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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 695-700

Surgical management of spinal tuberculosis – A retrospective observational study from a Tertiary Care Center in Karnataka

1 Department of Neurosurgery, M S Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Physiology, M S Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Medical student, M S Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sunil Valentine Furtado
Department of Neurosurgery, M.S. Ramaiah Memorial Hospital, Bengaluru - 560 054, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_78_21

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Context: Tuberculosis (TB) is a common infectious disorder in developing countries. A significant load of patients with extrapulmonary TB are diagnosed in our institute, mostly involving the spine. Aim: We aimed to present our experience in the surgical management of spinal TB. Setting and Design: This was a retrospective observational study. Materials and Methods: Seventy patients (year 2016–2018) who underwent surgical management with minimum of 1-year follow-up (17 patients lost during follow-up) were graded as per the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grading system for neurological deficits. All were surgically treated with laminectomy and epidural abscess drainage/transpedicular debridement of granulation with/without spinal stabilization. Thoracic and lumbar cases were managed by posterior approach; among them, 12 patients who had no significant cord compression and good ASIA grade with facet involvement (requiring fusion) underwent minimally invasive pedicle screw fixation. Cervical cases were managed mostly by anterior approach. All patients received Anti-tubercular treatment (ATT) post operatively as per protocol postoperatively, following which magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) spine was done. Statistical Analysis: Data were analyzed using SPSS software version 18.0 (SPSS Inc. Released in 2009. PASW Statistics for Windows, version 18.0. Chicago, IL, USA: SPSS Inc.). The continuous variables were analyzed using descriptive statistics using mean and standard deviation. Results: The average age was 42.5 years. The most common location was thoracic (28 patients), followed by lumbar (20 patients), cervical (16 patients), and thoracolumbar (6 patients). Twenty patients had epidural abscess with cord compression. All patients who presented within 4 weeks of onset of symptoms showed a statistically significant improvement postsurgery. Sixteen patients with epidural abscess had good neurological recovery immediately after surgery (ASIA B to ASIA D/E). Four patients with epidural abscess with late presentation remained ASIA A after surgery. All patients had good fusion rates (follow-up X-ray) at 1 year. After ATT course completion, all patients had complete eradication of disease (MRI spine). Conclusion: Surgical treatment for spinal TB, if performed early (within 4 weeks) with good decompression, results in satisfactory clinical outcome with early improvement in the neurological deficits. Posterior approach to the spine with decompression and fixation gives good results, and minimally invasive procedures further help lessen muscle dissection, less pain, and early mobilization.

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