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What is the appropriate treatment for tuberculosis of the spine?

Q: My aunt is 70 years old. She has been complaining of severe pain in her lower back. She underwent a MRI scan and the report is: MRI lumbo-sacral spine and screening of the pelvis with both hips. Protocol: Multiplanar MRI of lumbar and sacral spine was performed using T1 and T2 weighted turbo spin echo sequences and MR myelogram. Conclusions: Altered marrow signal with cortical erosions of D11 & D12 with involvement of the D11-12 disc; Small pre, para & epidural soft tissue/collection compressing the thecal sac & encroaching into the D11-12 neural foramina. Features are suggestive of spondylodisciitis, probably of tubercular etiology. What does this mean layman's terms? What is the appropriate treatment for this?

A:Your aunt seems to be suffering from tuberculosis of the spine which means that there is an infection of the backbone that has led to destruction of bones. If not treated in time it will progress and may involve the spinal cord with very serious complications. The treatment involves intake of medications (anti tubercular drugs) for about 18 months and meanwhile the back must be protected in some kind of a brace. Regular treatment often leads to uneventful recovery. So long as there is no weakness of the legs, and she has proper control of urination and stools, there is no need for surgical treatment. This can be obtained after consulting any trained orthopedic surgeon.

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