A rare presentation of tubercular osteomyelitis of the foot
Keywords:foot, tuberculosis, osteomyelitis, extra-pulmonary tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is a communicable disease that is a major cause of ill health. It is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide and the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent. Its most common clinical presentation is pulmonary involvement. However, approximately 23‐30% of tuberculosis patients have extrapulmonary symptoms. A rare (1%) clinical presentation of tuberculosis is foot and ankle infection. This is complicated by the fact that the diagnosis of osteoarticular tuberculosis is difficult. Our case was a 66-year-old multi-pathological pensioner, who, while working in the countryside, had an ankle sprain on the left foot, with a lacerated wound of about 2 cm diameter. The non-endemic area and the negative chest X-ray made the diagnosis extremely complex. However, a multidisciplinary approach with the radiologists and the infectious disease department led to clinical stabilization of the patient. Therefore, awareness and high index of suspicion of the disease is essential and referral to experts should be made if diagnosis is indeterminate despite extensive investigations. The knowledge allows early identification of the disease and prompt therapy in order to avoid long-standing untreated infections which typically cause bone destruction and loss of function. The knowledge is also mandatory for western physicians due to increasing international travel, immigration from less developed countries and increased use of immunosuppressive medications. We believe that this article can bring awareness around osteoarticular tuberculosis and help with improving outcome and eradication of the infection. Level of clinical evidence: 4.
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