Doubt on antibiotics for back pain

The clinical trial was conducted after researchers showed, in a small study in 61 patients undergoing surgery for lumbar disc herniation, that microbial cultures from herniated discs were positive in 46% of patients, with 43% of the cultures positive for anaerobic bacteria.

Of the discs with anaerobic cultures, 80% developed bone oedema in adjacent vertebrae, compared with none in the aerobic group and 44% in those without infection.

The researchers then undertook a double-blind, randomised trial in 162 patients with chronic lower back pain. It showed 100 days of amoxycillin/clavulanate treatment improved disease