Intervertebral disc infection (Discitis) in childhood

A. Galil, R. Gorodischer, J. Bar-Ziv, T. Hallel, Ch Malkin, R. Garty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Discitis is an inflammatory process of the intervertebral disc space occurring in the pediatric age range. Its etiology is usually unknown; staphylococcus aureus is the most common microorganism present in the few cases with positive bacteriological cultures. The clinical presentation can mimic medical or surgical emergencies and thus unnecessary investigations or surgical procedures are frequently performed. Irritability, refusal to sit or walk, low grade fever, high erythrocyte sedimentation rate and normal leukocyte count are the most common clinical findings. The disease is usually self-limited and has a benign course. Awareness of the physician is the key for the diagnosis which can be established by nuclear imaging procedures and radiological studies, yet, this disease is not described in standard pediatric textbooks. Eight cases of discitis in children affecting the dorsal, lumbar and cervical spine were diagnosed and treated in two medical centers in Israel. The purpose of this report is to focus the attention of physicians caring for children on this entity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1982


  • Back pain
  • Discitis
  • Intervertebral disc infection
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Septic arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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