A 48-year-old nurse, with a body mass index of 31, presents for an evaluation of back pain. She relates that historically, she had a positive PPD test a year ago and did not follow-up as directed. She has recently been experiencing night sweats and coughing. An x-ray of her lumbar spine reveals osteopenia and cortical breakdown of vertebral bodies L4 and L5. Which of the following diagnosis is most suspect?
- compression fractures secondary to obesity
- degenerative joint disease
- Pott's disease
- compression fractures secondary to osteoporosis
Pott's disease is TB of the spine. She could have any of the other diseases, but the question states that she had a positive PPD and did not take meds...that is the clue that she has active TB in the spine.