Granulomatous Vertebral Osteomyelitis: An Update

Michael R. Murray, Gregory D. Schroeder, Wellington K. Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A granulomatous infection of the spine is characterized by an infectious process within the spinal elements that results in the formation of a granuloma, an organized collection of transformed macrophages (ie, epithelioid cells), matrix, and other inflammatory cells. Causative organisms include various bacteria, fungi, or other parasites; however, the most frequently encountered causative organism is Mycobacterium tuberculosis (ie, Pott disease). The onset of these infections is often insidious, frequently leading to a delay in diagnosis. Left untreated, this disease process may lead to a compromise in the structural integrity of the spine and subsequent spinal deformity that may eventually result in compression of neural elements. Successful treatment of a granulomatous infection requires timely diagnosis, prompt medical management, and potential surgical intervention directed at the decompression of neural elements and the correction of spinal malalignment. Of granulomatous infections, tuberculous infections are the most thoroughly understood and serve as the standard to which other less commonly reported organisms are compared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-538
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 26 2015


  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Pott disease
  • Spine
  • atypical organisms
  • infection
  • tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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