To reach the CNS, microorganisms must penetrate not only the protecting bone of the skull or spine, but also the tough membrane that surrounds all bones, and the dura. Only rarely do infections in the bone surrounding the CNS succeed in reaching the brain or spinal cord. Sometimes, however, they extend through bone from the sinuses, mastoids, or middle ear. Skull fractures commonly produce non-healing injuries that predispose a person to recurring infection of the CNS. ■ mastoids, p. 562 ■ middle ear, p. 562
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