abscess (spine)

Last reviewed 01/2018

Spinal abscesses are less frequent than their intracranial counterparts, but may be similarly acute or chronic in nature.

They have a frequency of one per million population every year in the UK (1).

The presentation is one of severe pain in the back localised to the level of the lesion, restricted spinal movements, and vague systemic illness.


  • Gentleman D.Surgical treatment of infections of the CNS. Surgery 1994; 12(2): 67-72.