How to identify and treat tuberculosis in the spine

Bone tuberculosis in the spine, also called Pott's disease, is the most common type of extrapulmonary tuberculosis and can affect several vertebrae at the same time, causing severe and disabling symptoms. Its treatment includes antibiotics, physical therapy and sometimes surgery.

The disease happens when theKoch's bacillus, passes into the blood and lodges in the spine, preferably in the last thoracic or lumbar vertebrae. When choosing the site, the bacillus sets in and initiates the process of bone destruction, leading to the compromise of all the joints of the spine.

Symptoms of bone tuberculosis in the spine

Symptoms of bone tuberculosis in the spine can be:

  • weakness in the legs;
  • progressive pain;
  • palpable mass at the end of the column;
  • movement commitment,
  • spine stiffness,
  • there may be weight loss;
  • there may be a fever.

Over time, if there is no good response to treatment, it may progress to spinal compression and consequent paraplegia.

The diagnosis of bone tuberculosis depends on the performance of x-ray exams, computed tomography and scintigraphy, but the best way to diagnose bone tuberculosis is through bone biopsy, called bone biopsy and PPD.

Treatment for bone tuberculosis in the spine

Treatment for bone tuberculosis in the spine includes immobilization of the spine with the use of a vest, rest, antibiotics for about 2 years and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be required to drain the abscesses or stabilize the spine.