscess
    3. Posterior Epidural Abscess (80%)
      1. Distant source (Cellulitis, dental, Pharyngitis)
  6. Etiology
    1. Acute Infection (within 5-10 days)
      1. Staphylococcus aureus (most common)
      2. Actinomycosis (rare)
    2. Chronic Infection (within 3-6 months)
      1. Other indolent infections
      2. Fungus
      3. Tuberculosis (Pott's Disease)
        1. Vertebral collapse
        2. Sharply angulated spinal deformity
  7. Risk Factors
    1. Idiopathic without risk factors in 20% of cases
    2. Intravenous Drug Abuse
      1. Back pain in IVDA is a Spinal Infection until proven otherwise
    3. Immunodeficiency
      1. AIDS
      2. Chronic Renal Failure (esp. Dialysis)
      3. Diabetes Mellitus
      4. Alcoholism
      5. Malignancy
    4. Recent spinal procedure
      1. Spinal surgery
      2. Epidural Anesthesia
    5. Recent back Trauma
    6. Concurrent infectious sources
      1. Genitourinary infection
      2. Skin Infection
      3. Poor Dentition (Associated with Actinomyces)
  8. Symptoms
    1. Back pain (70-90% of cases)
      1. Associated with secondary muscle spasm
      2. Pain not relieved with rest
      3. Pain provoked by standing and bearing weight
    2. Systemic symptoms
      1. Fever (30-60% of cases)
      2. Rigors
      3. Malaise
    3. Neurologic compromise (70% of cases, but often subtle)
      1. Bowel or Bladder dysfunction
      2. Extremity weakness
  9. Signs
    1. Focal tenderness at involved spinous process (60-70% of cases)
  10. Precautions
    1. Keep a high index of suspicion
      1. Classic triad of back pain, fever and neurologic symptoms occurs in <37% of patients
    2. Avoid Lumbar Puncture
      1. Not diagnostic
      2. Risk of contiguous seeding of subarachnoid space (and secondary Meningitis)
    3. Disposition to rapid intervention at time of diagnosis
      1. Delays result in greater risk for neurologic injury
      2. Abscess results in direct mechanical compression of the spinal cord
      3. Local infection may result in ischemic injury to the cord via thrombosis of vessel Occlusion
  11. Labs
    1. Complete Blood Count
      1. Leukocytosis (30% of cases)
    2. Acute phase reactants (increased in 95% of cases)
      1. Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) increased
      2. C-Reactive Protein (C-RP) increased
    3. Blood Cultures
      1. Identify responsible organism in 60% of cases
  12. Imaging
    1. Gadolinium-enhanced Spine MRI (preferred)
      1. Test Sensitivity >90%
    2. CT with Myelography
  13. Management
    1. Emergent Neurosurgery Consultation
    2. Surgical decompression (first-line, preferred management)
      1. Open decompression (preferred)
        1. May be performed with endoscopy-assisted surgery
      2. Percutaneous drainage
        1. Aspiration under CT guidance is performed in some cases
    3. Antibiotics
      1. Start early empiric therapy and modify based on culture results
        1. Discuss with neurosurgery (in some cases, may ask to withhold antibiotics until surgical culture obtained)
        2. Typical IV antibiotic duration: 6 weeks
      2. Primary empiric antibiotics (MRSA)
        1. Vancomycin 1 gram IV q12 hours (dosing must be calculated based on weight)
      3. Alternative empiric antibiotics (MSSA coverage may be used if low MRSA risk in community)
        1. Nafcillin or Oxacillin 2 grams IV q4 hours or
        2. Cefazolin 2 grams IV q8 hours
      4. Additional Gram Negative Bacteria coverage indications
        1. Intravenous Drug Abuse
        2. Immunocompromised patients
        3. Concurrent Urinary Tract Infection
      5. Additional Pseudomonas coverage indications
        1. Intravenous Drug Abuse
      6. Other modified antibiotic coverage
        1. Mycobacterium tuberculosis suspected
  14. Prognosis: Positive prognostic indicators
    1. Intact or only mild neurologic symptoms prior to intervention
      1. Most accurate prognostic indicator
    2. Age under 60 years
    3. Cord symptoms (e.g. Bladder dysfunction) <24 hours
    4. No comorbid conditions
    5. Thecal sac compression <50%
  15. Complications
    1. Cauda Equina Syndrome
      1. Results from direct mechanical compression of cord
    2. Meningitis (or overwhelming Sepsis)
      1. Results from spread into subarachnoid space
    3. Mortality
      1. Mortality rate: 5-23%
  16. References
    1. Della-Giustina (2014) Crit Dec Emerg Med 28(3): 2-9
    2. Chao (2002) Am Fam Physician 65(7):1341-6 [PubMed]
    3. Tompkins (2010) J Emerg Med 39(3): 384-90 [PubMed]

