ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pott's disease. Coloured sagittal (side) section magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan through the spine of a patient with Pott's disease (tuberculosis of the spine). The vertebrae (brown blocks) have become compacted, and inflamed joints are pressing on the spinal cord (purple) at the upper and lower curve. Pott's disease causes the softening, collapse and inflammation of vertebrae. It is a secondary disease to TB and is caused when the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria move from the lungs to the spine. The damage to the vertebrae often leads to a hunchback deformity, or Pott's curvature. Treatment is with antibiotics and immobilisation of the spine.
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