Osteoarticular manifestations of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis has affected humans for much of our existence. The incidence of global tuberculosis infection continues to rise, especially in concert with HIV coinfection. Many disease processes, such as diabetes, increase the likelihood of tuberculosis infection. Tuberculosis bacteria can infect any bone, joint, tendon, or bursa; however, the most common musculoskeletal site for infection includes the spine and weight-bearing joints of the hip and knee. Many patients who present with osteoarticular tuberculosis infection will have a gradual onset of pain at the site of infection. Many patients who develop a musculoskeletal tuberculosis infection will have no evidence of a pulmonary tuberculosis infection on x-ray film and many will have very mild symptoms with the initial infection. Healthcare providers must remember that many patients who develop tuberculosis infection do not progress to active tuberculosis disease; however, the latent infection may become active with immune compromise.
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