Spine Surgery pp 327-338 | Cite as

Vertebral Osteomyelitis: Etiology, Pathogenesis, Routes of Spread Symptoms and Diagnosis

  • Christoph FleegeEmail author
  • Michael Rauschmann


For a successful treatment of vertebral osteomyelitis, a knowledge of the anamnestic and clinical symptoms as well as a rapid initiation of a sufficient diagnosis are necessary. Magnetic resonance imaging is the first choice for detecting an infectious disease in the spinal column. Alternatives are available with computertomography and nuclear medicine examinations. In cases with hemodynamically and clinically stable patients without neurological deficits, primary pathogen detection should be conducted. This can be done by the preparation of several blood cultures and in the absence of pathogen detection, by a percutaneous biopsy.

Diagnostic algorithm:
  1. 1.

    Anamnesis and clinical examination

  2. 2.

    Laboratory diagnostics and microbiological diagnostics (3 blood cultures, PCR)

  3. 3.

    Radiological diagnostics (MRI, CT, PET)

  4. 4.




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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Spine DepartmentOrthopaedic University Hospital FriedrichsheimFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.Department of Spine SurgerySana Klinikum OffenbachOffenbachGermany

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