Atypical forms of spinal tuberculosis.

Case report



J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1980 May;62-B(2):162-5.


Thirteen patients, aged 7 to 45 years, have been treated for atypical forms of spinal tuberculosis at the Neurological Centres at Benghazi and Lahore. All presented with signs and symptoms of compression of the spinal cord or cauda equina, ranging from paraesthesiae and increasing weakness to paraplegia and loss of sphincter control. None of them showed visible or palpable spinal deformity nor the typical radiographic appearance of destruction of the intervertebral disc and the two adjoining vertebral bodies. These atypical cases fell into two well-defined groups: those with involvement of the neural arch only, with associated intraspinal cold abscesses, and those with involvement of a single vertebral body, resulting in its collapse and a radiographic appearance similar to that in secondary carcinoma of the vertebral body. The correct treatment in these two groups was diametrically opposed. Tuberculous disease of the neural arch was best traced by laminectomy; concertina collapse of a single vertebral body required cost-transversectomy and resection of the transverse process, the pedicle, and the portion of the vertebral body that was encroaching on the spinal canal.

Keywords: Atypical forms of spinal tuberculosis.