By Dr. Gaurav Gujarathi, Orthopaedics
Tuberculosis is a disease that affects the lungs in most cases. However, it has the propensity to move beyond the respiratory system and affect other parts of the body. One particularly dangerous kind of tuberculosis is known as Pott’s disease, which spreads to the spinal column. This is a rare condition and affects only around 1 per cent of people affected by tuberculosis.
Types of Pott’s spine:
Pott’s spine has two main types. One type affects the discs in the spine and is known as spondylo-discitis. The other is known as spondylitis, which leaves the discs unaffected.
Symptoms of Pott’s spine:
Pott’s spine can lead to a number of disturbing symptoms, such as the following-
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Fever in the evenings
• Night Sweats
• Muscle spasms
• Painful and stiff spine
Diagnosis of the disease:
Pott’s disease is difficult to diagnose. This is because the symptoms are similar to many other disorders. Furthermore, radiological examination does not reveal the presence of the disease in the body. However, CT Scans and MRIs are often the best options when it comes to confirming spinal tuberculosis in the body.
Treatment for Pott’s disease:
If tuberculosis spreads to the spine, surgery is vital for survival. The operative procedure removes the affected parts of the bone and replaces it with artificially constructed bone fragments. Once this surgery is complete, special care should be taken to prevent infection due to the artificial bone.
Doctors recommend taking antibiotics at this stage so that the body does not reject the prosthesis in the spine. Further surgery is required to reconstruct the spinal column.
The efficacy of treatment depends on how early the condition is detected. Early detections often guarantee a cure. However, spinal TB is very rare and is mostly treatable due to the advancement of medical technology.
If the disease spreads far into the spine, it may lead to permanent disability or even death. Therefore, you should seek treatment immediately, if you have been diagnosed with Pott’s disease.