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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2006 Mar;444:38-50.

Clinical assessment and medical treatment of spine infections.

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4th Academic Department of Internal Medicine, Attikon General Hospital, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece.


Spinal infections affect the vertebral bodies, the intervertebral disks, the spinal canal, and the paravertebral soft tissues and structures. A delay in diagnosis can result in spine deformity, substantial neurologic complications, and even death. Because of this, a high level of awareness is required by physicians in order to diagnose infections of the spine promptly. Advances in medical microbiologic testing and newer imaging methods have contributed considerably to the medical treatment of these infections. Through careful followup, less invasive approaches orchestrated by a multidisciplinary team that includes a spine surgeon, an infectious diseases specialist, and a neuroradiologist may be sufficient to treat patients with these infections. Research done through multidisciplinary collaborations will further advance our knowledge for the successful treatment of spinal infections.


Level V (expert opinion). Please see the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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