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September 22, 1962

Infections of the Intervertebral Disk in Children

Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

Fellow in Orthopedic Surgery (Dr. Milone) and from the Section of Orthopedio Surgery (Drs. Bianco and Ivins), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation.

JAMA. 1962;181(12):1029-1033. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050380007003

Data are presented on 7 children with an infectious process of the intervertebral disk and on 1 child with involvement of the sacroiliac joint. Culture of material obtained by needle or open biopsy of the lesion, performed on 5 patients, revealed Staphylococcus aureus. There has been much speculation as to the identity of the responsible organism in this condition, but to the best of the authors' knowledge no series of cases has yet been presented in which the etiologic agent has been identified. The early roentgenogram was characterized by narrowing of the intervertebral disk, followed by localized destruction of the adjacent vertebral margins. Later x-ray findings included vertebral-body sclerosis and reactive bone formation. Methods of therapy are evaluated. Complete relief of symptoms followed rest in bed or application of a body cast or brace.