Drug Use a Factor in Rare Spinal Disease

Medical experts are pointing to drug use, as a reason for an increase to the number of patients with a rare, painful disease, that could lead to death. Physicians at the Norton Leatherman Spine are taking a closer look at patients, who have a rare spinal infection called osteomyelitis. Doctors are seeing more cases of it and discovered that the infection can be caused by injecting bacteria, along with heroin. Spine surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Gum, stated that this rare spine infection typically starts at the disc level. Gum stated, “sometimes if it goes on long enough, it can spread to the bones inside the spine.” Patients with osteomyelitis are typically elderly folks, unhealthy diabetics or people who suffer from kidney issues. Dr. Gum also has seen a higher rate of cases in younger patients, who use IV drugs.