What is the prognosis of diskitis?

Updated: May 13, 2020
  • Author: Alvin Marcovici, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey A Goldstein, MD  more...
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Most patients are cured by a treatment protocol of antibiotics, either alone or in combination with surgery. Only 15% of patients experience permanent neurologic deficits. Recrudescence of infection occurs in 2-8% of patients.

Mortality associated with diskitis occurs from the spread of infection, either through the nervous system or through other organs. Mortality has been reported to be 2-12%.

Karadimas et al retrospectively analyzed the outcomes of a large series of patients treated for spondylodiskitis. Patients were divided into three groups: 70 who received nonoperative treatment (group A), 56 who underwent posterior decompression alone (group B), and 37 who underwent decompression and stabilization (group C). [6] At 12-month follow-up, treatment had failed in eight of the group A patients. Reoperation was necessary in 24 of the group B patients and in six of the group C patients. None of the group A patients had neurologic symptoms; 11 of the group B patients had neurologic deficits, five of whom benefited from surgery; and 11 of the group C patients had altered neurologic deficits.

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