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Spine Infection

Our guest today is Brian Tally.  Brian developed idiopathic osteomyelitis in his spine in 2012.  The infection was missed by the healthcare providers and he ended up with severe damage to not only his spine but his organs as well as the disease ate away at him from the inside. 


Brian is a former Sgt in the United States Marine Corps. He was stationed in Camp Lejeune NC where he served with BTO Co 2d FSSG, Okinanwa Japan where he served with Landing Support Co 3d FSSG and Camp Pendleton having served with base Hazmat / Compliance.  He enlisted in 1994 and served active from 1995-1999. Brian has been married for 20 years, has 4 children, and is a dedicated family man . He spends his time advocating and lobbying Congress to ensure the rights and protections of all veterans.  

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Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone that can affect both adults and children. If left untreated, it can lead to bone tissue death over time. 

It can be caused by a variety of microbial agents (most common in staphylococcus aureus) and situations, including:

  • An open injury to the bone, such as an open fracture with the bone ends coming out through the skin.

  • A minor trauma, which can lead to a blood clot around the bone and then a secondary infection from seeding of bacteria.

  • Bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia), which is deposited in a focal (localized) area of the bone. This bacterial site in the bone then grows, resulting in destruction of the bone. However, new bone often forms around the site.

  • A chronic open wound or soft tissue infection can eventually extend down to the bone surface, leading to a direct bone infection.

What are the symptoms of osteomyelitis?

The symptoms of osteomyelitis can include:

  • Pain and/or tenderness in the infected area.

  • Swelling, redness and warmth in the infected area.

  • Fever.

  • Nausea, secondarily from being ill with infection.

  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling.

  • Drainage of pus (thick yellow fluid) through the skin.

Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease include:

  • Excessive sweating.

  • Chills.

  • Lower back pain (if the spine is involved).

  • Swelling of the ankles, feet, and legs.

  • Loss or decrease of motion of a joint.

  • Changes in gait (walking pattern that is a painful, yielding a limp) or unwillingness to bear weight in children.

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