- Ongoing, severe back pain that is worse with movement
- Swelling, warmth, redness and tenderness at the site of the infection
- Weight loss
When the infection is in the back, the patient may have back pain or muscle spasms but no fever. If the infection invades the space that surrounds the spinal cord, the patient may have severe, radiating back pain with muscle weakness and paralysis.
If the condition cannot be completely cured, it may turn into a low-grade form of the condition that comes and goes for months or years. This form may occur with bone pain, tenderness and sinus drainage. Because bone infections often block blood vessels, parts of the bone die. This leads to the spread of the infection, and abscesses that drain through the skin may develop.
Causes and Risk Factors
The staphylococcus aureus bacteria from a wound or a contaminated needle usually cause the acute form. A combination of microbes, including tuberculosis, HIV and others that affect immunity usually are responsible for the chronic form. Anyone who has a debilitating disease, cancer or diabetes or has had radiation therapy, dialysis or intravenous drugs has a higher risk of this infection.