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Long-segment Continuous Multi-level Spinal Tuberculosis without Bony Destruction Leading to Rapid Paraplegia in an Immunocompetent Patient.

INTRODUCTION: Spinal tuberculosis (STB) accounts for 1% of all tuberculosis (TB) cases and 50% of skeletal TB. The classic presentation is a paradiscal involvement leading to the destruction of bodies, progressive kyphosis that can end with neurological weakness. The advent of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has made detection early but at the same time, we find multilevel involvement which can be continuous/noncontinuous.

CASE REPORT: A 26-year-old male, non-alcoholic, non-smoker presented with complete paraplegia involving the bladder and bowel. His clinical examination did not show any gibbus. He was started on empirical antitubercular therapy and then referred to us as he failed to show improvement. An MRI of the spine showed extensive long-segment continuous spinal involvement with epidural abscess. The patient was taken for surgery with posterior decompression and instrumentation which was proven to be TB. He received complete treatment of 1 year and had complete recovery of his sensory and incomplete recovery of motor of lower limbs (became a wheelchair ambulator) with regain of bowel and bladder control at the end of treatment.

CONCLUSION: This case report revealed that long-segment continuous STB without extensive destruction is atypical presentation. The clinical findings of paraplegia helped us to evaluate and clinch the diagnosis on MRI. However, the prognosis of rapid paraplegia remains guarded and patient had partial recovery of motor so he could become wheel chair ambulator only.

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