SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Inflamed spinal joints. Side X-ray of the lower spine of a 68-year-old patient who has discitis (inflamed intervertebral discs). The rear of the spine is at right. Discitis is an inflammation of the discs between the vertebrae, the blocks of bone that make up the spine. This inflammation is between the last three lumbar vertebrae, the L3-L4 space and L4-L5 space. This is seen as the cloudy, deformed area at lower centre, just above the bony mass (white) of the pelvis. Discitis is also known as spondylodiscitis. It is thought to be caused by infection, and antibiotics and rest are thought to help. Intervertebral discs are discs of cartilage that cushion the spine.
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