Discitis (C0012624)

Definition (MSH) Inflammation of an INTERVERTEBRAL DISC or disk space which may lead to disk erosion. Until recently, discitis has been defined as a nonbacterial inflammation and has been attributed to aseptic processes (e.g., chemical reaction to an injected substance). However, recent studies provide evidence that infection may be the initial cause, but perhaps not the promoter, of most cases of discitis. Discitis has been diagnosed in patients following discography, myelography, lumbar puncture, paravertebral injection, and obstetrical epidural anesthesia. Discitis following chemonucleolysis (especially with chymopapain) is attributed to chemical reaction by some and to introduction of microorganisms by others.
Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
MSH D015299
ICD10 M46.4
SnomedCT 2304001
English Discitides, Diskitides, Diskitis, Spondylodiscitides, Spondylodiscitis, Spondylodiskitides, Spondylodiskitis, Discitis, unspecified, discitis (diagnosis), discitis, Discitis [Disease/Finding], Unspecified discitis, spondylodiskitis, spondylodiscitis, diskitis, Intervertebral discitis, Discitis (disorder), discitis, diskitis, Discitis, NOS, Discitis
Italian Discite intervertebrale, Spondilodiscite, Discite
Dutch spondylodiscitis, Discitis, niet gespecificeerd, discitis van tussenwervelschijf, Discitis, Spondylodiscitis
Japanese 脊椎椎間板炎, セキツイツイカンバンエン, ツイカンバンエン, 円板炎, 椎間板炎, 脊椎円板炎, 椎間円板炎
Swedish Diskit
Czech zánět meziobratlových plotének, discitida, Spondylodiscitida, Meziobratlová discitida, spondylodiscitida
Finnish Diskiitti
Russian DISTSIT, SPONDILODISTSIT, ДИСЦИТ, СПОНДИЛОДИСЦИТ
German Diszitis, nicht naeher bezeichnet, Diszitis, Spondylodiszitis
Korean 상세불명의 원반염
Croatian DISK, UPALA
Polish Zapalenie krążka międzykręgowego
Hungarian spondylodiscitis, intervertebralis discitis
Norwegian Diskitt, Spondylodiskitt
Spanish discitis (trastorno), discitis, Discitis intervertebral, Discitis, Espondilodiscitis
Portuguese Discos intervertebrais, Discite, Espondilodiscite
French Disques intervertébraux, Discite, Spondylodiscite, Inflammation du disque intervertébral, Inflammation du disque vertébral, Spondylo-discite
Sources
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)


Epidural Abscess, Spinal (C0238434)

Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
MSH D020802
SnomedCT 230217003, 192748004, 63627007
English Epidural intraspinal abscess, spinal epidural abscess, spinal epidural abscess (diagnosis), Abscess, Spinal Epidural, Spinal Epidural Abscess, Abscess, Spinal Extradural, Extradural Abscess, Spinal, Spinal Extradural Abscess, abscesses epidural spinal, epidural spinal abscess, Epidural intraspinal abscess (disorder), Spinal epidural abscess, Spinal extradural abscess, Intraspinal extradural abscess, Intraspinal epidural abscess, Extradural intraspinal abscess, Spinal epidural abscess (disorder), epidural; abscess, spinal cord, extradural; abscess, spinal cord, abscess; epidural, spinal cord, abscess; extradural, spinal cord, Epidural Abscess, Spinal, Abscess of spinal cord, epidural, Abscess of spinal cord, extradural
French Abcès épidural rachidien, Abcès extra-dural rachidien, Abcès extra-duraux rachidiens, Abcès extradural rachidien, Abcès extraduraux rachidiens, Abcès épiduraux rachidiens, Abcès péridural rachidien, Abcès épidural du rachis, Abcès épiduraux du rachis
Italian Ascesso extradurale spinale, Ascesso epidurale spinale
Czech spinální epidurální absces
Norwegian Spinal epidural abscess, Spinal ekstradural abscess
Dutch abces; epiduraal, ruggenmerg, abces; extraduraal, ruggenmerg, epiduraal; abces, ruggenmerg, extraduraal; abces, ruggenmerg
Spanish absceso espinal epidural (trastorno), absceso espinal epidural, absceso espinal extradural, absceso raquídeo epidural
Sources
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)


Epidural Abscess (C0270629)

