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March 27, 1937


JAMA. 1937;108(13):1123. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780130107010

The gradual disappearance of the "hunchback" has been one of the most obvious signs that the education of the public with regard to tuberculosis, combined with modern preventive and therapeutic measures, has borne precious fruit. Earlier diagnosis and improved surgical methods of treatment have assisted in reducing the number of permanent cripples. Schneider and Van Hecke 1 estimated that one third of the cases of bone tuberculosis are situated in the spine. They noted the poor general physical condition of these patients and the high incidence of complications, such as pulmonary tuberculosis, abscesses, draining sinuses, paraplegia, and involvement of other bones. The general symptoms were anorexia, anemia, rapid pulse, loss of weight and evening rise of temperature, the local ones pain (local or referred), tenderness, rigidity (muscle spasm), deformity and symptoms due to pressure on the spinal nerves. A recent pathologic and roentgenologic study 2 of tuberculous spines emphasizes that

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