Topic Overview

Bacterial infections of the spine are rare but can include infection

  • The
    discs (discitis).
  • The spinal cord (usually
    an infection of the tissue covering the spinal cord, called an epidural
  • One or more vertebrae (osteomyelitis).
  • The
    facet joints, which may be the site of infectious

Bacteria that infect the spine usually originate in other parts of
the body and are carried to the spine through the bloodstream. But
bacteria can enter the spine directly during surgery or injection treatments,
as the result of injury, or as a result of IV drug use.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine

Current as ofMarch 21, 2017