Spinal cord abscess is a condition in which swelling and irritation and the collection of infected material around the spinal cord is manifested.
A spinal cord abscess is the result of an infection within the spine. An abscess of the spinal cord in itself is very rare. A spinal abscess generally surfaces as an epidural abscess.
Pus is formed as the assimilation of:
The pus is basically covered by a layer or membrane that is generated around the corners. The pus accumulation results in pressure on the spinal cord. The infection may create swelling and inflammation which also compresses the spinal cord.
The infection is generally witnessed because of bacteria. It is sometimes also caused by a staphylococcus infection that begins from the spine. In some parts of the world it can also be caused by tuberculosis. However, it is not as general these days as it was in the past. In rare cases, the infection may be caused by fungus or virus.
The following catapults the risk of a spinal cord abscess:
The infection generally starts in the bone (osteomyelitis). The bone infection can also lead to epidural abscess. This abscess grows larger and compresses the spinal cord.
The disorder is quite rare but can prove to be fatal.
A physical exam often displays tenderness over the spine. A test may manifest signs of:
The quantity of nerve loss depends on where the lesion is manifested on the spine and to what extent it is compressing the spinal cord.
The tests that may be conducted can be:
The objectives of treatment are to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord and treat the infection.
How well a person response post treatment, may vary. Some individuals recover completely.
An untreated spinal cord abscess can result in spinal cord compression. It can lead to permanent, severe paralysis and loss of nerves. It may be life-threatening often under these circumstances.
If the spinal cord abscess is not flushed out completely, it may recur or cause scarring in the spinal cord.
The abscess can harm the spinal cord because of direct pressure, or it can hinder the blood supply to the spinal cord.
Following complications may be manifested:
A complete treatment of tuberculosis, boils, and other infections cut down the risk of spinal cord abscess.
People suffering with endocarditic or congenital heart diseases may require taking preventive antibiotics prior to having dental or other oral treatments conducted.