April 1982

Severe Vertebral Osteomyelitis in Patients With Spinal Cord Injury

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, Downey, Calif (Drs Malik, Sapico, and Montgomerie); and the Department of Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles (Drs Sapico and Montgomerie).

Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(4):807-808. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340170167025

Four patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) experienced severe and unusual clinical manifestations of vertebral osteomyelitis. The main feature of the illness was the development of extensive disease below the level of the SCI. Large paravertebral abscesses pointing to the skin developed in three patients. The fourth patient was seen initially with a persistent draining sinus on a previous nephrectomy incision site before the condition was diagnosed. All four patients underwent surgical debridement of infected bone together with antibiotic therapy. Vertebral osteomyelitis should be considered in patients with SCI and sepsis of uncertain origin.

(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:807-808)