Tuberculosis is a highly infectious disease and primarily affects lungs. When it is confined in lungs then it is called pulmonary tuberculosis or pulmonary TB. However, there are cases where the tuberculosis spreads from lungs to other parts, mainly bones and joints, it is called Extra Pulmonary Tuberculosis (EPTB). The most common site for extra pulomonary tuberculosis is the spine. This is also known as Pott's Spine. The problem with TB of spine is that it is a silent disease and the patient would not be able to know if he has contracted tuberculosis of spine till the time it gets into advanced stage. It is mostly painless and hence becomes hard to diagnose in early stages.
As mentioned earlier that it is a silent disease and does not present any symptoms till the time it is in the advanced stage. Normal symptoms of TB include fever, tiredness, and weight loss which may or may not be seen in spinal TB. However, following symptoms should not be ignored and an experienced spine specialist should be consulted at the earliest:
Severe Back Pain
Swelling in the back
Stiffness in back
Abscess formation in spine
Weakening of limbs or paralysis
Tuberculosis is diagnosed primarily through certain blood tests like TB platinum and imaging investigations like X-Ray and MRI. In some cases a needle biopsy is also done to rule out any malignancy per say.
The best line of treatment for the patients of spine tuberculosis is anti-tuberculosis medication called ATT1, ATT2 or ATT3 which may continue for almost 9 month to 18 months. In severe cases a surgery can also be performed. Our spine specialist Dr Sudeep Jain advised medicines for Pott's Spine or Spinal Tuberculosis as the first line of treatment. In many cases when the disease is in a very advanced stage then Dr Jain opts for the surgery called laminectomy or kyphoplasty.
When it comes to Spinal Problems we have some of the finest medical professionals with years of experience and tales of exceptional outcomes.
My team of professionals will patiently hear to your complaints, do a thorough examination and would order investigations only to confirm the clinical diagnosis when in doubt. Most of the problems of spine would be treated conservatively if the patients comes to us in time.
Dr. Sudeep Jain, MCh
Lead Spine Surgeon
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