Skeletal tuberculosis in children in the Western world: 18 new cases with a review of the literature

Harish S. Hosalkar, Nina Agrawal, Swapna Reddy, Kriti Sehgal, Edward J. Fox, Robert A. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: The occurrence of pediatric skeletal (extra-spinal) tuberculosis in the developed world is extremely rare. The purpose of this study was to review the cases at our institutions. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all pediatric biopsy-proven skeletal (extra-spinal) cases of tuberculosis over a five-year period. Results: Eighteen patients of biopsy-proven tuberculosis were identified. The mean age was 12 years (range 7-20). Lesion locations included: distal humerus, ulna, scapula, acetabulum, proximal femur, proximal tibia, distal tibia, and calcaneus. All had symptoms of pain, swelling, and stiffness. Five cases had multi-focal involvement. Twenty-four lesions were noted in 18 patients. Nineteen lesions were cystic in nature at presentation. The sedimentation rate was normal in six and purified protein derivative (PPD) was negative in five patients. All received chemotherapy. Six patients underwent surgery. Conclusions: The diagnosis of pediatric skeletal tuberculosis can be made with good correlation of clinical, radiographic, and laboratory findings. Biopsy and culture are the gold standards in diagnosis. Prognosis is good with chemotherapy and non-operative management. Surgical intervention may be needed in select cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-324
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Children's Orthopaedics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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