What are the Symptoms of Spinal Tuberculosis?

What are the Symptoms of Spinal Tuberculosis?

Spinal tuberculosis, also known as Pott’s disease, is a form of tuberculosis that affects the spine, particularly the vertebral bones and the intervertebral discs. Symptoms of spinal tuberculosis can vary based on the stage of the disease and the extent of spinal involvement. Common symptoms may include:

  • Back Pain: Persistent, localized pain in the back, often in the lower or mid back, which can gradually worsen over time.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness and reduced mobility of the spine, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
  • Kyphosis: Development of an abnormal forward curvature of the spine (kyphosis), resulting in a hunched or stooped posture.
  • Neurological Symptoms: As the disease progresses, it can compress the spinal cord or nerves, leading to neurological symptoms such as:
    • Weakness or numbness in the legs or arms.
    • Loss of bowel or bladder control (incontinence).
    • Difficulty walking or standing.
    • Tingling or shooting pain down the legs or arms.
  • Fever and Night Sweats: Low-grade fever and night sweats, particularly in advanced stages of the disease.
  • Fatigue and Malaise: A general feeling of tiredness, weakness, and lack of energy.
  • Weight Loss: Unintentional weight loss, often associated with loss of appetite.
  • Tenderness: Tenderness or sensitivity over the affected area of the spine.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty bending, twisting, or turning due to pain and stiffness.
  • Difficulty Breathing: If the disease affects the thoracic spine, it can press on the lungs and cause difficulty breathing.

It’s important to note that spinal tuberculosis can have a slow onset and progress gradually, making it difficult to diagnose in the early stages. If you suspect spinal tuberculosis or are experiencing persistent back pain, stiffness, or neurological symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention for a thorough evaluation and appropriate diagnostic tests, such as imaging studies and biopsies. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for managing spinal tuberculosis and preventing complications such as paralysis or deformities of the spine.

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