Editor-in-Chief: Kenneth D. Candido, MD
The presenting symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) are varied and may include acute and chronic pain in anatomical regions with active TB infection. Cervical spine TB, although rare, can present with nonspecific symptomatology emanating from the upper cervical spine, leading providers to overlook TB in their diagnostic approach. This case report demonstrates the necessity of a thorough history and physical with particular emphasis on pertinent sociodemographic risk factors for pain medicine clinicians to reliably ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment. A patient with TB of the cervical spine presented as a referral with pain symptoms refractory to standard pharmacologic analgesic regimens. Only with a thorough social history, made difficult by language and sociodemographic barriers, were we able to direct our diagnostic approach to elucidate the etiology, and engage the patient with the appropriate therapy.
KEY WORDS: Tuberculosis, cervicalgia, cervical spine, extrapulmonary tuberculosis, pregabalin, social history