OBJECTIVE: To find out the pattern of spinal tuberculosis (TB) presenting as paraplegia/
paraparesis in our set up.
DESIGN: A descriptive study.
SETTING: Department of Medicine, Liaquat University Hospital Jamshoro/Hyderabad - Sindh
from July 2003 to August 2004.
METHODS: In this study, 44 patients having TB spine presenting as paraplegia/paraparesis
were evaluated by haematology, sputum examination, urine analysis, biochemistry and imaging.
These patients also underwent a detailed history and clinical examination. Patients having
non-tubercular cases of paraplegia and children were excluded from the study.
RESULTS: Age range of the patients was 18-62 years. Among study participants, there was
male dominance (61.36%) as compared to females (38.64%). Pott’s disease was present in 26
(59.09%) cases, paravertebral abscess with vertebral body destruction in 2(4.54%) cases, without
body destruction in 4(9.09%) cases and spinal stenosis in 2(4.54%) cases. Arachnoiditis was
seen in 10(22.73%) cases while spinal ischaemia in 2(4.54%) cases. In region-wise distribution,
thoracic was involved in 20(45.45%)cases, lumbar 12(27.27%) cases, diffuse 10 cases (22.73%)
and cervical 2(4.54%) cases. Thirty (68.18%) cases improved neurologically after medical and
surgical treatment while 14(31.82%) cases did not improve because of delay in the diagnosis
CONCLUSION: In our set up, TB spine is more common in males than females and mostly presents
with history of fever and backache resulting into paraplegia and paraparesis. Thoracic
region is more common area of involvement. Most common pattern of TB spine is Pott’s disease.
Recovery among these patients is remarkable if diagnosed earlier.
Tuberculosis. Spine. Pott’s disease. Arachnoiditis. Management.