Spinal infections are rare, but treatment can require infection debridement if antibiotics or antifungal solutions do not work. Spinal infections can be caused by a range of situations, including as a complication from tuberculosis, a complication of spinal surgery and hardware installation, or in immune-compromised individuals. Infection debridement is the process of removing infection and infected materials from the spinal canal, and then cleaning the area with antiseptic treatments. To learn more about lumbar infection debridement either post-op or that developed without surgery, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health by calling Call407-303-5452.

Types of Spinal Infection

Spinal infections can come in several forms. The most common is bacterial infection. Bacteria can infect the spinal canal during surgery (particularly during traditional open surgeries), but can also be introduced to the system in other ways. Intravenous drug users are at a significantly higher risk for spinal infection than other individuals. Organ transplant patients also run a higher risk of developing spinal infections, as do long-term steroid users and those with HIV and other diseases that suppress the immune system. Notably, diabetes and malnutrition also predispose an individual to developing spinal infections.

The Symptoms of Spinal Infections

Symptoms associated with spinal infections run the gamut from unnoticeable to severe. Fevers, localized pain in the infected area and muscle spasms are just a few of these. For post-operative patients, signs of infection include redness and swelling at the site of the incision, as well as wound drainage, which is why it is imperative to always keep follow up appointments with your surgeon so your health and healing can be properly assessed.

Infection Debridement

Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health can provide infection debridement for both post-operative patients and those who develop spinal infections without surgery being a factor. The course of treatment will vary depending on the severity of the infection, whether the patient has had spine surgery recently and other factors. For most patients, treatment will begin with a course of antibiotics or antifungals.

For patients developing an infection after back surgery, Dr. Patel will first inspect the incision site and debride any necrotic tissue to determine if the infection is only superficial, or if it extends deeper into the wound and the spine. If he determines that the infection is more than merely superficial, the incision will be reopened, and infection debridement done for all infected tissue and material within the wound. Irrigation with antiseptic solution will also be provided.

In some cases, debridement will require removal of further bone (if the infection has spread to the bone in the spine). If this occurs, further spinal fusion may be necessary to accommodate for the removed bone mass and to provide needed stability (bone grafts will also be done to maintain spine length).

For more information about infection debridement, spinal infections or treating back pain due to disc degeneration or injury, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. Call Call407-303-5452 to request an appointment.