With March 24 being World Tuberculosis Day,doctors have pointed out that there are a growing number of cases of Tuberculosis Spondylitis or TB of the spine,also known as Pott’s disease. It is a cause for concern,considering the disastrous and often irreversible complications that it can have. India accounts for one-third of the 30 million TB patients the world over.
Nearly 2 lakh people from India suffer from Tuberculosis Spondylitis. The symptoms for spinal tuberculosis are localized back pain,painful movements,fever,a hump in the back,excessive weight loss,and in worst cases,weakness of hands or legs. The Mycobacterium Tuberculosis invades the vertebral body causing an inflammatory reaction and then later progressing to destruction of bones of the spine. Sometimes,there can be a visible appearance of a deformity of the back. Dr Rajesh Parasnis (Consultant Spine Surgeon,Oyster and Pearl Hospital,said on Wednesday.
In neglected cases, patients may develop angular deformity due to the destruction of vertebral bodies called as kyphosis. Persons suffering from persistent back pain,fever and loss of appetite should alert the doctor without delay.
Inadequate treatment can aggravate the issue by creating drug resistant bacteria,which may be difficult to treat in the long-run.
Primary care physicians should also be cognizant of the issue and must refer these cases for specialist treatment. Early detection and prolonged treatment with appropriate drugs as per national guidelines will work wonders, he added.