Spinal tuberculosis was the most common TB infection in human body. Musculoskeletal tuberculosis (TB) mostly affected lower thoracal or upper lumbar spine. However, TB infection can also occurs along vertebral spine. We reported a rare case about TB infection in cervical spine. We provided the clinical manifestation and therapeutic method for the patient. Cervical TB infection is a very rare case. Especially, when it involves in C1 and C2 like we provided on this case.
A 24 years-old male came to the orthopaedic clinic with neck pain that aggravated by neck movement. He previously diagnosed with TB infection on his lung within 3 months. We performed x-ray data to determine the source of neck pain. Examination revealed anterior collapse of C1, destruction of odontoid process, and soft tissue swelling. We also performed MRI cervical to assess the destruction of anterior corpus C1.
We decided to operate the patient with reposition and posterior stabilization of C1 using occipital plate from posterior approach and added some synthetic bone graft. The medical treatment is anti-tuberculosis drugs, usually conducted conservatively in mild-to-moderate cases. But, if there is deterioration in neurological deficit or persisting deficit with spinal cord compression, such as C1 and C2 involvement, surgery can be considered. There are two types of surgery; posterior fixation and fusion and anterior release and posterior stabilization.
TB musculoskeletal infection must be evaluated regularly to consider the perfect time for additional surgical treatment. The good decision to operate the moderate to severe case could improve the patient’s functional outcome.