Spinal Tb- How To Treat?

February 22, 2024 by Medical Content Team0

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tuberculosis remains a global health threat, with over 10 million new TB cases reported worldwide each year. Among these, spinal tuberculosis accounts for approximately 1-3% of all tuberculosis cases. 

Spinal tuberculosis, an infectious disease affecting the spine, poses a significant global health concern. Tuberculosis, caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, primarily affects the lungs but can also target other body parts, including the spine. 

Spinal TB, although less common than pulmonary TB, can lead to severe complications if left untreated. Understanding its treatment approaches and global insights is crucial for effectively managing and preventing long-term disabilities.

What Is Spinal Tuberculosis?

Spinal tuberculosis is an infection in the spine caused by bacteria. It occurs when tuberculosis (TB) bacteria attack the bones and tissues of the spine. This infection leads to severe back pain, stiffness, and sometimes nerve problems, making moving difficult. Spinal TB can cause deformities in the spine and, if not treated, can even affect walking or lead to paralysis. 

Dr. Puneet is dedicated to treating TB infections affecting the spine. With expertise in TB care, he has helped numerous patients combat spinal TB, emphasizing timely diagnosis, medical therapy, and, when necessary, surgical intervention. Dr. Puneet’s focus on effective treatment and patient well-being ensures comprehensive care for spinal TB patients.

What Are The Symptoms of Spinal Tuberculosis?

Common signs of spinal tuberculosis include:

  • Persistent back pain, especially at night
  • Limited spinal movement and stiffness
  • Neurological symptoms like numbness, tingling, or weakness in limbs
  • Spinal deformities such as kyphosis or a hunchback appearance

How Is Spinal Tuberculosis Diagnosed?

Spinal tuberculosis diagnosis involves a blend of medical evaluations and diagnostic tests:

  • Clinical Assessment: Doctors review medical history and conduct physical exams to assess symptoms, including back pain and stiffness.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans help visualize spinal abnormalities, bone destruction, or abscesses caused by the infection.
  • Biopsy: A sample of spinal tissue or fluid is obtained and analyzed to identify tuberculosis bacteria.
  • Blood Tests: Specific blood markers like ESR and CRP may indicate infection.

Combining these approaches aids in accurate spinal tuberculosis diagnosis for prompt treatment initiation.

How Is Spinal TB Treated?

The treatment of spinal tuberculosis typically involves a combination of medical therapy and, in some cases, surgical intervention:

  • Anti-tubercular Medications: A prolonged course of antibiotics, usually a combination of multiple drugs for about six to nine months, is prescribed. This treatment regimen aims to eliminate the tuberculosis bacteria from the body.
  • Surgery: Surgical intervention might be necessary in severe cases where there’s a risk of spinal instability, neurological complications, or failure of medical therapy. Surgery helps in removing the infected tissues, decompressing the spinal cord, and stabilizing the spine.
  • Bed Rest and Immobilization: Patients may need bed rest, especially during the active phase of the disease, to allow the spine to heal. Immobilization through braces or collars might be recommended to support the spine.
  • Pain Management: Medications to manage pain and inflammation are often prescribed to alleviate discomfort.
  • Physical Therapy: Rehabilitation exercises and physical therapy are crucial to regain strength, mobility, and flexibility in the spine post-surgery or during recovery.
  • Nutritious Diet: A balanced diet rich in protein and vitamins supports the body’s immune system and aids in recovery.

Dr. Puneet emphasizes, “In the initial phase, antibiotics are crucial in treating spinal TB, taking them months to clear the infection. If severe, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged tissue. Remember, it’s a process. Rest, follow the treatment plan, and stay positive. Your body’s resilience, along with proper care, helps overcome spinal TB.”

Neha Singh – “I was diagnosed with spinal tuberculosis and was worried about the treatment. Dr. Puneet’s guidance and care were exceptional. His approach was reassuring, and the prescribed treatment plan, including medications and physical therapy, helped me regain strength. Today, I’m back on my feet, grateful for Dr. Puneet’s expertise that brought me back to normal life.”

Rajesh Kumar – “Dealing with spinal TB was daunting, but Dr. Puneet’s expertise made a significant difference. His recommended surgery was initially intimidating, but his confidence and precise explanations eased my fears. Dr. Puneet’s recovery and rehabilitation plan were instrumental in my steady progress post-surgery. His support and care truly made a positive impact on my life.”

What Is The Cost Of Treating Spinal Tuberculosis In India?

The cost of treating Spinal TB in India can vary based on factors like the severity of the condition, treatment approach, hospital charges, and location. Generally, it ranges between 1 lakh to 5 lakhs for medical therapy and can extend beyond 8 lakhs or more if surgical intervention is required. In USD, this translates to approximately $1,350 to $6,800 for medical treatment and can surpass $10,800 or more for surgeries, depending on the complexity and hospital fees.


Spinal tuberculosis, though less common, demands swift diagnosis and treatment to prevent severe complications. Medical therapy through antibiotics for an extended period remains crucial, along with potential surgical intervention in extreme cases. Adequate rest, pain management, rehabilitation, and a healthy diet support recovery. Understanding its management and timely medical intervention is vital for effective treatment and avoiding long-term spine-related disabilities.


  1. Can spinal tuberculosis be transmitted from person to person?

No, spinal tuberculosis isn’t directly contagious; it typically occurs from the reactivation of an existing tuberculosis infection.

  1. Can spinal tuberculosis lead to permanent paralysis?

In severe cases, untreated spinal TB can potentially cause paralysis due to spinal cord compression but is preventable with prompt treatment.

  1. Are there any preventive measures to avoid spinal tuberculosis?

Maintaining good hygiene, avoiding close contact with TB-infected individuals, and seeking early medical care can help prevent spinal TB.

  1. Can someone with spinal tuberculosis work or attend school?

Yes, with appropriate treatment and following medical advice, individuals with spinal TB can continue daily activities while adhering to precautions.

  1. Can spinal tuberculosis recur after treatment?

While uncommon, spinal TB can recur even after treatment completion. Regular medical check-ups and monitoring are essential post-treatment.

Read More : Is Spine Surgery Safe For All Patients?

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