Sacroiliac joint involvement in spinal tuberculosis

  • Faraaz Khan University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • S Govender University of KwaZulu-Natal
Keywords tuberculous, sacroiliac, tuberculosis, spondylitis, sacroiliitis


Background: A discussion of the incidence and pathogenesis of tuberculosis of the sacroiliac joint and a description of an association with spinal tuberculosis.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted in the spine unit on all inpatients admitted between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015. Patients with confirmed tuberculous spondylitis and/or sacroiliitis, who underwent adequate radiological examination of their sacroiliac joints, were included in the study. Available clinical and radiological investigations including plain X-rays, CT and MRI scans, were scrutinised to actively exclude sacroiliac joint involvement.

Results: Sixty-six patients with tuberculous spondylitis and one patient with isolated tuberculous sacroiliitis were included in the study. Seventeen patients had multilevel (>2 levels) contiguous involvement, while 14 patients had multilevel non-contiguous lesions. Thirty-four patients had associated iliopsoas abscesses. Thirteen patients (19.4%) were identified as having involvement of their sacroiliac joint(s). Six had bilateral involvement, five with right-sided and two patients with left-sided involvement. Eleven of the patients identified had associated iliopsoas abscesses, two of whom had gluteal and iliopsoas abscesses. The patient with isolated sacroiliac joint involvement had a gluteal abscess.

Conclusion: Concurrent radiographic evidence of sacroiliac joint involvement is not uncommon in patients with spinal tuberculosis, more so when abscess formation is associated, and should be actively looked for and excluded in such cases.

Level of evidence: Level 4

Author Biographies

Faraaz Khan, University of KwaZulu-Natal

MBChB(UKZN), FC(Orth)SA, Orthopaedic Consultant/Fellow, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban

S Govender, University of KwaZulu-Natal

MBBS, MD, FRCS, FC(Orth)PR, Professor and orthopaedic surgeon, Spinal Unit, King Dinizulu Hospital; and Fellow of University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban

How to Cite
KHAN, Faraaz; GOVENDER, S. Sacroiliac joint involvement in spinal tuberculosis. South African Orthopaedic Journal, [S.l.], p. 47-52, july 2018. ISSN 2309-8309. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 june 2019.
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