What is it?
An infection (or osteomyelitis) often occurs as a result to an infection or illness that is carried to the spine through the blood. The infection can then settle in the discs or bone. If you have incomplete treatment, the infection can recur. This leads to the degeneration of the disc and may cause it to collapse, compressing nerve roots and spinal canal. If the infection spreads to the vertebral body, it weakens it.
• Neck pain - may be accompanied by arm, shoulder and hand pain • Unexpected weight lost • Pain worse at night • Fever and chills • Night sweats
When to see a doctor or consider surgery?
If you have any of these symptoms, or a combination, you should see a doctor immediately .
How is it diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects an infection from your history and examination, they will order blood tests and possibly an X-ray, CT or an MRI scan