Surgery for spinal tuberculosis


Tuberculosis is generally an infection in the lungs of the body. However, in some people, the bones of the spine are affected by tuberculosis. Acute back pain, limited movement, or paralysis are the symptoms of this spine condition. Surgery is chosen as the best option when spine become unstable. The success rate for this surgery is high.


Commonly, x-rays and certain blood tests are done to determine the bony features. A bone scan is also done, sometimes, to analyze if any other part is affected by deformity. The patient is admitted to hospital one day before surgery. At the time of surgery, local or general anesthesia is given to the patient in accurate amount. During surgery, a tiny cut is made in the mid-line of back. Surgical instruments are used to remove the damaged part of spine. The pain is mainly due to pressure on the spinal nerves. Metal implants like screws or rods are used to remove the spinal nerve pressure. This stabilizes the spine and straightens it. A tube is attached to the chest to drain out unhealthy fluid. Compression bandages are used to cover the operated site.


After surgery, the patient is kept in an observation unit for 24-48 hours. The discharge is generally on 2nd or 3rd day after surgery. The patient is advised to take medications to relieve pain and swelling. Clean the wound regularly to avoid chances of infection. Use physical therapies along with rest to enhance mobility. The complete recovery takes about 9-12 months.


The common risks included are:

  • Damage to bones and ligaments
  • Abnormality in spine
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Reaction To anesthesia
  • Infection


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