Spine Case 11 Background
Vertebral osteomyelitis and discitis
Vertebral Osteomyelitis (VO) is typically seen in patients older than 50 years. It can occur from hematogenous spread, contiguously from a soft tissue infection, or directly from spinal surgery or trauma. Hematogenous spread is most common due to the highly vascular bone marrow. VO is most often a result of infections of the genitourinary tract, decubitus ulcerations, central lines or dental infections. Manipulation of the GU tract is currently the most common etiology in the US.
Staphylococcus aureus accounts for over 50% of cases. Other pathogens include enteric gram negatives, pseudomonas, streptococcus and tuberculosis.