Discitis is a low-grade infection that affects the disc space between two vertebrae. Although discitis is uncommon, children under ten are usually the ones affected by this condition which is the result of an inflammation caused by staphylococcus, viruses, or other inflammatory processes. Discitis is characterized by the slow onset of severe back pain and may or may not be associated with fever, chills, sweats, feeling tired, loss of appetite or other symptoms. The diagnosis is usually made by seeing narrowing of the disc space between two vertebrae and a bone scan that shows that the disc and adjacent vertebra are “hot” on the scan. A MRI scan with contrast may also be helpful as long as lab tests which may include a CBC ( complete blood count with differential), CRP (C reactive Protein), and ESR (Sedimentation rate). This condition can be very painful and is often aggravated by any movement of the spine. The pain often travels to other parts of the body including the abdomen, hip, leg, or groin. It usually occurs in the lower (lumbar) back and upper (thoracic) back. This is a medical urgency, and should be addressed promptly.
Young children with this condition are usually irritable and uncomfortable and refuse to sit up, stand or walk. The treatment of discitis generally involves antibiotics, rest, and a brace. Surgery is rarely needed.
Center for Spine Care offers stem cell therapy as a conservative treatment to promote natural healing for back or neck pain. Utilizing mesenchymal stem cells, this new method is used to treat patients with neck and back pain caused from degenerative disc disease.