Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-25

Experiences in management of Pott's paraplegia and paraparesis in medical wards of Usmanu Danfodiyo university teaching hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Department of Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C H Njoku
Department of Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, P. M. B 2370, Sokoto. 840001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.55735

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Background : Pott's disease refers to spinal tuberculosis, which commonly leads to a gradual onset of neurological deficit that are difficult to diagnose at the early stage. Method: The study was a combination of retrospective and prospective study. Information was obtained using a predesigned protocol. Diagnosis was based on clinical features and plain spinal x-ray. Anti-tuberculous therapy was instituted in all patients for a minimum of 18 months. Monitoring of neurological status was done weekly. Results: There were 92 patients made up of 71 males (77.2%) and 21 females (22.8%) with a male: female ratios of 3.4:1. 53.3% were paraplegic while 46.7% were paraparetic. The age group 31-40 years was the most affected. 43.5% of the patients were farmers who formed the majority. Back pain, weight loss, paraplegia and paraparesis in that order were the common clinical features. 25% of the patients recovered full use of their lower limbs at the end of the study. Thoracic spine and lumbar spine were equally involved (41.5% respectively) while thoraco-lumbar spine was involved in 15.1% of patients. Cervical spine was only involved in 1.9% of the patients. Conclusion: Effective management of spinal tuberculosis should be a teamwork involving the physician, orthopedic surgeon, neurosurgeon as well as the radiologist. The rural populace needs to be educated to prevent late complications and ensure better prognosis.

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