Long-term Follow-up Results of Foot and Ankle Tuberculosis in Turkey


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Abstract

The incidence of tuberculosis has been increasing, especially in the past 2 decades. Skeletal tuberculosis is very rare compared with the frequency of the pulmonary form. In the present study, we have shared our long-term experience with foot and ankle tuberculosis, providing information about the different aspects of the disease. A total of 70 patients with foot and ankle tuberculosis, treated from 1983 to 2005, were evaluated. The mean patient age was 34.4 (range 7 to 85) years at the diagnosis. The mean interval between the first symptoms and the diagnosis was 26.4 months (range 1 month to 15 years). The mean follow-up period was 21.7 (range 8 to 30) years. The infection affected both the joint and the bones in 29 patients, only the joints in 13, only the bones in 22, and the soft tissues alone in the remaining 6 patients. The most common joint location was the tibiotalar joint. The talus was the most commonly infiltrated bone. All patients underwent biopsy, and 28 patients underwent additional surgical procedures. In 18 patients (25.7%), 1 to 4 recurrences developed during the follow-up period. In the last follow-up visits, either severe destruction of the bones or end-stage arthrosis was evident in 39 patients (55.7%), especially in those with osseous tuberculosis. Foot and ankle tuberculosis is very rare. The diagnosis of the disease will often be late owing to the lack of pathognomonic findings. A histopathologic evaluation should not be omitted in cases with suspicion. The incidence of residual deformity or end-stage arthrosis has been high in the long term; however, the patients will usually be without any symptoms.

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