Symptoms of Bone Tuberculosis

Symptoms of Bone Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is a contagious disease which primarily affects the lungs. It is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. When tuberculosis spreads to the bones, it is known as bone tuberculosis. The spread of the virus in the body also affects other body parts causing complications. People of any age group can be affected by this condition. Almost 10 to 20% of TB patients suffer from complications caused due to the spread of the virus to their bones, spine and other parts.


Early detection of the symptoms would help in better treatment. The symptoms of bone tuberculosis are vague and people fail to identify them in time, which in turn makes it difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms include:

  • Back pain (Due to the spine being affected)
  • Localized pain
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Formation of cold abscesses

Most of these symptoms may also point to other health conditions. Therefore, if you notice any such symptoms, consult your doctor and do not panic. Your doctor would ask you to undergo certain tests to confirm the presence of TB bacteria and then suggest suitable treatment options.

Disseminated or Multifocal bone tuberculosis is a condition wherein the infection spreads to more than one bone in the patient’s body. This condition is very rare and accounts for just 5% or less in cases of bone tuberculosis. People with weak immune systems are more at risk of developing this condition. As the infection spreads to different bones, the patient may experience pain in several areas.


X-rays and bone scans are not very efficient in differentiating and identifying bone tuberculosis. Generally, any swelling in the soft tissue, presence of cysts in the bone, reduction in the joint space and any abnormalities in the spine point to this condition. A biopsy of the bone may be done to confirm tuberculosis.


Antituberculous drugs are used to treat all types of TB including bone tuberculosis. Your doctor or health care provider may prescribe a combination of medications to effectively treat TB. If the bacteria develop resistance to these drugs then other combinations of medications are used.

2 responses to Symptoms of Bone Tuberculosis

  1. Dear sir,
    i am suffering from back pain from last 2 months, now i had started the pain(swelling) at my knee joints and also weakness. Am i suffering from bone tb? Which doctor specialist should i follow to remove this panic condition kindly reply.

  2. Very helpful.

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