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Case Rep Orthop


Spinal-Pelvic Dissociation in Pregnancy: Surgical Fixation of Culture-Negative Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis.


Taha A, Rogers J, Bishop T, Lui DF, Ghosh M, Gillespie P
Case Rep Orthop. 2020; 2020:9769076.
PMID: 32328332.


A 33-year-old gravid female from Pakistan presented to the Emergency Department with persistent, intractable low back pain and neuropathic left L5 leg pain, associated with a left foot drop. There was a notable history of weight loss for 1 year. Investigations revealed a large collection in the right posterior paraspinal muscles tracking from a large bony defect in the right half of her sacrum extending into the pelvis. The collection was suggestive of an abscess and underwent US-guided aspiration. Culture, PCR examination, and bone biopsy were culture-negative for tuberculosis (TB). Samples taken from the placenta showed two small granulomata in the chorionic villi only. A multidisciplinary approach commenced with initiation of empirical TB treatment and attempted normal vaginal delivery. An urgent caesarean section for the delivery of the baby was required for failure to proceed. Spinal-pelvic stabilization in two stages was performed for the unstable fracture pattern, followed by pharmacotherapy and physiotherapy rehabilitation. At 12-month follow-up, the patient showed resolving TB and eradication of the paraspinal abscess. There was bony union and stability of the spinal-pelvic reconstruction. Back pain and sciatica can be common in pregnancy. However, this case highlights a rare occurrence of culture-negative extrapulmonary TB leading to an unstable spinal-pelvic fracture requiring a multidisciplinary approach for careful obstetric and orthopaedic treatment with empirical treatment by the infectious disease team and microbiology.