Definition (MSH) Circumscribed collections of suppurative material occurring in the spinal or intracranial EPIDURAL SPACE. The majority of epidural abscesses occur in the spinal canal and are associated with OSTEOMYELITIS of a vertebral body; ANALGESIA, EPIDURAL; and other conditions. Clinical manifestations include local and radicular pain, weakness, sensory loss, URINARY INCONTINENCE, and FECAL INCONTINENCE. Cranial epidural abscesses are usually associated with OSTEOMYELITIS of a cranial bone, SINUSITIS, or OTITIS MEDIA. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p710 and pp1240-1; J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1998 Aug;65(2):209-12)
Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
MSH D020802
SnomedCT 310671007, 192752004, 61974008
English Epidural Abscess, Extradural abscess NOS, Abscess, Epidural, Abscess, Extradural, Extradural Abscess, Epidural Abscess [Disease/Finding], abscesses epidural, epidural abscess, Epidural abscess, Extradural abscess, Epidural abscess (disorder), epidural; abscess, extradural; abscess, abscess; epidural, abscess; extradural
Dutch epiduraal abces, extraduraal abces NAO, abces; epiduraal, abces; extraduraal, epiduraal; abces, extraduraal; abces, extraduraal abces, Abces, epiduraal, Abces, extraduraal, Epiduraal abces
French Abcès extradural SAI, Abcès péridural, Abcès extradural, Abcès extra-dural, Abcès extra-duraux, Abcès extraduraux, Abcès périduraux, Abcès épidural, Abcès épiduraux
German extraduraler Abszess NNB, epiduraler Abszess, extraduraler Abszess, Abszeß, epidural, Abszeß, extradural, Epiduralabszeß, Epiduraler Abszeß
Italian Ascesso extradurale NAS, Ascesso extradurale, Ascesso epidurale
Portuguese Abcesso extradural NE, Abcesso epidural, Abcesso extradural, Abscesso Epidural, Abscesso Extradural
Spanish Absceso epidural, Absceso extradural NEOM, absceso epidural (trastorno), absceso epidural, absceso extradural, Absceso extradural, Absceso Epidural, Absceso Extradural
Japanese 硬膜外膿瘍NOS, コウマクガイノウヨウNOS, コウマクガイノウヨウ, 硬膜外膿瘍, 膿瘍-硬膜外
Swedish Epiduralabscess
Czech epidurální absces, Extradurální absces NOS, Extradurální absces, Epidurální absces, extradurální absces
Finnish Epiduraalipaise
Russian EPIDURAL'NYI ABSTSESS, ABSTSESS EPIDURAL'NYI, EKSTRADURAL'NYI ABSTSESS, АБСЦЕСС ЭПИДУРАЛЬНЫЙ, ЭКСТРАДУРАЛЬНЫЙ АБСЦЕСС, ЭПИДУРАЛЬНЫЙ АБСЦЕСС
Polish Ropień nadoponowy
Hungarian Epiduralis abscessus, extraduralis abscessus k.m.n., extraduralis tályog
Norwegian Epidural abscess, Epiduralabscess
Sources
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)


Osteomyelitis of vertebra (C0452221)

Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
ICD10 M46.2, M46.20, M46.29
SnomedCT 203241002
Dutch spinale osteomyelitis, osteomyelitis; wervel, wervel; osteomyelitis, Osteomyelitis van wervel
French Ostéomyélite spinale
German spinale Osteomyelitis, Wirbelosteomyelitis
English VERTEBRAL OSTEOMYELITIS, vertebral osteomyelitis (diagnosis), vertebral osteomyelitis, Osteomyelitis of vertebra, site unspecified, Spinal osteomyelitis, Osteomyelitis of vertebra, Osteomyelitis of vertebra (disorder), osteomyelitis; vertebra, vertebra; osteomyelitis
Italian Osteomielite spinale
Portuguese Osteomielite espinhal
Spanish Osteomielitis espinal, osteomielitis vertebral (trastorno), osteomielitis vertebral
Japanese 脊椎骨髄炎, セキツイコツズイエン
Czech Osteomyelitida páteře
Korean 척추의 골수염
Hungarian Gerinc osteomyelitis
Sources
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)


Spinal cord infection (C0877275)

Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
Italian Infezione del midollo spinale
Japanese 脊髄感染, セキズイカンセン
Czech Infekce míchy
English infection spinal cord, cord infections spinal, spinal cord infection, cord infection spinal, Spinal cord infection, infection; spinal cord, spinal cord; infection
Hungarian gerincvelő fertőzés
French Infection de la moelle épinière
Dutch infectie; ruggenmerg, ruggenmerg; infectie, ruggenmerginfectie
Portuguese Infecções da medula espinhal
Spanish Infección de la médula espinal
German Rueckenmarksinfektion
Sources
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)


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