Review on Pott's Disease

Author : Priya Joy, Jesly Susan Thomas, Renuka R, Elessy Abraham

Pott's disease (PD) otherwise known as spinal tuberculosis is an extra-pulmonary tuberculosis that affects the spine. It is a combination of osteomyelitis and arthritis which involves multiple vertebrae. This accounts for less than 1% of total tuberculosis (TB) cases, but it accounts for approximately half of all cases of musculoskeletal tuberculosis. Spinal tuberculosis is more common in children and young adults. The disease is named after Percivall Pott (17141788), a British surgeon. The lower thoracic and upper lumbar vertebrae are the areas of the spine most often affected. The formal name for the disease is tuberculous spondylitis. The incidence of spinal tuberculosis is increasing in developed nations because of immigration. PD is an important differential diagnosis of malignancy that should be diagnosed instantly. Tuberculous involvement of the spine has the potential to cause serious morbidity, including permanent neurologic deficits due to compression of adjacent neural structures and severe spinal deformities. A possible effect of this disease is vertebral collapse. Therefore, early diagnosis and management of spinal TB has special importance in preventing these serious complications. Immunocompromised state and multidrug resistance to standard drugs (8 to 10 %) are the current (and future) challenges to spinal tuberculosis therapy.

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