Spinal Cord Abscess Quiz

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Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD


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Learn more about Spinal cord abscess

Content updated on Sep 20, 2022

What is spinal cord abscess?

A collection of pus around the spinal cord. This can compress on the nerves, causing symptoms. This is sometimes caused by bacteria invading from nearby wounds. In other cases, bacteria multiply in distant areas then travel in the bloodstream to invade the spinal cord's surface.

Symptoms of spinal cord abscess

  • Fever

  • Weakness in arms or legs

  • Numbness or abnormal sensation

  • Back pain

  • Low back pain

Questions your doctor may ask to check for spinal cord abscess

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose spinal cord abscess

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do you feel any weakness in your arms or legs?

  • Do you feel any numbness or change in sensation?

  • Do you have back pain?

  • Do you have pain in the lumbar back?

Treatment for spinal cord abscess

This usually requires strong antibiotics to treat the infection. A procedure or surgery may be needed to free the compressed area and drain pus from the abscess (collection).

View the symptoms of Spinal cord abscess


  • Akimoto T, Hirose S, Mizoguchi T, Yokota Y, Hara M, Ishihara M, Morita A, Nakajima H. Ruptured long intramedullary spinal cord abscess successfully treated with antibiotic treatment. J Clin Neurosci. 2020 Dec;82(Pt B):249-251. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2020.10.054. Epub 2020 Nov 24. PMID: 33246901.


  • Iwasaki M, Yano S, Aoyama T, Hida K, Iwasaki Y. Acute onset intramedullary spinal cord abscess with spinal artery occlusion: a case report and review. Eur Spine J. 2011 Jul;20 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):S294-301. doi: 10.1007/s00586-011-1703-z. Epub 2011 Feb 10. PMID: 21308472; PMCID: PMC3111523.


Medically Reviewed By:

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

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Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD


Kameda Medical Center, Japan

Sanshiro Kato

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

Kawai Clinic, Japan

Yu Shirai

Yu Shirai, MD


Yotsuya Yui Clinic, Japan

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Internal medicine

Co-founder of Ubie, Inc.

Rohini R

Rohini R, MD

Ear, nose, throat (ENT)

Bayshore Health Centre, India

Seiji Kanazawa

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD

Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN)

National Center for Child Health and Development, Japan

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