Necrotizing infection of the spine

Christopher R. Spock, Roberto A. Miki, Rahul V. Shah, Jonathan N. Grauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Study Design. Case report of multifocal necrotizing fasciitis with lumbar involvement. Objectives. To raise awareness of an unusual, but potential, focus of a multifocal necrotizing infection in a diabetic patient. Summary of Background Data. Necrotizing fasciitis is a rapidly spreading infection of the soft tissue and fascia. These infections can be polymicrobial, are challenging to treat, and often have grave consequences. The spine may rarely be involved in such infections. Methods. We describe a patient with long-standing diabetic foot ulcers, which evolved to a necrotizing infection. This infection spread hematogenously to several noncontiguous locations, including the lumbar spine, and was heralded by gas production at the sites of involvement. The spine was treated aggressively and infection eradicated at this site. Results. Despite eradicating the spinal component of this infection, other sites were challenging to clear, and the patient went on to die of multisystem organ failure. Conclusions. Necrotizing infections rarely involve the spine. Heightened awareness of this potential focus of infection may facilitate its detection. As with other sites, aggressive surgical debridement of this potentially fatal condition is imperative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E342-E344
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Debridement
  • Infection
  • Necrotizing fasciitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Necrotizing infection of the spine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this